Sex and Relationships Education (SRE)
At Ormiston Venture Academy we believe in the right of all students to be able to express themselves freely and safely, in an environment that encourages positive self-image within supportive relationships. We aim to provide students with the knowledge, skills and values they will need to make healthy, safe and informed choices for their personal wellbeing both now and in the future.
The term sex and relationships education – SRE – is used in our academy rather than sex education. This is to highlight that our approach goes beyond provision of biological information to also focus on clarifying attitudes and values, and developing self-esteem and the skills to manage relationships.
The SRE programme is delivered as part of core curriculum time within science across both KS3 and 4, where the focus will be primarily on the biological elements of SRE, and through targeted curriculum events in the summer term delivered as a part of PSHE/Cultural programmes of study across years 7, 8 and 9. Personalised Learning Tutors (PL) also deliver some aspects of SRE such as basic relationships education which must be suitable for the vertical PL groups. We believe that the combination of specialist subject teachers with the pastoral support that tutors can offer is the best way to work with such a sensitive topic. There are also opportunities throughout KS4 in particular to engage with external agencies in ensuring the best possible coverage of the aims of the programme as outlined below.
The overall aims of the SRE programme are:
- To provide accurate information about, and understanding of, SRE issues.
- To dispel myths and misunderstandings.
- To explore a range of attitudes towards SRE issues and to help students to reach their own informed views and choices for a healthier lifestyle.
- To develop a greater understanding of our own bodies.
- To develop respect and care for others.
- To increase student’s self-esteem.
- To develop skills relevant to effective management of relationships and sexual situations. Examples include communication with and empathy towards others, risk assessment, assertiveness, conflict management, decision making, seeking help and helping others.
- To contribute to a reduction in local and national teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and abortion rates.
- To help students develop an awareness of their sexuality and understand human sexuality; challenge sexism, homophobia and prejudice, and promote equality and diversity.
- To provide knowledge about sources of help and how to access such help if necessary.
Young people may have varying needs regarding SRE depending on their circumstances and background. The academy strongly believes that all students should have access to SRE that is relevant to their particular needs. We intend that all pupils shall experience a programme of sex and relationships education at a level which is appropriate for their age and physical and educational development. To achieve this the academy’s approach to SRE will take account of the academy’s Equal Opportunities Policy, and to guidance provided by professional bodies and governmental departments. SRE involves consideration of a number of sensitive issues about which different people may hold strong and varying views. The academy’s approach to SRE will be balanced and take account of, and be sensitive to, different viewpoints and will not be based on personal bias. We shall endeavour to always have an approach that is educational.
‘Research demonstrates that good, comprehensive sex and relationship education does not make young people more likely to enter into sexual activity. Indeed it can help them learn the reasons for, and the benefits to be gained from, delaying such activity’.
DfEE ‘Sex and Relationship Guidance’, 2000.