Healthy Minds: Relationships and Sex Education Lessons Yr 8 & 9 – 14th October 2021

Dear Parents/ Carers

Re: Healthy Minds: Relationships and Sex Education Lessons Year 8 and 9

During his/her time at The Leigh Academy your child has been taught Healthy Mind’s lessons once a week along with the rest of their year group.  The lessons include topics that aim to help them learn skills that will build them to be more empathetic, increase their confidence and understand what makes a healthy relationship. During the next few weeks, as part of the Healthy Minds curriculum students will be taught their Sex Education lessons.  The lessons have been specifically designed by leading, national experts at the Sex Education Forum who have extensive experience in teaching sex education. Five lessons are taught in year 8 and again in year 9 with a further five lessons. 

The Relationships and Sex Education lessons have been designed to provide age-appropriate learning about reproduction and sexual health.  The Relationships and Sex Education lessons build on the learning of the Relationship Smarts element that teach about the foundations of healthy relationships (family, friendships as well as romantic relationships).  The idea is that together, these lessons will teach students how to develop solid and healthy relationships balanced with learning about reproduction and normal bodily responses and changes they may already, or will experience around this age that can influence the way they feel and behave.

During the ten Relationships and Sex Education lessons taught in Year 8 and 9, your child will:

  • Learn that sexual feelings are normal and driven by human biology (Year 8)
  • Consider how sexual attraction and love are different but related feelings (Year 8)
  • Consider how we influence other people’s actions and how they influence ours (Year 8)
  • Recognise how communication can help us understand what other people want and why (Year 8)
  • Identify a range of motivations for sexual intimacy and consider the impact if people have different motivations (Year 9)
  • Learn about the difference between sex, sexual orientation and gender identity and recognise how homophobia, biphobia and transphobia operates in society and the impact it can have (Year 9)
  • Understand how contraception prevents conception and identify advantages and disadvantages of types of contraception and correct use of condoms (Year 9)
  • Learn at what point pregnancy can be detected and why early detection is important for pregnancy choices and good health (Year 9)
  • Understand how sexually transmitted infections (STI) are transmitted and how this can be prevented (Year 9)
  • Consider reasons why people may not share their STI status and the harm caused by prejudice (Year 9)
  • Learn what is risky about different sexual activities and how risks can be reduced (Year 9)
  • Understand that there are physical and emotional dimensions of good sexual health and consider how different sexual activities may be more or less enjoyable (Year 9)
  • Know where to find local sexual health services and how they can contribute to good sexual health (Year 9)

Relationships and Sex Education meets government legislation on Sex and Relationships Education (SRE).  We believe these are valuable lessons taught by our staff that have completed intensive training.  However, parents/carers can withdraw their children from sex education that goes beyond the statutory National Curriculum.  If you wish to withdraw your child from attending the Relationships and Sex Education lessons, please notify me no later than Friday 22nd October 2021.  If you would like to discuss any aspect of Healthy Minds including Sex education please do not hesitate to contact me at stuart.lindars@leighacademy.org.uk

Yours faithfully

Stuart Lindars
Head of Darwin College