For all Year 5 and Year 6 Parents/Carers
As a school, we are committed to providing all pupils with a planned curriculum to enable them to acquire the knowledge, understanding, skills and strategies they need to develop healthy relationships, keep themselves safe and have factually correct information to positively manage the physical and emotional changes that will happen as they grow into happy, healthy, confident and responsible teenagers. Some aspects of this curriculum are delivered through our Science lessons and some through our PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Education) lessons. The PSHE, and Relationship and Sex Education policies are published on our school website.
During the week beginning Monday 13th June 2022, as part of our ‘Relationship and Sex Education’ programme, Miss Sanderson and Mr Hardman will be talking to their own classes about the changes that take place during puberty. Current guidance encourages schools to ‘consider what they can do to foster healthy and respectful peer-to-peer communication and behaviour between boys and girls… and provide and environment which challenges perceived limits on pupils based on their gender and any other characteristic, including through these subjects…’ (DfE Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education Statutory Guidance, p.14) With that in mind, this subject will be taught to year 5 and year 6 as whole classes, rather than separating them into boy/girl groups as in previous years. It is important however to note that the children will be encouraged to discuss any questions or concerns after the teaching in smaller groups of those with whom they feel comfortable doing so. Parents/carers no longer have the right to withdraw their child from Health Education (puberty) however do have the right to withdraw their child from all or part of Relationships and Sex Education. We would ask that you contact your child’s class teacher to further discuss any concerns.
Staff will approach this area of the curriculum very sensitively. The focus will be on the physical, emotional and social changes which occur during puberty. As mentioned, following on from the sessions, all of the pupils will then be given opportunities where they can comfortably ask questions with their teacher. A question box will also be provided for children to anonymously submit any questions which will then be discussed as a whole class. If the child prefers, they can put their name on their question and asked to be spoken to without the presence of other children. In this case, another adult would be present for safeguarding purposes.
As part of their talk, Miss Sanderson and Mr Hardman will be showing clips from a resource called ‘Busy Bodies’ which is specifically aimed at this age range. If parents would like to watch the clips prior to the session, or again with their child after the session, it is available to view online at: http://www.socialworkerstoolbox.com/education-puberty-10-14yrs-old-busy-bodies-adolescent-development-programme/
Please be aware that not all sections will be viewed by each class. It is intended that the following sections will be watched:
Year 5 girls and boys: ‘What happens during puberty?’
Year 5 girls only: ‘How girls’ bodies grow and develop, including menstruation’.
Year 5 boys only: ‘How boys’ bodies grow and develop during puberty’
Year 6 girls and boys:
‘What happens during puberty?’
‘How girls’ bodies grow and develop, including menstruation’.
‘How boys’ bodies grow and develop during puberty’
‘How babies are made’ - within this section, reference is made to the age of consent being 17 as this resource is published in Ireland. The children in year 6 will be told the age of consent is 16, to fit with UK law.
‘Enjoying growing up’
As well as the above resource, the following video clip may be shown: https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/watch/operation-ouch-puberty
The video clip below has also been recommended for Year 6 only: https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/class-clips-video/pshe-ks2-operation-ouch-how-are-babies-made-full-programme/zhtnydm
We do not intend to use this in class, but it does provide further information and you may wish to watch it with your child. Please watch it yourself before doing so. I would be very interested to know your thoughts on it.
Parents and carers play a vital role in talking to their children about this important part of growing up and keeping themselves safe. Talking to your child in advance of the sessions could enable them to feel more confident in asking questions (anonymously or otherwise), particularly if this is something you feel less able to discuss with them in detail at this stage.
If you have any queries or require additional information, please contact Miss Sanderson or Mr Hardman via the school office.