We believe it is essential to provide our students with an education that encompasses broad knowledge and life skills, as part of our school commitment to excellence in girls’ education and empowerment. Indeed, our school vision – developing the leaders of tomorrow – speaks to a concept of citizenship whereby we inspire future citizens to think for themselves and act for others. To both encourage a liberation of thought and expect a responsibility of action is, we believe, the mark of a progressive and ambitious community.
To this end, we deliver a Personal, Social, Health & Economic Education (PSHE) programme which progresses age-appropriate content and concepts as our students move through from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4 and then into the Sixth Form.
We are members of the PSHE Association, the national body for personal, social, health and economic education. They are a charity and membership organisation that supports a network of over 50,000 practitioners with teaching resources, guidance, advice, and training.
As well as being informed by the PSHE Association, our PSHE programme is guided by our Policy for Relationships & Sex Education.
Policy for Relationships and Sex Education
Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) forms part of a wider programme of health education at CCHS, which is taught within the Personal, Social and Health Education programme. Aspects of sexual development and behaviour are taught in the context of a moral framework and with regard to the values of family life. We aim to develop and fortify the students’ self-esteem and self-confidence.
In teaching RSE at CCHS we ensure that the needs of all pupils are appropriately met, and that all pupils understand the importance of equality and respect. We comply with the relevant provisions of the Equality Act 2010, under which sexual orientation and gender reassignment are amongst the protected characteristics. The teaching of RSE is sensitive and age appropriate in approach and content and at the point at which we consider it appropriate to teach pupils about LGBT, we ensure that this content is fully integrated into their programmes of study for this area of the curriculum rather than delivered as a standalone unit or lesson.
When teaching these subjects, the religious background of all pupils is considered so that topics are appropriately handled. At all times we comply with the relevant provisions of the Equality Act 2010, under which religion or belief are amongst the protected characteristics.
We ensure that RSE is accessible for all pupils. This is particularly important when planning teaching for pupils with special educational needs. High quality teaching that is differentiated and personalised will be the starting point to ensure accessibility. We are mindful of the preparing for adulthood outcomes, as set out in the SEND code of practice, when teaching these subjects to those with SEND.
We aim to foster a sense of responsibility for one’s own actions and the impact these have on others. At all times the School seeks to complement the parental role in educating students on sexual matters.
• To provide facts about reproductive health, including fertility, and the potential impact of lifestyle on fertility for men and women and menopause.
• To provide pupils with the facts and the law about sex, sexuality, sexual health and gender identity in an age-appropriate and inclusive way
• To provide facts about the full range of contraceptive choices, efficacy and options available.
• To provide facts around pregnancy including miscarriage and the choices available in relation to pregnancy (with medically and legally accurate, impartial information on all options, including keeping the baby, adoption, abortion and where to get further help).
• To provide information about different sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including how HIV/AIDs, are transmitted, how risk can be reduced through safer sex (including through condom use) and the importance of and facts about testing, including key facts about treatment.
• How to recognise the characteristics and positive aspects of healthy one-to-one intimate relationships, which include mutual respect, consent, loyalty, trust, shared interests and outlook, sex and friendship To promote awareness of all types of discrimination, including homophobic bullying and gender stereotyping, and the problems this can cause.
• To provide the Relationship & Sex Education Policy to parents and advise them of their right to withdraw their child from part or all of this (except those parts included in the statutory National Curriculum for KS3 and KS4 in science).
Sexuality and Gender
Pupils are 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 is explored at a timely point and in a clear, sensitive and respectful manner. When teaching about these topics, we recognise that young people may be discovering or understanding their sexual orientation or gender identity and as such there is equal opportunity to explore the features of stable and healthy same sex relationships.
Grooming, sexual exploitation and domestic abuse, including coercive and controlling behaviour, is addressed sensitively and clearly. We address the physical and emotional damage caused by female genital mutilation (FGM) and include information about where to find support. Pupils are informed that it is a criminal offence to perform or assist in the performance of FGM or fail to protect a person for whom you are responsible from FGM. As well as addressing this in the context of the law, pupils may also need support to recognise when relationships (including family relationships) are unhealthy or abusive (including the unacceptability of neglect, emotional, sexual and physical abuse and violence, including honour-based violence and forced marriage) and strategies to manage this or access support for oneself or others at risk. At CCHS we are mindful that for pupils who are or have experienced unhealthy or unsafe relationships at home or socially, we may have a particularly important role in being a place of consistency and safety where they can easily speak to trusted adults, report problems and find support.
