RSE - Relationships & Sex Education
Any teaching about love and sexual relationships in St Mary Magdalen’s School will 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.
RSE stands for Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education.
It is our vision for Relationship and Sex Education in Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Westminster that pupils would learn how to foster healthy relationships and friendships in light of the wisdom of the Church.
Pupils will flourish when they truly understand their innate human dignity, love and appreciation of themselves, including respect for their bodies, and the way they were made by God. Please see the documents below for more information.
Progressive & Developmental
At St. Mary Magdalen's we know that learning needs to reflect each stage of the development of the person. and it needs to be appropriate to the age and stage of development of children and young people during the different phases of their education. It also needs to be continuous and developmental. It is a process which is planned from beginning to end with one phase of education informing the work of the next so that the children can be led to a deeper and fuller understanding by degrees at a rate which corresponds to their maturing.
We ensure that RSE is sensitive to the different needs of individual pupils and is taught in a way that allows access to those pupils at different stages of cognitive and emotional development. Learning and teaching methods will be adapted and specialist resources and training will be provided for those with particular needs. We, therefore, will ensure that children with special educational needs and disabilities are not at any point withdrawn from RSE.
At St Mary Magdalen’s we are committed to the education of the whole person, teaching on relationships and sexuality needs to be reflected in each relevant part of the curriculum. Whilst, for example, some aspects of RSE will be more appropriately explored in science lessons and some more appropriately explored in RE lessons, each should be informed by the other. Each discipline should speak with consistency about the meaning of human love and the virtues that are enshrined in the Church’s teaching on human love.
Our well-planned programme will not just ensure that there is correspondence between phases and across disciplines but will ensure that parents are fully involved in the planning and evaluation of the teaching of relationships and sexuality. Ideally, pupils should hear a consistent message about the meaning and value of human sexuality at home, in the parish and at school. This can only be achieved if the home, parish and school work to integrate the teaching of RSE.
RSE is led by the PSHE co-ordinator. Staff at St. Mary Magdalen’s are committed to doing it well; teaching RSE part of a whole-school approach by those who are able to celebrate – not merely tolerate – the teaching of the Church on love and human sexuality.
Whilst promoting Catholic virtues, we ensure that children and young people are offered a broad and balanced RSE programme which provides them with clear factual, scientific information when relevant and meets the statutory requirements placed on schools.
The structure of this model curriculum
This model curriculum covers KS2 and is based on three core themes within which there will be broad overlap. It is adaptable to the age and ability of the pupils. The three themes are:
- Created and loved by God (this explores the individual)
The Christian imperative to love self, made in the image and likeness of God, shows an understanding of the importance of valuing and understanding oneself as the basis for personal relationships.
- Created to love others (this explores an individual’s relationships with others)
God is love. We are created out of love and for love. The command to love is the basis of all Christian morality.
- Created to live in community – local, national & global (this explores the individual’s relationships with the wider world)
Human beings are relational by nature and live in the wider community. Through our exchange with others, our mutual service and through dialogue, we attempt to proclaim and extend the Kingdom of God for the good of individuals and the good of society.
Each theme covers the core strands of ‘Education in Virtue’ and ‘Religious Understanding’ as well as strands which cover the PSHE content of the theme.
Christian Virtue and RSE
Each theme begins with a statement of the virtues which are necessary to living well in a relationship with others and these virtues should underpin the teaching but also should emerge as a consequence of it.
Virtues are habits which are learned from experience and are gained through imitation, the same virtues being modelled by those who teach. They express the qualities of character that schools should seek to develop in their pupils, through their exemplification by the whole community of which the pupils are a part.
These virtues reflect our Christian tradition but they are also, of course, fundamental human virtues which are universally shared.
PSHE that is not covered in RSE
RSE Consultation Letter to Parents - March 2021