Any sex and relationship education, whether or not it is part of the National Curriculum, is given in such a manner as to encourage pupils to have due regard to moral considerations and the value of family life. The Catholic Church has given firm guidance to schools in the matter of moral and sexual education in that a ‘whole person’ approach be used, rather than an approach that reduces everything to mechanical and biological functions.
Adolescence is a period of identity formation. In pursuit of this identity, the adolescent moves from the security of childhood towards the newly envisioned freedom that the world of the adult seems to represent. In this process young adolescents need the stability of adults as caring people in their lives: caring is not something added on to the role of the teacher, nor is it something in which some teachers specialise. It is through the sensitive handling of relationships and the mutual respect between teachers and pupils that the caring ethos of the College becomes a reality. An acceptance of mutual responsibility for the welfare of all members of the College community ensures that an attitude of care permeates every part of the corporate life of the College.
While it is acknowledged that different departments will contribute at various times to the SRE programme, it is clear that this area of the curriculum is delivered mainly through Enrichment activities, Religious Education, Science Lessons and the Citizenship programme.
SRE IN YEAR 7
Pupils in Year 7 are taught the basic facts of human reproduction. This is done within the context of family life. Relationships in general are considered at this stage.
SRE IN YEARS 8 AND 9
The physical and emotional changes that occur during adolescence are considered. Pupils are taught to have a healthy attitude to their own sexuality. The issues of the HIV virus, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases are addressed. In Year 9 in particular, emphasis is placed on sexual relationships within the context of love and marriage. Conception, pregnancy and birth are looked at in detail. Family planning is also discussed in the light of the moral issues involved.
SRE IN YEARS 10 AND 11
During Years 10 and 11 further instruction takes place regarding marriage, contraception and abortion; all of this is looked at within the Christian values and the moral teaching of the Catholic Church. The processes and ethics of assisted conception are also discussed.
SRE IN YEARS 12 AND 13
In the Sixth Form, staff help these young adults to develop their own moral sense and values regarding sexuality and address related moral issues as part of their preparation for responsible adulthood and marriage, which is often made more difficult today by the lack of universal norms and values throughout society.
...be in the context of family life and a loving relationship;
...use a ‘whole person’ approach;
...be a natural part of the overall teaching programme
...expose children to appropriate knowledge and values for which they are ready
...conform in all respects to the teaching of the Church and
...create an environment for personal growth so that each child develops positive attitudes to make sound moral judgement.