Parents Guide to Relationships, Sex & Health Education in Primary School
The responsible approach to Relationships, Sex & Health Education in primary schools: Growing up with Yasmine and Tom
The Family Planning Association (FPA) has been teaching health and sex education since the 1930s – you may have seen our patient leaflets while waiting in doctors’ surgeries.
Since September 2020 primary schools have been legally required to teach “Relationships Education”.
We know that teaching Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) is a big responsibility and so we developed “Growing up with Yasmine and Tom”, i.e.:
- A unique, interactive and practical set of RSHE lessons that teachers can use to ensure children are both educated on topics appropriately and protected,
- A set of lesson plans and modules that meet the statutory Department for Education guidance (national curriculum).
Core Lesson Themes in Primary School
- Positive relations with friends, families and other adults and children
- Respecting people who are sometimes different from your own family
- Development of skills to stay safe on and offline
Meet Yasmine and Tom!
Animation, sound and touch-screen activities bring the characters Yasmine and Tom to life.
Age appropriate lessons help Yasmine and Tom cover the full curriculum including relationships, families, friendships, diversity, the body, online and offline safety and much more.
Discover peace of mind and a safe pair of hands so children can learn and grow.
Yasmine and Tom Example 1: The Introduction Video
i.e. video shown to pupils aged 5 to 7, i.e. to introduce them to Yasmine and Tom.
Yasmine and Tom Example 2: Different Families
An “interaction” from Lesson 3 in Module 1, i.e. for 5 to 7 year olds. Note that you can interact here too and see the lesson progress (needs sound).
Yasmine and Tom Example 3: Periods (menstruation)
An interaction from Module 3, i.e. for 9 to 11 year olds. Again, you can interact here too and see the lesson progress (needs sound).
Responsible Relationships, Sex & Health Education in Primary Schools – RSHE FAQs:
Q) Are children shown pornographic material?
A) No, never, they are children. The Family Planning Association takes a responsible approach. Children should be helped, protected and only taught age appropriate lessons.
Q) Who marks your homework? And how do you ensure lessons are “age appropriate”?
A) The Family Planning Association has implemented a 4 stage process:
- Materials are initially written by teachers
- Any sex education lessons are reviewed and updated by medical experts
- Lessons are then peer reviewed
- Lessons are then re-checked to ensure they are still fully compliant with the National Curriculum
Q) Is Relationships, Sex and Health Education really that important – shouldn’t children just concentrate on English and maths?
A) There’s no question that English and maths are critical building blocks.
Likewise, the clear evidence is that High Quality RSHE is like other education. It helps children and young people navigate the world, make informed choices, and develop critical thinking skills.
For details – see our Sex Education Benefits and Statistics page.
Q) Can I opt my child out of sex education?
A) The NHS states “it’s perfectly normal for puberty to begin at any point between the ages of 8 and 13 in girls and 9 and 14 in boys.“
- cannot withdraw their child from ‘relationships’ education as this is a legal requirement.
- cannot withdraw their child from sex education that is part of the science curriculum e.g. ‘external body parts’ and ‘the human body as it grows from birth to old age (including puberty)’.
- can withdraw their child from any additional sex education.
Where schools use the FPA lesson plans there are 4 of these additional sex education lessons:
- They are age appropriate and taught in year 6 (10-11 year olds)
- They are clearly marked on the lesson plan below
If opting your child out – the FPA strongly suggests that parents teach sex education at home.
Although in an ideal world – children would get these important lessons at home and at school.
Relationships, Sex & Health Education in Secondary Schools – RSHE FAQs:
Q) Does sex education encourage children to have sex?
A) No. Studies show it’s more likely to have the opposite effect and delay the age that young people first have sex.
You don’t have to take our word for it, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) examined 87 separate studies on the pros and cons of sex education.
Their report is 137 pages long – we’ve added a few highlights here.
Primary School Relationships & Sex Education Lesson Plan: Yasmine and Tom
The following provides an outline of what is taught to primary school aged children.
Module One Lessons: Year One and Two (ages 5 to 7)
Lesson 1: Introducing Yasmine and Tom
- Pupils can describe some ways that boys and girls are similar or the same
- Pupils know that there is more than one way to be a boy and more than one way to be a girl
Lesson 2: Friendships and feelings
- Pupils can describe what makes a good friend
- Pupils can identify when friendship feels good
- Pupils can describe how to solve a problem when a friendship goes wrong
Lesson 3: Different families
- Pupils can identify different types of families
- Pupils can describe a similarity and difference between different types of families
Lesson 4: My brilliant body
- Pupils can explain that all bodies are different
- Pupils can say what is brilliant about their body
- Pupils can explain what to do if someone says mean things about someone’s body
- Pupils can describe how to get help
Lesson 5: Keeping clean and taking care of myself
- Pupils can name the objects that are used to help keep someone clean and healthy
- Pupils can explain why it is important to keep clean
- Pupils can describe which things they can do for themselves to look after their body and which things they are learning to do
Lesson 6: Naming body parts
- Pupils can name all the different parts of their body including the private and personal body parts
- Pupils can explain what private and personal parts are and how they are identified
Lesson 7: Keeping safe
- Pupils can recognise when a situation is safe or unsafe
- Pupils can describe some ways that they can keep safe
- Pupils can describe how to get help
Module One note: Lesson 7 “Keeping Safe” can be taught to both Year One and Year Two
Module Two Lessons: Years Three and Four (ages 7 to 9)
Lesson 1: Introducing Yasmine and Tom
- Pupils can work in a group
- Pupils can contribute to small group discussions
- Pupils can identify one person they can talk with about growing up
- Pupils can identify something that will make them feel safe to discuss their bodies and relationships
Lesson 2: Gender stereotypes and aspirations
- Pupils can take part in a discussion and respond respectfully to someone they don’t agree with
- Pupils can describe what a stereotype is
Lesson 3: Me, myself and I
- Pupils can show respect to others who are different to themselves
- Pupils can tell you at least one thing they are good at
- Pupils can tell you one thing they can do to make themselves feel better if they are feeling down
Lesson 4: What makes a good friend?
