The programme was developed from insight through the charity’s research with primary school head teachers, which found that two-thirds of schools need more help with identifying children’s Relationships and Sex Education needs and three-quarters need more advice on consulting parents.* It will help primary schools meet their statutory requirements to deliver RSE (currently known as Sex and Relationships Education) from 2019.
Funded by specialist insurer Ecclesiastical and aligned with recommended content set by the Department for Education, the programme will be available in over 2,000 schools currently working with Coram Life Education, and accessible to all primary schools through online subscription to its ‘SCARF’ teacher resources.
The programme will be delivered to Year 1-6 (Key Stage 1 and 2) pupils with age-appropriate lesson themes reflecting the needs and requirements of young people themselves** including healthy relationships, body ownership, consent, puberty and reproduction. It comprises lesson plans identifying the key skills, attitudes and values children need to develop healthy relationships with their peers, the information they need to keep themselves safe, and how to ask for help when they need it.
Coram Life Education is proud to introduce the programme in children’s early primary school years, as evidence shows that the teaching of safety, body ownership, private parts of the body, distinguishing types of touch and types of secrets helps to protect children and may increase the likelihood of disclosure of abuse.***
The programme features:
- A range of interactive teaching materials, including sorting cards, engaging scenarios, true or false statements, storyboards and drama techniques
- A series of short training film clips to support teachers in their delivery of RSE
- An interactive booklet providing teachers with supporting guidance including how to answer difficult questions, approaches to promoting positive social norms, safeguarding and working with parents.
In addition, Coram Life Education can provide educators to lead workshops for years 4, 5 and 6, with content adapted to suit schools varying RSE needs.
In piloting the programme, one teacher commented: “It was really well suited to my class. The lesson plans were easy to follow and I liked the video clips. I would definitely use it again.”
Harriet Gill, Managing Director of Coram’s education programmes said:
“When taught well by confident and trained practitioners, RSE is an enriching and engaging learning experience for children, and can contribute to building empathy, wellbeing and self-confidence. Our new programme has been developed in an age-appropriate way, taking account of pupils’ maturity and understanding, helping to protect children and keep them safe. We believe the programme is an important step forward in preparing children with essential skills for life and giving them the best possible chance of achieving their potential.”
Chris Pitt, corporate responsibility manager at Ecclesiastical said:
“We know that the mental health and wellbeing of young people is hugely influenced by their ability to form healthy and respectful relationships. Our own research showed that two thirds of educational establishments are concerned about the mental health of pupils, with 80% saying these issues are becoming more prevalent and three quarters saying that they hinder future success.**** We are delighted to be able to play our part in helping to tackle this by funding this new programme.”
The Relationships Education programme is now available in over 2,000 schools currently working with Coram Life Education, reaching 200,000 pupils, and is accessible to any primary school that subscribes to ‘SCARF’, the charity’s online wellbeing resource.
To find out more and to sign up, please visit the Coram Life Education website.
*Research conducted by Coram Life Education and Ecclesiastical, comprising a survey and focus groups conducted amongst 85 head teachers, PSHE co-ordinators and teachers responsible for delivering SRE throughout the UK. Read the full findings here.
**In developing the programme, young people’s feedback was captured through The Sex Education Forum, the leading authority on Sex and Relationships Education.
***As evidenced in the Cochrane Review, 2014, available at Cochrane Review 2014.
****This research was conducted by FWD research on behalf of Ecclesiastical Insurance. 121 education establishments were contacted and interviewed by telephone between November and December 2016.