The teaching about love relationships in St. Augustine’s is rooted in the Catholic Church’s teaching about what it is to be truly human in Christ, what it means to live well in relationship with others and be presented within a positive framework of Christian virtue. For this reason, we speak about Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) rather than Sex and Relationship Education (SRE), since this emphasises the importance of healthy relationships to human well-being, as the core learning within an RSE curriculum.
The 1988 Act requires that the governing body and the head teacher “shall take steps as are reasonably practicable to secure that where sex education is given to any registered pupils at the school it is given in such a manner as to encourage those pupils to have due regard to moral considerations and the value of family life”
The basic document on sex education in the Catholic community is that published by the Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education in 1983, Education Guidance in Human Love. The Bishops of England and Wales also published a statement, laying the Foundations for Education in Personal Relationships, at the Low Week Meeting of April 1987. One quotation from each document gives a flavour of the content of each:
“Sex education is not reducible to simple teaching material, nor theoretical knowledge alone, nor does it consist of a programme to be carried out progressively, but it has a specific objective view: an effective maturation of pupils’ self-control and of correct behaviour in special relationships” Educational Guidance in Human Love.
“Sex education cannot be reduced to simply the giving of biological facts. Our schools have the responsibility to ensure that the information our children are given is received in the context of the Christian community and with Christian values, and based on sound moral principles”- Bishops’ Conference 1987.
The School’s Approach
Our Education in Personal Relationships Programme will be delivered by following the developmental programme “Journey In Love” (recommended by Brentwood Diocese). This scheme has as its foundational premise the belief that we are made in the image and likeness of God and, as a consequence gender and sexuality are God’s gift, reflect God’s beauty and share in the divine creativity.
The emphasis is on secure relationships, built on respect, with ourselves, our family, our friends and God. This is important to inform our judgements about relationships as we get older. The scheme is firmly rooted in the teachings of the Catholic Church and links with RE, PSHE and Science. Through the scheme we will endeavour to: