‘I have come that you might have life and have it to the full’ (John 10.10)
At St Bernadette’s we teach Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education (RSHE) precisely because of our Christian beliefs about God and about the human person. The belief in the unique dignity of the human person made in the image and likeness of God underpins the approach to all education in a Catholic school. Our approach to Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education therefore is rooted in the Catholic Church’s teaching of the human person and presented in a positive framework of Christian ideals.
Using the Catholic programme ‘Life to the Full’ in conjunction with the Diocesan approved programme ‘Come and See’ we are confident that our Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education delivers a curriculum which underpins the Church’s moral teaching and is accessible to all. It ensures that each of our pupils will know more, remember more and understand more about how stay safe, be content and play a positive and successful role within our society, both as a child and as an adult, now and in the future.
As with all subjects, our curriculum design interrelates different strands of knowledge:
Substantive knowledge represents the Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education content that is taught in each year group. In planning, this knowledge is the content we want pupils to know and remember including topic specific vocabulary. During the course of their RSHE topics, we share significant amounts of substantive knowledge with pupils. As such, ‘Life to the Full’ programmes of study are broken down into smaller building blocks of knowledge and are carefully sequenced across year groups.
In partnership with parents, we aim to provide children with a “positive and prudent sexual education” which is compatible with their physical, cognitive, psychological, and spiritual maturity, and rooted in a Catholic vision of education and the human person.
These will be covered through six themes: religious, personal, social, health, economic and sexual in order to:
Develop the following attitudes and virtues: respect for the dignity of every human being – in their own person and in the person of others; joy in the goodness of the created world and their own bodies; responsibility for one's actions and a recognition of the impact of these on others; recognising and valuing their own sexual identity and that of others; celebrating the gift of life-long love and recognising the importance of marriage and family life;
Develop the following personal and social skills: making sound judgements and good choices; loving and being loved, and the ability to form friendships and loving, stable relationships; managing emotions within relationships including when relationships break down; managing conflict positively, recognising the value of difference; cultivating humility, mercy and compassion, learning to forgive and be forgiven; developing self-esteem and confidence, demonstrating self-respect and empathy for others and building resilience and the ability to resist unwanted pressures, recognising the influence and impact of the media, Internet and peer groups;
Develop the following knowledge and understanding: the Church’s teaching on marriage and the importance of marriage and family life; the centrality and importance of virtue in guiding human living and loving; the physical and psychological changes that accompany puberty; the facts about human reproduction, how love is expressed sexually and how sexual love plays an essential and sacred role in procreation; (Parents may withdraw their child from this aspect of the curriculum)
Disciplinary knowledge represents the application of skills which are subject specific. This knowledge is drawn from the ‘Life to the Full’ and National Curriculum programmes of study. It is organised into categories of knowledge and mapped in a vertically integrated progression which ensures opportunities for pupils to build, revisit and deepen their knowledge and understanding.
Assessment in RSHE should be based on more than just knowing facts. We assess the pupils’ ability to apply their knowledge through our clearly defined outcomes at the end of each unit of learning. This provides information on the children’s ability to use and apply new knowledge in a subject specific context.