School Standards Minister, Rt. Hon Nick Gibb MP visited the City of London Academy (Southwark) to meet with staff and students about the importance of Relationship and Sex education curriculum. The Department for Education has identified COLA as a school that has radically transformed how it teaches pupils about relationships and sex education.
The City of London Academy (Southwark) has been participating in the Department for Education’s call for evidence, which is asking parents, teachers and young people to help shape the new relationships and sex education curriculum. Minister Nick Gibb MP as part of his visit observed the best practice in the delivery of PSHE lesson by sitting in on a number of lessons. The Minister also had a learning walk to mathematics, English and Science lessons. He was particularly impressed by the increased standards in the lessons seen and the outcomes achieved by pupils.
Head of the school, Dr Jeffery Quaye, said he welcomed the DfE’s decision to make relationship and sex education compulsory from 2019/2020.
“Here at the City of London Academy Southwark we observed that by placing more emphasis on relationships instead of the mechanics of reproduction we have raised students’ awareness of sexting and sexual harassment,” he said.
“Also, our students have developed a better understanding of the benefits of healthy relationships, staying safe online and managing emotions. Through balanced curriculum changes and a new framework of teaching students, we have seen noticeable evidence of mutual respect, empathy, self-confidence and wellbeing enhanced amongst our students.”
Year 11 pupil Keana Nicholas-Pipe added: “I think learning PSHE is important to help students know what to do if they find themselves in any difficult situations. I think it’s important to learn about consent because and through the classes I now feel more confident. I know who to ask for advice and how to make an informed choice.”
Speaking after the visit, Mr Gibb said: “It has been a pleasure to meet the teachers at the City of London Academy and to talk to the pupils benefitting from an education that teaches them the importance of healthy and stable relationships.”