Relationships and Sexuality Education


A Catholic Perspective of Relationships and Sexuality Education
Education in human sexuality is primarily the responsibility of the parents. However, this responsibility has never been an easy one and in the 21st century it is further compounded by many additional challenges and difficulties. Consequently, school, Church and the wider community play a significant​ role in assisting parents to fulfil their educational responsibilities (BCE RSE Shape Paper2016, p.8).​
Catholic Education, as an agent of the Catholic Church, exists to give witness to Jesus' vision of reality through the integration of faith, life and culture. It is committed to wholeness, and the freedom that comes from living life wholeheartedly according to God's plan. From this basis, Catholic Education promotes human growth in its every dimension and possibility​ and recognises Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) as fundamental to realising its mission. Consequently, RSE is a vital component of formal education within the Catholic faith. Through this school-based educational activity, young people explore the Catholic vocation to love responsibly and to live life whole-heartedly (BCE RSE Shape Paper2016, p.8).​

Key Messages​


Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) holds as its basis, the belief that each person is made in the image of God and that the inherent dignity of all people should be recognized, fostered and protected. A Catholic Perspective on Relationships and Sexuality draws particular attention to the importance of loving ethically and living safely. 

Our Catholic belief that parents are the primary educators of their children requires all teachers and school leaders to ensure that parents are meaningfully consulted and collaborated with prior to, during, and after the teaching of potentially sensitive content. At St Brigid's, our teachers will forward correspondence to parents about the teaching of RSE at the beginning of each term through the Year Level Term Overview.

Explicit Relationships and Sexuality Education is important for all students, from a young age as it provides them with opportunities to recognise appropriate and inappropriate behaviour, make safe decisions, develop protective behaviours and behave in ways that promote respect and responsibility. 

Relationships and Sexuality Education in BCE schools occurs within the context of the Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education. This curriculum features Relationships and Sexuality as one of twelve focus areas. The Relationships and Sexuality focus area addresses physical, social and emotional changes that occur over time and the significant role relationships and sexuality play in these changes. The content supports students to develop knowledge, understanding and skills that will help them to establish and manage respectful relationships. It also supports students to develop positive practices in relation to their reproductive and sexual health and the development of their identities. 

The intention of Relationships and Sexuality Education in BCE schools is to empower young people to advocate for, and actively participate in:

  1. Personal safety and ongoing transformation to become physically developed, psychologically integrated, interpersonally loving and responsible, and spiritually holy
  2. Enriching the lives of all others
  3. Cultivating loving, just, and safe communities.

(Brisbane Catholic Education Relationships and Sexuality Shape Paper, 2016)

BCE have endorsed the use of resources from the Daniel Morcombe Child Safety Curriculum to support schools when planning for teaching and learning related to Relationships, Sexuality and Child Safety Education. The Daniel Morcombe Child Safety resources aim to teach children about personal safety, with a focus placed on three key safety messages: Recognise, React and Report. ​