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What we teach

The RSE curriculum 2020 in primary schools

From the beginning of relationships and sex education in school, teachers at Barrs Court emphasise what makes a healthy relationship, including friendships and family relationships. The aim is to give children an understanding of which relationships will lead to happiness and security. This should also help children to recognise relationships that may not be positive for them.

Towards the end of primary school, more children will be using the Internet and should be taught that the principles of positive relationships also apply online.

Teaching children about families and how family relationships may look does require an amount of sensitivity based on our knowledge of pupils and their circumstances. Families of lots of different forms can provide the nurture needed for children. Some examples of different families that teachers may encounter include:

  • Single-parent families
  • Same-sex parent families
  • Families headed by grandparents
  • Adoptive parents
  • Foster carers/parents
  • And more.

Care will always be taken so that no child in a class will sense stigmatisation towards their home situation.

By the end of primary school, children should know the following from their RSE lessons:

Families and People who care for me:

  • Families are important for children for giving them love, security and stability.
  • Characteristics of healthy family life: commitment to each other, even in times of difficulty, protection and care for children and other family members, the importance of spending time together and sharing each other’s lives.
  • Some families may look different to theirs, but they still have the same amount of love and happiness.
  • Stable and caring relationships are at the centre of families.
  • Marriage is a legal and formal commitment between two people who love each other.
  • How to recognise family relationships that may be making them unhappy or unsafe, and who to speak to about these problems.

Respectful Relationships:

  • The importance of respecting other people, even if they are different from ourselves.
  • Practical steps that can be used to improve or support relationships.
  • Courtesy and manners.
  • The importance of self-respect and the impact it can have on their own happiness.
  • About different types of bullying, including cyberbullying, and how to get help.
  • What a stereotype is and why it can be negative, harmful and destructive.
  • The importance of asking for permission in relationships and friendships.

Online Relationships:

  • Some people will behave differently online, and may even pretend to be somebody that they are not.
  • That the same principles that apply to in-person relationships also apply to online relationships, including the importance of respect for others, even if we are anonymous.
  • The rules and principles for keeping safe online, how to spot risks and harmful content and how to report it and help and support.
  • To critically consider online friendships and sources of information, as well as being aware of the risks of meeting someone in person that they met online.

Being Safe:

  • The kinds of boundaries that are appropriate in friendships.
  • The concept of privacy, as well as its implications for adults and children including the fact that it’s not always right to keep secrets, especially if they are impacting your safety.
  • That each person’s body is theirs, as well as the differences between appropriate and inappropriate contact.
  • How to respond safely and appropriately to adults that they may meet in different contexts (such as in-person and online) who they do not know.
  • To recognise and report the feelings of being unsafe or bad around an adult.
  • How to ask for help and advice from people they trust, and to keep doing so until they are heard.
  • How to report concerns or abuse, as well as the correct vocabulary and confidence to tackle such daunting tasks.
  • Where to get advice at home, school and elsewhere.


When teaching RSE in primary schools, teachers at Barrs Court will ensure that the needs of all pupils are appropriately met and that no child feels attacked by certain stereotypes. This will be taken into account when discussing different sexual orientations and gender identities.

As a school we believe it is important to naturally integrate these discussions into teaching, rather than making it a standalone point. It is expected that children leave Barrs Court school with an understanding of the LGBTQ+ community from their RSE lessons.

If you have any questions about the content of the lessons taught, please contact the school office. 

Get in touch

Barrs Court Primary School
Stephens Drive, Longwell Green, Bristol, BS30 7JB

01454 867799