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My 9 year old told his 4 year old sister about his Sex Relations lesson today

(76 Posts)
bkplace601 Tue 19-Jun-18 13:12:09

My son attends a primary school in Norfolk. Class sizes are small so he is in Year 4 with Year 5 pupils who are taught together.

A letter was sent home at the end of last term saying SRE was about to start and we had to let the school know if we wanted to pull our child out. I didn't get the letter, but there wasn't any detail in it that would give me a reason to think he should be pulled out.

After his first lesson my 9 year old came home and said to his 4 year old sister, "Do you know what, when you get older boys are going to stick their penis into your private bits". I distracted my daughter and then chatted to my son. He said he had been told not to talk about it with KS1 children, but he said his sister was not KS1!

I contacted the school immediately to pull him out of SRE lessons until we could find out how the school were teaching the subject. I also advised them that as a response to our situation, they should maybe reiterate that it wasn't just KS1 pupils but all pupils. The teacher came back with a very defensive response, that they had made it clear. Clearly, to the detriment of my family, they hadn't and were now putting other families at risk, why wouldn't a teacher want to just reiterate that pupils shouldn't speak to any younger children in the next lesson?

I have withdrawn my son saying I would like to look at how and what he is being taught. I have looked at the legislation on guidance for SRE, which would be great if my school were using them:

SRE Education Guide 2000
Key Points
All schools must have an up to date policy, drawn up by the governing body, and available to parents for inspection. I had seek it out on the school website, it wasn't in the policies section, but under curriculum. And it doesn't tell me the first lesson is on sex! What it does tell me is that they are vaguely providing a policy to cover the government requirements with a few bits missing and in less than 15 lines.

This should be developed in consultation with parents and the wider community. What a dream. How can I encourage this school to change to this way of thinking, rather than don't drop your child off late, make sure they come for 97% of the year, pick them up at 3 and its not our fault if your child doesn't come home with their letters. Does consultation really amount to a letter home that allows you to withdraw your child from a lesson? And does silence, a no reply, really amount to fair acceptance by parents?

Primary schools should have clear parameters on what children should be taught in the transition year before moving to secondary school and that parents should be consulted. My son is Year 4, what do they get taught in the transition year that is different from what he is learning now which parents should be consulted on?

I have withdrawn my son from SRE, but I am just at a loss as to what to do next. The school don't seem to care that my 4 year old daughter has been exposed to KS2 "sex" lessons, and I don't think my 9 year old son is really mature enough to be dropped into the deep end with his first lesson in SRE being centred around sex! However, I don't want him to miss out on lessons of physical, emotional and moral development. I thought teaching about relationships was more important than sex these days, that sex was just a part of learning about relationships. But what can a parent do, when the school isn't even operating to the government guidelines or statutory policy requirements?

Orlandointhewilderness Tue 19-Jun-18 13:19:54

To be honest, I don't think the school is to blame here! Sex Ed classes are going to contain info on sex and there is the chance he might tell other children. My DB apparently did the same, not that i can recall it. You need to speak to him yourself and tell him why he needs to keep it to himself. This is a parent one i'm afraid.

Quartz2208 Tue 19-Jun-18 13:21:57

I tihnk you do need to calm down and you are overreacting a bit

I think you do need as well to look at your sons response to the KS1 bit clearly they were told and he chose to ignore it

megletthesecond Tue 19-Jun-18 13:23:39

You can't stop your eldest being taught vital information just because he might talk to his little sister about it. It's what older siblings do.

TeenTimesTwo Tue 19-Jun-18 13:24:29

There are a few things going on here.

1) If they told the pupils not to discuss with KS1, I can't believe your son didn't absolutely know that would also have included his little sister, unless he has some additional needs himself. He was in my opinion showing off. You need to have words with him.

2) You didn't get the letter. They really should have a system to know that parents have received this kind of letter, such as acknowledgement slip.

3) Our school invites parents in beforehand to go through resources so the parents know what will be being taught. I think this is quite good practice. I think it is not unreasonable of you to ask what will be covered so you can be prepared.

