"All education is vocational, vocational for living".
Teaching is not just about getting children through examinations. It's about helping them make the most of themselves in the widest sense, as they develop into independent young people with a wide range of adult roles. They should also come to understand that there is a valid Christian response to these issues which bears examination.
Clearly, everything that happens in a school can influence pupils' personal and social development. Attitudes and behaviour across the curriculum, in the playground, as well as in the classrooms, are important.
Social skills and self esteem can only evolve with experience and practice. Therefore, in our programme of Themed days, staff try to provide pupils with opportunities to identify with situations within which decision making actually happens.
The days will promote the skills needed for pupils to become informed citizens and allow them to develop skills of communication, enquiry and also to develop skills of participation and responsible action. Citizenship will encourage pupils to play a helpful part in the life of their schools, neighbourhoods, communities and the wider world. It also teaches them to reflect on the issues of the day and to take an informed part in discussions.
Sex Education is continuous throughout pupils' schooling, and is taught within the broader framework of Personal, Social and Health education. This ensures that self esteem in the context of sexual decision making is clearly related to control and self esteem in other areas of young people's lives.
An important part of the sex education programme is to give accurate knowledge and information about human reproduction, contraception and sexually transmitted diseases based on appropriate and up to date resources.
We accept that young people have sexual knowledge of their own even if they do not have the sexual experience and we therefore see the importance of providing them with an atmosphere where they may comfortably clarify, discuss and challenge ideas and beliefs with their peers. The goal is to "marry" the experience and advice of adults with the needs of young people growing up in a world of changing possibilities and values.
In all this work there has to be careful consideration of the wider value systems of the Christian Church and of the Law. A range of moral views and choices needs exploration so that young people may appreciate that there is a real choice not to be sexually active. We know that young people learn much about the sexual aspects of human relationships within their homes and in school our organised programme should complement that more informal learning. All our work places sexual relationships clearly in context with the other human relationships like friendship, marriage, parenthood and other family relationships.
Legislation gives parents the right to withdraw their children from any or all parts of a school's programme of Sex Education other than those elements which are required by the National Curriculum Science Orders.