Delivery of the sex & relationship education programme will be to all year groups by trained staff during PSHE lessons, Biology lessons and assemblies.
Relationship & sex education will be taught in context, suitable to the age and development of the students according to the schemes of work and National Curriculum requirements. Peer-led sex education will be delivered to Year 9 students by Year 12 students under the supervision of the Assistant Head (Pastoral). This supplements that which is provided by adults in the School.
Resources used will be supplied from the PSHE budget with input from health agencies and other bodies as recommended by the local Health Promotion body.
Staff training will reflect the needs of the staff in the light of current developments.
Management and Co-ordination
The co-ordinator of PSHE has the responsibility for the planning and co-ordination of the programme content.
Tutors and teaching staff have a responsibility to deliver the agreed schemes of work, using appropriate resources which are regularly evaluated, both by staff and by students using monitoring sheets.
Extra-curricular experiences, including drama and talks will be assessed on an individual basis. This evaluation will form the basis of future planning and provision.
Students will have input into the curriculum following responses to monitoring and evaluations.
Monitoring and Evaluating
All PSHE units are evaluated through the lesson observation programme.
Year 9 students evaluate the peer-led sex & relationship education training which is given during the year.
Both staff and students must respect the privacy of others, except where there is a safeguarding concern (See CCHS Child Protection Policy).
Where appropriate students should be advised to discuss issues with parents and qualified professional agencies.
The giving of contraceptive advice to individual students is inappropriate to a teacher’s professional responsibilities. In circumstances where a teacher feels a student’s conduct could be placing them at moral or physical risk or in breach of the law, the teacher will ensure they make the student aware of that risk and where they can receive advice. The Year Leader responsible must be informed. In these circumstances, students should be aware the disclosure may need to be passed on to another responsible authority.
In cases of suspected child abuse, the Designated Safeguarding Lead will be informed and procedures followed according to Essex County Policy.
Parental and Carers Rights
Parents and Carers have the right to withdraw their child from all or part of the School’s Sex and Relationship Education programme, except those parts covered by the statutory National Curriculum in Science. However, a child will also have a right to opt into sex education from their 15th birthday (specifically three academic terms before they turn 16). Parents who wish to exercise this right should do so in writing to the Headteacher.
Parents may contact the Deputy Headteacher (Pastoral) to discuss any aspects of the curriculum.
Schools must consult parents in developing and reviewing the Relationship & Sex Education Policy. Representatives from the Curriculum Committee of the Governing Body will monitor relationship and sex education issues on a three yearly basis to enable the appropriate implementation of the Policy.
All students, Years 7 to 13, follow the PSHE programme.
Aims of PSHE
The content of PSHE at CCHS follows the statutory Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) curriculum guidelines which has been compulsory in all schools since September 2020.
These statutory guidelines include the following themes.
- different types of relationships, including friendships, family relationships, dealing with strangers and, at secondary school, intimate relationships.
- how to recognise, understand and build healthy relationships, including self-respect and respect for others, commitment, tolerance, boundaries, and consent, how to manage conflict, and also how to recognise unhealthy relationships.
- factual knowledge, at secondary school, around sex, sexual health, and sexuality.
- how online pornography may affect health and wellbeing, including mental health and relationships.
Schemes of work have been designed to cover all of these guidelines and also include other topics such as financial awareness and internet safety.
Years 7 to 11 are taught by tutors for one hour per week in a ‘rolling’ period superimposed on the timetable. Lessons encourage students to participate in group work, class discussions and role play to allow them to experience social issues in a safe environment. These lessons also help students to foster and develop attitudes of tolerance towards the religious, cultural, and moral values of others whilst ensuring students are confident regarding their growing maturity and personal health.
Topics that are taught in the year groups are:
|Year 7||Year 8||Year 9||Year 10||Year 11|
|Friendship||Discrimination||Sex Education||Exam Skills||Risky Behaviour|
|Puberty||Coping Strategies||Finance||Unhealthy/Toxic relationships||Sixth Form preparation|
|Care for Ourselves||Bereavement||Perfectionism||Extremism & Radicalisation|
At CCHS we are sensitive to the changing needs of our students and the world they live in; therefore, the syllabus is reviewed and potentially modified on a yearly basis. Topics such as Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ issues, personal safety and consent are at the forefront of the syllabus currently.
