Relationships & Health Education

Why Relationships and Health Education?

A new statutory curriculum has been produced by the government to ensure all children take part in the learning of Relationships and Health Education during their primary school career. The main purpose for Relationships and Health Education is to safeguard our pupils. We believe the curriculum will help us to nurture our pupils to become caring, responsible, respectful and aspirational citizens.

The full details of the statutory framework and what must be taught during a child’s primary education can be found below: 

DfE Guidance: Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education

London Borough of Newham: Primary Factsheet for Relationships, Sex and Health Education

National Curriculum Science

Alongside the RHE framework, we also teach some elements of National Curriculum: Science.  At Key Stages One and Two this includes, learning the names of external body parts; the changes to the human body as it grows from birth to old age, including puberty; and sexual and asexual reproduction in plants and sexual reproduction in mammals.

How have we prepared to launch the curriculum and consulted with parents?

From September 2019 Mrs Begum joined the borough’s RSHE network. On behalf of Newham schools, the network held borough-wide consultations with various different community groups. Details on these groups can be found by clicking here.

The RSHE network team supported schools across Newham with guidance to produce a school policy and outlined the key areas to be covered in each year group. We held parent/carer consultations to share information about the RSHE statutory guidance and to gather parental views on our proposed curriculum and potential resources to support our pupils learning. Parents/carers also had the opportunity to complete an online survey to share their views and raise any concerns. The information was made available on our school website for the parents who could not attend and all parents/carers were offered the opportunity to arrange a meeting with Mrs Begum or a member of SLT if they wanted more information.

After we collated feedback from the parents/carers that contributed their views and opinions, we then made the following changes to our draft Relationships and Health Education curriculum.


Discussions during consultations

What we did with this information

Some families thought it was not necessary to include ‘Sex’ in the title of the policy as Sex Education in primary school is not statutory and only taught in year 6. After discussions and clarification, many felt adding (SEX) in the title was not necessary as it is not relevant to all ages and all year groups.


We have dropped ‘Sex Eduction’ from the title ‘Relationships, Sex and Health Education’ (RSHE) and our curriculum is titled ‘Relationships and Health Education’ (RHE)

Some families were unsure about the naming of genitalia in KS1.

The school believes it is important for children to know this vocabulary to safeguard themselves and before learning about puberty in Y4.

The naming of body parts will be introduced throughout Y1 – 4.

Y1: private parts

Y2: genitalia, vulva, penis,

Y4:  genitalia, vulva, penis, testicles, nipples, vagina

Some families were concerned about teaching pupils about families with same sex parents and teachers promoting same sex relationships with teaching resources such as stories.


We believe that it is important for all pupils to be aware of the different families in our society.


Teachers will not use stories about families with same sex parents as part of their teaching. However, the discussions in class will include families with same sex parents when discussing different types of families and same sex relationships when teaching about different relationships.

Some families wanted puberty to be taught in Year 4


We agree, we believe it is important for pupils to know about puberty before they experience it

Puberty will be taught in Y4 and reviewed in Y5

Some families would like their children to be taught the reproduction of humans whilst in primary school, whereas others feel it is inappropriate.

Y6 parents/carers have the option for their child to learn about the reproduction of humans.

Some families thought mixed gender classes will be better to reduce stigma.  Whereas more families suggested their children will feel less embarrassed if puberty and human reproduction were taught in single gender classes. 

We believe Relationships and Health Education should be taught in the same way we teach other curriculum subjects: both genders must receive the same education; mixed gender classes support us to reduce the stigma attached to some of the sensitive content; all classes have talk boxes to write anonymous questions.

In Year 4, 5 and 6; Puberty and human reproduction will be taught in single gender classes.

Staff believe training for the class teachers delivering the sessions is imperative.

All staff have received some training and will continue to receive training and support. Our RHE lead will support planning for the content parents/carers believe to be more sensitive. 

Please click here to read the Keir Hardie Relationships & Health Education Policy