'Children and young people need to know how to be safe and healthy, and how to manage their academic, personal and social lives in a positive way.' - Department for Education
At St. Francis de Sales, we understand that children are growing up in an ever-changing and increasingly complex world. Although this presents many positive opportunities, it also poses challenges and risks. Therefore, it is our duty to prepare the children under our care for the wider world and to offer them the tools that they need in order to be safe and healthy, build positive relationships and understand how to manage their personal and social lives in a meaningful way.
We deliver the content of the Relationship and Health Education set out by the Department for Education in a broad and balanced curriculum. The teaching of Relationship and Health Education is built upon various elements of our curriculum including PSHE, Science, Computing and Religious Education. As a Catholic school, our programme of religious study (Come and See) features heavily in our Relationship and Health Education mapping as our approach is rooted in the Catholic Church's teaching of the human person and how love is the central basis of relationships.
Although the delivery of Relationship Education is now compulsory, the delivery of Sex Education is not; however, Catholic schools are ahead of the curve and understand that there must be space in the curriculum for Sex Education and that we are tasked with educating young people and children about healthy loving relationships. Pope Francis has also spoken for the need for ' a positive and prudent sex education to be imparted to children and adolescences as they grow older.'
Any teaching about love and sexual relationships in a Catholic school must be rooted in the Catholic Church’s teaching about what it is to be truly human in Christ, what it means to live well in relationship with others and be presented within a positive framework of Christian virtue. For this reason, Catholic schools are encouraged to speak about Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) rather than Sex and Relationship Education (SRE), since this emphasises the importance of healthy relationships to human well being, as the core learning within an RSE curriculum.
At St. Francis de Sales, we understand that RSE is sensitive to the different needs of the individual pupils. For this reason, we have chosen to use the RSE programme ‘A Journey in Love’. This is an Archdiocese recommended resource that has been compiled specifically to present a Catholic, age appropriate vision. This programme is intended to support teachers to deliver a comprehensive understanding of human relationships.