RE/RSE Curriculum

What an RE/RSE Curriculum May Look Like …

The main sex education organisations in the UK provide consultation to the government on all matters regarding sexual health and sex education. They are influential and are heavily funded by government and other institutions such as the banks and universities. 

When the government publish their finalised guidelines for RE/RSE, it will only refer to the legal minimum that schools are required to teach. Schools are strongly encouraged to exceed the guidelines and offer a more comprehensive relationship & sex education for children. This view is supported by the various sex education organisations who also offer support, guidance and resources to schools and are directly influenced by international documents such as the International Technical Guidance on comprehensive sexuality education.

The table below is an example of a curriculum some of the UK sex education organisations would like to see in schools.

ThemeTopics for Ages 3-6Topics for Ages 7-8Topics for Ages 9-10Topics for Ages 11-13Topics for Ages 14-16Topics for Ages 16+
Relationships  My Family   Diverse families   FriendshipsHaving friends which are similar/different   Bullying   Married and non-married parentsWhat is love and how do people show it.   Can people of the same sex love each other   Different families and diverse relationships & couples   What does gay & lesbian mean   Bullying   Challenging gender roles in relationships   Showing respect for different gender identities      Healthy & Unhealthy relationships   Changing relationships with family & friends   Marriage & civil partnerships   Legal age for sex & for marriage   Choosing a partner – boyfriends & girlfriends   Knowing when you are ready for sex & intimacy with boyfriend/girlfriend   Gender stereotypes in relationships   Understanding being LGBT and LGBT relationships   Understanding transvestitism and trans-sexualism   Appropriate touch between peers  What to expect in a sexual relationship and how to make it more enjoyable   Coping with peer pressure   Understanding and preventing homophobia   Important relationships and what to want from friends, family and sexual partner   Communication and managing conflict in relationships   When to become a parent and understanding responsibilities   Coping with break up, divorce   Being a single parent   Challenging bullying & prejudice    Communication in relationships – listening; expressing sexual desires; contraception   Psychological impact of breaking up & support available   Coming out as LGBT to family & friends   Talking to sexual partners, family & friends about having HIV or STDs   What should children be taught in RSE   Challenges of parenting   Gender, power & relationships
ThemeTopics for Ages 3-6Topics for Ages 7-8Topics for Ages 9-10Topics for Ages 11-13Topics for Ages 14-16Topics for Ages 16+
Body  How girls & boys bodies differ   Different body part namesMy changing body   Differences between  boys/girls bodies   Understand the difference between gender & biological sex  Understanding puberty   Gender stereotypes   Changing bodies   Wet dreams   Masturbation   Explain how gender identity can differ from biological sexWhat is a normal body   Understanding hormones   Understanding sexual excitement   Erections, orgasms and how to have one   Penile & vaginal  secretions   Menstruation & menopause    
ThemeTopics for Ages 3-6Topics for Ages 7-8Topics for Ages 9-10Topics for Ages 11-13Topics for Ages 14-16Topics for Ages 16+
Reproduction  Where do babies come from   How are other children similar or different to meHaving a baby needs a male & female x Eggs & sperm How animals have babies and look after themUnderstanding sex & sexual intercourse   Sperm & Eggs   Pregnancy & contraception   How do same-sex families have children   How does the baby grow & how is it born   Looking after a baby    Understanding safer sex and carrying/using condoms   STDs & HIV   Pregnancy and prevention   Forms of sex that don’t risk pregnancy or infection   Contraception – different types, who’s responsibility   Impact of drugs & alcohol    
ThemeTopics for Ages 3-6Topics for Ages 7-8Topics for Ages 9-10Topics for Ages 11-13Topics for Ages 14-16Topics for Ages 16+
Feelings & Attitudes  What makes me feel good/bad   Feelings about growing up   How feelings about gender can differ from biological sex – how do you feel about your biological sex & gender?Understanding feelings & mood swings x Sexual feelings Is masturbation normal? Coping with family & friends who have different attitudes to me Cultural & Religious attitudes towards growing up Different bodies & body imageUnderstanding sexual attraction and when you are in love   Being attracted to or being in love with someone of the same gender   Am I gay or lesbian?   When to have sex and when to say no   Is everyone having sex?   Religious views on sex and marriage – what should I think?    Coping with strong feelings including desire & love   Influences on sexual behaviour   Religious & cultural beliefs about sexual relationships   Body image and self esteem   Pornography and real sexual relationships   Challenging LGBT stereotyping & discrimination    Body image & self esteem   Mental health & recognising the signs   Cultural views on gender norms & gender equality   Personal views on gender roles and gender equality   Understanding transgender & challenging transphobia   How culture & law determine what is acceptable or not regarding sexual behaviour over time   Challenging impact of media, peers & society    
ThemeTopics for Ages 3-6Topics for Ages 7-8Topics for Ages 9-10Topics for Ages 11-13Topics for Ages 14-16Topics for Ages 16+
Safety  Private parts – who can/cannot touch; what to do if someone touchesGood and bad secrets   Looking after my body   Who to talk to about growing upSexual diseases & HIV   Looking after my body   Getting advice   Where to get information on puberty & sexWhat to do if you have an STD   What are my options if I get pregnant   Best websites on sex & relationships for young people   Contraception & sexual health organisations I can use   Confidentiality & my sexual rights    Choosing contraception – advantages, disadvantages, sexual performance & responsibility   High risk and low risk sexual behaviours   My sexual rights & confidentially What sexual health services can I use and where do I find themPornography – what is legal and what is illegal   Discrimination & legal protection on grounds of gender and sexual orientation