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Beckfield Relationships and Health Education Policy 2023-24

Relationships and Health Education (RHE) Policy 2023-2024

Policy details

Date created: January 2024

Parent consultation: February 2024 (2-year cycle)

Governor ratification: March 2024

To be reviewed: January 2025


Policy details        1

Policy aims        2

Legal and statutory requirements        2

Consultation Process        2

Definitions        3

Curriculum        3

Roles and responsibilities        4

Parents’ right to withdraw pupils        4

Training        5

Monitoring        5

Appendices        5

Appendix 1: Curriculum Map        5

Appendix 2        9

By the end of primary school, children should know:        9

Policy aims

Our aim is that our Relationships and Health Education (RHE) policy and curriculum will:

  •  Provide a framework in which sensitive discussions can take place
  •  Prepare pupils for puberty, give them an understanding of their development and the importance of health and hygiene
  •  Help pupils develop feelings of self-respect, confidence and empathy
  •  Give children the necessary skills to form healthy relationships
  •  Teach pupils the correct vocabulary to describe themselves and their bodies
  •  Safeguard our pupils against sexually harmful behaviour

Legal and statutory requirements

As a primary academy school we must provide relationships education to all pupils as per section 34 of the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and the statutory guidance on Relationships Education.

We offer full coverage of the National Curriculum including requirements to teach science, which includes the elements of puberty:

‘Pupils should be taught to describe the changes as humans develop to old age.’

In teaching RHE, we are required by our funding agreements to have regard to guidance issued by the secretary of state as outlined in section 403 of the Education Act 1996.

Teaching of RHE at Beckfield complies with the Equality Act 2010, which outlines protected characteristics that must be considered to ensure that children, their parents and staff members are not discriminated against.

At Co-op Academy Beckfield we teach Relationships and Health Education as set out in this policy.

This policy complies with our funding agreement and articles of association.

Consultation Process

This policy was formulated in consultation with the whole school community with input from:

  • Members of staff - all school staff were given the opportunity to look at the policy and make recommendations. Teachers attended a staff meeting in which the parent consultation findings were shared, along with the curriculum content and resources.
  • Governors through discussion at meetings and ratification of the policy in January 2024.
  • Most recent parent consultation February 2024.
  • Children and young people through the school council and PSHE/circle time discussions.


Relationships and Health Education (RHE) is about the emotional, social and cultural development of pupils, and involves learning about relationships, health, changes to the body, healthy lifestyles, diversity and personal identity.

RHE involves a combination of sharing information, and exploring issues and values. It is particularly important in supporting safeguarding.


The focus of our curriculum is on teaching the fundamental building blocks and characteristics of positive relationships, with particular reference to friendships, family relationships, and relationships with other children and with adults.

This starts with pupils being taught about what a relationship is, what friendship is, what family means and who the people are who can support them. Starting in the Early Years, children are taught how to take turns, how to treat each other with kindness, consideration and respect, the importance of honesty and truthfulness, permission seeking and giving, and the concept of personal privacy. Establishing personal space and boundaries, showing respect and understanding the differences between appropriate and inappropriate or unsafe physical, and other, contact – these are the forerunners of teaching about consent, which takes place at secondary.

Respect for others is taught in an age-appropriate way, in terms of understanding the child’s own and others’ boundaries in play, in negotiations about space, toys, books, resources and so on.  

From the beginning, teachers talk explicitly about the features of healthy friendships, family relationships and other relationships which young children are likely to encounter. Drawing attention to these in a range of contexts enables children to form a strong early understanding of the features of relationships that are likely to lead to happiness and security. This will also help them to recognise any less positive relationships when they encounter them.  

The principles of positive relationships also apply online as we know many of our children will be using the internet independently. When teaching relationships content, teachers address online safety and appropriate behaviour in a way that is relevant to pupils’ lives. Teachers include content on how information and data is shared and used in all contexts, including online; for example, sharing pictures, understanding that many websites are businesses and how sites may use information provided by users in ways they might not expect.

Teaching about families requires sensitive and well-judged teaching based on knowledge of our children and their circumstances. Families of many forms provide a nurturing environment for children. (Families can include for example, blended families, single parent families, LGBT parents, families headed by grandparents, adoptive parents, foster parents/carers amongst other structures.) We do not stigmatise children based on their home circumstances and needs, and we reflect sensitively that some children may have a different structure of support around them; e.g. looked after children or young carers.  

