What is PSCHE and RSE?

At Fortis Academy we are very proud of our 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, build their resilience.

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, we believe this enriches their experience. They will be signposted to additional services and sources of information and can always be supported within school at any time should they need further guidance. Parents will also be informed of support and guidance via our Safeguarding pages in our half termly parents newsletter.

At Fortis Academy we follow a recommended program developed by the PSHE association. However, this is reviewed constantly and when and where necessary adapted to the needs of our students in any given year at any given time. 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 safe and happy.

We pride ourselves on the diversity of our academy community and the fact that diversity and equality are of paramount importance, this is also explored throughout our Edge curriculum.

Throughout the exploration of the ‘Edge’ curriculum students will complete confidence continuum. These assess who confident each student feels about any given topic at the start of the exploration. Students are then asked to complete a further continuum following the exploration of the topic, at this point if students have not developed greater awareness or confidence the topics can be revisited and explored in more depth.

The Edge sessions are delivered by the ‘Edge’ Tutor. We feel this is a significant strength for our students as this is the person that students see on a daily basis, who knows them well and has developed a positive and supportive relationship enabling students to feel secure and confident when discussing their opinions and seeking further support should they require it.

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. We are confident you will share our enthusiasm for the successful implementation of our ‘Edge’ curriculum, which we feel will benefit all of our students.

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.