Curriculum

Sex Education and Religious Education Programme

SEX EDUCATION PROGRAMME

Sex education is a crucial part of preparing children for their lives now and in the future, as adults and parents. It places emphasis on the importance of stable human relationships. Education about sexual matters is offered to pupils using guidelines laid down by the Department for Education. The facts are presented by teachers in an objective and balanced manner so as to enable pupils to comprehend the basic life processes. Puberty and the emotional, practical and social issues that it raises are dealt with sensitively. Pupils are made aware of the range of sexual attitudes and behaviour in present day society. They are given the opportunity to explore these issues through open discussion, and to know what is and what is not legal. Pupils are able to consider their own attitudes and to make informed, reasoned and responsible decisions about the attitudes they will adopt both while they are at school and in adulthood.

The school deals sensitively and objectively with such issues as contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, sexuality, gender and abortion. No teaching will encourage prejudice against any groups in society. Sex education should stress the importance of young people recognising their obligations. They should understand that both sexes have equal responsibility in sexual matters and appreciate the benefits of stable family life and the responsibilities of parenthood. Pupils will be encouraged to consider the importance of self-restraint, dignity and respect for themselves and others. They will also be helped to recognise the physical and emotional risks of casual and promiscuous sexual behaviour. In particular, pupils will need to know about sexual matters to ensure that education about health is not impaired and that they understand about the relationships between certain forms of sexual and other behaviours, for example drug misuse, which carries a risk of infection with the AIDS virus, and about ways in which risks can be avoided or lessened.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAMME

The object of Religious Education is not to convert or indoctrinate, but rather to educate pupils to an understanding of religion and its place in people’s lives. In accordance with the Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education, our aim is “to engage pupils with key questions arising from the study of religion so as to promote their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development”. Pupils will have to consider how people have answered questions about the meaning and purpose of existence and study the ways in which these answers shape attitudes to life. The 1988 Education Act requires that Religious Education must “reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principle religions represented in Great Britain”. Hence, programmes of study are followed in Christianity and the other principle religions, using a range of teaching and learning styles that engage pupils and help them to develop skills and attitudes.

Pupils in Years 7 to 9 receive one period of Religious Education each week and are taught in mixed ability classes. In Years 10 and 11 pupils can choose to take a full GCSE in Religious Education. Religious Education also forms part of the RESPECT course in Years 10 and 11. Visits to Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Iceland provide a strong international flavour to the life of the school. The school has achieved the International School’s Award.