4) Withdrawing from SRE is I think an overreaction open your part (sorry). If you withdraw him, he will just get all the information second hand inaccurately from his peers.

5) If your little one is bothered by what her brother said, then talk to her in an age appropriate manner. Also if you haven't already done so, cover the PANTS rule with her at the same time.

BurningGubbins Tue 19-Jun-18 13:25:29

I understand you’re upset, but I don’t really see the benefit of removing him from further classes if the sex one has already been done? He won’t get any of the relationships stuff to put it in context.

It’s obviously not ideal, the way he put it to your daughter, but I’d be taking this as an opportunity to speak to them both about all this in terms you find acceptable. Sex is not shameful, she hasn’t been exposed to anything damaging. Was this the first your son had heard about what actually happens? It sounds like he was surprised. Perhaps integrating these conversations gently into home life would help make it less startling for both of them.

What consultation would you have liked? Exact topics to be covered?

sleepymouse Tue 19-Jun-18 13:28:03

I think that's a bit of an over reaction from you. My DD has just had a similar sex education at school and happily told her younger brother that he'd have wet dreams when he's older.
It's all perfectly normal developmental stages to go through and I explained in simple age appropriate terms to DS what a wet dream is. The more open we are about puberty and sexuality the better, as long as it is age appropriate

Namechange128 Tue 19-Jun-18 13:30:03

Your son is 9, he just learnt this and unless he has additional needs that you haven't mentioned, he knows full well that he should not have discussed this with a 4 year old. Why have you at no stage put any responsibility on him?

Taking him out of SRE when you haven't even heard more from the school or confirmed the content of lessons or even that this was the first lesson (9 year olds not always being reliable on this stuff) seems to me like a way overreaction and much more likely to give your DS an issue than if you'd told him to be more appropriate and then engaged more positively with the school.

babybrainusedtobesmart Tue 19-Jun-18 13:30:09

He's showing off how mature he thinks he is to know that. Completely normal. Has he only just been taught this for the first time? That's surprising. Kids need to know what sex is and where babies come from. 9 is quite old

PlateOfBiscuits Tue 19-Jun-18 13:30:40

Your son is 9years old. Assuming he does not have SEN he should absolutely be able to read between the lines that “don’t talk to KS1 children about this” means ‘younger children’.

Also, withdrawing your son now means he is missing all the follow up lessons and the chance to develop his education, understanding and respect around the issue. Which in my opinion is a mistake.

Additionally, from next academic year it will become a compulsory part of the curriculum and you won’t be able to withdraw your son from lessons - so he’ll be taught the next section of RSE next year.

Grasslands Tue 19-Jun-18 13:32:54

What a great opportunity for you to discuss the birds and the bees with your daughter.
Your over reacting.

Frazzledbutcalm Tue 19-Jun-18 13:33:38

It’s not the schools fault OP .... as a parent it’s your responsibility to chat to your ds about this. You apparently didn’t get the letter - our school has text, email and letter systems in place. Did other parents not mention the upcoming SRE? Did ds not say, oh everyone got a letter but I didn’t?

You really have gone way over the top imo. Your ds’s wording is also quite bizarre to be honest. SRE isn’t taught with the words ‘boys stick their penis inside girls private bits’.

I think there’s more to this than you’re saying/think/believe.

upsideup Tue 19-Jun-18 13:43:36

You are so overeacting, your son was showing off you are going to make the problem worse by putting the blame on the school and removing him from the lessons. Personally I think you should of already prepared him for the lesson and talked to him about all of this before, you havent so someone else needs to teach him as its really important. He obviously knew he wasnt supposed to discuss it with smaller children, why are you allowing him to lie and blame others for his poor behaviour?
Teach your daughter about what he told, you wont have a problem with with being silly and showing off about it when she gets to 7 and then tell your son off.

cottonweary Tue 19-Jun-18 13:43:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Notonthestairs Tue 19-Jun-18 13:48:27

I don't think your protest (pulling him out of classes) is going to do much good now.

