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PSHE & RSE - Key Stage 5


Creating a safe space for RSE lessons 

Ensuring your Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) lessons are inclusive and safe is often easier said than done. The primary goal of creating a safe space for RSE lessons is to create an environment where young people feel safe to share and are respectful of one another’s feeling. 

The Group Agreement 

An important element in creating a safe learning environment is setting a group agreement for the lesson. This is like a set of ground rules which helps to set clear boundaries so that everyone feels able to safely:
•    Share feelings
•    Express views
•    Explore values

Managing Questions

At both primary and secondary level, young people have a right to ask questions. However, this doesn’t mean they always need to be answered (or answered immediately). Teachers need to feel prepared to hold boundaries and empowered to shut down inappropriate questioning or comments. 

Maintaing Distance

Distancing techniques should be employed throughout RSE lessons. This means not making young people share their personal experiences with others, which may potentially be traumatic or challenging. Instead, you can use characters, case studies, fictional scenarios or videos to explore a topic. 

A judgement free environment 

If a young person chooses to ask a question during the lesson, remember that this is often a sign that they trust you and your ability to give them an open and honest answer. Try to create a non-judgemental environment, where ideas and contributions are encouraged and are not ridiculed or mocked. If unhealthy ideas are communicated these should be challenged positively where possible and followed up after the lesson. Be aware of the language you use to avoid shame and stigma. 

Keeping it relevant 

Make lessons relevant to young peoples’ lived experience where possible, especially when considering the online world and how this relates to the topic. This is where continuously seeking feedback will come in useful; it will help you better understand the concerns that young people have or spot trends in the questions they are asking. It’s also worth keeping an eye on things going on in the world that might impact young people. For example, news stories or recent events that you know young people will take an interest in or may affect their lives in some way. 


Key Wellbeing, PSHE & Cultural Dates Calendar 2023/24

This PDF document from youHQ includes;

  • An overview of the Academic Year
  • A list of important dates 
  • A detailed planner with pages 
  • Free monthly resources



  • Gender imagesDfE guidance on sex and relationship education in schools has been written to take account of the revised National Curriculum, published in September 1999, the need for guidance arising out of the new Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) framework and the Social Exclusion Unit report on teenage pregnancy.

Sex and Relationship Education Guidance - Department for Education good practice


Effective learning methods - Approaches to teaching about sex and relationships within PSHE and Citizenship


  • Your Brain on Porn is a secular site, although everyone's views are welcome. It is primarily science-based, and no one involved in the creation of the site is trying to ban porn. It is not a commercial site: no ads are accepted, and the proceeds from the book go to a UK registered charity that promotes education and research on porn's effects. The site was created because the founders dislike needless human suffering simply because individuals lack critical information for improving their circumstances themselves.

Your brain on porn

Your Brain on Porn



Addressing Pornography through PSHE Education This briefing draws together key research into effective education about pornography within a wider relationships and sex education curriculum. It is intended for PSHE leads and teachers who are beginning to teach about pornography and its potential harms to young people, or who are reviewing 
their existing PSHE education curriculum content.

What is the impact of pornography on young people? This briefing summarises some of the key research on the impact of pornography to support teachers and others in delivering this element of the curriculum.

Children's Commissioner - Growing up and pornography

Pornography and Human Futures 



Fertility and Pregnancy Choices -   The PSHE Association fertility and pregnancy choices lessons address how fertility changes over a person’s lifetime and the factors that may affect male and female fertility, pelvic health (NEW!) and healthy pregnancy, as well as the different routes someone might take to becoming a parent.

Rise Above - A great site for teens packed with games, advice, stories, and videos to prepare them for real life issues such as relationships, exams, body image and more. 



Loudmouth - Theatre-in-Education workshop and PSHE/RSE resource provider.



Programme of Study for PSHE Education (Key stages 1–5) - Produced by the PSHE Association. 



What is sexual harassment?: Sexual harassment in the workplace films - Suitable for PSHE lessons with 14-16 year olds. The films are a  specifically written drama in three parts which tell the story of a professional relationship between a man and woman at work, involving an accusation of sexual harassment and an employment tribunal hearing. Each film is accompanied by a separate discussion piece which is hosted by journalist and presenter Ben Zand. 20 young people examine how they understand the rules of behaviour in the workplace. 

