What Teachers and Pupils are saying about RSE
RSE teachers are very busy – many teaching RSE as a second subject – and are asking for guidance and resources to do this well.
[At my school] no-one who teaches PSHE is a PSHE specialist.”
Many teachers lack confidence when delivering RSE to diverse classrooms, including children of faith backgrounds.
Teachers are particularly concerned with answering “tricky questions”, primarily relating to sex and sexuality, gender, contraception and sex before marriage.
[I feel] nervous to engage with pupils and lack confidence to answer questions that may arise.”
Many teachers acknowledge a desire to overcome internal bias.
Some schools want better communication with parents and communities of faith. One school in particular requested dialogue with communities of faith where they could get “communities to check” that their teaching content was accurate and reflective of the lived reality of students of faith.
Students and teachers unanimously agree that students prefer discussion, videos and active learning in comparison to reading and writing activities.
Sitting and writing interrupts the flow of conversation.”
Teachers recognise that students of faith don’t want to be singled out in class. One teacher in Sheffield said that they wanted resources that were ‘inclusive’ and ‘reflect (the) community we serve'.
Teachers and pupils both stress that children from faith communities do not want to be singled out, and they do not want their religion in the spotlight. Rather, they want to be treated like everyone else, in teaching that is sensitive and inclusive, and may not say much about religion at all. These resources are for diverse classrooms, not just children from religious backgrounds. They will help you to teach RSE without alienating children from religious backgrounds.