We want to support children to develop the necessary characteristics and attributes that will give them the ability to form strong and positive relationships with others. We want children to be resilient and have self-belief, which will support them to persevere through difficult challenges and work towards their long-term goals. Alongside understanding the importance of self-respect and self-worth, we want children to develop personal attributes such as honesty, integrity, courage, humility, kindness, generosity, trustworthiness and a sense of justice. This can be achieved in a variety of ways including providing children opportunities to undertake social action, active citizenship and voluntary or charitable service to others locally or more widely.  

Relationships and Health Education also creates an opportunity to enable pupils to be taught about positive emotional and mental wellbeing, including how friendships can support mental wellbeing.  

Through RHE, we teach children the knowledge they need to recognise and to report abuse, including emotional, physical and sexual abuse. This is delivered by focusing on boundaries and privacy, ensuring that children understand that they have rights over their own bodies. This also includes understanding boundaries in friendships with peers and also in families and with others, in all contexts, including online.

We ensure that children know how to report concerns and seek advice when they suspect or know that something is wrong. We want to balance teaching children about making sensible decisions to stay safe (including online) whilst being clear it is never the fault of a child who is abused and why victim blaming is always wrong. These subjects complement Health Education and as part of a comprehensive programme and whole school approach, this knowledge can support safeguarding of children.

We have developed the curriculum in consultation with parents, pupils and staff, taking into account the age, needs and feelings of pupils. If children ask questions outside the scope of this policy, teachers will respond in an appropriate manner so they are informed and are not tempted to seek answers online. We base our curriculum on the ‘Jigsaw PSHE’ published curriculum. The chosen content prepares pupils well for their next stage and for adulthood. We have planned carefully to ensure pupils build their knowledge in a logical, progressive sequence.

Taking into consideration the views of the school community, we have chosen not to teach pupils about sexual intercourse and how a baby is conceived.

For more information about our curriculum, see our curriculum map in Appendix 1.

Delivery of RHE

RHE is taught within the personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education curriculum. Biological aspects of RHE are taught within the science curriculum, and other aspects are included in religious education (RE).

Pupils in Year 5 and 6 also receive stand-alone puberty education sessions delivered by a trained health professional from Leeds Healthy Schools.

Relationships and Health Education focuses on the following key areas (as seen in Appendix 1 and 2):

  •  Families and the people who care for me
  •  Caring friendships
  •  Respectful relationships
  •  Online relationships
  •  Being safe
  •  Mental wellbeing
  •  Internet safety
  •  Physical Health and fitness, including First Aid
  •  Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco
  •  Changing adolescent body


We will adapt our curriculum according to the needs of the children at Beckfield and in line with the Equality Act 2010.

We want all children to have access to a curriculum that informs and protects them, and prepares them for adult life, taking into account their individual circumstances, perspectives and abilities. We will do this with sensitivity and care. We want to empower children to make healthy, independent choices but also to ensure that they know who they can go to if they do not feel safe and happy. This is a core part of our Safeguarding Curriculum.

Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

We want our curriculum to be inclusive and accessible by all children. When teaching Relationships and Health Education to children with SEND, teachers will take into account the individual needs and abilities of the children in order to make learning accessible and understandable, as laid out in the SEND Code of Practice.

We recognise that in some circumstances, children with SEND are more vulnerable and it is important that they are able to access the curriculum content and are empowered and informed, in order to make healthy choices and keep themselves safe.

For more information about our RHE curriculum, see Appendices 1 and 2.

Faith and religion

When mapping out our RHE curriculum, we have taken into account the different faiths and religions (both protected characteristics) of our children, parents and staff. We will teach RHE in a manner that is sensitive to the needs of individual children and their families, whilst also ensuring that issues affecting groups of children are addressed and taught about in a way that keeps children safe from harm.

Roles and responsibilities

The Academy Governing Council

The academy governing council will approve the RHE policy, and hold the Head of Academy to account for its implementation.

The Head of Academy

The Head of Academy is responsible for ensuring that RHE is taught consistently across the school and in line with the policy.

Teaching staff

Staff are responsible for:

  •  Delivering RHE in a sensitive and inclusive way
  •  Modelling positive attitudes to RHE
  •  Monitoring and assessing progress
  •  Responding to the needs of individual pupils

Staff do not have the right to opt out of teaching RHE. Staff who have concerns about teaching RHE are encouraged to discuss this with the SLT.


