Is SRE at Y1 compulsory?

(13 Posts)
ninani Mon 14-Nov-11 14:04:25

I read in various places that Sex and Relationships education is compulsory for all children (and can opt out up tp 15 years old). Does anyone know whether these have to be taught for every year a child goes to school? And do Y1 children have to learn about these topics or is there an option to start later let's say at Y3 as long as long as they learn about it?

I know you can opt out but you can't opt out from the science part. A video "recommended" for the teaching (Living and Growing, by Channel 4) was shown and there was an uproar. The hall was full and the parents are trying to have this video blocked as the vast majority thought that 5 years old would be too early. Do they have to show a video? I told the had that indeed you can find science facts about reproduction in many books that a child at this age can read (whether at hom or school) but they are not as explicit as the video was. It was just too much.

I am NOT debating whether the teaching at this age is right or wrong and I it's not in my intentions to start such a converation. I was under the impression that it was compulsory and we could do nothing about it, even the head said that other schools teach sex education but they don't bother to inform the parents, they just go ahead and teach it. But a mother told me that in her sister's school they don't teach it to Y1. Is this possible?? Is it compulsory from Y1 or could they start teaching a few years later?

Thank you dear parents/carerers/teachers smile

ByTheWay1 Mon 14-Nov-11 14:12:19

Our school teaches sex and relationships right through from reception age - but it IS tailored to agegroup - they do not go full on with stuff about the act of sex even at Y6. They have friendship/family etc - Y5 and above get the usual guff about puberty, smelliness, periods, hair etc and hormones affecting our relationships. There is a lot of what "love" means to different people etc - mummy and me , me and my sister etc, preparation I guess for senior school sex ed.

EdithWeston Mon 14-Nov-11 14:21:32

Ours teaches SRE right from reception - it starts with things like "being friends" and "all about me and my family".

The Channel 4 video is of course not compulsory, but you should note that if used that it is in 3 age-banded parts

Unit 1 - Age 5-7
Differences: How did I get here?: Growing up

Unit 2 - Age 7-9
Changes: How babies are made:How babies are born

Unit 3 - Age 9-11
Girls talk: Boy talk: Let's talk about sex

I don't think there is anything objectionable about them if the school sticks to the age guideline. (I can see why parents of 4/5 year olds would be shock at the 9-11 module, but a school shouldn't use it like that).

ninani Mon 14-Nov-11 14:23:16

Thanks ByTheWay1. The same here! The actually were happy to tell us that in the beginning (i.e. no sex teaching) but the parents were not happy with teaching the video, body parts ("it is hard and it feels nice" etc.) or expect the children to come back to them and ask them "mum, how does it actually happen?". I don't mind friends, families emotions, keeping clean, healthy etc. We are a very conservative community. There were talks about taking it to the governors but I don't know if we have any grounds as I thought it was compulsory.

ninani Mon 14-Nov-11 14:26:50

Thank you EdithWeston. I kept asking the head whether the video was compulsory. She wouldn't say no but kept saying "recommended".

EdithWeston Mon 14-Nov-11 14:26:50

ninani - you sound as if you are quoting from the age 9-11 module. That is not aimed at year 1 children, and concerned parents might like to ask the school why they are proposing to use a resource aimed ay children 4-6 years older than the ages in the year group. There are plenty of age-appropriate resources available, including module 1 of the one you mention.

lovingthecoast Mon 14-Nov-11 14:31:08

Edith is correct in that the part of the video that you are referring to is not used in YR/Y1. It is used in Y5/Y6. So they don't need to use the video and that in itself is not compulsory but it's actually not a bad tool as some of the videos I have seen are really rubbish and the kids esp in Y6 are less awkward and embarrassed to watch a video than to have their class teacher go through a worksheet with them.

