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What an RE/RSE Curriculum May Look Like …

The main sex education organisations in the UK provide consultation to the government on all matters regarding sexual health and sex education. They are influential and are heavily funded by government and other institutions such as the banks and universities. 

When the government publish their finalised guidelines for RE/RSE, it will only refer to the legal minimum that schools are required to teach. Schools are strongly encouraged to exceed the guidelines and offer a more comprehensive relationship & sex education for children. This view is supported by the various sex education organisations who also offer support, guidance and resources to schools and are directly influenced by international documents such as the International Technical Guidance on comprehensive sexuality education.

The table below is an example of a curriculum some of the UK sex education organisations would like to see in schools.

 

Theme Topics for

Ages 3-6

Topics for

Ages 7-8

Topics for

Ages 9-10

Topics for

Ages 11-13

Topics for

Ages 14-16

Topics for

Ages 16+

Relationships

 

My Family

 

Diverse families

 

Friendships

Having friends which are similar/different

 

Bullying

 

Married and non-married parents

What is love and how do people show it.

 

Can people of the same sex love each other

 

Different families and diverse relationships & couples

 

What does gay & lesbian mean

 

Bullying

 

Challenging gender roles in relationships

 

Showing respect for different gender identities

 

 

 

Healthy & Unhealthy relationships

 

Changing relationships with family & friends

 

Marriage & civil partnerships

 

Legal age for sex & for marriage

 

Choosing a partner – boyfriends & girlfriends

 

Knowing when you are ready for sex & intimacy with boyfriend/girlfriend

 

Gender stereotypes in relationships

 

Understanding being LGBT and LGBT relationships

 

Understanding transvestitism and trans-sexualism

 

Appropriate touch between peers

 

What to expect in a sexual relationship and how to make it more enjoyable

 

Coping with peer pressure

 

Understanding and preventing homophobia

 

Important relationships and what to want from friends, family and sexual partner

 

Communication and managing conflict in relationships

 

When to become a parent and understanding responsibilities

 

Coping with break up, divorce

 

Being a single parent

 

Challenging bullying & prejudice

 

 

Communication in relationships – listening; expressing sexual desires; contraception

 

Psychological impact of breaking up & support available

 

Coming out as LGBT to family & friends

 

Talking to sexual partners, family & friends about having HIV or STDs

 

What should children be taught in RSE

 

Challenges of parenting

 

Gender, power & relationships

Theme Topics for

Ages 3-6

Topics for

Ages 7-8

Topics for

Ages 9-10

Topics for

Ages 11-13

Topics for

Ages 14-16

Topics for

Ages 16+

Body

 

How girls & boys bodies differ

 

Different body part names

My changing body

 

Differences between  boys/girls bodies

 

Understand the difference between gender & biological sex

 

Understanding puberty

 

Gender stereotypes

 

Changing bodies

 

Wet dreams

 

Masturbation

 

Explain how gender identity can differ from biological sex

What is a normal body

 

Understanding hormones

 

Understanding sexual excitement

 

Erections, orgasms and how to have one

 

Penile & vaginal  secretions

 

Menstruation & menopause

 

 

   
Theme Topics for

Ages 3-6

Topics for

Ages 7-8

Topics for

Ages 9-10

Topics for

Ages 11-13

Topics for

Ages 14-16

Topics for

Ages 16+

Reproduction

 

Where do babies come from

 

How are other children similar or different to me

Having a baby needs a male & female

x

Eggs & sperm

How animals have babies and look after them

Understanding sex & sexual intercourse

 

Sperm & Eggs

 

Pregnancy & contraception

 

How do same-sex families have children

 

How does the baby grow & how is it born

 

Looking after a baby

 

 

Understanding safer sex and carrying/using condoms

 

STDs & HIV

 

Pregnancy and prevention

 

Forms of sex that don’t risk pregnancy or infection

 

Contraception – different types, who’s responsibility

 

Impact of drugs & alcohol

 

 

   
Theme Topics for

Ages 3-6

Topics for

Ages 7-8

Topics for

Ages 9-10

Topics for

Ages 11-13

Topics for

Ages 14-16

Topics for

Ages 16+

Feelings & Attitudes

 

  What makes me feel good/bad

 

Feelings about growing up

 

How feelings about gender can differ from biological sex – how do you feel about your biological sex & gender?

Understanding feelings & mood swings

x

Sexual feelings

Is masturbation normal?

Coping with family & friends who have different attitudes to me

Cultural & Religious attitudes towards growing up

Different bodies & body image

Understanding sexual attraction and when you are in love

 

Being attracted to or being in love with someone of the same gender

 

Am I gay or lesbian?

 

When to have sex and when to say no

 

Is everyone having sex?

 

Religious views on sex and marriage – what should I think?

 

 

Coping with strong feelings including desire & love

 

Influences on sexual behaviour

 

Religious & cultural beliefs about sexual relationships

 

Body image and self esteem

 

Pornography and real sexual relationships

 

Challenging LGBT stereotyping & discrimination

 

 

Body image & self esteem

 

Mental health & recognising the signs

 

Cultural views on gender norms & gender equality

 

Personal views on gender roles and gender equality

 

Understanding transgender & challenging transphobia

 

How culture & law determine what is acceptable or not regarding sexual behaviour over time

 

Challenging impact of media, peers & society

 

 

Theme Topics for

Ages 3-6

Topics for

Ages 7-8

Topics for

Ages 9-10

Topics for

Ages 11-13

Topics for

Ages 14-16

Topics for

Ages 16+

Safety

 

Private parts – who can/cannot touch; what to do if someone touches Good and bad secrets

 

Looking after my body

 

Who to talk to about growing up

Sexual diseases & HIV

 

Looking after my body

 

Getting advice

 

Where to get information on puberty & sex

What to do if you have an STD

 

What are my options if I get pregnant

 

Best websites on sex & relationships for young people

 

Contraception & sexual health organisations I can use

 

Confidentiality & my sexual rights

 

 

Choosing contraception – advantages, disadvantages, sexual performance & responsibility

 

High risk and low risk sexual behaviours

 

My sexual rights & confidentially

What sexual health services can I use and where do I find them

Pornography – what is legal and what is illegal

 

Discrimination & legal protection on grounds of gender and sexual orientation