Values, Ethics and Wellbeing
Throughout the Values curriculum, we aim to prepare students for the demands of today’s society so they can positively contribute as well-rounded citizens.
Teaching Values develops pupils’ understanding of health, with an increased focus on risk areas such as drugs and alcohol, as well as introducing knowledge about intimate relationships and sex. Teaching about mental wellbeing is central to these subjects, especially as a priority for parents is their children’s happiness. We know that children and young people are increasingly experiencing challenges and are at particular risk of feeling lonely. The new subject content will give our young people the knowledge and capability to take care of themselves and the confidence to seek and receive support should problems arise.
At Westlands school we are very aware that today’s children and young people are growing up in an increasingly complex world and living their lives seamlessly on and offline. This presents many positive and exciting opportunities, but also challenges and risks. In this environment, children and young people need to know how to be safe and healthy, and how to manage their academic, personal and social lives in a positive way.
For a more detailed look at the Relationships and Sex Education Policy of Swale Academies Trust please see the Policy below:
This policy has been developed in line with DfE guidance including that specified within the following document:
Relationship, Sex and Health Education
At Westlands we are committed to the personal development of the young people in our care. As such, we want them to develop and grow up to be safe and to lead healthy and happy lives. In delivering a curriculum in which Relationships, Sex and Health Education is taught explicitly in line with the Department for Educations RSE Policy (2020), we aim to support students as they develop a deeper appreciation and understanding of these topics. Our overarching objective as we shape the RSE curriculum is that students explore and develop the skills not only to manage the challenges that they may face, but also become cognisant, empathetic and resilient young adults who will then go on to grasp the opportunities offered by modern Britain.
Values through the 'Jigsaw' Curriculum
Relationships and Sex Education will build upon the concepts students will have explored whilst in primary school. It aims to give young people the information they need to help them develop healthy, nurturing relationships of all kinds. The ‘Jigsaw’ curriculum provides opportunities for students to revisit key themes throughout their years at Westlands and to study concepts and ideas surrounding the nature of healthy and unhealthy relationships; what makes a good friend or colleague and the attributes of a successful marriage or committed relationship. At an appropriate time, the focus of content will emphasise the emotional maturity required of developing intimate relationships. By the end of Year 11, pupils will have been taught content on:
- Respectful relationships, including friendships.
- Online media.
- Being safe.
- Intimate and sexual relationships, including sexual health.
Health Education aims to give students the information they need to make informed choices regarding their own health and wellbeing, to recognise issues in themselves and others, and to seek support as early as possible should concerns arise. By the end of Year 11, students will have been taught content on:
- Mental wellbeing.
- Internet safety and harms.
- Physical health and fitness.
- Healthy eating.
- Drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
- Health and prevention.
- Basic first aid.
- Changing adolescent body.
Information for Parents
As parents and guardians, you will naturally be guiding and teaching your child about the importance of keeping safe and the impact of wellbeing, be that physical or emotional and the impact that this has on developing and maintaining healthy positive relationships. Your support is both respected and greatly valued under this new RSE curriculum which serves to complement and reinforce the guidance you provide as your child develops into a mature young adult. At Westlands, these policies are published in the Trust document attached above and are available for you to read and / or comment as you wish. Schools are required to ensure their teaching reflects the age and breadth of religious backgrounds of their pupils and so, at times, it may also be pertinent to reflect upon the developmental needs of each cohort of students and deliver additional non-statutory content.
Right to withdraw your child
Under government guidelines, you may not withdraw your child from Health Education or the Relationships Education element of Relationships and Sex Education Curriculum. It is these elements, together with your parental guidance that are deemed to be pivotal in the development of emotionally mature, confident and responsible young adults If you do not want your child to take part in some or all of the Sex Education lessons delivered at secondary, you can ask that they are withdrawn. The Headteacher will consider this request and discuss it with you, and will grant this in all but exceptional circumstances, up until three school terms before your child turns 16. At this age, your child can choose to receive Sex Education if they would like to, and the school should arrange for your child to receive this teaching in one of those three terms (unless there are exceptional circumstances). By the Summer term 2021, the new RSE subjects will become compulsory and the new right to withdraw provisions will apply. The science curriculum in all maintained schools also includes content on human development, including reproduction, which there is no right to withdraw from.
Secondary RSE Curriculum Outline
The subjects taught to specific age ranges and the key driving questions posed are all available to parents and visitors by following this link to the document. It gives a clear breakdown of how the topic will be treated and the depth of the research and content. Clearly this will differ hugely in each section from Y7 and Year 8 to the lessons of Year 11 students. The topics that will expanded through the 5 years are:
- Being Me in My World.
- Celebrating Difference.
- Dreams and Goals.
- Healthy Me.
- Changing Me.
For more information on our values curriculum, please follow the link to our Curriculum Outline.
At Westlands, our school values underpin our teaching and learning ethos. The RADAR values are emphasised within in all aspects of our curriculum, be that within the pastoral support systems, Values and Curriculum lessons or within the expression and development of everyday relationships. RADAR values, created in partnership with pupil and parent voice, form the focus of our Community Lessons, where we provide a supportive environment in which students can develop life skills and both form, challenge and express their aspirations and life aims. In providing opportunities to explore topical issues through the focus of RADAR values, we strive to enable our students to become thoughtful, respectful citizens and resilient learners who will go on to achieve their goals.