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Relationship & Sex Education

Consultation on Relationships and Sex Education Policy

The Department for Education has announced changes to `Relationships and Sex Education` (RSE) in schools.  These changes should have come into effect by September 2020, however, due to the impact COVID-19 has had on schools, there has been an amendment by the government and the statutory guidance for RSE now states that schools must deliver the updated RSE curriculum by Summer 2021.

The new RSE guidance focuses on healthy relationships and keeping children safe in the modern world.  It also covers a wide range of topics relating to physical and mental health, wellbeing, safeguarding and healthy relationships.

Please see below for the proposed Relationship and Sex Education Curriculum for Years 7 to 11 at the Priory Lincoln Academy.



In this unit of work, students will start to learn...

Transition and safety

Transition to secondary school and personal safety in and outside school, including first aid.



  • how to identify, express and manage their emotions in a constructive way
  • how to manage the challenges of moving to a new school
  • how to establish and manage friendships
  • how to identify personal strengths and areas for development
  • personal safety strategies and travel safety, e.g. road, rail and water
  • how to respond in an emergency situation
  • basic first aid when dealing with common injuries including head injuries

Health and puberty

Healthy routines, influences on health, puberty, unwanted contact, and an awareness of FGM.



  • how to make healthy lifestyle choices including diet, dental health, physical activity and sleep
  • how to manage influences relating to caffeine, smoking and alcohol
  • how to manage physical and emotional changes during puberty
  • about personal hygiene
  • how to recognise and respond to inappropriate and unwanted contact
  • about FGM and how to access help and support


Diversity, prejudice, and bullying

  • about identity, rights and responsibilities (including online)
  • about living in a diverse society
  • how to challenge prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination
  • the signs and effects of all types of bullying, including online
  • how to respond to bullying of any kind, including online
  • how to support others

Building relationships

Self-worth, romance and friendships (including online) and relationship boundaries

  • how to develop self-worth and self-efficacy
  • about qualities and behaviours relating to different types of positive relationships
  • how to recognise unhealthy relationships
  • how to evaluate expectations for romantic relationships
  • about consent, and how to seek and assertively communicate consent





In this unit of work, students will start to learn...

Drugs and alcohol

Alcohol and drug misuse and pressuresrelating to drug use

  • about the over-consumption of energy drinks
  • about the relationship between habit and dependence
  • how to use over the counter and prescription medications safely
  • about the differences between medicinal and reactional drugs
  • how to assess the risks and influences of alcohol, tobacco, nicotine and e-cigarettes
  • how to manage influences in relation to substance use
  • how to recognise and promote positive social norms and attitudes

Emotional wellbeing

Mental health and emotional wellbeing, including coping strategies



  • distinguishing between mental illness and wellbeing
  • how to challenge myths and stigma about mental wellbeing
  • how to manage emotions
  • how to develop digital resilience
  • about characteristics of a poor diet and the risks of unhealthy eating
  • about healthy and unhealthy coping strategies (e.g. self-harm and eating disorders)

Digital literacy

Online safety, digital literacy, media reliability and in introduction to exploitation




  • about online communication
  • how to use social networking sites safely
  • how to recognise online grooming in different forms, e.g. in relation to sexual or financial exploitation, extremism and radicalisation
  • how to respond and seek support in cases of online grooming
  • how to recognise biased or misleading information online
  • how to distinguish between content which is publicly and privately shared
  • about age restrictions when accessing different forms of media and how to make responsible decisions
  • how to secure personal information online


Discrimination in all its forms, including racism, religious discrimination, disability, discrimination, sexism, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia

  • how to manage influences on beliefs and decisions
  • about group-think and persuasion
  • how to develop self-worth and confidence
  • about gender identity, transphobia and gender-based discrimination
  • how to recognise and challenge homophobia and biphobia
  • how to recognise and challenge racism and religious discrimination
  • about the Equality Act, diversity and values regarding the protected characteristics

Identity and relationships

Gender identity, sexual orientation, consent, ‘sexting’, and an introduction to contraception

  • the qualities of positive, healthy relationships
  • how to demonstrate positive behaviours in healthy relationships
  • about gender identity and sexual orientation
  • about forming new partnerships and developing relationships
  • about the law in relation to consent
  • that the legal and moral duty is with the seeker of consent
  • how to effectively communicate about consent in relationships
  • about the risks of ‘sexting’ and how to manage requests or pressure to send an image
  • about basic forms of contraception, e.g. condom and pill




In this unit of work, students will start to learn...

Peer influence, substance use and gangs

Healthy and unhealthy friendships, assertiveness, substance misuse, and gang exploitation

  • how to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy  friendships and the risks of exploitation, extremism and radicalisation
  • how to assess risk and manage influences, including online
  • about ‘group think’ and how it affects behaviour
  • how to recognise passive, aggressive and assertive behaviour, and how to communicate assertively
  • to manage risk in relation to gangs
  • how to manage risk in relation to new independent situations
  • about the legal and physical risks of carrying a knife
  • about positive social norms in relation to drug and alcohol use
  • about legal and health risks in relation to drug (illegal and prescription)  and alcohol use, including addiction and dependence

Healthy lifestyle

Life-saving first aid, diet, exercise, healthy choices and the link to body image


  • about the relationship between physical and mental health
  • about balancing work, leisure, exercise and sleep
  • how to make informed healthy eating choices
  • how to manage influences on body image
  • to make independent health choices
  • to take increased responsibility for physical health and know about infections and antibiotics
  • to know life saving skills