SRE starts in Reception but good SRE wouldn't even come close to discussing anything sexual until at least Y5 and in some schemes, Y6. IME, Y1 PSHCE stuff is usually friendship, family, what is safe? (ie discussing the importance of not touching medication etc) and the 'sex' bit is very often body parts. Nothing remotely sexual though many schools will teach names of genitals too but approached exactly like naming the chin or the ears. No big deal and not at all age inappropriate.

lovingthecoast Mon 14-Nov-11 14:34:07

In some schools the 'body parts' is done in Reception and in some Y2. Other infant strands are 'keeping ourself clean' which includes teaching the importance of hand washing after the loo and and brushing their teeth etc.

Honestly, teachers really have no desire or rush to teach sex to 5 and 6 year olds nor is that the intention of the SRE curriculum.

ninani Mon 14-Nov-11 14:46:31

Thank you all for your repsonses! I understand that naturally you have different ideas from me but you are all still very kind!

I saw them clicking the movie and it was part 1 of ..24 maybe? The children were looking for a cat. We were informed that it was a she and not a he because only females can have children (she had a baby). Then they showed body parts in a cartoon. Next ..uproar but not badly behaved people. When I was taught science they didn't teach us the names of the body parts, especially animated. I was ...uuuuhh when I saw the video. And it's different if they show a picture of the internal organs as in biology, without a head, as many people won't find it as bad, if they really have to. That's why I was asking whether the video itself was compulsory or not.

lovingthecoast Mon 14-Nov-11 15:03:00

No, the video isn't compulsory. With the bodyparts teaching, what Ive usually seen it a body outline in black of a boy and one of a girl. Child shape not adults. You can see the penis on the boy drawing. There is then often a set of labels which they cut out and stick in the appropriate place so they will stick 'knee' over the knee and 'penis' over the penis. I've rarely seen sniggering or silliness from 5 or 6yr olds doing this exercise and it isn't remotely sexual or sexualised. Teachers do usually discuss that some parts of our bodies are private and kept covered and also that we need to take care to keep these parts nice and clean and that they are used for going to the toilet etc. So all very matter of fact and basic.

ninani Mon 14-Nov-11 17:14:30

I saw the same thing but I didn't find it innocent at all. AND they said that rubbing the clitoris feels nice and the penis gets hard which again ..feels nice. They know that 99% of the parents come from abroad and in the vast majority are Indian/Pakistani/Bengali (very conservative societies whether Muslim or Hindu), or black African who regularly go to church. They could have chosen different material. Is maintaining a Healthy School status so important to them? They never mentioned the video not being compulsory, thank for telling me!! Now I understand even more why some parents ignore school labels including "outstanding".

lovingthecoast Mon 14-Nov-11 18:56:05

Ninani, I have co-ordinated PSHCE including SRE is many primary schools and taught it at secondary school. I have never come across a scheme of work which teaches infant children such a thing or makes any reference to masturbation whatsoever. Many primary schools do mention masturbation and pleasurable feelings in Y6 and I have come across it once in Y5 but never at infant level. I have also been involved in writing schemes of work in SRE in two different LEAs and again, never come across this. In the naming body parts the penis is simply talked about as another everyday part of the body and the boys often mention that they wee from their penis. in the same way as the children talk about hearing with their ears. Again, all suitable for a 5 or 6yr old (IMO) and nothing remotely sexual.

I think you need to go in and ask for a copy of the scheme of work to see for yourself what is covered when as there may be some confusion being caused by the video.

My own personal view is that whilst a parents religious views should be respected, SRE is an important part of the curriculum when taught in age appropriate chunks. Oh and almost all primary schools will send a permission slip home before embarking on the 'sex' part of the curriculum in Y6. Y5 SRE, IME, normally covers stuff such as peer pressure, smoking and alcohol and menstruation as many girls begin their periods in Y5 & Y6. Both boys and girls usually have a quick talk on menstuation then the girls are given another half hour away from the boys to ask more detailed or personal questions. A female teacher or school nurse usually takes these sessions and the girls esp benefit hugely from them.

joannabristol2016 Tue 02-Feb-16 16:23:37

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now