Relationships and Sex Education (RSE)


Relationships and Sex Education, or RSE, is a statutory subject in all primary and secondary schools in the UK. This means that it is a compulsory part of every child’s education. The Department for Education rightly recognises that parents and carers are the prime educators for children on many such matters, and as a school, our aim is to complement what children learn at home.

At Lymm High School, we aim to offer a Relationships and Sex Education that helps our young people to manage their own relationship choices in a healthy and positive way. We advocate that young people are able to make the safest choices when they are armed with all of the relevant information, and in the increasingly complex world we live in, it is more important than perhaps ever before.

We understand that much of the RSE curriculum can be sensitive and even controversial, and recognise that there are certain topics that can feel uncomfortable or embarrassing to discuss. However, we teach content in a way that is honest, inclusive and objective. Only in doing so can we be confident that we are providing all of our young people with the knowledge that they need to make confident choices about their own relationships.

At Lymm High School, RSE education is delivered explicitly through the Life Programme via:

  • The weekly form time schedule
  • Fortnightly 45-minute sessions
  • Three drop-down days

Because RSE is taught during Life Programme sessions, some terms will have fewer sessions than others, and this is just because we try to balance the content alongside Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE), and Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development.

Please click here to see a visual overview of the RSE Programme.

Year 7 Overview

Year 7 look at a number of themes within the RSE curriculum, starting with Respectful relationships, including friendships considering respect and tolerance of those that hold different perspectives and beliefs to our own. Students will look at responding to bullying of any kind, including online and in turn how to seek support for themselves and others. As part of their coverage of intimate and sexual relationships, Year 7 will look at how to recognise and respond to inappropriate and unwanted contact while exploring the idea of consent and developing skills to assertively communicate it. Students will explore the qualities and behaviours relating to different types of positive relationships, including expectations within romantic relationships. Year 7 will also explore how to recognise unhealthy relationships.

Year 8 Overview

The RSE education in Year 8 deepens and develops many of the topics to which students were introduced in Year 7. Students will continue to explore the positive qualities of healthy relationships and consider how to form new partnerships and relationships, whilst demonstrating positive behaviours within them. Year 8 will build on their previous understanding of consent and consider the law surrounding consent and how to effectively communicate this within relationships. As part of their online and media learning, students will focus on developing digital resilience and consider the implications of both sending and receiving semi/ nude images and content.

Students will look at staying safe online, and distinguishing between publicly and privately shared content. Online grooming will be covered, with specific reference to how students should respond and seek support as victims of online grooming. Students will begin to look at the basic forms of contraception. There will be a focus on personal identity and sexual orientation, whilst considering different forms of discrimination, including racism, religious discrimination, sexism, homophobic, biphobia and transphobia.

Year 9 Overview

The Health education in Year 9 focuses on intimate relationships and contraception, with key information around consent, contraception, the risk of STIs and attitudes to pornography. There are lessons on families and parenting, with opportunity to reflect on healthy relationships and contemplate how to resolve conflict in a positive way. Students will consider readiness for sexual activity and consider the choice to delay sex or enjoy intimacy without sex.

Consent continues to be a focus of RSE across Year 9, specifically myths and misconceptions related to consent, whilst maintaining emphasis on a person’s continuous right to withdraw consent at any time. Students will consider the portrayal of relationships in the media and pornography, considering how these might affect expectations.  Students will have more chance to explore the role of the media in the modern world, considering the impact of viewing harmful online content and how to report unsafe online content or interactions. They will learn about the legal implications of sending indecent images of either themselves or others, and will look again at how information and data is generated, collected, shared and used online in an up-to-date context.

Year 10 Overview

The RSE education looks more closely the potentially damaging impact of drugs and alcohol on decision making, including sexual behaviour. It considers how to stay safe, and develop skills to keep those around us safe too. It reflects on how to manage peer influence and explores exit strategies for dangerous situations whilst reflecting on the media’s impact on perceptions of gang culture.

Students will consider how to respond to pressure, coercion and exploitation including how to access necessary support. There is also a focus on the opportunities and risks of online relationships.

The issue of consent continues to be a high focus, and in Year 10 students consider the ethical and legal implications of consent including manipulation, coercion, and capacity to consent and how to recognise and challenge victim blaming.

Year 11 Overview

The RSE education in Year 11 looks more closely at intimate and sexual relationships. Students will look at information on pregnancy, abortion, miscarriage and fertility issues encouraging students to reflect upon the impact of personal and cultural ideologies on pregnancy decisions. There is a focus on relationship abuse, and considering what makes a relationship exploitative and unhealthy. They will look at the support available to those who need it and how to overcome an abusive relationship. Year 11 will also look at ‘honour based’ violence and forced marriage, including how to access support.

For online safety we consider how to challenge harassment and stalking, while considering how to handle unwanted attention.  Students in Year 11 will look at consent from the angle of communicating assertively, and how to communicate personal wants and needs. Students are taught about the potentially damaging impact of drugs and alcohol on sexual behaviour.

To see where we cover these topics across the academic year, please see our Life Programme overview here.

All parents and carers have the right to request that their child is withdrawn from some or all of sex education delivered as part of statutory RSE, up to and until three terms before the child turns 16. Further guidance is available from the Department for Education’s website. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact us at the school to arrange a meeting to discuss this further.

Further information, guidance and links to relevant organisations relating to sex and relationship education can be found on the school website safeguarding page