Relationships, Sex and Health Education
This page contains an overview of the Bishop Justus RSHE curriculum, the topics taught in each year group and a timetable for delivery.
The RSHE lead is Mr Shergold.
More detail about RSHE can be found in our 'Relationships, Sex and Health Education' policy document in the policies section of this website. This document contains details of which lessons students can be withdrawn from.
The Aquinas Trust policy document can be found on the Aquinas Trust website. Post consultation the policy was amended and approved by Trustees, with reference to a comment from a respondent and it is this final version which is available on the Aquinas website.
RSHE information – Sexual Abuse and Harm
“We expect our students to be wisdom seeking, to work hard together, to develop relationships based in love (agape) so that they treat themselves and others with dignity and respect in all situations.” Bishop Justus Vision and Ethos statement
Bishop Justus addresses education about sexual harm, sexual harassment, sexual abuse, sexual violence, online abuse and issues of consent in a number of ways.
The primary way this is achieved is through PSHE/RSHE lessons during form time once a week. Our approach to this topic stems from our vision and ethos statement, and is these topics are further explored through of worship programme. Topics are taught in a spiral curriculum with age-appropriate topics covered at the correct time. This includes the different types of a stable relationship, what a healthy relationship looks like including friendship and recognising and responding to bullying in year 7. The dangers and laws surrounding sexting, social media and how to deal with online abuse in year 8. Sexual harassment, readiness for sexual intimacy, consent, contraception and sexting is recapped in year 9. How drugs and alcohol can lead to poor choices, relationship abuse, consent and sharing of sexual images in year 10. Topics such as consent and sexual harassment are recapped in year 11. In line with our safeguarding policy students are additionally informed of and know how to ask for help, who to go to with concerns, how to access information and advice when needed and especially where to receive support. All staff receive annual safeguarding which covers these areas, so that all staff are aware of the issues and risks our children may face.
Working alongside PSHE, our Religious Education curriculum consistently teaches our students about healthy and respectful relationships. Lastly our messages are reinforced by a number of external agencies ranging from Police delivering assemblies on topics like sexting, peer on peer abuse, etc and Bromley Healthcare leading the impact day ‘Your Choice Your Voice’ in year 9. This provides our students with an increased awareness of behaviours in a healthy vs unhealthy relationship, increases their understanding of child sexual exploitation and raises their awareness of how and where sexual exploitation happens.
The very first topic students are taught in RSHE is personal hygiene. Within this topic we teach students about the importance of cleaning their teeth, washing hands, washing their clothes, showering and looking after their feet. Even though some of these topics seem very primary school orientated, they are a fun way to introduce the students to RSHE at Bishop Justus, whilst also teaching our year 7 students about looking after themselves and their personal hygiene.
Healthy Bodies Healthy Minds
The next topic our students learn through RSHE in year 7, is healthy bodies and healthy minds. This topic helps to reiterate what our students are taught in other lessons around the school such as Science and PE. This topic covers the benefits of drinking water, eating 5 a day, regular exercise and sleep. By teaching our students this knowledge we aim to encourage them to live as healthy and active a lifestyle as possible, so they can maximise their potential in and outside of school.
Families, Friendships and Relationships
Next our year 7 students move onto the topic: families, friendships and relationships. The start of this topic talks about family life and how we all have different family experiences and cultures. After this we move onto friendships, where students are questioned on what qualities make a good friend and why having good friends is so important. Next, we move onto teaching students about what stereotyping and prejudice is and why we should never do this in our society. This is then linked to our final topic on bullying and the affect this can have on the individual. As you can see, this topic is really important for our students as it reinforces the information the students are delivered in assemblies and lessons on different cultures, friendships and bullying. This topic is centred around our Bishop Justus virtues of love and kindness.
Britain and the World
Finally, the last topic students are taught in year 7 is Britain and the world. This topic carries on into year 8 RSHE. Within the topic students are taught about human rights and celebrating diversity in Britain. We then move on the political system in Britain covering our different governments and elections. After this as the students move into year 8, they focus on how changes in technology may shape our future, globalisation and global warming.
Students start year 8 on the topic of bereavement and death. This topic is all about getting the students to understand why it is so hard to talk about death and to understand the feelings associated with it. This topic was rolled out for the first two RSHE’s lessons this year to all year groups to help students understand what they are feeling, if they lost a loved one during the pandemic. Within the bereavement lessons students also have a lesson on divorce, which answers questions that students may have such as ‘does this happen to lots of other children?’ or ‘is it my fault?’. As difficult as it can be to be taught these lessons, they are crucial for our students in order to give them an understanding of the fact that the emotions they may be experiencing in the past, present or in the future are a normal part of losing someone . Students are then provided with coping strategies.
Within this topic students watch the film FIT. This film shows the life of 7 teenagers and with each section focusing on an individual’s story. It focuses on people’s different sexual orientations and stereotyping and the affect this can have. After each section students are asked questions within their form group on the topic, where they will have informative discussions.
The next topic for year 8 is on social media and how to stay safe online. Within the topic we cover areas such as how our mind becomes addicted to social media and searching for social acceptance, being able to retain control of our social media, how social media paints a perfect world with edited photos, meaning that some students scrolling through may be thinking ‘I don’t look like that.’ This topic also covers the dangers of sexting, grooming and cyberbullying online. It is so crucial that are students are taught this information early on at Bishop Justus, as social media is only going to carry on growing and unfortunately dominates a lot of our students’ lives, therefore making sure they are aware of the dangers and using it safely and correctly.
Using lessons provided by the Department for Education on ‘knife free’ our students are taught about the dangers of carrying a knife and how this can heighten their chance of sustaining a knife related injury. Students are also taught about the laws around carrying a knife.
Year 9 RSHE starts with 4 introductory lessons on mental health. These lessons focus on what mental health is, how we can talk about mental health whether be it our mental health or a friend’s mental health and how we can support people struggling with mental health. After this introduction students are taught about the different types of mental health conditions, with a lesson focussed on each. Examples of what these lessons cover are: depression, stress, bipolar, anxiety, phobias and eating disorders. With the rise of social media, mental health conditions as we all know are on the rise. Therefore, educating our students about how to help themselves and friends, plus a knowledge of the different types of mental health conditions, is crucial for our students’ well-being.
Puberty and Sexual Health
Once our mental health lessons have finished, students in year 9 will move onto puberty and sexual health. These lessons will occur before our students have ‘Your Choice Your Voice’ (a day taught by Bromley Health Care workers on sexual health). This is to allow for them to have background knowledge to get the most out of the day. Within the puberty lessons, students will be taught about their emotional changes and the physical changes. Once these are completed students are then taught about STIs, contraception, consent, sexting and the dangers of pornography, within our sexual health lessons. These lessons combined with YCYV are so important for our students due to the nature of the information they are taught to help support them in making the correct decisions during their lifetime.
The next topic is about the media. This topic will talk about fake news stories and the use of click bait within our growing technological world. This will ensure students will be able to understand what is real in the news and what has been made up to attract views. On top of this we will discuss how the media portrays a certain image about what males and females should look like, through the use of models and editing and highlight that this is not what it is like in the real world. Lastly, we will discuss online gaming such as GTA and PEGI ratings and why these games are not appropriate for certain year groups.
The last topic the students will be taught in year 9 is finance. This topic will have to be taught by tutors this year, however in previous years before Covid the students from business classes in year 9 would create a presentation in groups of 3-5 on the following topics debt, fraud, mortgages, savings, taxation, ways to pay and what is borrowing. These topics are then presented by each group to each form. Teaching students this way allows some of our students to improve their presentation skills and also allows for all of our years to develop a better idea of financial matters and therefore a better understand of the value of money.
In year 10 students start with resilience lessons. These lessons focus on students learning how to boost their own resilience within school and outside of school. This topic is linked with our virtue of courage and wisdom.
Screening and Vaccinations
Next students are taught about screening and vaccinations. Students are provided information on how to self-screen themselves for cancers like breast or testicular and also the different types of screenings available on the NHS to check various health issues. After this our students are taught a lesson on vaccinations and how they protect us against viruses.
Our gambling lessons are first taught through quizzes to test the students’ understanding of how much money is gambled and the odds of actually winning. Then our students are shown documentaries about the dangers of gambling and life stories from people whose lives have been ruined from the addiction. Lastly within gambling, students are taught about online gambling on their computer consoles. This is a growing risk with students as young as 11 and 12 years old getting involved in skin gambling online and not realising it is gambling.
Drugs and Alcohol
The last topic for the year 10 is drugs and alcohol. This topic educates the students on the dangers of alcohol consumption. Whether it is too much regular consumption of alcohol or the odd binge which can lead to health issues and poor life choices when under the influence of too much alcohol. After this our students are taught about smoking and what negative health effects this can cause on our bodies. Lastly students are taught about a range of different illegal drugs, the negative effects these drugs can have on our bodies and the laws surrounding the drugs.
Finally, our year 11 RSHE is reduced to 16 or so lessons, to allow for form time after the February half term to be focused on revision and preparation for their exams.
Abortion, Miscarriage and Teenage Pregnancy
Therefore, our first topic the students learn about covers abortion, miscarriage and teenage pregnancy. These topics all need to be taught under the RSE guidance. With abortion the students are presented with facts and then asked to debate in class their opinions. In terms of miscarriages students are presented with facts about what a miscarriage is and the effect this can have on parents’ emotionally. Lastly teenage pregnancy provides students with real life examples of teenagers who have fallen pregnant and allows them to discuss the positives and negatives of this.
Knife Free Recap
Using lessons provided by the Department for Education on ‘knife free,’ our students are taught about the dangers of carrying a knife and how this can heighten their chance of a knife related injury. Students are also taught about the laws around carrying a knife.
Sexual Health Recap
These lessons will recap the same topics students were taught in year 9 such as STIs, Contraception, consent, sexting and the dangers of pornography within our sexual health lessons. We feel recapping this topic helps to reaffirm our student’s knowledge on the important topic of sexual health.