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St Francis Xavier

Relationship, Sex and Health Education


Our key principles

  • We want our students to reach their full potential
  • We want to support and guide our students within our Christian values
  • We want to work together with parents
  • We want to help to protect students, keep them safe and teach them how
  • We want to help develop confident, healthy, happy students who can make a positive contribution







Why is RSE important?

High quality RSE helps create safe school communities in which students can grow, learn and develop healthy behaviour for life.

RSE plays an integral part in schools fulfilling their statutory duties to protect and safeguard their students.

Schools maintain a statutory obligation under the Children Act (2004) to promote their students’ wellbeing and under the education Act (2002) to prepare children and young people for the challenges, opportunities and responsibilities of adult life.

Technology is evolving at a tremendous pace. The need to protect children and young people from inappropriate online content, cyber bullying and exploitation is a growing concern.


How will this be taught at St Francis Xavier?

Our curriculum aims to support student’s holistic development by providing skills to develop confidence, resilience, and self-esteem. The school ethos, Love of God, Love of Neighbour is central to the curriculum.

Relationship Sex education is taught over a series of 7 lessons as part of the PSHE curriculum in unit 1. Lessons are taught over a fortnightly rolling programme and are delivered by form tutors using the TenTen resource, allowing for specialist resources whilst facilitating meaningful discussions. The RSE scheme of learning is divided into the following themes; Religious understanding, Me my body, my health, emotional Well-being, Life Cycle, personal relationships, keeping Safe and Living in the wider world. 

The curriculum is embedded in school life with additional themes being delivered through different curriculum areas, themes of the week, assemblies and curriculum drop down periods. A breakdown of lesson by lesson for each year group can be found in the PSHE curriculum area on the website.


The right to withdraw

The DFE give parents and carers the right to withdraw their children from Sex Education. Parents do not have the right to withdraw their children from Health or relationships education.

Please note that if a parent wishes to withdraw their child from sex education, the school cannot offer alternative lessons.

For further information about this please contact the school.



What is the law in the UK around Relationship, Sex and Health Education?

From September 2020 RSHE will become compulsory for all secondary aged students. The Independent School Standards states “Maintained schools and academies are required to provide a curriculum, which is broad and balanced in accordance with section 78 of the Education Act 2002”. At St Francis Xavier School we deliver a broad and balanced age appropriate curriculum and are required by law to teach relationships and Sex Education and Health Education from year 7 through until the end of Year 11.

What will be covered in this subject?

We aim to teach a broad and balanced curriculum which we have divided into three sections: attitudes and virtues, personal and social skills and knowledge and understanding. Below are the topics.

To develop the following attitudes and virtues:

  • know that they are a unique creation of God and so are able to grow in self-respect developing a positive attitude to themselves, their feelings and their sexuality
  • understand that self-giving love is central to relationships
  • recognise the importance of forgiveness and saying sorry in relationships
  • understand the reasons for self-respect, and why they should act with respect and responsibility in their relationships
  • reflect on their own relationships recognising those qualities that help relationships grow
  • develop knowledge, communication skills and understanding in order to help personal decision-making

To develop the following personal and social skills:

  • act responsibly as an individual and as a member of a group
  • identify and have the confidence to talk about their emotions and how to respond positively to them
  • communicate a point of view clearly and appropriately and listen to the views of others
  • take responsibility for oneself and for one’s actions
  • come to understand the influence and impact of the media, Internet, peer groups and develop the ability to assess pressures and respond appropriately
  • explore and respond appropriately to prejudice and gender stereotyping
  • think positively about their own body
  • understand, in ways appropriate to their age and developmental needs, the changes they will undergo including puberty
  • know the correct vocabulary for external body parts, sexual organs, and menstruation
  • think positively about other people, adults as well as children
  • take care of themselves, their health, safety and personal hygiene
  • know that some diseases are infectious
  • keep themselves safe and ask for help and support when needed
  • become aware of good choices and wrong choices and their consequences
  • understand that some choices can entail undesirable outcomes, such as psychological distress, physical trauma, STIs, HIV/AIDS, abortion
  • make good choices about what to do in particular situations
  • manage relationships with friends confidently and effectively
  • develop the ability to form positive, non-exploitative relationships and reject bullying
  • explore and reflect on their own experience of people who are married
  • have an understanding of the family, an appreciation of the values of family life and the roles and responsibilities of family members
  • have an understanding of a family as a spiritual community in which members can grow in faith, hope and love
  • understand that the difference between male and female is part of God’s loving and creative plan
  • understand sexual behaviour and reproduction in the context of a loving and self-giving marriage avoiding its reduction to bodily functions

To know and understand:

  • the Christian teaching that marriage is the safest place for sexual activity
  • That all humans are created and loved by God even when there is diversity in sexual attraction and sexuality
  • the difference between natural family planning and artificial contraception
  • recognise and appreciate the Christian belief in the importance of marriage for family life and the bringing up of children. 

How will this be delivered to my child?

Students will receive this education across the school from year 7 to year 11 when it is appropriate for their age. This will be through:

  • fortnightly PSHCE lessons delivered by the Form Tutor
  • Science
  • Religious Education
  • PE
  • Food technology
  • Collective Worship assemblies and within other subjects indirectly.

What teaching strategies will be employed?

Outstanding education requires that each student’s needs be meet within the classroom and therefore we apply many different teaching strategies to get the best out of your child. For example:

  • Establishing ground rules when discussing sensitive topics
  • Distancing techniques to explore controversial topics
  • Class discussion
  • Project learning
  • Reflection
  • Brainstorming
  • Film and video
  • Group work
  • Role play
  • Trigger drawing
  • Value conflicts
  • Story
  • External visitors – Our school will often call upon help and guidance from outside agencies and health specialists to deliver aspects of health education, in particular RSE within schools. It must however be noted that such visits will always complement the current programme and never substitute or replace teacher led sessions. The delivery will also be in line with the Christian ethos of the school

How will RSHE be assessed?

Within PSHCE there is no grading allocated to the work. Students will self-assess and reflect on their progress with the guidance of their form Tutor. Their attitude to learning will be monitored in PSHCE and reported to parents on the progress check.

How will the school deal with controversial issues?

Within the context of the Christian ethos of our school we will ensure that students are offered a balanced programme which enables pupils to receive clear scientific information as well as covering the law. Knowing about facts and enabling young people to explore different viewpoints is not the same as promoting behaviour and is compatible with our school’s promotion of Catholic and Church of England teaching. We will ensure that students have access to the learning they need to stay safe, healthy and understand their rights as individuals. We want to ensure that students can ask questions freely, be confident that their questions will be answered. We aim to create “a spirit of enquiry towards popular culture rather than an acceptance of it” (Learning to Love).

Can I discuss this further?

Yes, if you have any further questions please email Mrs C.Masterman at masterman.c@sfx.npcat.org.uk where she will be happy to discuss any of the above information further.