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The aim of Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) at Downside is to give young people the information they need to help them develop healthy, nurturing relationships of all kinds, not just intimate relationships. It helps pupils to understand the positive effects that good relationships have on their mental wellbeing, to identify when relationships are not right and to understand how such situations can be managed.

The belief in the unique dignity of the human person made in the image and likeness of God underpins our approach to the teaching of RSE. It is sensitive to the different needs of individual pupils with respect for pupils’ different abilities, levels of maturity and personal circumstances.

It is about the development of pupils’ knowledge and understanding of themselves as sexual beings and about what it means to be fully human, called to live in right relationships with self and others, and being enabled to make moral decisions in conscience.

We follow the Life to the Full programme which teaches RSE within the context of a Christian understanding of human sexuality rooted in the wisdom and teaching of the Catholic Church. We use resources prepared by Ten:Ten. This organisation is endorsed by the Catholic Education Service (CES) and has been highlighted by the Department for Education (DfE) as a work of good practice.

The RSE curriculum will cover five main elements:

  • Family;
  • Respectful relationships, including friendships;
  • Being safe;
  • Online and media; and
  • Intimate and sexual relationships, including sexual health.


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