- Pupils can tell you two or more things that make a good friend
- Pupils can tell you two things that would make them think someone is not a good friend
- Pupils can explain what they need to do to be a good friend
Lesson 5: Families and getting on with our families
- Pupils can tell you one thing that most families have in common and one way in which families can be different
- Pupils can explain how they would respond to unkind, mean or bullying behaviour about their family or someone else’s
- Pupils can identify who they talk to if they are worried about anyone or anything in their family
Lesson 6: My personal and private body parts and keeping safe
- Pupils can label the personal and private parts of bodies
- Pupils can explain the difference between safe and unsafe touches
- Pupils know that no one has the right to touch them in a way that feels unsafe – not even someone in their family
Lesson 7: Body care
- Pupils say at least one brilliant thing about their body
- Pupils can explain which parts of the body they particularly need to keep clean as they get older
Lesson 8: Is it risky?
- Pupils know what risky means and that some risks are good and others need to be thought about carefully
- Pupils begin to understand how to take steps to assess risk and keep themselves safe
- Pupils can say no to things they don’t want to do
- Pupils can use ‘Stop Think Go’ to help them know what options there are if they start to feel unsafe
Lesson 9: People who can help us on and offline
- Pupils can identify someone they can ask for help if they need it
- Pupils can explain what the CEOP reporting symbol means
Module Two note: Lesson 6 “My personal and private body parts and keeping safe” and lesson 9 “People who can help us on and offline” can be taught to both Year Three and Year Four.
Module Three: Years Five and Six (ages 9 to 11)
Lesson 1: Introducing Yasmine and Tom
- Pupils can tell you two things that change as they get older
- Pupils can explain what ground rules are and why they are important
Lesson 2: On and offline friendships
- Pupils can explain how healthy friendships and relationships make them feel
- Pupils can explain what online bullying is
- Pupils can tell someone what to do if they see something that is upsetting or shocking online
Lesson 3: Friendships and secrets
- Pupils can explain the difference between a safe and unsafe secret
- Pupils can describe some qualities of a good friendship.
- Pupils can ask for help if they need it
Lesson 4: Friendships and pressure
- Pupils can say no to something they don’t want to do
- Pupils can explain what peer pressure is
Lesson 5: Keeping safe – safe and unsafe touch
- Pupils can explain the need to ask and receive permission (consent) for some types of touch
- Pupils can identify when physical contact feels unsafe and describe how to ask for help
- Pupils can evaluate the importance of choice, control and time limit in making safer choices
Lesson 6: Keeping safe – online images
- Pupils can explain why posting pictures online could be risky
- Pupils can explain the law about sharing pictures of a child’s personal and private body parts
- Pupils can describe how to help a friend who has made a ‘mistake’ online
Lesson 7: Changes at puberty
- Pupils can identify some of the changes that will happen in their body and other bodies during puberty
- Pupils can describe who to talk to when they need help dealing with the changes at puberty
- Pupils can ask for support for any changes that are difficult to manage
Lesson 8: Periods (menstruation)
- Pupils can explain what a period (menstruation) is
- Pupils can suggest ways to overcome possible problems from periods
- Pupils understand that menstruation is something that most growing or grown-up girl’s and women’s bodies, and some trans or non-binary people’s bodies can do
Lesson 9: Wet dreams and masturbation (optional opt-out)
- Pupils can explain what wet dreams are
- Pupils can explain that some boys have wet dreams, and some don’t
- Pupils can suggest ways to manage wet dreams
- Pupils can describe what masturbation is
Lesson 10: Making Babies sexual intercourse (optional opt-out)
- Pupils can describe fertilisation through sexual intercourse
- Pupils can explain how a baby is made and that different people use different methods to do this
- Pupils can describe what consent means
- Pupils know the age of consent
Lesson 11: Making babies – assisted fertility and multiple births (optional opt-out)
- Pupils know can explain that some people have help to become pregnant
- Pupils can explain why some people need assistance to make a baby
- Pupils can explain describe the difference between identical and non-identical twins
Lesson 12: Making babies – pregnancy and birth (optional opt-out)
- Pupils can say how long an average pregnancy lasts
- Pupils can explain why a pregnancy lasts approximately 40 weeks (9 months)
- Pupils can identify and explain why some things that should and should not be eaten in pregnancy
Pupils can explain describe how babies are born (delivered)
Lesson 13: Identity and prejudice
- Pupils understand what key terms related to sexual orientation and gender identity
- Pupils can define what sexual orientation and gender identity mean
- Pupils can identify things that shape our personal identity
- Pupils can explain what prejudice means
Lesson 14: Equality and the law
- Pupils can describe discrimination
- Pupils can explain that groups of people are protected by the Equality Act
- Pupils can describe ways to challenge prejudice and discriminatory behaviour
Lesson 15: Getting help
- Pupils can describe what Childline is and how to access it
- Using their helping hand, pupils can identify who they can go to for help
- Pupils understand that they can talk about their problems and nothing is too awful or small to discuss
Module Three Note: Lesson 2 “On and offline friendships” and lesson 5 “Keeping safe – safe and unsafe touch” can be taught to both Year Five and Year Six.