Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) contributes to developing the work of the school in promoting health and well-being of children and young people. This happens in the context of their emotional, moral and spiritual growth, as well as their intellectual, physical, political, religious and creative development.
Social, Personal and Health Education provides students with a unique opportunity to develop the skills and competencies to learn about themselves and care for themselves and others and to make informed decisions about their health, personal lives and social development.
Support from the Board of Management, from the wider community and in particular from parents, will be necessary for the successful implementation of this school’s programme of SPHE.
The curriculum for SPHE is presented in ten modules each of which appears in each year of the programme.
- Belonging and Integrating
- Self Management
- Communication Skills
- Physical Health
- Relationships and Sexuality
- Emotional Health
- Influences and Decisions
- Substance Use
- Personal Safety
Health Schools Scheme
As a part of the SPHE Policy the Healthy Schools Scheme views health as the physical, social and emotional well-being of the school community. It seeks to make school-life a positive experience for all, striving to build health into all aspects of life in the school community, by enforcing policies, practices and structures that enhance health.
Relationships and Sexuality Education
Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) aims to provide opportunities for young people to learn about relationships and sexuality in ways that help them think and act in a moral caring and responsible way. In Loreto Secondary School, Letterkenny, RSE will be part of our wider programme of Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) and will at all times attempt to be sensitive to the religious and moral ethos of the student’s background.
In order to facilitate the introduction of RSE in the school a draft policy statement will be prepared by an RSE school committee. The committee will be comprised of Parents’ representatives, BOM representatives, Teachers’ representatives and the management authorities.
Once a final RSE policy statement has been produced and approved by the management authorities, it will become the basis for implementing the school’s RSE programme.
Draft Policy Statements
The following is a list of policy statements in relation to the provision of RSE in Loreto Secondary School, Letterkenny.
- One timetabled period per week will be allocated to SPHE for all Junior Certificate classes.
Five to six timetabled periods in each year will be assigned to RSE.
- Provision for RSE at Senior Cycle may be achieved by setting aside 5 to 6 periods per year from certain timetabled subjects in order to facilitate appropriate personnel in the delivery of the modules. This arrangement has yet to be worked out in greater detail.
- The RSE modules will be delivered in accordance with the syllabus and guidelines produced by the NCCA.
- Key staff members will avail of relevant in-service training.
- The Parents’ Association and BOM will be consulted and kept informed during the process of formulating a Policy.
- Documented information will be provided to all Parents regarding the provision of RSE in the school.
- The school authorities will identify and assemble material and resources deemed appropriate for the delivery of RSE.
- Teachers involved in the delivery of the RSE modules will at all times have due regard for the official school policy.
- RSE modules will at all times be covered in appropriate contexts and settings.
Topics for Junior Cycle Students will include:
- Understanding of physical and emotional changes at puberty.
- Understanding and respecting what it is to be female or male.
- Personal safety.
- Awareness of infection (including HIV and Aids)
- Appreciation of the roles of women and men in society.
- Awareness of discrimination.
- Sexual orientation
- Developing skills regarding making and maintaining good relationships and friendships
- Family roles and responsibilities
- Group behaviour and resolving conflict
- Understanding of how peer pressure works
Topics for Senior Cycle students will build on elements covered in Junior Cycle and will treat issues in ways suitable for the young adult. Topics will include:
- Treating women and men with equal respect
- Making responsible choices regarding sexual activity
- Sexual harassment
- Awareness of what constitutes a loving relationship
- A deeper understanding of pregnancy and the developing foetus
- The long-term commitment involved in marriage
- Parenting and family life
- Fertility and family planning
- Sexual abuse, rape, legal rights: voluntary and statutory agencies
This policy was reviewed by the staff, the student council and the Parents’ Association and is due to be ratified by the Board of Management in May 2009.
It will be reviewed during the school year 2011