Teacher's relationship and sex education FAQs
At BigTalk Education we understand how hectic the life of a teacher is, so we have collated some quick answers for busy teachers!
Your Questions Answered
What training do you offer?
- We have a range of training solutions to meet the needs of teachers, trainee teachers and other education professionals. We offer a range of one and two day courses delivered face to face in the Yorkshire & Humber regions. For larger groups we can come to you to deliver training, please give us a call to discuss your requirements. We also deliver lectures and workshops with university environments. In addition all of our primary Growing Up Safe ‘in school’ programmes include a session for parents and teachers that can count towards CPD hours, as well as shadow training for teachers observing our facilitators in action.
What themes are covered at what key stage?
- At age 3 (UK nursery) we teach the differences between boys and girls, naming body parts, what areas of the body are private and should not be touched unless the child is happy and gives consent.
- At ages 4 to 8 (UK Reception, School Years 1, 2 & 3) we reinforce and strengthen what was covered in Nursery. Using specially designed child friendly resources, at the end of this session they will be able to identify happy situations and those which may be risky (e.g. other children or adults taking improper photographs of them, inappropriate touches, exposure to unsuitable media etc.) plus who they can talk to if they are worried.
- At ages 8 to 9 (School Year 4, 5 & 6) we cover different kinds of families (same sex parents, foster families etc.), the emotional and physical changes of growing up, similarities and differences between boys and girls (including transgender), coping with different emotions, looking after our bodies as they change and the onset of periods (puberty). In these classes we explain that babies are made from ovums and sperm then develop in the womb (reproduction). How to be safe and healthy linking back to and building on identifiable risks, we also strengthen awareness of “our body is our own” and personal safety especially on-line grooming, etc.
Can you help ME deliver relationship and sex education in my school as I don’t think we can afford outside specialists?
- If you are a primary school then yes. Our resources are available to buy here, however for schools delivering RSE independently we recommend the resources are accompanied by staff training for a minimum of two school staff. In our accompanying training day we cover many aspects of RSE that newcomers or those with outdated training often overlook. Some schools also choose to buy a class set of Bodies, Babies and Bellybuttons books which are a great support for the Growing Up Safe: Whole School Approach.
- For senior schools we offer staff training, however due to the complexity of the subject at this level we not sell our resources for school staff delivery.
Can you help me answer questions from the pupils and parents after you go?
- Some schools find that pupils and parents will raise further questions after BigTalk education visits. We find most teachers who have been to the parent/teacher session and/or taken part in shadow training observing our facilitators are confident in answering parent and pupil questions.
- However, we also offer a telephone consultancy for teacher support (usually this is used primarily for disclosure assistance) which is included free as part of an enhanced Growing Up Safe programme.
Do you cover my area?
- You can see on Our Schools page where we are currently active. We are able to travel to schools all over the UK, however we add associated travel costs to our fees to schools outside our core area of Yorkshire & Humber.
Do you speak to parents?
- In line with government and Ofsted guidelines we actively engage with parents in our Growing Up Safe: Whole School Approach programme. We hold a minimum of one parent session prior to coming into school to show parents our resources and explain what each age group of children will receive. We stay for one to one questions with parents, which is more comfortable for most than a group discussion. It is our policy to stay at these sessions until every parent’s questions has been answers and they are a satisfied as they ever will be to the response.
- For incidents of inappropriate behaviour or other causes for concerns we offer one to one sessions for individual children or young people. These referrals can come from schools, children’s centres or directly from parents. Whenever a one to one take places we endeavour to ensure our staff member also speaks directly with the child’s parent(s) to discuss the issues at hand and update them on what happened in the session.
Children/a child at our school are/is using inappropriate language/displaying inappropriate behaviour, can you help?
- If multiple incidents are occurring in a school population such as frequent use of a particular inappropriate word or a ‘game’ of touching sweeping the playground it can often indicate that there is an immediate requirement for a whole school programme of RSE such as the Growing Up Safe: Whole School Approach.
- If inappropriacy is confined to an individual or if the source of a wider ‘trend’ is discovered, we recommend one to one sessions in addition to the whole school approach, to ensure the child fully understands what is okay and not okay. Use of inappropriate language or behaviour may be indicative of abuse or early stage indicators such as exposure to pornography, therefore immediate one to one intervention is recommended. If you suspect a child may be being abused please refer to your school’s child protection policy, Safeguarding lead or if still in doubt the government guidelines on what to do.
What should I put in our school RSE policy?
- At present RSE Policies should be in accordance with the Department for Education 2000 Guidance, however this is in the process of being updated ready for statutory RSE which will be a requirement in all Senior Schools by September 2019. Relationship Education will be statutory in all Primary Schools by this date also.
- The new guidance and the BigTalk Education’s take on this can be read about in this blog post on the 2018 RSE Guidance.
- As part of the Growing Up Safe: Whole School Approach programme BigTalk Education will provide an example RSE policy for partner schools prior to the introduction of statutory RE and RSE in September 2020.
What is in the new statutory guidance?
- The new RSE guidance is currently only in draft form. However it does not give a year by year programme of study, but says that learning needs to start at the beginning of primary.
- There is no table listing what is included in sex education for primary school. However, there is a paragraph recommending that all primary schools have a programme of sex education which includes preparing pupils for the changes adolescence brings and learning how a baby is conceived and born.
- Puberty is included in Health education.
- The proposal is that parents will only be able to excuse their child from the sex education part of the curriculum (but not from national curriculum Science), not from Relationships Education at either level.
What do OFSTED require when it comes to RSE and how can you help us be Outstanding?
- In its 2013 Report PSHE, Not Yet Good Enough Ofsted were quite explicit about what they expected to see in Schools.
Feedback from school staff on BigTalk Education's Growing Up Safe relationship and sex education programme
"This is our second year with the programme and we wanted to roll this out across the whole school. The sessions were thoroughly informative dealing with issues sensitively but openly. The programme covered a lot of ground effectively. Our children are now confident, knowledgeable and will hopeful grow to be respectful adults once again, a great job. Thank you for spending the day with us."
"The materials used are at an informative level, without being inappropriate. The language used by the team was at the children's' level so they were able to understand. The children were put at ease, to answer and ask questions. The section on reproduction was very well discussed and paced, to inform the children about sexual relationships, as too were the puberty and period sections. Very good tutors!"
"One of the best talks on this subject area I have experienced in my teaching career. The instructors were very relaxed and this created a relaxed and open environment."
"High quality delivery which is completely age appropriate, also includes e-safety, transgender, gay, lesbian – essential knowledge."