4. FAQ

In this Unit, we have answered some of our most frequently asked questions by parents.

FAQ: Our family aren’t actually practising Catholics, does this matter?

We trust that parents who have sent their children to Catholic schools will be sympathetic to their school’s Catholic ethos. Just as the Catholic faith is central to Catholic schools, so it is with the ‘Life to the Full’ programme, and we ask that families support it in the same way they do throughout daily school life.

Our assumption is that children, families and the teachers leading these sessions will come from a wide variety of backgrounds and belief structures, so our programme is sensitive to their needs, and fully inclusive of all.

In addition we hope you will agree that the curriculum content of ‘Life to the Full’ and all of the values and virtues developed within it are incredibly valuable and worthwhile regardless of faith status.

FAQ: What if my child comes home and asks difficult questions that I don’t know how to answer?

As a parent, you already have all the skills at your disposal to respond to curve-ball questions! However, when the subject content is sensitive it can feel more difficult, or even at times uncomfortable. Of course, our job is not to tell you how to parent your child, but here are some pointers that other parents have found helpful:

  • Be honest. Information based on an untruth can lead to confusion and a sense of embarrassment when children realise they haven’t been told the truth.
  • Never feel pressured to answer something immediately. You can always say, “Let me come back to you on that” and check in with your partner, or another parent or friend for advice. 
  • “You’ll learn about that when you’re a bit older” can be an acceptable response. Children will know there is more to learn, just as they know there is more to learn about Maths beyond Year 1. Most children are happy with a response which acknowledges there is more to learn, but that they will learn about it at a later date.
  • Never shame or embarrass children for the questions they ask. Most often, children are genuinely curious about topics such as puberty, and the chance to air their queries and exploratory thoughts should be pressure and judgement-free. Shame and embarrassment has too often been associated with education around sex and relationships – you might even have experienced this yourself – and this is the opposite of what we are trying to achieve through ‘Life to the Full’.

Our aim through this programme is to build children up as they discover the people they were called by God to be.

FAQ: Can I withdraw my child from the lessons?

There are three aspects to the new RSHE Curriculum:

1. Relationships Education
2. Sex Education
3. Health Education

As part of the new statutory curriculum in England, parents have the right to withdraw their children from lessons that teach ‘Sex Education’. They can do so up to three terms before their children reach the age of 16. This means, for example, that if a student turns 16 in September, parents have the right to withdraw their child from these lessons up to the start of Year 10 – but not beyond.

As ‘Life to the Full’ is a holistic programme of study about human sexuality delivered through the prism of Catholic teaching, the ‘relationships’, ‘sex’ and ‘health’ aspects of the programme are intertwined; in other words, the programme doesn’t make a distinction between which aspects are ‘relationships’, ‘sex’ and ‘health’ education.

However, if you have any queries about the content of any particular lesson beyond that which is on the Parent Portal, please do speak to your child’s school.

FAQ: What if my child is learning about something that I don’t think they should be?

Our programme is intended to be delivered by schools in consultation with parents, but of course some parents might still have queries. We’re only a small team at Ten Ten, so unfortunately, we’re not able to engage in direct correspondence with parents. The best thing to do is talk to your child’s class teacher who can contact us if they require any further information about the programme.

FAQ: How can I best support my child throughout this programme?

The best way to support your child’s learning is through using the Online Parent Portal

This will advise you on the content they have been studying in school so that you can continue conversations at home. It also suggests home learning activities to help you bring these topics up in specific ways.

Another fantastic way that you can support your child is through prayer. We have provided details in the Online Parent Portal of Unit prayers that children will be using in school. You can integrate these into your home prayer life to help reinforce the common messages and values of each Unit.

FAQ: Does the programme contain LGBT content?

Life to the Full is inclusive of all students, families and teaching staff. Our key principle is that “Our deepest identity is as a child of God – created, chosen and loved by God.” (See Ten Ten’s 10 Principles for Catholic RSHE).

Many schools, teachers and parents are keen to know what LGBT content is in the programme, Life to the Full.

The DFE Statutory Guidance says the following:

In teaching Relationships Education and RSE, schools should ensure that the needs of all pupils are appropriately met, and that all pupils understand the importance of equality and respect. Schools must ensure that they comply with the relevant provisions of the Equality Act 2010, under which sexual orientation and gender reassignment are amongst the protected characteristics.

Schools should ensure that all of their teaching is sensitive and age appropriate in approach and content. At the point at which schools consider it appropriate to teach their pupils about LGBT, they should ensure that this content is fully integrated into their programmes of study for this area of the curriculum rather than delivered as a standalone unit or lesson. Schools are free to determine how they do this, and we expect all pupils to have been taught LGBT content at a timely point as part of this area of the curriculum.

The DFE Statutory Guidance calls for an integrated and age-appropriate approach. Mindful of this, and of the right of schools to determine how best to follow the DFE guidance, Ten Ten has decided that Year 8 was an appropriate age to begin directly addressing LGBT matters.

The programme discusses LGBT issues in the following ways: 

  • In Year 8, one session looks in particular at respect for each individual, whatever their sexual orientation, and it addresses homophobic bullying.
  • Another session for Year 8 considers the Protected Characteristics highlighted in the Equality Act and focuses on gender identity and gender dysphoria.
  • Across the programme, the presenters in the film explicitly articulate that the teaching on human sexuality is relevant to all – it does not exclude people based on sexual orientation or attitudes towards gender.
  • At various points throughout the programme, certain scenarios explore same-sex relations as part of the wider teaching on relationships, sex and health.
  • The programme highlights the correlation between Catholic teaching on the human person and the human rights act – this includes teaching on the Protected Characteristics.
  • In age-appropriate and sensitive ways, the programme also highlights instances in which Catholic teaching differs from lawful behaviour (for example, discussing why marriage in the Church is between man and woman only).

To finish this course, please click below.

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