The Russell School

Relationships and Sex Education (RSE)

Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) will soon be forming part of the National Curriculum. This change comes into effect at the start of the summer term this year.


In primary schools, Relationship Education is to become compulsory. Sex Education will not be compulsory in primary schools (except relevant content covered in the statutory Science curriculum and the statutory Health Education curriculum) but the government strongly recommends that a primary school has a sex education programme tailored to their pupils.  


From the summer term your child will receive age appropriate RSE lessons through our PSHE topics – ‘Relationships’ and ‘Changing me’ and through our continued statutory Science lessons.


The purpose of RSE is to provide knowledge and understanding of safe and healthy relationships based on respect. This is to encourage the development of safe and healthy relationships throughout life.


At The Russell School we know parents are key people in their child’s RSE learning journey and our RSE curriculum respects this, aiming to complement and build upon the child’s informal learning at home.


Themes covered in our Relationship Education include:

  • Families and people who care for us
  • Caring friendships
  • Respectful relationships
  • Online relationships
  • Being safe


Through our teaching of Relationship Education, we aim to enable to children to develop the values of:

  • The importance of stable, loving relationships
  • Respect for all
  • Rights and responsibilities
  • Equality and acceptance of diversity
  • Kindness and generosity
  • Honesty


Our Sex Education includes content from the National Curriculum for Science and statutory Health Education. Over the course of their time at our school our children will learn about:

  • Animals, including humans, producing offspring which grow to adults
  • The life cycles of plants and animals
  • The life process of reproduction in some plants and animals
  • The changes as humans develop to old age, including changes that occur during puberty


Although further sex education is not mandatory in primary schools, we (as stated earlier) are following Government recommendations that we have a Sex Education programme that is tailored to our children, so in addition to the above content, we also include:

  • Understanding reproduction in humans and knowing that sexual intercourse can lead to conception
  • Describing the development of a baby from conception to birth and learning how a baby is born


As a school we have devised our RSE curriculum timeline by allocating curriculum content to each year group. We have done this with class teachers and have created a programme which is relevant to and appropriate to our children here at The Russell School.


RSE timeline:

Year group

Relationship Education

Sex Education


Identifying family members and recognising different types of family

Identifying what makes a good friend

Identifying people who help us and showing appreciation

Appropriate ways of greeting people

Starting to understand life cycles

Identifying how we have changed since a baby

Identifying differences between boys and girls

Learning the correct terminology for body parts (penis, testicles and vulva)

Respecting our bodies and which parts are private


Understanding our family relationships

Knowing it is important to share and cooperate

Identifying some of things that cause conflict with our friends

Identifying acceptable and unacceptable physical contact within a family

Knowing when to keep a secret and when not to

Identifying people who can help us and showing appreciation

Recognising life cycles in nature

Understanding the natural process of growing old

Recognising change since babyhood

Recognising differences between boys and girls

Using the correct terminology for body parts (penis, testicles and vulva)

Respecting our bodies and which parts are private

Understanding that there are different types of touch and knowing which ones we like/don’t like


Identifying roles within family and expectations of males and females

Developing and practising our friendship skills

Strategies for keeping safe

Developing a wider view of rights of children around the world

Expressing appreciation

Understanding change in humans and animals as they grow and knowing it is usually the female that has the baby

Understanding how a baby develops in the uterus

Understanding what a baby needs to live and grow

Understanding key events in the development from a baby to a child

Identifying their own progress of change


Identifying the web of relationships that they are part of

Identifying people and pets they love; expressing why they are special to them

Showing appreciation to people and pets that are special to them

Understanding some personal characteristics come from parents and some characteristics are unique

Understanding that boys’ and girls’ bodies need to change so that they can reproduce when they are adults

Identifying external changes that will happen to both boys and girls and those which will happen just to boys or girls        


Recognising characteristics and qualities in ourselves and others

Recognising how friendships change

Knowing how to stay safe when using technology to communicate with others

Knowing internal and external parts of a male and female body that are necessary for making a baby

Knowing how a girl’s body changes in order for her to have a baby in adulthood and that menstruation is a natural part of this

Knowing how a boy’s body will change during puberty

Understanding reproduction in animals and plants


Recognising significant people and personal relationships in our lives

Discussing feelings, such as attraction and loss

Strategies for protecting themselves from control and power


Developing understanding of the changes that happen through puberty – both physical and emotional

Knowing how to look after yourself, physically and mentally during puberty

Understanding reproduction in humans and knowing that sexual intercourse can lead to conception

Describing the development of a baby from conception to birth and knowing how a baby is born 


In the Early Years Foundation Stage, the beginning of Relationship Education is taught through one of the prime areas of learning -  Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED). Through the ‘Making relationships’ focus, children form positive relationships and learn to work and play together cooperatively. They learn to take account of the ideas of peers and show sensitivity to the needs of others. Through the ‘Managing feelings and behaviour’ focus, they will learn about their emotions and the feelings of others. They will learn to work as part of a group or a class to explore rules and boundaries.