Respectful relationships

Families and parenting, healthy relationships, conflict resolution, and relationship changes

  • about different types of families and parenting, including single parents, same sex parents, blended families, adoption and fostering
  • about positive relationships in the home and ways to reduce homelessness amongst young people
  • about conflict and its causes in different contexts, e.g. with family and friends
  • conflict resolution strategies
  • how to manage relationship and family changes, including relationship breakdown, separation and divorce
  • how to access support services

Intimate relationships

Relationships and sex education including consent, contraception, the risks of STIs, and sharing of information


  • about readiness for sexual activity, the choice to delay sex, or enjoy intimacy without sex
  • about myths, misconceptions and laws relating to consent
  • about the continuous right to withdraw consent and capacity to consent
  • about STIs, effective use of condoms and negotiating safer sex
  • about the consequences of unprotected sex, including pregnancy and the health effects of choices made during sex and relationships
  • how to assess and manage risks of sending, sharing or passing on sexual images




In this unit of work, students will start to learn...

Mental health

Mental health and ill health, stigma, safeguarding health including during periods of transition or change



  • how to manage challenges during adolescence
  • how to reframe negative thinking
  • strategies to promote mental health and emotional wellbeing and how it can be affected by own/others influence
  • about the signs of emotional or mental ill-health about being able to identify common types.
  • how to access support and treatment
  • about the portrayal of mental health in the media
  • how to challenge stigma, stereotypes and misinformation

Exploring influence

The influence and impact of drugs, gangs, role models, gambling and the media



  • about positive and negative role models
  • how to evaluate the influence of role models and become a positive role model for peers
  • about the media’s impact on perceptions of gang culture
  • about the impact of drugs and alcohol on individuals, personal safety, families and wider communities
  • how drugs and alcohol affect decision making and risky behaviour
  • how to keep self and others safe in situations that involve
  • substance use
  • how to manage peer influence in increasingly independent scenarios, in relation to substances, gangs and crime
  • exit strategies for pressurised or dangerous situations
  • how to seek help for substance use and addiction
  • strategies for managing influences related to gambling, including
  • online
  • about the relationship between gambling and debt
  • how to protect financial security online

Healthy relationships

Relationships and sex expectations, myths, pleasure and challenges, including the impact of the media and pornography




  • about relationship values and the role of pleasure in relationships
  • about myths, assumptions, misconceptions and social norms about sex, gender and relationships
  • about the opportunities and risks of forming and conducting relationships online and the law surrounding the sharing of images
  • how the portrayal of relationships in the media and pornography might affect expectations on sexual attitudes, expectations and behaviours and how to manage the impact of these
  • about the ethical and legal implications in relation to consent, including manipulation, coercion, and capacity to consent
  • how to recognise and respond to pressure, coercion and exploitation, including reporting and accessing appropriate support
  • how to recognise and challenge victim blaming
  • about asexuality, abstinence and celibacy
  • about the prevalence and treatment of STIs

Addressing extremism and radicalisation

Community cohesion and challenging extremism

  • about communities, inclusion, respect and belonging
  • about how social media may distort, misrepresent or target information in order to influence beliefs and opinions
  • how to manage conflicting views and misleading information
  • how to safely challenge discrimination, including online how to recognise and respond to extremism, radicalisation and hate crime




In this unit of work, students will start to learn...

Building for the future

Self-efficacy, stress management, and future opportunities



  • how to manage the judgement of others and challenge stereotyping
  • how to balance ambition and unrealistic expectations
  • how to develop self-efficacy, including motivation, perseverance and resilience
  • how to maintain a healthy self-concept
  • about the nature, causes and effects of stress
  • stress management strategies, including maintaining healthy sleep habits and physical activity
  • about positive and safe ways to create content online and the opportunities this offers
  • how to balance time online


Responsible health choices, and safety in independent contexts





  • how to assess and manage risk and safety in new independent situations (e.g. personal safety in social situations and on the roads)
  • emergency first aid skills
  • how to assess emergency and non-emergency situations and contact appropriate services
  • about the links between lifestyle and some cancers
  • about the importance of screening and how to perform self examination including testicular self-examination
  • about vaccinations and immunisations
  • about registering with and accessing doctors, sexual health clinics, opticians and other health services
  • how to manage influences and risks relating to cosmetic and aesthetic body alterations
  • about blood, organ and stem cell donation

Communication in relationships

Personal values, assertive communication (including in relation to contraception and sexual health), relationship challenges and abuse


  • about core values and emotions
  • about gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation how to communicate assertively 
  • how to communicate wants and needs 
  • how to handle unwanted attention, including online 
  • how to challenge harassment and stalking, including online 
  • about various forms of relationship abuse 
  • about unhealthy, exploitative and abusive relationships 
  • how to access support in abusive relationships and how to overcome challenges in seeking support


Different families and parental responsibilities, pregnancy, marriage and forced marriage and changing relationships




  • about different types of families and changing family structures
  • how to evaluate readiness for parenthood and positive parenting qualities
  • about fertility, including how it varies and changes
  • about pregnancy, birth and miscarriage
  • about unplanned pregnancy options, including abortion
  • about adoption and fostering
  • how to manage change, loss, grief and bereavement
  • about ‘honour based’ violence and forced marriage and how to safely access support