Health Education at Tower Hill primary school pervades many areas of the curriculum covering: ‘Mental wellbeing’, ‘Internet safety and harms’, Physical health and fitness’, Healthy eating’, ‘Drugs, alcohol and tobacco’, ‘Health and prevention’, ‘Basic First Aid’ and ‘Changing adolescent body’. Whilst these topics may be covered in a variety of subjects, all aspects of PSHE are covered within our Jigsaw scheme of work.
It is important to explain that whilst the Healthy Me Puzzle (unit) in Jigsaw covers most of the statutory Health Education, some of the outcomes are taught elsewhere in Jigsaw e.g. emotional and mental health is nurtured every lesson through the Calm me time, social skills are grown every lesson through the Connect us activity and respect is enhanced through the use of the Jigsaw Charter.
Teaching children about puberty is now a statutory requirement which sits within the Health Education part of the DfE guidance within the ‘Changing adolescent body’ strand, and in Jigsaw this is taught as part of the Changing Me Puzzle (unit).
The DfE Guidance 2019 (p.23) recommends that all primary schools ‘have a sex education programme tailored to the age and the physical and emotional maturity of the pupils.
However, ‘Sex Education is not compulsory in primary schools’. (p. 23)
At Tower Hill we believe that sex and relationship education does not stand as a subject on its own, but as an integral part of a ‘balanced and broadly based’ curriculum, that promotes pupil wellbeing. We also believe that our children deserve the highest quality of education and to provide this Tower Hill will maintain contact with local health promotion agencies, the school medical service and specialist services. While we use sex education to inform children about sexual issues, we do this with regard to matters of morality and individual responsibility, and in a way that allows children to ask and explore moral questions.
Parents’ right to request their child be excused from Sex Education
“Parents have the right to request that their child be withdrawn from some or all of sex education delivered as part of statutory Relationships and Sex Education” DfE Guidance p.17
At Tower Hill Primary School, puberty is taught as a statutory requirement of Health Education and covered by our Jigsaw PSHE Programme in the ‘Changing Me’ Puzzle (unit). We conclude that sex education refers to Human Reproduction, and therefore inform parents of their right to request their child be withdrawn from the PSHE lessons that explicitly teach this, please see the below table, parent’s can withdraw their child from topics highlighted in red.
In order to exercise this right to withdraw, and to make an informed decision about whether to withdraw their children, parents/carers will be informed in the half term when Sex Education is to be taught and are welcome to view the materials used in our Sex Education programme but are under no legal obligation to do so. This information will be provided in a letter to parent/carers and those who wish to withdraw their children from all, or part, of the Sex Education programme should inform the Headteacher in writing.