Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) is part of the mission of Catholic schools to educate the whole person. It should be carried out as part of the holistic education which seeks to form as well as inform young people in preparation for adult life. Health Education is also part of this subject.
All schools will teach children about good physical and mental health, how to stay safe on and offline, and the importance of healthy relationships.
In order for Catholic RSE to be fully effective it needs to:
A Journey In Love
'A Journey In Love' is the recommended programme of study for all Catholic schools in England for Relationships and Sex Education. It has been written as a progressive scheme of work that supports the Religious Education, Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) and Science curriculum taught in schools. A Journey In Love has been written by Sister Jude Groden of Brentwood Religious Education Service.
As children progress through school, they discover more and more about themselves and the wider world. The thirst for learning new things is fostered by the school, who attempt to create a safe and stimulating environment for learning and supporting all children in their development.
A Journey in Love supports children in growing and developing healthy and holistically towards an understanding of their gender and its implications for successful relationships; for this to happen, children must be at ease with themselves and grow in self knowledge.
Throughout A Journey In Love an aspect of the mystery of love is focused upon in each group. Children and young people are encouraged to marvel at the wonder and beauty of God’s creative love. This is reflected in each stage of a person’s growth in the primary years through a series of suggested, progressive and developmental tasks, activities and reflections which focus on physical, social, emotional, intellectual and spiritual development.
As with all aspects of learning, children are naturally curious and many will have questions related to their lessons. Opportunities to discuss questions form part of the lessons and again these are treated with care and understanding.
For each of us, life is like a journey.
Birth is the beginning of this journey,
And death is not the end; but the destination.
It is a journey that takes us
from youth to age,
from innocence to awareness,
from ignorance to knowledge, from foolishness to wisdom,
from weakness to strength and often back again,
from offence to forgiveness, from pain to compassion,
from fear to faith,
from defeat to victory and from victory to defeat,
Until, looking backward or ahead,
we see that victory does not lie at some high point along the way,
but in having made the journey, stage by stage.
(Adapted from an old Hebrew Prayer)