Since the revised Northern Ireland Curriculum was introduced, Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) has been a statutory component of the following key areas of learning:
- Personal Development and Mutual Understanding in the primary curriculum;
- Personal Development and Home Economics statements of requirement for Key Stage 3; and
- Personal Development strand of Learning for Life and Work at Key Stage 4.
RSE is a lifelong process. It helps children and young people acquire knowledge, understanding and skills, and develop attitudes, beliefs and values about sexual identity, relationships and intimacy. Effective RSE, which is taught in a sensitive and inclusive manner, encourages children and young people to value themselves as individuals and to make responsible and well-informed decisions about their lives.
The RSE Hub will ensure that schools have access to a range of up-to-date, relevant resources and sources of support for the above priority areas. Users can download our guidance documents and existing resources, as well as new RSE resources that we have developed to help teachers address sensitive issues with their pupils. The resources provide minimum content and are designed to offer schools flexibility in their approach to the delivery of RSE. This approach is intended to enable all schools to deliver effective programmes in line with the particular ethos of the school and to ensure the wide ranging needs of our young people are met.
You can find more information about the importance of RSE and developing a school RSE policy in our revised guidance for primary and post-primary schools. See also UNESCO’s International technical guidance on sexuality education, which can help schools to develop and implement their RSE programmes and materials.
RSE is an area of significant political and public interest. In light of this, and of changing social issues and attitudes, teachers are asking for clarity on classroom strategies for teaching RSE, particularly in the priority areas of:
- consent, what it means and its importance;
- developments in contraception;
- domestic and sexual violence and abuse;
- healthy, positive sexual expression and relationships;
- LGBTQ+ matters;
- safe use of the internet; and
- social media and its effects on relationships and self-esteem.
The topic areas feature links to:
- teaching resources from organisations like the NSPCC;
- guidance documents for schools;
- background information and guidance for parents and carers;
- training opportunities for teachers; and
- support organisations for pupils.
Along with links for each topic, we have also collated some general RSE links that teachers, parents and carers, and pupils might find useful.
The Hub currently contains links to existing support materials that provide a repository of information for schools. Further new teaching resources and materials will be piloted in autumn and will progressively go live during the 2019/20 academic year.
For information please contact:
Curriculum Assessment and Reporting
T. +44 (0) 28 90 261200 [Ext 2195]