Sex and relationship education in a church school(10 Posts)
Help please! I've been working on a comprehensive sex and relationship education programme. I want to roll it out across the whole school from reception to Year 6. I think it's really important to mention same-sex relationships from an early stage - that way it's normalised and is no big deal (I'm not talking about the mechanics of gay sex here, just that love and families come in different forms). The trouble is that I teach at a small, rural church school. SMT feel that this is "too sensitive" for many of the parents to handle and want to ditch it in favour of the standard "show Y6 a video". Any advice on persuading them otherwise?
I can't for the life of me remember the name of it, but about 9 years ago the Catholic primary school I was working in introduced a Catholic SRE programme which was taught in every year group of the school, starting with how flowers are made then fish and rabbits and finally people (details a little hazy...). The materials were all laid out in the hall for parents to come in and look at and there were information meetings for them to ask questions. 1 parent still complained to the Bishop and the whole thing had to be put on hold for months until he told her to get down out of her tree - the programme was approved by his colleagues!
So there is definitely good precedent out there for what you are suggesting, and for an audience where the whole issue had to be handled extremely sensitively. All I can suggest is that you ask your SMT to let you carry out some sort of information session for parents - involve the parents in the process of deciding what is appropriate and then take it from there.
Does the church already have a programme? Does the your lea have a programme that you can use as a basis? I know our lea does have a suggested programme from reception to year 13 and they were very helpful when I was an NQT teach SRE. Don't forget that the R section covers all relationships not just sexual relationships.
There is a lovely primary fiction book about a gay marriage. I am secondary but our student teacher used it as a starter activity for a lesson.
The precedent you want is no outsiders project, there were several c of e primaries involved in that and the head sue East was brill at getting it integrated across curriculum.
The resource tooMuchicecream mentioned is probably journey in love, but I wouldn't reccomend it as a resource as the lesson plans aren't brill and not good PSHE, defo involve the parents, often smt are squeamish as scared of parents but can be pleasantly surprised by parents wanting this stuff covered.
Is it a Catholic school?
Up here in Scotland, there's quite a strict line. It's the church's sex ed policy and it is made very, very clear that you stick to it. I don't know if your SMT will take the same view.
It's called God's Loving Plan <cringe> if you want to have a look at it.
P.s no such thing as gay sex (that's a daily mail misnomer) of course you wouldn't be teaching it to primary kids (that myth peeves me so much!) but for info any type of sex you can imagine can be had regardless of sexual orientation so I always think better not to think of it as "gay sex" as it is a bit of an othering' idea.
Thank you so much for your help. I've been googling the "no outsiders" project - what a shame it seems to have been abandoned!
My last school was a Catholic primary school. We included discussion of same sex relationships or alternative families (and we had a number of families with same sex parents). I've certainly used books in my classroom that had single parents and same sex families in them. I also have a donor conceived son and made no secret of the facts of his conception among the students.
I have two children in my class who come from homes with same sex relationships (I teach in a Catholic school). I go down the line of God's new commandment (John 13:34): "A new commandment I give unto you; that you love one another as I have loved you". I explain to the children that adults often show love to each other through forming a life partnership. This is usually a man and a woman but sometimes two men and sometimes two women. I did this as part of my intro to a lesson on the sacrament of matrimony that was observed as part of our Section 48 inspection and I got 'outstanding', so presumably it was OK.
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