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St Mary's Catholic Primary School

Part of The Bishop Wheeler Catholic Academy Trust
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Any teaching about love and sexual relationships in a Catholic school must be 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 encourage Catholic schools to 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.

Pedagogical principles

A good RSE programme must enshrine core pedagogical virtues – it must, above else, qualify as good education. Therefore, it will be:

Progressive & Developmental

The learning needs to reflect each stage of the development of the person. It needs to be part of both the Primary and Secondary phase of education and it needs to be appropriate to the age and stage of development of children and young people during the different phases of their education. It also needs to be continuous and developmental. It should be a process which is planned from beginning to end with one phase of education informing the work of the next so that children and young people can be led to a deeper and fuller understanding by degrees at a rate which corresponds to their maturing.


Our school must ensure that RSE is sensitive to the different needs of individual pupils and is taught in a way that allows access to those pupils at different stages of cognitive and emotional development. Learning and teaching methods will need to be adapted and specialist resources and training will need to be provided for those with particular needs. We, therefore, should ensure that children with special educational needs and disabilities are not at any point withdrawn from RSE because of lack of resources and training or to catch up in other subjects.


Since a Catholic school is committed to the education of the whole person, teaching on relationships and sexuality needs to be reflected in each relevant part of the curriculum. Whilst, for example, some aspects of RSE will be more appropriately explored in science lessons and some more appropriately explored in RE lessons, each should be informed by the other. Each discipline should speak with consistency about the meaning of human love and the virtues that are enshrined in the Church’s teaching on human love.


A well-planned programme will not just ensure that there is correspondence between phases and across disciplines but will ensure that parents are fully involved in the planning and evaluation of the teaching of relationships and sexuality. Ideally, pupils should hear a consistent message about the meaning and value of human sexuality at home, in the parish and at school. This can only be achieved if the home, parish and school work to integrate the teaching of RSE.


None of these educational goals are possible if RSE is not given the time and importance it deserves by those who plan and implement its delivery in school. RSE must be taken seriously by school leaders; led properly by someone who has the time and expertise to co-ordinate the subject with dedication and commitment at a senior level; taught by those committed to doing it well; taught as part of a whole-school approach by those who are able to celebrate – not merely tolerate – the teaching of the Church on love and human sexuality.


Whilst promoting Catholic virtues, schools should ensure that children and young people are offered a broad and balanced RSE programme which provides them with clear factual, scientific information when relevant and meets the statutory requirements placed on schools. The structure of this model curriculum. This model curriculum covers EYFS, KS1 and KS2 and is based on three core themes within which there will be broad overlap. It is adaptable to the age and ability of the pupils. The three themes are:

  • Created and loved by God (this explores the individual)
  • The Christian imperative to love self, made in the image and likeness of God, shows an understanding of the importance of valuing and understanding oneself as the basis for personal relationships.
  • Created to love others (this explores an individual’s relationships with others)
  • God is love. We are created out of love and for love. The command to love is the basis of all Christian morality.
  • Created to live in community – local, national & global (this explores the individual’s relationships with the wider world)

Human beings are relational by nature and live in the wider community. Through our exchange with others, our mutual service and through dialogue, we attempt to proclaim and extend the Kingdom of God for the good of individuals and the good of society.

Each theme covers the core strands of ‘Education in Virtue’ and ‘Religious Understanding’ as well as strands which cover the PSHE content of the theme.

Christian virtue and RSE

Each theme begins with a statement of the virtues which are necessary to living well in relationship with others and these virtues should underpin the teaching but also should emerge as a consequence of it. Virtues are habits which are learned from experience, and are gained through imitation the same virtues being modelled by those who teach. They express the qualities of character that schools should seek to develop in their pupils, through their exemplification by the whole community of which the pupils are a part. These virtues reflect our Christian tradition but they are also, of course, fundamental human virtues which are universally shared.

St Mary’s uses TenTen to deliver its RSE Programme. This resource is used widely across many Catholic schools in England. The Catholic.Education Service have approved TenTen curriculum content and standard of resources to ensure schools undertake their statutory duty.

Please see key documents below which relate to the intent, implementation and required impact for the teaching of Relationship Education.

Information for parents


Information for parents - TenTen


Responsibility for teaching - RSE


Topic overviews


RSE Policy 2023 - 2025