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Carlton Digby School

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Relationship, Health and Sex Education (RHSE)

Carlton Digby School

Relationships, Sex and Health Education Policy

2023 – 2026

Reviewed: November 2023

To be reviewed: November 2026 (or earlier if the need arises)


Relationships and Health Education is compulsory for all primary and secondary schools.

At Carlton Digby School we recognise the need for pupils to access relationship and sex education that is relevant, accessible and appropriate to their individual needs. We aim to provide pupils with knowledge and understanding of all kinds of relationships, including recognising the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships and how to seek help if needed.  

We expect our pupils to form positive, tolerant relationships and teach them about respect for themselves and others and we aim to prepare pupils for the physical and emotional challenges of growing up.  We aim to teach our pupils to understand the importance of keeping their bodies healthy and having positive mental health. Pupils will also learn about online and offline safety.

We deliver this learning through science, specific SRE and more general PSHE lessons as well as through naturally occurring opportunities during the school day.


At Carlton Digby School we follow the Jigsaw scheme themes for PSHE in our curriculum pathways 1 & 2 for those pupils for whom it is appropriate. This scheme covers all aspects of Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) in an age appropriate way which we adapt as necessary to suit the needs of our pupils. The Jigsaw scheme of work is spiral and progressive. There are six topics for each half-term and the headings remain the same while the content is built on and developed over time. The topics are: Being Me in My World, Celebrating difference, Dreams and Goals, Healthy Me, Relationships and Changing Me.

Health education embedded in the Jigsaw curriculum includes topics such as substance abuse, mental health education and safety education.

In accordance with national curriculum guidelines for science, pupils will learn about puberty in advance of experiencing these physical changes for themselves. Children will also learn about how a baby is conceived and born at an age that is developmentally appropriate for them. We look at this in the context of relationships and different kinds of family makeups.

All pupils are supported to work towards aims from our self-reliance toolkit which address the areas of attachment, confidence, independence, problem solving, self-help and social and interaction, at an appropriate level.

Teachers address any specific issues that arise in their classes in an appropriate way, e.g. 1:1 teaching or small group teaching where appropriate.

Some groups of pupils will access NSPCC workshops on staying safe. Parents and carers will receive a letter if your child is invited to take part in these.

Upper school pupils access age and stage appropriate SRE teaching which looks at healthy and unhealthy relationships, body image and the effects of porn, contraception, STIs (including HIV and AIDS) and sexuality and gender. The class teachers will adapt content and themes to include any other topics that may arise.

Throughout teaching, sensitivity and teachers’ professional judgement is used to decide when the children are ready for particular messages, such as discussing puberty and child sexual exploitation.

Equal opportunities

Every child is entitled to receive SRE, regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion, age, culture, disability, sexuality, language specials needs, disadvantaged and looked after children. It is our intention that all children have the opportunity to experience a programme of SRE at a level which is appropriate for their age and physical development, including differentiated provision if required.

In compliance with the 2010 Equality Act, we ensure that teaching is accessible to all children and young people, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT). Inclusive RSHE fosters good relations between pupils, tackle all types of prejudice – including homophobia – and promotes understanding and respect.

We also have a legal duty to promote equality and combat bullying (which includes homophobic, sexist, sexual and transphobic bullying).

Special Educational Needs

Teaching and resources will be differentiated as appropriate to address the needs of  pupils within the school in order for them to have full access to the content of sex and relationship education.

Specific Issues

Parental consultation

We work closely alongside parents in order that they recognise the importance of this aspect of their child’s education and fully support us. If you have any questions about the content of what your child is being taught then please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher who will discuss this with you further. Parents and carers have the right to see sample materials used within the teaching of RHSE and this can be arranged in advance with your child’s teacher.

Withdrawal from RSE lessons

Parents/carers have the right to withdraw their children from Sex Education provided at school except for those parts included in statutory National Curriculum Science and that included within Statutory Relationships and Health Education. Those parents/carers wishing to exercise that right are invited in to see the head teacher and/or PSHE lead who will explore any concerns and discuss any impact that withdrawal may have on the child. Parents and carers cannot withdraw from any aspect of relationships Education and also Health Education lessons covering the changing adolescent body (puberty).