Visit the BBC Teach website



Teen Relationships Film: I'm Just Me - “I’m just me... It's like coming up for air."

As Jaz and Charlie make a final attempt to keep their relationship alive, one of them co mes out as non-binary (meaning they don’t identify as male or female), sparking a conversation that will change them both forever.



CoppaFeel! Digital Resources - Lesson plans, videos, and everything in between to get yourself and your pupils clued up on boobs.  



Online Blackmail resource - Produced by NCA-CEOP and awarded the Quality Mark by the PSHE Association. the resource is designed to support 15-18 year olds to identify and discuss online blackmail in a safe environment.

‘Online blackmail’ is free-to-access and aims to support young people to recognise key characteristics of how blackmail manifests online, including early signs of manipulative, pressurising and threatening behaviour. It also explores the potential impact of online blackmail and provides sources of further support for those who experience it.

The pack includes a lesson plan, worksheets and slides to support delivery. Note that ‘Online blackmail’ is not designed for home learning, but will support eductors when planning RSE aspects of their PSHE education curriculum. 




"We must listen to science, not stigma" 

Around 1 in 3 Brits would be 'uncomfortable' giving First Aid to someone with HIV on effective treatment, according to Terrence Higgins Trust survey, while nearly 40% would be 'uncomfortable' going on a date. Terrence Higgins Trust's Can't Pass it On campaign aims to help end stigma around HIV, and end HIV transmissions altogether.

Find out more about the Can't Pass it On campaign here. 



Want to know why young people are sexting? Try asking them

Jeremy Hunt, parents and teachers fail to understand how teenagers use technology to experiment sexually.  Proposing a sexting ban is just puritanical.

Read the full article here



Roadmap to Statutory RSE

Relationships and sex education will be required in all schools. September 2020 is proposed as the start date for mandatory provision. Do you know what the new legislation means for your school? 

To help school leaders prepare, the poster provides a 10 steps guide to provide high quality RSE as an identifiable part of PSHE education. These steps are based on established good practice and evidence.

Click on the link below to view a full size version of the poster.

View the Roadmap to Statutory RSE here 




GHLL has worked with the Gloucestershire Police Schoolbeat team, producing and assisting in the development of their initial curriculum.

The Schoolbeat team consists of seven police officers who are designated to certain areas across Gloucestershire, covering the majority of both primary and secondary schools.  

The main responsibilities of the role are to build trusting relationships with students from Year 6 through to Year 9.

This is completed by:

  • Delivering bespoke inputs to each educational establishment, based on the RSE curriculum and force operational priorities, to Year 6 through to Year 9 students

  • Participating in and, where relevant, facilitating restorative interventions involving students from their allocated schools

  • Facilitating early intervention through timely and effective information sharing between police and schools

  • Co-ordinating the delivery of educative inputs by local policing teams - PCSOs within local schools

  • Cascading learning and upskilling local PCSOs in relation to school engagement

  • Empowering students to make positive decisions, to reduce the risk of them becoming victims or offenders of crime and/or anti-social behaviour

  • Supporting schools with safeguarding, reducing student exclusions and to provide advice on day to day police related issues

Find out more here

The Schoolbeat team can be contacted via email:



The Secondary RSE Audit

In September 2020, it became compulsory for schools to deliver statutory Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education. To support this process GHLL have designed a simplified version of the curriculum requirements (beginning with RSE).

  • Suggested reading and resources

  • How to use this document

  • RAG rate the curriculum content


  1. What are you doing well?

  2. What do you do that could/should be developed further?

  3. Do you require support to enable these developments?

View the document here 



Siobhan Baille concerned about sexual harrassment of schoolgirls in Stroud

MP Siobhan Baillie has met with pupils from Stroud High School for Girls to discuss a survey they undertook looking at sexism and violence against women and to discuss their experiences of sexual harassment.

Siobhan met with the pupils from years 8 to 11 and was presented with the results of a survey they undertook among 80 Year 9 students.

Read full article here

Watch the parliamentary discussion here


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