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Nottingham Girls' Academy

Faith Perspectives on Relationships and Sex Education Resource

At NGA we understand our very diverse community here and we want our RSHE to represent a range of faith perspectives. We are using the document ‘Faith and Relationships’ (click here) produced by Nottingham City Council and the Nottingham Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) to support teachers to share a range of faith views on different topics in addition to the law, ‘Faith and Relationships’ was created by representatives from local and faith groups, including from the Karimia Institute, Hinduism Education Services and Nottingham Sevadaar.

We understand that there will be some parents that are hesitant or reluctant for their child to receive the Sex Education information that is delivered as part of the Relationship and Sex Education content. As part of the RSHE consultation process, we asked you if you had any concerns regarding the new RSHE curriculum? There were 3 key worries;

  • that you think that it doesn’t take your faith into consideration;
  • that it will encourage engagement in under-aged sexual activity;
  • that you want to choose what to teach your child on this subject.

We want to reassure you that the information being delivered is the statutory content dictated by the government. To help you explain some of your concerns, please see 3 key points below 69, 70 and 71, 75. I also recommend that you read the full (document), which is the guidance from the government regarding the content and delivery of the RSHE curriculum. Pages 25-30 relate to the Relationships and Sex Education section.

Point 69 of the document: The aim of RSE is to give young people the information they need to help them develop healthy, nurturing relationships of all kinds, not just intimate relationships. It should enable them to know what a healthy relationship looks like and what makes a good friend, a good colleague and a successful marriage or other type of committed relationship. It should also cover contraception, developing intimate relationships and resisting pressure to have sex (and not applying pressure). It should teach what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour in relationships. This will help pupils understand the positive effects that good relationships have on their mental wellbeing, identify when relationships are not right and understand how such situations can be managed.

Point 70 of the document: Effective RSE does not encourage early sexual experimentation. It should teach young people to understand human sexuality and to respect themselves and others. It enables young people to mature, build their confidence and self-esteem and understand the reasons for delaying sexual activity. Effective RSE also supports people, throughout life, to develop safe, fulfilling and healthy sexual relationships, at the appropriate time.

Point 71 of the document: Knowledge about safer sex and sexual health remains important to ensure that young people are equipped to make safe, informed and healthy choices as they progress through adult life. This should be delivered in a non-judgemental, factual way and allow scope for young people to ask questions in a safe environment. Many teachers use approaches such as distancing techniques, setting ground rules with the class to help manage sensitive discussion and using question boxes to allow pupils to raise issues anonymously.

Point 75 of the document: Pupils should be taught the facts and the law about sex, sexuality, sexual health and gender identity in an age-appropriate and inclusive way. All pupils should feel that the content is relevant to them and their developing sexuality. Sexual orientation and gender identity should be explored at a timely point and in a clear, sensitive and respectful manner. When teaching about these topics, it must be recognised that young people may be discovering or understanding their sexual orientation or gender identity. There should be an equal opportunity to explore the features of stable and healthy same-sex relationships. This should be integrated appropriately into the RSE programme, rather than addressed separately or in only one lesson.