Human Development - Health and Religious Education

27th April 2016

Dear Parents of Silver Room,

Re: Health and next Religious Education Unit to be explored in Year Six

The basic purpose for which God created the human body is so that human beings can express the love and the goodness within them. Sexuality is the distinctive ways males and females express love and goodness through their thoughts, feelings, bodies and relationships.

The next Religious Education unit begins by exploring the Catholic understanding of sexuality. It focuses in particular upon the special way husband and wives express their sexuality in the Sacrament of Marriage.

The unit introduces to the children ways in which Jesus always expresses love and goodness through his body. It then presents how he makes his followers ‘new creatures’ through Baptism so that they can do the same. The Rite of Baptism and symbols used during the Baptismal ceremony will also be explored.

Finally, the unit explores ways in which the two Great Commandments help people understand how to express love and goodness through their bodies.

In conjunction with the RE Unit of Work, during our Health classes I will be using the CEO approved “Things are Changing” programme to help the students further understand the physical and emotional changes that occur during puberty. There are work books and DVD presentations that will be used to cover the different content along with whole class and small group discussions.

I will place in the classroom a “Questions Box” where students will have a chance to write out any of the questions that they may have but might not feel comfortable asking in front of others. Those that are appropriate to be shared can be discussed during this time. There will be occasions when I will feel that it is best for them to discuss this with you at a later time, so I will say to them, “that is a question/conversation for mum or dad.”

The content that we will be covering during our Religious Education and Health sessions is very important and I will spend time discussing the importance of demonstrating a mature and respectful attitude. If at times it becomes “a bit much” your child may take a moment to step outside as sometimes the content presented may be something that they are not quite ready for. I will contact you if this has occurred so that you can follow up with your child at home.

Some of the concepts that will be covered are outlined below. There will be times when it will be a whole class discussion and there will be times when it will be appropriate to have the students split into groups of boys or girls.

Puberty, what’s it all about?
Puberty, what’s it all about?
From girl to woman
From boy to man
General physical changes
The male reproductive system
The female reproductive system

The gift of life

The menstrual cycle

Periods: the essentials

Feminine Hygiene

You could help your child during this unit by:
·      talking with them about the changes which are occurring in their bodies as they grow older
·      sharing personal experiences of puberty that you experienced yourself
·      encouraging your child to ask questions – through the question box or at home with you privately
·      answering any questions they may have as honestly as possible
·      identifying ways in which family members use their bodies to relate with each other
·      being open and honest about the many confusing things that happen during Puberty
·      masking your own embarrassment about topics that you may find difficult to talk about

As all children develop differently it is important to let me know as soon as possible if any of the content being covered makes your child uncomfortable.

Additionally, if I feel that your child may be making it difficult for others to participate in our learning I will contact you to discuss the matter further.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me as soon as possible.

Please fill in the permission slip at the bottom of this letter and return it to me by Monday 2nd May. We will be having our first Health lesson on Tuesday 3rd May so if I don’t have your signed permission slip, your child will be given alternative work and asked to work in another class for this time.

Kind regards,

Caitlin Delane

RE: Health and next Religious Education Unit to be explored in Year Six

I_________________________________ (give / do not give) permission for my child ________________________to participate in these Health and Religious Education lessons.

Signed ______________________________           Date: _____________________________

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