I'd speak to the school about their letters/email reply policy and ask for it to be opt in rather than opt out. And whether they can provide a rough guide of what was going to be talked about when so you might be able to get ahead of them as it were.

Aside from that your son definitely knew he shouldn't tell his sister - he was showing off.
Is she upset?
Personally I'd have words with him about remembering how young his sibling is but also to make sure he wasn't worried about it.

BottleOfJameson Tue 19-Jun-18 13:50:52

Wow what an over-reaction! Surely the interaction between your two children is your responsibility! Your son is going to hear and learn all kinds of things that his little sister is too young to know about. It's your responsibility to make sure he doesn't tell her anything inappropriate. If you withdraw him from these lessons he'll hear about it in the playground anyway it will just be filtered through other 9 year olds and won't come with any warnings at all about who he should share this information with.

NorthernJugni Tue 19-Jun-18 13:51:08

Aww OP, don't panic! At the end of the day, what he told your daughter isn't damaging, it's a natural thing. I bet she doesn't give much thought to it, kids tend not to at that age. I would just have a good conversation with your boy about what to share and what not to share, and why not etc. I was the same age when I learned the facts of life from my mother. Kids are always going to be a bit giddy and silly about it- I remember my own Sex Ed classes being like that. Obviously it's your choice but I woudln't pull him out of the classes- that could make sex seem like a big bad thing for him and his friends might ask why he isnt there etc. Kids do hate being different. It's daunting and they seem so young but I'm sure you can talk them through it and answer their questions in the right way etc. Let us know what you decide to do. x

bkplace601 Tue 19-Jun-18 13:53:50

The main problem I have here, is that I like the Government SRE guidance on how the subject should be taught. It is rational it is reasonable and it encourages parents and teachers to work together to deliver the subject. This isn't happening at my sons school and it would be fantastic if it was.

Starlight345 Tue 19-Jun-18 13:56:14

Your 9 year old would of known not to talk to a 4 year old . He was showing off and he needs to be spoken to

PlateOfBiscuits Tue 19-Jun-18 13:56:50

’it encourages parents and teachers to work together to deliver the subject.’

So work together; continue his education at home by talking to him and getting some books for him.

You’ve made a rash decision and probably need to rethink it.

titchy Tue 19-Jun-18 14:19:18

Well at least he's saved you a job - though tbh it's one that you should have done already!

But yes, massive over-reaction on your part - he;s now missing all the stuff about respect, responsibility etc - will you be covering that with him? And missing the opportunity to ask questions.

Orlandointhewilderness Tue 19-Jun-18 14:20:23

yes, but it is GUIDANCE, not law. As much as you might wish otherwise, it is up to the school to decide the best way to address it. Have your talks with him too, get a couple of books. You aren't talking quantum physics here, it is sex and relationships. It is normal and not something to get your knickers in a twist over.

no pun intended...!

Happyandshiney Tue 19-Jun-18 14:31:18

This is your 9yo’s fault not the school’s.

At 9 ears old he absolutely should be mature enough to deal with this information.

I’m a bit surprised that given that you knew he was starting this programme that you didn’t have a discussion with him in advance explaining that you didn’t want these lessons discussed with your DD and that you were happy to discuss any of the content with him.

Finally I don’t really understand your horror that a 4yo has been told about sex. I taught my children about sex at five years old, it really wasn’t a big deal.

claraschu Tue 19-Jun-18 14:34:41

I think that a 4 year old should have already heard how babies are made, and certainly a 9 year old should have known for a while about sperm, eggs, and how the sperm gets into the woman's body. If this were information which was familiar and taken for granted, then there would be much less of an issue with kids showing off, being embarrassed, or being rude about it.

RavenWings Tue 19-Jun-18 14:36:44

You should be blaming the 9 year old and not the school. They were told to not talk about it younger kids. He ignored that for whatever reason. Shock value, to seem clever, show off that he's older - whatever it is. Schools can't control what goes on at home, that's your job.

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