As of Friday 1st July, the consultation period is now closed. Thank you for all of your comments. The below lessons will go ahead on Wednesday 6th July and Friday 8th July. Please speak to Mr Parkhouse directly if you would like to discuss these lessons further.


Consultation on Proposed Changes to Relationship and Sex Education – Year 6 only

In order to keep our curriculum up-to-date and fully inclusive, we are proposing some additions to our PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education) in year 6. The topic that children study in year 6 is currently entitled “Changing Me” and we are proposing two changes to the existing sequence of lessons:

Including a lesson on “Boyfriends and Girlfriends”. We think this will help to prepare children for moving into year 7 and promote respectful relationships. This lesson will include the idea that some relationships may be between people of the same gender. The majority of the lesson will be designed to instruct children on healthy and unhealthy relationships and how to keep themselves safe.

Including a lesson on our “Real and Ideal Selves”. This lesson is designed to promote positive self-image in the face of a stream of unrealistic images shown to children via modern media in order to to build confidence. This lesson includes one slide on how your “ideal self” may be a different gender and that anyone feeling like this is entitled to be treated with respect.

The full lesson materials that will be shown to the children are available to view on links here and here.

We are proposing teaching this content in the later part of the summer term, week 4. The lessons will be taught to the children in their normal class and not to boys and girls separately.

This content goes beyond the requirements of the national curriculum - as do many of our subject programmes due to the ambition that we hold for children - and parents have the right to withdraw their child if requested.

If you would like to make any comments towards these proposed changes, please do so by clicking the link here and registering your feedback:

The school will write to finalise this content before it is taught to children.

I hope that you will join me in supporting a progressive and inclusive change to our curriculum that we firmly believe will prepare children effectively for their years ahead at secondary school as teenagers.


P Watkins


Please click here for our PSHCE progression map:


At Ark Academy, we value the non-academic side of learning as much as the academic. Personal, Social and Health education is critical to how we ensure that our mission is achieved. We aim for “every child to go to further education – or the career of their choice – and play a full role in our democratic society”. The aims of the curriculum are supported by our key value: Civitas. This underpins notions of kindness, care for others, being part of a wider society and keeping ourselves safe.

As a staff, we drew out expectations for our learners beyond academic success. We want our learners to be:

  • Physically and mentally healthy
  • Resilient
  • Optimistic
  • Emotionally intelligent
  • Forgiving
  • Respectful
  • Confident
  • Able to deal with change
  • Able to maintain healthy relationships
  • Able to understand and deal with the challenges of the modern world
  • Above all, we want our learners to be able to keep themselves safe, including when online.

We have chosen to use the ‘Jigsaw’ programme as the basis of our PSHCE curriculum (including for sex and relationships education – ‘SRE’) because, after careful evaluation, we felt that it would address the needs of our learners to meet the outcomes that we want for them. The Jigsaw approach is one that combines a high focus on safeguarding with a strong focus on mental well-being and mindfulness. The programme covers 6 major themes across the school year:

  1. Being me in my world: This teaches pupils self-identity and self-worth, safeguarding, recognising feelings, being part of a team, learning about being a good citizen, democracy and our rights and responsibilities.
  2. Celebrating Difference: This teaches pupils about equality, diversity, bullying, stereotyping, managing conflict, racism and cultural differences.
  3. Dreams and goals: This teaches pupils about motivation, persistence, working as a group, setting goals and ambitions, overcoming obstacles, money management and positive attitudes.
  4. Healthy Me: This teaches pupils about healthy relationships, healthy lifestyles, safety, peer pressure and body image.
  5. Relationships: This teaches pupils about family life, healthy friendships, getting on and falling out, online safety, managing feelings and self-esteem.
  6. Changing Me: This teaches pupils about growth and change, life cycles, puberty and conception, respect and consent.

Key Learning

By the end of Key Stage 1, children will:

  • Have learned about differences between us and how these should be celebrated
  • Understand themselves and hold a positive, aspirational view of themselves.
  • Be able to talk about long term and short term goals, as well as the perseverance needed to get there.
  • Have a good understanding of how to keep healthy
  • Understand healthy relationships and how to be a good friend
  • Understand life cycles how the body changes as we grow from being a baby

By the end of Key Stage 2, children will:

  • Understand democracy and what it means to be a good citizen
  • Understand how to treat people who are different
  • Understand racism and bullying
  • Know the importance of a career and the management of money
  • Have an increased awareness of being healthy, including knowledge of drugs, alcohol and tobacco
  • Understand how to keep themselves safe on and off the internet
  • Understand changes in the body as we develop and how to manage these feelings with a positive self-image

‘Civitas’ Sessions

In addition to our PSHCE curriculum, we hold twice-weekly ‘Civitas Sessions’, where areas of the PSHCE curriculum already covered can be revised according to the specific and emergent needs of the class. Additionally, this time is used to further develop pupils’ understanding of the world through discussion about important issues present in wider society. We are also fully committed to working with local partners and agencies to boost the personal development of pupils, including: the NSPCC, Transport for London, the police, fire and ambulance services, ‘My Bank’, the local magistrates and the school nurse.

Relationships and Sex Education - RSE

The school completed a programme of consultation with parents in the January 2020. We invited parents to a presentation on the proposed curriculum and communicated in writing, taking parents feedback on the changes. We also set up dedicated individual meetings in school with both male and female members of staff to speak with parents about their concerns. The curriculum that we have chosen to follow meets all the requirements of the national curriculum while being responsive to the concerns of our parents.

We are proposing some further adjustments to our curriculum as part of our response to nationally reported issues of sexual harassment and abuse in schools and would like to teach children more about this key issue. A consultation will take place in January 2022 with all curriculum updates finalised by March 2022 so that additional content could be delivered in the summer term.

Our policy outlines the following key information about RSE in the primary school. A link to our full RSE policy is here

In the primary school, RSE content is delivered throughout the PSHCE curriculum. The focus is mainly on healthy relationships, healthy lifestyles, positive mental health and well-being. PSHCE is taught as a unit of work each half term and is supplemented by assemblies, themed events and our twice-weekly “Civitas Sessions”.

The content of our curriculum was decided upon following a consultation process with parents before the final curriculum was published on our website. In the primary school, we accept that some topics are sensitive to parents; these topics include reproduction, physical development and same-gender relationships. We clearly state on our curriculum maps where these take place and will always inform parents when they will be delivered. We will always make the lesson materials available to view before the sessions take place.

In the primary school, reproduction is taught through the science curriculum, available on our website. This is taught in year 5 and 6 by class teachers or senior leaders to separate groups of girls and boys.

In the primary school, children are taught about different types of relationships throughout the PSHCE curriculum. The statutory requirement of teaching children about different types of family, including same-sex relationships, is taught in one lesson in year 2. The lesson has a message of inclusion and anti-bullying and does not dwell on the nature of same-sex relationships.

We teach body changes, including menstruation in females from year 4 upwards, because this is the age that many girls begin this stage of their development. These lessons are developed in year 5, always to single-sex class groups by experienced members of staff. We teach human reproduction from conception to birth in year 6 as part of the RSE curriculum, building on content already delivered in the science curriculum.


PSHCE themed assemblies take place once per week and are addressed to the whole school. Our assembly programme is designed to address key themes in our PSHCE curriculum as well as re-enforce pupils’ understanding of the school’s values and British values, as well as celebrate diversity in our school through acknowledgement of key religious and cultural festivals. We also celebrate children’s achievements linked to our school values once per week in our “Celebrations Assembly”.

An overview of our assemblies throughout the year can be found here.  Assembly Overview 2021-2022