PSHE also has extensive relationships with external agencies who bring their own expertise and unique perspective to some of the content being taught. Students have access to speakers from the Samaritans, Fire Department and they are taught self-defence. Several charities work with the school such as Teenage Cancer Trust and Coppafeel to ensure all the students are self-aware of health issues and where to turn to for help.
External lessons include.
- Road safety play in Year 7 & 9
- Run Hide Tell – safety in terrorist attack – in Year 8 & 10
- Fire service in Year 7 & 8
- Samaritans in Year 10
- Coppafeel in Year 11
- Self defence in Year 9 & 11.
Older students also assist in teaching year 9 students about consent, contraception, and sexual transmitted diseases in a specific peer-led morning in the Spring Term. The feedback from the year 9 students is always positive and they enjoy being taught by their peers and feel more comfortable asking them questions.
The students are all enrolled on the Unifrog programme which provides careers guidance and advice. All students are given a password and username, so they are able to access their account at school and at home. They will attend two lessons with Dr Hiner who explains the programme and its functionality.
Right to be excused from sex education (commonly referred to as the right to withdraw)
Parents have the right to request that their child be withdrawn from some or all of sex education delivered as part of statutory RSE, except those parts covered by statutory National Curriculum in Science. However, a child will also have the right to opt into sex education from their 15th birthday (specifically three academic terms before they turn 16). Parents who wish to exercise this right should complete the form found at the bottom of this webpage.
Sixth Form PSHE Programme
Sixth Form students participate in the rolling tutor period (RTP) programme with the main school, but the Sixth Form programme is arranged slightly differently in order to best equip students with the knowledge, understanding and strategies they need as they begin to navigate adult life.
The Autumn Term is mostly spent covering various aspects of PSHE as shown in the table below. The sessions are a mixture of whole year group sessions by external speakers or CCHS teachers, lessons taught by the form tutor and student led workshops. During these sessions we cover:
|Year 12||Year 13|
|Healthy eating||Living independently|
|Emotional wellbeing and stress||Relaxation and mediation|
|Cosmetic surgery||Interview skills|
|Consent||Gender & LGBTQ|
|Rape culture||Call out culture and the media|
|Pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion & adoption||Feminism & Misogyny|
|Menopause||Toxic masculinity & relationships|
|Honor based violent & FGM||Finance|
|Social drugs and parties|
There are three other significant components to our RTP programme:
Model United Nations
Year 12 students participate in a MUN conference during the Autumn Term and spend time preparing during the RTP sessions in the weeks prior to the conference. During this time, they learn about the country they are representing in the MUN and its context and background. This process shines a light on the economic, historical, and cultural factors that lead to conflict, inequality, and injustice around the world. Each student will prepare and deliver speeches to represent their country at committees or the general council. MUN is an important opportunity to develop confidence and to ‘find your voice.’
Higher Education and Careers
Mrs Hopkins and Dr Hiner lead on the HE and Careers programme during the Summer term in Year 12. Students are introduced to the UCAS application process, are taught how to write an effective personal statement, to make informed choices about universities and courses that they might wish to apply for and learn about student finance and how to apply for it. There are also standalone sessions at other points during the Sixth Form where students learn about alternative options such as Degree Apprenticeships and develop the interview skills needed for entry to competitive universities/courses and jobs.
The elective programme is a popular part of the Sixth Form RTP programme with both students and staff. It takes place during the Spring Term in both Year 13, for three weeks. Each student will take part in an elective. The electives allow students to take responsibility for a small part of their own curriculum and allow staff to share something they are passionate about with. The electives that we offer are varied, and change as the Sixth Form tutor team changes, but fall into three main categories:
- Designed to encourage students to learn or be creative for its own sake.
- Designed to teach students an important skill that will be useful in their lives as independent adults.
- Designed to help students to know themselves better or to support them in living healthy lives (mentally or physically).
We also make time for PSHE during our fortnightly tutor time programme. These ‘Life Skills’ sessions are delivered by form tutors to their tutor groups and allow for discussion of important and topical issues, as well as preparing for life as independent adults. The topics covered range from cervical smear tests to mental health, and bank accounts to laundry.
Evaluation and Feedback
Students are asked to evaluate the RTP programme once during each academic year but are also able to ask questions or feedback informally at any time. Students’ feedback and ideas are important to us, and we adapt the programme to respond to these. The PSHE Shorts are designed to be a flexible addition to our PSHE offering and provide another opportunity to tailor the student experience as their needs and wants change with time.