Pupil consultation

Pupils will be consulted where appropriate on their own personal, social and citizenship development. This could be in lessons as well as through student council activities.

Teaching sensitive and controversial issues

Teachers will establish a safe, open and positive learning environment based on trusting relationships between all members of the class, adults and children alike. ‘Ground rules’ are agreed and owned at the beginning of the year and reinforced regularly.

Teachers will take steps to ensure that, where political or controversial issues are brought to pupils’ attention, they are offered a balanced presentation of opposing views.

Dealing with difficult questions

Questions do not have to be answered directly, and can be addressed individually later. The use of an anonymous question box is another way in which pupils would be supported to ask difficult or sensitive questions without fear of embarrassment. Teachers will endeavour to answer questions as honestly as possible, but if faced with a question they do not feel comfortable answering within the classroom, provision would be made to meet the individual child’s needs.

Child Protection / Confidentiality

All those delivering RSHE need to be aware that effective sex and relationship education, which brings an understanding of what is and is not acceptable in a relationship, may lead to disclosure of a child protection issue. Should this situation arise, the staff member will inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead in line with the school procedures for child protection and safeguarding. Staff would make it clear to a child at this point that confidentiality cannot be assured if concerns exist. All members of staff at Carlton Digby School have attended Safeguarding training.



Suggested Resources for Parents and Carers

This list is by no means exhaustive. Publishers will have other products, which can be seen on their websites.  School may have other resources.

This list has been shared with Carlton Digby School by Oak Field School, Nottingham.

Body Sense (Incorporating Me- and- Us publications)

  • Periods – a Practical Guide – Mai Rees, Charlotte Carter, and Lindsay Myers, produced in collaboration with Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust
  • Picture Yourself – Sex and Relationships Education for People with Learning Disabilities – Hilary Dixon and Ann Craft
  • Picture Yourself2 – Sex and Relationships Education for People with Learning Disabilities – Hilary Dixon

Body Sense:  The Campanile, Church Lane, Stoulton, Worcestershire, WR7 4RE  01905 840266

Books Beyond Words

A series of picture books that has been developed to make communicating easier about difficult subjects – Sheila Hollins et al There are many in this series – here are some of them.

  • You’re Under Arrest
  • You’re On Trial
  • When Somebody Dies
  • When Mum Died
  • When Dad Died
  • Susan’s Growing Up
  • Speaking Up for Myself
  • Mugged
  • Michelle Finds a Voice
  • Looking After My Heart
  • Looking After My Breasts
  • Looking After My Balls
  • Keeping Healthy ‘Down Below’
  • Jenny Speaks Out
  • I Can Get Through It
  • Going to the Doctor
  • Going to Out-Patients
  • Going into Hospital
  • Getting on with Epilepsy
  • Getting on with Cancer
  • George Gets Smart
  • Food..Fun,Healthy and Safe
  • Falling in Love
  • Enjoying Sport and Exercise
  • Am I Going to Die

(the following are available as free downloads) 

  • Bob Tells All
  • Feeling Blue
  • Hug Me Touch Me
  • Peter’s New Home

Royal College of Psychiatrists

  • Sexual Expression – Relationships and sex education (RSE) resource for people with learning difficulties and disabilities

Contact a Family

  • Growing up, sex and relationships – a booklet for teachers (also available as a free download)
  • Growing up, sex and relationships – a booklet for young disabled people (also available as a free download)
  • Growing up, sex and relationships – a booklet to support parents of young disabled people (also available as a free download)
  • Growing up, sex and relationships – audio recording for young disabled people (free podcast available)
  • Growing up, sex and relationships – audio recording to support parents of young disabled people (also available as free podcast)

Contact a Family: 0808 808 3555


  • All About Us CDRom
  • Talking together...about growing up – A workbook for parents for children with learning disabilities – Lorna Scott and Lesley Kerr Edwards
  • Talking together...about sex and relationships – Lesley Kerr Edwards and Lorna Scott
  • Talking together...about contraception – Lesley Kerr Edwards and Lorna Scott


Image in Action

  • Let’s Do It – over eighty of methods and activities in accessible format
  • Let’s Plan It – A planning guide to creating programmes of Sex and Relationship Education for people with learning disabilities across a wide range of ages and abilities.

