Relationships and Sex Education

Relationships Education at Mercenfeld

In September 2020, Relationships Education became a statutory component of the PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education) curriculum.

At Mercenfeld, we believe that Relationships Education is learning about emotional, social and physical aspects of our lives, about ourselves and our relationships. It enables pupils to develop essential life skills for building and maintaining positive, enjoyable, respectful and non-exploitative relationships. It equips pupils with information and skills they need to understand about themselves, their peers and people they meet in the wider community. It explores risks, choices, rights, responsibilities and attitudes. It will help pupils to develop skills to keep themselves and others safer, physically and emotionally, both on and offline. Relationships Education enables pupils to explore their own attitudes and those of others respectfully.

As Relationships Education is statutory, parents do not have the right to withdraw their child from this part of the curriculum.

We deliver Relationships Education as part of our wider provision of Personal, Social, Health and Economics Education (PSHE), which also includes statutory Health Education.

Aims of Relationships Education

Through the delivery of Relationships Education, we intend to further our school’s aims of providing a curriculum which is relevant to the needs of pupils, both now and in the future. It will enable pupils to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes, which enhance their personal development and wellbeing. This will have a direct, positive effect on their progress and achievement in school.

All adults in school will work towards achieving these aims for Relationships Education. We seek to enable our children to:

  • develop a confidence in sharing their own thoughts and opinions with others
  • show tolerance of others’ beliefs and life choices
  • develop skills and attributes to keep themselves healthy and safe
  • develop skills to build positive, respectful relationships with other people
  • develop their understanding of a variety of families and how families are central to  the wellbeing of children
  • recognise and avoid coercive and exploitative relationships
  • explore relationships in ways appropriate to their age and stage of development
  • value, care for and respect their bodies
  • build confidence in accessing additional advice and support for themselves and others

We teach our Relationships Education unit in Spring Term, but aspects of Relationships Education is also covered in the following units:

  • Family and Friends
  • Managing safety and risk
  • Personal safety
  • My emotions
  • Diversity and communities
  • Managing change

Objectives covered in Relationships Education

Please note that all lessons are taught in an age-appropriate way and lessons are adapted for each cohort.

Year 1

I can recognise the main external parts of the bodies
I can describe what my body does
I can understand that I have responsibility for my body’s actions and that my body belongs to me.
I can understand how to keep myself clean
I can understand the importance of basic hygiene practices and how these prevent the spread of disease


Year 2

I can recognise the main external parts of the bodies
I can understand that humans produce babies that grow into children and then into adults
I can understand that babies grow inside a female body until they are ready to be born
I can consider my responsibilities now and compare these to when I was younger
I can understand that not all families are the same, but that love and care should be at the heart of all families


Year 3

I can understand the main stages of the human life cycle
I can investigate perceptions of being physically, emotionally , and socially grown up
I can consider my responsibilities and how these have change and how they will change in the future
I can consider the wider responsibilities that families have for the physical and emotional wellbeing of babies and children
I can name the scientific names for female and male sexual parts


Year 4

I can name the scientific names for male and female sexual parts and use them confidently
I can recognise private body parts and understand how they change
I can value my own body and its uniqueness
I can understand the benefits of carrying out regular personal hygiene routines
I can consider who is responsible for my personal hygiene now and how this will change in the future
I can understand a range of ways that illness and disease might spread and how we are able to reduce this


Year 5

I can identify male and female sexual parts confidently and describe their functions
I can use terminology for sexual parts appropriate for use in different situations
I can understand the physical changes that take place at puberty and how to manage them
I can understand that physical changes affect people in a variety of ways and at different rates
I can understand how the media, families and friends can influence attitudes to our bodies
I can recognise the aspects of personal hygiene relevant to puberty and the implications of these
I can understand that safe routines can stop the spread of viruses and bacteria


Year 6

I can identify male and female sexual parts confidently and describe their functions
I can understand the physical changes that take place at puberty and how to manage them
I can understand that physical changes affect people in a variety of ways and at different rates
I can recognise my changing emotions with friends and family and be able to express my feelings and concerns
I can recognise that there should be a stable, caring relationships in a family to ensure children are cared for securely
I can recognise a wide range of family arrangements
I can consider the reasons people enter marriage and civil partnerships


If you would like more detailed information regarding the content taught during Relationships Education, then please see your child’s teacher, who will be more than happy to discuss this with you.

Sex Education

Following guidance from the DfE, we define Sex Education as learning about ‘how a (human) baby is conceived and born’.

This extends the learning about sexual reproduction in ‘some plants and animals’ required through the Science national curriculum. It also complements the statutory requirement to teach about puberty as part of Science and Health Education, as understanding sexual reproduction in humans enables children to understand the processes of puberty.

We have a taken into account the DfE’s recommendation that all primary schools have a Sex Education programme and we understand that this is not statutory. We understand that our teaching in sex education must be tailored to the needs and physical and emotional maturity of the pupils.

Our school has decided that Sex Education will be taught in Y6

Parents/carers will be informed about the content of the curriculum in advance of teaching and will be invited to talk to staff if they have questions.

Right to be excused from Sex Education

Parents/carers have the right to request that their child be excused from some or all of Sex Education delivered as part of statutory Relationships Education. Before granting any such request the Head Teacher will discuss the request with parents/carers (and if appropriate with the child) to ensure that their wishes are understood and to clarify the nature and purpose of the curriculum.

For further information on Relationships Education, please refer to our policy, government guidance and parent information attached below.