CEDoW Life to the Full: A Framework for Respectful Relationships, Child Safety and Human Sexuality in a Catholic Context


CEDoW is currently undertaking a review of the 'Life to the Full' Framework. This review comes 12 months after the framework's initial launch. Adjustments resulting from the review are expected to be completed soon.

The CEDoW 'Life to the Full' Framework provides a shared and consistent approach for CEDoW schools towards building respectful relationships, child safety and human sexuality education, and promotion of respectful school cultures in a Catholic context.

“I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full” — John 10:10

Respectful Relationships, Child Safety and Human Sexuality education is a vital component of formal education within the Catholic faith. This effective education in schools must meet the needs of students and be informed by the principles of the Catholic tradition. Through this school-based activity and the culture of CEDoW schools, young people explore the Catholic vocation to love responsibly, to live life whole-heartedly, to enable self and others to flourish and have life to the full.

This framework aims to provide a shared, consistent and supported position and approach in relation to Respectful Relationships, Child Safety and Human Sexuality education and promoting safe and respectful school cultures across our CEDoW schools.

Our core values: our mission

A mission-driven Catholic school recognises that it is a school for all, where we aim to bring purpose and meaning to all. We are concerned with the whole person; body, heart, mind and spirit.

Our schools are places of love, where each person’s inherent human dignity and gift of all life is honoured, respected and met with love and compassion.  

As places of inclusion and welcome, we respect and celebrate diversity in families and individuals.  

In the Diocese of Wollongong, we are called to be bearers of Christ’s love. CEDoW, inclusive of our school communities, are committed to the universal cultivation of respectful, hopeful, just, authentic, compassionate and loving relationships that are free from harm and enable flourishing. 


Unpacking The CEDoW 'Life to the Full: A Framework for Respectful Relationships, Child Safety and Human Sexuality in a Catholic Context'

Find out more about our CEDoW 'Life to the Full: Respectful Relationships, Child Safety and Human Sexuality in a Catholic Context' Framework by clicking on the drop-down menu items below.

A Catholic Context and Commitment

This education and culture in a Catholic context should:

Live Life to the Full logo

  • Be grounded in positive theology of relationships, meaningful connections and human sexuality;
  • Advocate relationships and sexuality as core to human flourishing;

  • Be influenced by an expanded vision of sexuality that encompasses grace, dignity, inclusion, spirituality, empathy, sexuality and sex;

  • Be concerned with the whole and integrated person;

  • Be taught in a context that unpacks The Life to the Full Principles  to provide a framework for engaging in positive, safe and caring relationships that respect the inherent dignity of self and others, enable the development of an informed conscience and promote the values that are central to a positive development of the human person.

download button goldDOWNLOAD The 'LIFE TO THE FULL FRAMEWORK' Letter of Recommendation from Diocese of Wollongong Bishop Brian Mascord and Director of Schools Peter Hill

Guiding Principles for 'Life to the Full' Framework in Catholic Schools

“The community of the Church has to journey with people - meeting people where they are, not condemning them because they should be somewhere else” — Pope Francis, Address, Bulgaria 2019 

Effective implementation of 'Respectful Relationships, Child Safety and Human Sexuality' education and school cultures that promote respect include a whole-school approach.

This approach should: 

  • Be taught within a Catholic context that promotes, explores and challenges students to engage with and consider CEDoW Life to the Full Principles  and positive theology, guided by moral-based decision making, using the CEDoW Life to the Full Model for Growth;
  • Be ongoing:
    • Start in early childhood;
    • Be taught, ongoing and delivered multiple times across a student's educational journey;
  • Be delivered to students in an age and stage appropriate manner;
  • Be holistic:
    • Develop essential social and emotional competencies;
    • Child safety considerations;
    • Adopt a whole school approach that promotes respect cultures;
  • Be inclusive:
    • Normalise a positive, ‘good news’ approach and theology to relationships, safety, growth and development, sexuality and wellbeing;
    • Celebrate diversity and inclusivity of individuals and families;
    • Be modified appropriately and made accessible for particular groups;
  • Be data-informed:
    • Content selected to teach meets the needs of the given school context, community and specific student needs;
    • Incorporate evidence and evaluation of needs, processes, practices and education;
  • Involve genuine engagement, commitment and partnership with parents/carers.

Whole-School Approach in CEDoW Schools

Effective implementation of the CEDoW 'Life to the Full: Respectful Relationships, Child Safety and Human Sexuality' Framework includes a whole school approach working through schools' Positive Behaviours for Learning Framework (PB4L) and key learning areas of curriculum, utilising existing infrastructure within CEDoW schools and system.

An effective whole of school approach focuses on both the implicit and explicit teaching of core concepts of Respectful Relationships, Child Safety and Human Sexuality as well as creating respectful, safe and supportive school communities which are essential to support explicit education.

To effectively implement the 'Life to the Full: Respectful Relationships, Child Safety and Human Sexuality' Framework in schools, CEDoW identifies three essential pillars:

  • Research-Informed & Supported School Staff:
    • Building staff capacity to engage and deliver
    • Identifying early warning signs of problematic relationship behaviour
    • Appropriate response and support
    • Role modelling & building effective relationships
  • Building a Culture of Respect Through PB4L:
    • What does respect mean in our school?
    • What does respect look like in our school?
    • How do we address attitude, language and behaviour?
    • How do we explicitly teach respect?
  • Explicit Respectful Relationships, Child Safety & Sexuality Education:
    • Teaching PDHPE content in an appropriate context
    • Brave conversations about relationships, safety, personal safety, personal development
    • Positive theology, good news about the body and sexuality
    • Student-centred

Our whole-school approach also involves effective engagement and partnership with school staff, students and parents/carers across these pillars.
CEDoW Life to the Full Principles Table2 

Explicit 'Respectful Relationships, Child Safety and Growth, Development and Sexuality' Education through PDHPE in a Catholic Context

It is mandatory to teach respectful relationships and child protection (safety) education in every stage of learning from Kindergarten to Year 10 as part of the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) K-10 Syllabus. Identity, growth, development and human sexuality are context areas studied as part of the PDHPE Syllabus.

It is essential that leaders and educators in CEDoW schools engage with the Implementation Success Factors  in order to consider the specific needs of their school community and ensure effective implementation of respectful relationships, child safety and human growth/sexuality education in their school context. Materials should be reviewed in full and endorsed by the school principal before use.

download button goldDOWNLOAD resource: 'How to plan for effective Respectful Relationships, Child Safety and Human Sexuality in a Catholic Context through PDHPE'


Key content: 
  • Respectful Relationship Education: Skills to engage in respectful and equal relationships. Supporting students, school staff and school leaders to create school cultures that promote positive attitudes and behaviours towards relationships, equality, diversity, gender, consent, power, resilience, help-seeking and respect for all.
  • Child Protection/Safety Education: Strategies for building respectful relationships and resilience, as well as building skills in recognising and responding to unsafe situations, effectively seeking assistance and protective strategies.
  • Growth, Development and Human Sexuality Education: Learning about the emotional, social and physical aspects of growing up, relationships, identity, reproduction, gender, human sexuality and sexual health. Promote and protect their own wellbeing and that of others.

Partnership and Engagement with Parents/Carers

Education in Respectful Relationships, Child Safety and Human Sexuality is primarily the responsibility of 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/carers to engage with children and young people in this essential content in the present times.

Evidence suggests that ongoing, honest open conversations with children and young people in relation to this content contributes to protective factors and supporting children and young people to engage in healthy, safe and informed, ethical based decision making.

For more information on our partnership and engagement with parents and carers, please see our CEDoW Parent-School Partnership Framework.



Respectful Relationships Project Team
School Improvement – Specialist Services
E: respectfulrelationships@dow.catholic.edu.au
Ph: (02) 4253 0800