This draft policy was formulated by the staff of the school on 19 Nov. 2002. An RSE policy has been in existence since 1999.


  • To formalise the delivery of SPHE throughout the school
  • To coordinate the delivery of the programme using the strand approach of the Revised Curriculum
  • To maximise the use of existing resources appropriate to the various strand units


SPHE in our school should strive to ensure that each child is helped to:

  • understand, appreciate and live in the world as he finds it
  • develop his self-worth
  • appreciate the needs of each child in the school and foster respect for himself and others
  • live and interact with others with confidence and knowledge
  • make informed decisions

Relationship to the Characteristic Spirit of the School

Within our school we promote the holistic development of the pupil within the Catholic ethos of the school.


  • To promote the personal development and well being of the child
  • To foster in the child a sense of care and respect for himself and others and an appreciation of the dignity of every human being
  • To promote the health of the child and provide a foundation for healthy living in all its aspects
  • To enable the child to make informed decisions and choices about the social, personal and health dimensions of life both now and in the future
  • To develop in the child a sense of social responsibility, a commitment to active and participative citizenship and an appreciation of the democratic way of life
  • To enable the child to respect human and cultural diversity and to appreciate and understand the interdependent nature of the world


  • When due account is taken of intrinsic abilities and varying circumstances, the SPHE curriculum should enable the child to be self-confident and have a positive sense of self-esteem
  • develop a sense of personal responsibility and come to understand his/her sexuality and the processes of growth, development and reproduction
  • develop and enhance the social skills of communication, co-operation and conflict resolution
  • create and maintain supportive relationships both now and in the future
  • develop an understanding of healthy living, an ability to implement healthy behaviour and a willingness to participate in activities that promote and sustain health
  • develop a sense of safety and an ability to protect himself/herself from danger and abuse
  • make decisions, solve problems and take appropriate actions in various personal, social and health contexts
  • become aware of and discerning about, the various influences on choices and decisions
  • begin to identify, review and evaluate the values and attitudes that are held by individuals and society and to recognise that these affect thoughts and actions
  • respect the environment and develop a sense of responsibility for its long-term care
  • develop some of the skills and abilities necessary for participating fully in groups and in society
  • become aware of some of the individual and community rights and responsibilities that come from living in a democracy
  • begin to understand the concepts of personal, local, national, European and global identity
  • appreciate and respect the diversity that exists in society and the positive contributions of various cultural, religious and social groups
  • promote the values of a just and caring society in an age-appropriate manner and understand the importance of seeking truth and peace

Content of Plan

The strands and strand unit of the SPHE Curriculum.


  • Self-awareness
  • Developing self-confidence
  • Making decisions

Taking care of my body

  • Health and well-being
  • Knowing about my body
  • Food and nutrition

Growing and changing

  • As I grow I change
  • New life
  • Feelings and emotions

Safety and Protection

  • Personal safety
  • Safety issues

Making decisions

  • Making decisions

Myself and others

  • Myself and my family
  • My friends and other people
  • Relating to others

Developing citizenship

  • My school community
  • Living in the local community
  • National, European and wider communities
  • Environmental care

The sub-unit Environmental care is developed in detail in SESE.

Media Education

Because of class groupings and staffing arrangements in this school the full SPHE programme will be delivered as follows:

  • Room 1 – 1st & 2nd Class Programme
  • Room 2 – 3rd & 4th Class Programme
  • Room 3 – 5th Class Programme
  • Room 4 – 6th Class Programme


The approaches and methodologies used in SPHE are crucial to the effectiveness of the programme. While some of the objectives of the curriculum can be achieved through more direct teaching, the emphasis in SPHE is on active learning. Where children are given opportunities to be actively engaged in their learning at many different levels, there is a greater chance that they will:

  • experience and discover the learning for themselves
  • construct new meanings and acquire new understanding
  • take increasing responsibility for their own learning
  • make their own of the learning and internalise what has been learned
  • become more critical and discerning
  • be able to transfer the learning to different situations


  • Health Promoting School Programme
  • The Stay Safe Programme
  • Walk Tall
  • Be Safe! – National Safety Council
  • Relationships and Sexuality Education – Dept. Education & Science
  • Water Safety Programme for 3rd – 6th Classes
  • Farm Safety Video

Resources Assessment

This will take the form of teacher observation, teacher designed tasks and tests, portfolios and projects.


SPHE is developed in a combination of contexts for learning. SPHE is intrinsic to the learning and teaching that occurs both formally and informally in the school. It will therefore be implemented in a combination of ways, through:

  • The context of a positive school climate and atmosphere
  • Discrete time
  • Integrated learning

Individual Needs

In addressing sensitive issues it will be necessary to take in to account the different levels of emotional and physical development of the children and to adopt the programme accordingly. It will be particularly important in multi-class situations to seek co-operation from other teachers or make alternative arrangements so that individual needs are met.

Gender Considerations

Because this is an all-boys school, special effort needs to be made to promote an appreciation of the role of both boys and girls, men and women in the children’s lives and in society in general.

Home/School/Community Links

The SPHE programme will involve close consultation between teachers, parents, children, Board of Management, health professionals and relevant members of the community. This approach will help to ensure that children are able to make connections between life at home, in the school and in the community.

Strategic Plan

  • Year of implementation: 2003 – 04
  • Ten strand units covered over two-year period
  • Half of each unit covered in one year

Roles and Responsibilities

Each class teacher will be responsible for implementing the programme. RSE in 6th Class will also have a talk from an ‘outside’ professional.

Success Criteria

The success of the programme will be assessed primarily by observation of the pupils and their attitudes towards themselves and others within the school environment. It will also be assessed through communication with the children’s parents / guardians.

Timeframes for Implementation and Review:

Ratification and Communication:

By Board of Management