Pupils are expected to engage fully in RHE and, when discussing issues related to RHE, treat others with respect and sensitivity.

Parents’ right to withdraw pupils

Parents do not have the right to withdraw their children from Relationships Education, as per statutory guidance: Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education - GOV.UK.


Staff are trained on the delivery of RHE as part of their induction and it is included in our continuing professional development calendar.

The Head of Academy will also invite visitors from outside the school, such as school nurses or other health and education professionals, to provide support and training to staff teaching RHE.


The delivery of RHE is monitored by the Head of Academy through:

  • staff/pupil interviews;
  • planning scrutinies;
  • learning walks.

Pupils’ development in RHE is monitored by class teachers as part of our internal assessment systems.

Links to other policies

  • Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy
  • Attendance Policy
  • Teaching and Learning Policy
  • SEND Policy
  • Behaviour Policy
  • Equality and Diversity Policy

This policy will be reviewed annually. At every review, the policy will be approved by the Academy Governing Council. Parents will be consulted at least every two years.


Appendix 1: Curriculum Map

We follow the Jigsaw Relationships and Health Education Curriculum, which can be accessed here: 

Appendix 2

By the end of primary school, children should know:

Families and people who care about me

  • That families are important for children growing up because they can give love, security and stability
  • The characteristics of healthy family life, commitment to each other, including in times of difficulty, protection and care for children and other family members, the importance of spending time together and sharing each other’s lives
  • That others’ families, either in school or in the wider world, sometimes look different from their family, but that they should respect those differences and know that other children’s families are also characterised by love and care
  • That stable, caring relationships, which may be of different types, are at the heart of happy families, and are important for children’s security as they grow up
  • That marriage represents a formal and legally recognised commitment of two people to each other which is intended to be lifelong
  • How to recognise if family relationships are making them feel unhappy or unsafe, and how to seek help or advice from others if needed

Caring friendships

  • How important friendships are in making us feel happy and secure, and how people choose and make friends
  • The characteristics of friendships, including mutual respect, truthfulness, trustworthiness, loyalty, kindness, generosity, trust, sharing interests and experiences and support with problems and difficulties
  • That healthy friendships are positive and welcoming towards others, and do not make others feel lonely or excluded
  • That most friendships have ups and downs, and that these can often be worked through so that the friendship is repaired or even strengthened, and that resorting to violence is never right
  • How to recognise who to trust and who not to trust, how to judge when a friendship is making them feel unhappy or uncomfortable, managing conflict, how to manage these situations and how to seek help or advice from others, if needed

Respectful relationships

  • The importance of respecting others, even when they are very different from them (for example, physically, in character, personality or backgrounds), or make different choices or have different preferences or beliefs
  • Practical steps they can take in a range of different contexts to improve or support respectful relationships
  • The conventions of courtesy and manners
  • The importance of self-respect and how this links to their own happiness
  • That in school and in wider society they can expect to be treated with respect by others, and that in turn they should show due respect to others, including those in positions of authority
  • About different types of bullying (including cyberbullying), the impact of bullying, responsibilities of bystanders (primarily reporting bullying to an adult) and how to get help
  • What a stereotype is, and how stereotypes can be unfair, negative or destructive
  • The importance of permission-seeking and giving in relationships with friends, peers and adults

Online relationships

  • That people sometimes behave differently online, including by pretending to be someone they are not
  • That the same principles apply to online relationships as to face-to face relationships, including the importance of respect for others online including when we are anonymous
  • The rules and principles for keeping safe online, how to recognise risks, harmful content and contact, and how to report them
  • How to critically consider their online friendships and sources of information including awareness of the risks associated with people they have never met
  • How information and data is shared and used online

Being safe

  • What sorts of boundaries are appropriate in friendships with peers and others (including in a digital context)
  • About the concept of privacy and the implications of it for both children and adults; including that it is not always right to keep secrets if they relate to being safe
  • That each person’s body belongs to them, and the differences between appropriate and inappropriate or unsafe physical, and other, contact
  • How to respond safely and appropriately to adults they may encounter (in all contexts, including online) whom they do not know
  • How to recognise and report feelings of being unsafe or feeling bad about any adult
  • How to ask for advice or help for themselves or others, and to keep trying until they are heard
  • How to report concerns or abuse, and the vocabulary and confidence needed to do so
  • Where to get advice e.g. family, school and/or other sources

Co-op Academy Beckfield RHE policy 2023-24