Image in Action:

Adam Kay

  • Kay’s Anatomy – A complete and completely disgusting guide to the Human Body, Penguin/Random House 2020

Jane Keeling

  • Growing and Learning

Growing and Learning (about sexual health) – a series of books that have been written to support the parents and carers of young people with leanring disabilities. Use a series of Widgit communications symbols.

Book One covers:

  • Puberty and body changes
  • Keeping safe, what is private?
  • Personal Hygiene
  • Using public and private toilets

Book Two (Male edition) covers:

  • Introduction to the male body
  • Wet Dreams
  • Private Touching (male masturbation)

Book Three covers:

  • Introduction to the female body
  • Starting periods
  • Private Touching (female masturbation)

Jessica Kingsley Publishers

  • Making Sense of Sex – A forthright Guide to Puberty, Sex and Relationships for People with Asperger’s Syndrome – Sarah Attwood
  • Sex, Sexuality and the Autism Spectrum – Wendy Lawson
  • Autism Friendly Guide to Periods – Robyn Steward
  • Sexuality and Severe Autism – A Practical Guide for Parents, Caregivers, and Health Educators – Kate E. Reynolds
  • Things Tom Likes  - Kate E. Reynolds
  • What’s happening to Tom? -  Kate E. Reynolds
  • Tom needs to go – Kate E,Reynolds
  • Things Eliie Likes – Kate E. Reynolds
  • What’s Happening to Ellie – Kate E. Reynolds
  • Ellie Needs to go – Kate E. Reynolds

Jessica Kingsley Publishers:

Life Support  productions

  • The New Guide to Relationships and Sex – Sex Education/PHSE DVD for young people facing transition
  • You, Your Body & Sex – the DVD – a comprehensive Sex Education Guide for people with learning disabilities
  • Jason’s Private World – a male orientated Sex education DVD
  • Kylie’s Private World – a female orientated Sex education DVD

Life Support productions: PO Box 2127, London  NW1 6RZ  020 7723 7520


  • Bereavement – Book of Signs
  • Bereavement – Book of Symbols
  • Sex Education – Book of Signs
  • Sex Education – Book of Symbols
  • Personal, Social, and Health Education – Book of Signs
  • Personal, Social and Health Education – Book of Symbols

The Makaton Charity:  Manor House, 46 London Road, Blackwater, Camberley, Surrey GU17 OAA

National Children’s Bureau

  • Addressing Inclusion and Inequalities through PSHE and Citizenship – Simon Blake and Sue Plant
  • Faith, Values and Sex and Relationships Education – Simon Blake and Zarine Katrak
  • Laying the Foundations – Sex and relationships education in primary schools – Anna Martinez and Vanessa Cooper

National Children’s Bureau 8 Wakley Street, London EC1V 7QE

Oak Field School, Nottingham

A Series of Information Booklets for Parents:

  • Menstruation*
  • Male Masturbation*
  • Female Masturbation*
  • HIV & AIDS
  • Protecting Your Child*
  • A Planned Dependent Life and Sexuality
  • Loss
  • Smearing
  • A series of booklets for Young People – “Feeling Grown Up”
  • Female Masturbation
  • Male Masturbation
  • Menstruation at Home
  • Menstruation at School
  • Wet Dreams
  • Use of Public Toilets
  • Sexting
  • Internet Safety
  • Body Works – A resource for learners with PMLD – Angela Mallett
  • Sex and Relationship Education – A programme for learners with autistic spectrum disorder – Fiona Speirs
  • Listen to Us – A resource for citizenship and young people with special needs

Oak Field School and Sports College: Wigman Road, Nottingham, NG8 3HW 0115 9153265

Sex Education Forum

  • RSE for disabled pupils and pupils with special educational needs

Sheffield NHS

  • Puberty and Sexuality – Children’s Learning Disability Nursing Team (also available as a free download)

Sheffield NHS: