Parents share experiences of ‘poor and very little’ sex education with primary school

Mattishall Primary School headteacher Tony Chapman. Picture: Andy Newman

Mattishall Primary School headteacher Tony Chapman. Picture: Andy Newman - Credit: Archant

For many parents, broaching the subject of sex with their children can be difficult.

But for the staff at a mid-Norfolk primary school, they are tackling the issues head on by asking families to contribute to the future learning of their pupils.

Mattishall Primary School, near Dereham, recently held an informal Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education information evening - inviting families to share their own experiences.

Headteacher Tony Chapman described the event as "really positive" and praised the turnout.

He said: "The subject matter can be a tricky topic of discussion for parents, but they all left the event feeling much more confident about engaging in conversation with their children."

Mattishall Primary School recently held an informal Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health

Mattishall Primary School recently held an informal Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education information evening, inviting families to share their own experiences. Picture: MATTISHALL PRIMARY - Credit: Archant


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Back in March this year, families were invited to contribute their thoughts as part of a school consultation on what they felt children should learn about staying healthy and safe in the modern world.

The findings from this were revealed on the evening, before families and staff shared their own experiences of past Relationships and Sex Education learning.

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Claire Findlay, assistant headteacher and subject lead, said: "Most people said it was very poor and very little was spoken about at home or in school. We shared some recent research statistics which found young people saying that sex education was too little too late.

"Families then had the opportunity to have a look at some of the activities that we would be using to support the children's learning from each year group so they could see the progression.

Mattishall Primary School recently held an informal Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health

Mattishall Primary School recently held an informal Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education information evening, inviting families to share their own experiences. Picture: MATTISHALL PRIMARY - Credit: Archant

"There was an excellent vibe in the room. It felt like we were all working together to achieve the same goal; keeping our children safe and healthy in today's modern world."

The group, made up of three governors, 19 staff and 41 parents, then considered what current risks and opportunities young people faced in the local community.

Ms Findlay added: "We talked about how this would relate to the curriculum provision that we provide as a school.

"Some risks mentioned were social media, mental health, county lines, road safety, peer pressure, and more. And some opportunities which were mentioned included schools, after school clubs, woodland, beach, city, town environments."

The Department for Education's RSE statutory requirements, which come into effect in 2020, were also shared via a presentation.

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