How to teach RSE ‘Christianly’

14 September 2020

Christian Concern’s new Head of Education, Steve Beegoo, highlights a new RSE initiative from Lovewise and suggests more that parents and teachers can constructively do on RSE.

As Relationships Education (primary), and Relationships and Sex Education (secondary) commences in many schools this autumn, many have asked what resources are available which underpin traditional values and do not promote inappropriate content. We have been excited to see the development of a number of initiatives including the RSE authentic and Get it Right, and now a superbly produced and extremely teacher-friendly resource from our friends at Lovewise.

This excellent and free resource can be used with the primary school planner which we produced earlier this year to provide a well-rounded, compliant, appropriate and simple strategy for delivering the required RSE in primary schools.

The Lovewise content entitled, ‘Relationships Matter’, has 25 lessons across the 5 units: Families and people who care for me, Caring friendships, Respectful relationships, Online relationships, and Being safe. Section 403 of the Education Act 1996 states that pupils should ‘learn the nature of marriage and its importance for family life’, and these resources skilfully support teachers who wish to do this from a Christian Worldview perspective. The slide shows are extremely easy to use, with excellent notes for the teachers and activities for children.

Consulting with schools

Those of us who have children at primary school should all consider communicating with our child’s school immediately to ask about what will be being provided through the planned RSE curriculum. You may even be able to find this on a school’s website. Our article and letter templates can support you in making requests to schools.

Schools are required to fully consult with parents on the RSE curriculum they provide to children, but the window of time for this consultation is closing, and the curriculum is being finalised. The Lovewise resource is also worth sending to your school’s headteacher, as an example of a fully compliant and uncontroversial curriculum, which we believe most Christian parents would be in support of.

As parents you will only have the ability to shape the curriculum by raising your voice at an early stage. It is not too late to do this, or to encourage others you know to do so. Should you come across any disturbing teaching practices, inappropriate stories, or other concerns we can support you in raising your voice to the school (contact our Christian Legal Centre), and also connect you with others who have experience in this area to support you. Many of us in our churches and Christian organisations are being vigilant in this area, and there is much experience which can be shared.

A live issue

We have now seen many cases where parents have found their young children asking about changing gender prompted by school discussions, or parents disturbed by discovering the story books being read to their children in PSHE/RSE lessons or carpet times. Douglas Murray explained in his recent article, “In the past 12 months, I have repeatedly heard from parents whose children have come home from school confused and even crying. They have been told although they are a boy or girl today, they might be of the opposite sex (sorry, ‘gender’) tomorrow.”

The case of Nigel and Sally Rowe, taken up by the Christian Legal Centre, also demonstrates the hostility towards Christians which can result when schools are challenged. In addition, the case of a school in Hull where secondary pupils, aged only 11, were asked to research and define ‘hardcore pornography’, demonstrates how this is an issue where parents of all ages must be extremely vigilant.

We are becoming increasingly aware of the damage which can be done, as false ideologies confuse and hinder our children from flourishing and enjoying their God-given childhood. We must not hinder children in this way as the Lord’s command to us is to, “Let the children come to me and do not hinder them” (Luke 18:16 ESV). The resources promoted above can help us do this. May we protect our children as we should.

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