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Are you ready for RSE? And are your students' parents ready?

by Jodie Lopez

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In September 2020 schools in England will be required to follow the new RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) as part of their PSHE offering. This has already caused some controversy in the media and many parents have assumed very delicate and personal things will be taught to very young children, and in some cases simply worried about what content might be taught and where this may go against the beliefs at home. The actual guidance can be found following this link to the DfE website

You may not want to track progress for individuals in this area of the curriculum - indeed it will mostly be totally inappropriate to do so. However, with parents having concerns, or even just being curious, around this new area of PSHE it would be really good to keep them informed of what has been discussed and give them ways to support their children with further questions at home. This is true of all of PSHE but likely will really help with the transition to including RSE. 

You are likely to offer some information sessions for parents but we know those aren't always well attended in any school - the combination of lack of childcare, working shifts and just generally trying to find times for these which suit both teachers and parents. It's just one of those annoyingly impractical things a lot of the time!

With Kinteract, however, you are able to keep the lines of communication open around all school matters. PSHE and RSE is the perfect opportunity to reach out to parents and keep them informed regularly, as well as sending home some key links (such as the DfE guidance linked above) and any PowerPoint presentations you have made for parents and/or students. 

As with the post below this could include anything you want to flag up with them such as discussions which may prompt students to talk further with parents at home. This can save some parents from wondering why their child has suddenly unburdened loads of worries on them after school. Having the context for these can be really useful and make parents feel better connected to school too. It also helps to remind students that school and parents do support each other and can support them when needed. 

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You may also use a post to point parents and students towards further resources and information sites. This can stop students from doing an online search of their own which might flag up some more unsavoury results or contradictory information.

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You may also wish to keep parents in the loop when you have talked about some more tricky subjects which may have touched on something affecting an individual. These are not always known to the school so again gives the parents a bit of a "heads up" in case their child seems extra anxious or sad that evening. Although teachers will always aim to be sensitive in all these cases, sometimes a nerve is touched and it helps a parent to pick this up if they know some information which school does not. This might help them to also come forward to discuss this with school too and ensure they, and their child, have all the support they can get.

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These messages could come from the student, of course, or you could send a letter home. But what advantage is there from sending these messages in an online system such as Kinteract? Well firstly it can be picked up by the parent on their mobile or tablet app before they are home from work and give them a chance to think about what they might need to support their child(ren) with at home. It also can help a student to open the conversation with their parent themselves as they have access to these messages too from their log in. They can simply say "oh did you see that post on Kinteract about RSE today?" or similar without having to say something they might find more awkward such as "we learnt about puberty today and changes to the body" so this gives them a chance to go straight to the bit they may want to ask their parent about - those questions they felt uncomfortable asking in front of their peers!

Kinteract can also help parents who are not fluent in English. Such topics as these can be really hard to explain if speaking different languages, even with the best attempts by teachers. Our in-system translation tool solves this by allowing parents to translate all the posts into their preferred language as chosen from the list as part of their profile set up. 

Get in touch to find out more about how Kinteract can help you to keep parents informed of learning in school without adding loads onto teacher workload!