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Relationships, Sex and Health Education

(John 10:10) 

The following information is taken from:  


From September 2020, relationships education became compulsory in all primary schools, and relationships and sex education made compulsory in all secondary schools. Catholic schools, like all other schools in England, are required to produce a written policy following the guidance issued by the Department for Education (DfE) on relationships, sex and health education (RSHE). Catholic schools are also required to deliver RSHE in accordance with the teaching of the Church. This approach is compatible with the guidance issued by the DfE. 


Why is RSHE in Catholic schools important? 


RSHE is part of the mission of Catholic schools to educate the whole person. It should be carried out as part of the holistic education which seeks to form as well as inform young people in preparation for adult life. 


What does outstanding RSHE look like in a Catholic school? 


In order for Catholic RSHE to be fully effective it needs to: 

  • Be faithful to the Church’s vision of human wholeness whilst recognising the contemporary context in which we live today; 

  • Involve parents as they are primary educators of their child; 

  • Provide a positive view of human sexuality and dignity of the human person; 

  • Equip young people with the ability to make practical judgments about the right thing to do in particular circumstances; 

  • Explore and promote virtues which are essential to promoting respect and dignity; 

  • Be delivered in an age appropriate way which reflects the development of the child; 

  • Be part of the cross-curricular work in both primary and secondary schools; 

  • Be sensitive to the needs of the individual pupil and recognise the mix of pupils with different sexual orientations, genders and family backgrounds in each class; 

  • Be taken seriously by governors and teachers as an integrated part of the broad and balanced curriculum that Catholic schools offer; and 

  • Be delivered by competent professionals who understand the Church’s teaching. 


RSHE at Our Lady & St Philomena's


We are involved in relationships and sex education precisely because of our Christian beliefs about God and about the human person. The belief in the unique dignity of the human person made in the image and likeness of God underpins the approach to all education in a Catholic school. Our approach to RSHE therefore is rooted in the Catholic Church’s teaching of the human person and presented in a positive framework of Christian ideals. 


At the heart of the Christian life is the Trinity; Father, Son and Spirit in communion, united in loving relationship and embracing all people and all creation. As a consequence of the Christian belief that we are made in the image and likeness of God, gender and sexuality are seen as God’s gift, reflect God’s beauty, and share in the divine creativity. RSHE, therefore, will be placed firmly within the context of relationship as it is there that sexuality grows and develops. 


Following the guidance of the Bishops of England and Wales and as advocated by the DFE (and the Welsh Assembly Government) RSHE will be firmly embedded in the PSHE framework as it is concerned with nurturing human wholeness and integral to the physical, spiritual, emotional, moral, social and intellectual development of pupils. It is centred on Christ’s vision of being human as good news and will be positive and prudent, showing the potential for development, while enabling the dangers and risks involved to be understood and appreciated. At Our Lady & St Philomena's, RSHE has been interwoven through the whole curriculum, in particular, R.E, science and PSHE activities.


The Governors at Our Lady and St Philomena’s Catholic Primary School have adopted the 'Journey in Love' programme to support the relationships and sex education curriculum throughout the school (Nursery to Year 6). The programme of study is authentic to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Below, there is a brief outline of the content of the programme. 



‘God loves us no matter what’


We have adopted an Equality scheme called ‘No Outsiders in Our School’. This has been recommended to us by Liverpool Archdiocese to support our RSE curriculum. This will be delivered through a series of thought provoking texts, which will be shared on their own, as part of circle time or during English lessons.


‘The aim of this resource is to provide teachers with a curriculum that promotes equality for all sections of the community. But more than that, this resource aims to bring children and parents or carers on board from the start so that children leave our school happy and excited about living in a community full or difference and diversity, whether that is through ethnicity, gender, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or religion. Children must be excited about living in a diverse twenty-first century, and want to keep it like that – not fight against it’ (No Outsiders in Our School – 2016)


You have the right to withdraw your child from this aspect of the curriculum however, this is not to be confused with curriculum Science which is statutory.


If you require any further clarification regarding this aspect of the curriculum please contact: