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Ely College

Ely College

Relationships and Sex Education

As a part of your child’s education at Ely College, we promote personal wellbeing and development through a comprehensive Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education programme.  PSHE education is the curriculum subject that gives young people the knowledge, understanding, attitudes and practical skills to live safe, healthy, productive lives and meet their full potential.  

During this next academic year your child’s class will be taking part in lessons which will focus on the relationships and sex education aspect of this programme.  This will include teaching about: healthy relationships, including friendships and intimate relationships; families; growing and changing, including puberty; personal hygiene; changing feelings; becoming more independent; keeping safe and consent; developing self-esteem and confidence.  Pupils will also have opportunities to ask questions that help prepare them for relationships of all kinds in the modern world.  Further details on the exact content can be found on our website (link to be provided).   PSHE education is taught throughout the school in each year group and is monitored and reviewed regularly by the staff and Academy Council.  All PSHE teaching takes place in a safe learning environment and is underpinned by our school ethos and values.

As part of a commitment to ensure that our curriculum offer meets the needs of all our community, in September 2023 we consulted with our parents to collect the views and feedback on our PSHE and RSE curriculum.  At the close of this consultation, we had requests for clarification from 6 parents.  Our response to these questions is set out below.  You will also find here PDFs of our Meridian Trust Curriculum for PSHE/RSE and our long term plan for PSHCE for this academic year.

RSE Consultation Response

The question raised by Parent/Carer


How do you cover consent and coercion?

This is a consistent theme in the delivery of the topic entitled ‘relationships’.  There are also discrete teaching opportunities signposted within the overview - a link to one of the resources used is provided: 

We are very conscious of additionally creating safe learning opportunities where we can discuss topical matters related to consent i.e Mason Greenwood and Benjamin Mendy, for example.

Sex education (the science of reproduction)

This is covered as early as Year 7 within our Science Curriculum, key topics included within this delivery are: male and female reproductive systems, menstrual cycle and fertilisation.  When discussing consent and contraception as part of the PSHE delivery within college we are able to revisit and share key knowledge around the reproduction process.

Need for increased coverage of financial management/personal finance

29th April 2024 - Financial management and employment rights delivered through assembly.  As part of ‘Bank Accounts’ in Year 8 there is a link to budget planning and understanding the way in which money is spent.  Year 10 sees standalone delivery of debt advice and guidance.

Teenage suicide feels like a missing topic, given the increasing prevalence and concern

9th October 2023 - Assembly linked to ‘World Mental Health Day’ (suicide awareness included). 

12th February - Further assembly ‘Coping with Stress, Anxiety & Uncertainty’ (Childrens Mental Health Week).  PSHE also focuses strongly on the mental health of students, friends and family and we have worked hard to signpost supportive resources both in college and through external providers.

We recognise that further development in this area may be required and, as such, are looking at training opportunities that may support our staff to tackle this directly. 


Social media, usage, mobile phone security: not included in Year 7, why?

20th November 2023 - Assembly linked to online challenges and hoaxes.  Year 7 provision included as part of Autumn 2 cyberbullying with a link to social media use, developed in Year 8 with a specific focus on social media and its impact of use.  This culminates in Year 10 & 11 when looking at Sexting and pornography and bullying (we utilise a BBC documentary that looks at the story of Jessie Nelson).  

We have also historically run support sessions for parents as part of parent forums and will look to run one of these later in the year.

Need for signposting of resources

As part of our commitment to ensuring students have all the tools they need to be safe, both in and out of college, we have developed a booklet that signposts key support services across all the topic areas covered.  Plenaries across many of the presentations also ensure that signposting of support/guidance features heavily.  All our staff are encouraged to continually reinforce our ‘in school’ support mechanisms available in the form of their tutors, the House office or different facets of the wellbeing team.