In this Unit, we have answered some of our most frequently asked questions by parents.
FAQ: Our family aren’t actually practicing 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’ and ‘Life to the Full Plus’ programmes, 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’/ ‘Life to the Full Plus’ 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’ and ‘Life to the Full Plus’.
Our aim through this programme is to build children up as they discover the people they were called by God to be.
FAQ: Is my child going to learn about sex?
It is not mandatory that primary schools teach about sexual intimacy, however some schools – in careful consultation with parents – might choose to.
FAQ: Can I withdraw my child from the lessons?
In primary schools in England, the new statutory curriculum is called Relationships and Health Education. Parents do not have the right to remove their children from Relationships Education or Health Education lessons.
However, some primary schools may also choose to teach aspects of ‘Sex Education’, which means teaching about sexual intimacy. Parents retain the right to withdraw children from ‘Sex Education’ lessons in primary schools, but not that which is taught as part of the Science curriculum.
Please review Unit 4: Key Decisions of this course to learn about which aspects of ‘Life to the Full’ and ‘Life to the Full Plus’ parents may have the right to withdraw from.
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 Resources, 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?
Many parents are keen to know if the programme contains LGBT content and what that is. Here’s a brief summary of our approach:
- Life to the Full is inclusive of all children, families and teaching staff;
- From the very start, the programme acknowledges that families are made up differently (including single-parent families, blended families, step-parents, carers, etc) and it celebrates the family unit in whatever form it takes;
- Individual schools can build on this teaching, depending on the cohort, to ensure that every child is assured, and their family background is affirmed;
- In Upper Key Stage Two, the presenters on film say that some children have “two mums and two dads” as part of a list of different family set-ups;
- Another session in Upper Key Stage Two, ‘Build Others Up’, is an anti-bullying resource framed by the protected characteristics. The protected characteristics of sex, sexual orientation and gender reassignment are not explicitly named within the session’s ﬁlm. Later in the session, children are presented with a number of scenarios to discuss and sort. Some of the scenarios concern discrimination, bullying of the protected characteristics of sex and/or sexual orientation. For schools using Life to the Full Plus there are also four Classroom Short videos mentioning sexual attraction, sexual orientation and gender identity. You can ﬁnd out more about the ‘Build Others Up’ session and associated Classroom Shorts earlier in this course.
- The only reference to sexual intimacy is in the optional UKS2 session ‘Making Babies: Part 2’. In this session, sexual intimacy is discussed within the context of a heterosexual, Christian marriage.
This teaching is in line with the statutory guidance from the Department for Education.
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