At Fortis Academy we are very proud of our personal development curriculum. We believe that it gives our students a solid grounding in all areas of their lives and supports their development into successful members of our wider community. An integral part of this education is the personal, social, cultural, health and careers curriculum. This also includes RSE (relationships and sex education) as defined by the Government to be delivered from September 2020. We call this curriculum ‘Edge’. Within our Edge program students have weekly exposure to quality careers based content and wider opportunities to explore potential careers and aspirations. Students have access to a comprehensively planned program of activities in their daily Edge form time and their weekly Edge and Enrichment lessons which help to develop their character and build their resilience. Within this carefully planned programme students explore British Values and Citizenship as well as developing their spiritual and moral awareness and understanding.
The purpose of this ongoing curriculum is to provide knowledge and understanding of safe and healthy relationships based on respect. This is to encourage the development of safe and healthy relationships throughout life. The subject is designed to help young people from all backgrounds build positive and safe relationships, and to thrive in modern Britain.
Students will participate in activities led both by trained professionals within school, their Edge tutors and external professionals such as ‘LoudMouth’ Theatre Company, Me and You Education, Street Teams, Barclay’s Life skills and alumni students. They will be signposted to additional services and sources of information and are supported within school at any time should they need further guidance. Parents are informed of support and guidance via our safeguarding items in our half termly parents’ newsletter and through our social media.
At Fortis Academy we follow a recommended program developed by the PSHE association. This is reviewed constantly and adapted to the needs of our students. We ask that parents support the curriculum by having conversations with their children regularly regarding topics such as online safety, healthy lifestyles and the importance of healthy and safe relationships that ensure that all young people feel valued and happy.
We pride ourselves on the diversity of our academy community. Diversity and equality are of paramount importance, which is a fact explored throughout our Edge curriculum. Students are reminded that we have a zero-tolerance approach to any incidents which do not support our equality values.
Throughout the exploration of the ‘Edge’ curriculum students will each complete a ‘confidence continuum’. This allows students to assess their confidence at waypoints through a topic, and tutors can then identify which parts of the topic will be revisited and explored in more depth.
The Edge sessions are delivered by the ‘Edge’ Tutor which is a significant strength of the programme. The tutor knows their students well, developing positive and supportive relationships and enabling students to feel secure and confident when discussing their opinions and seeking further support.
There is no right to withdraw from relationships education at secondary level and we believe the content of this curriculum – such as family, friendship, safety (including online safety) – are important for all children to be taught.
You do have a right to withdraw your child from sex education delivered as part of RSE in secondary schools which, unless there are exceptional circumstances, will be granted up to three terms before your child turns 16. At this point, if the child themselves wishes to receive sex education rather than be withdrawn, the school should make arrangements for this to happen in one of the three terms before the child turns 16 – the legal age of sexual consent.