S.P.H.E. Policy

//S.P.H.E. Policy
S.P.H.E. Policy2019-11-17T00:43:13+00:00

Scoil an Chlochair

Convent Primary School

Social, Personal and Health Education Policy

Downloadable File: SPHE policy

Introductory Statement

The plan was formulated by members of Staff committee pending its approval and ratification by the other partners in education at a later date.


It was decided to focus on this area of development to conform with the principles of the revised curriculum namely that:

  • SPHE is a lifelong proves
  • It is the shared responsibility of family, school, health professionals and the community
  • It is an inclusive approach
  • It is based on the needs of the child
  • Is developed in a combination of contexts
  • It actively based learning/discussion

SPHE promotes an all-round positive approach to life by reaching the heart of the child’s concerns. It imports knowledge, develops skills, promotes/fosters proper values and attitudes, and inculcates a sense of responsibility, a care for the environment, sensitivity and inclusiveness.

The education of the child shall be directed to:

  • the development of the child’s personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential.
  • the preparation of the child for a responsible life in a free society in the spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, equality for all.

Relationship of characteristic Spirit of the School

Since SPHE has a moral and spiritual dimension it is influenced significantly by our school’s philosophy and ethos. Our Mission Statement defines our school as existing to promote the balanced growth and development of each pupil, respecting the dignity, individuality and uniqueness of each, while imparting sound basic education. We see education as going beyond a grounding in the basics to include programmes which nurture the moral, emotional, spiritual, aesthetic and creative faculties. It is our earnest desire that each pupil should leave school with an enhanced self-esteem, the ability to form positive healthy relationships and to enable him/her to hope with a changing society. These ideals are at the heart of the SPHE curriculum.


The aims of Social, Personal and Health Education are:

  • to promote the personal development and well-being of that child
  • to foster in the child a sense of care and respect for himself/herself 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
  • to enable the child to respect human and cultural diversity and to appreciate and understand the interdependent nature of the world.

Content of the Plan

The programme is structured at four levels:

  • Myself
  • Myself and others (divided into three strands)
  • Myself and the wider world

These strands are sub-divided into a number of topics as shown in the exemplars (C.pp60-95)

The content (C.pp22-67) is to be provided by:

  • A positive school climate and atmosphere
  • SPHE/Circle Time
  • Integrated approach

Among the factors which influence classroom planning for SPHE are the quality of the learning environment, the setting of goals; time for reflection on outcomes, cross curricular integration and flexibility. We strive to achieve uniformity of approach, progress and content in and between classes and throughout the school by promoting a positive teaching and learning atmosphere. Each child is thereby valued, cared for and respected. The physical environment of the school promotes general health and well-being. We are a health promoting school. Certain assemblies throughout the year support/enhance our SPHE programme. Class rules are formulated with the class teacher and his/her students.


The Stay Safe, Walk Tall and elements of the RSE programme have been utilized. We liaise with the HSE as a Health Promoting School. Among school policies are a Healthy Eating Policy, Anti-Bullying Policy, IT Policy, Child Protection Policy, Special Educational Needs Policy, Intimate Care Policy and  Facebook Policy. The school participates in departmental initiatives that promote the SPHE curriculum locally. We have earned eight Green Flags for our efforts in the area of environmental awareness. We have an active Green School Committee, Health Promotion Committee, Global Citizenship Day and participate in RSA initiatives such as Water Safety and Cycle Safety. Digital Awareness and Safety is also promoted in the school and outside agencies/speakers visit yearly to give talks to pupils during the day and to parents/guardians at night (e.g. Zeeko, Irene Guedan (Intel)) etc.


While the school climate and atmosphere is the key context for learning, SPHE also takes place through discreet time and an integrated approach across relevant subject areas.

Assessment Procedures

(Guidelines 27/7 curriculum 70-77)

The aim of assessment is to improve the learning experience of the child in SPHE. It should be undertaken in a practical and balanced way within the school. Teacher observation is an informal type of assessment, non-intrusive and non-threatening. Information regarding a child’s progress may be given to parents/guardians, ensuring that both home and school play a significant role in helping the child to learn.


(Guidelines; 54095)

The approaches and methodologies used in SPHE are crucial to the effectiveness of the programme. Active learning is the principal learning and teaching approach recommended (p.54). Active learning strategies such as role play, group work, co-operative games, discussion, circle time, written activities allow the children to engage effectively with the curriculum. Opportunities for acquiring appropriate vocabulary are provided. The Stay Safe and Walk Tall Programme have a range of character building resources – promoting self-esteem; an understanding of change and choice. RSE is a core subject of the SPHE curriculum promoting health and well-being of pupils and helping them to acquire knowledge and understanding, skills, attitudes, beliefs and values about sexual identity, relationship and intimacy.  School may invite speakers (as is our practice) to address our senior pupils and their parents/guardians on issues pertaining to adolescence, relationship and sexuality, peer and media influence, drugs etc (guidelines p32). Online, internet, social media safety is also addressed in the school. Digital mediums are used in the school such as gonoodle, mindfulness activities, ebooks for Stay Safe and RSE and activity/exercise breaks.

Success Criteria

Assessment provides the teacher with information on how and what children are learning through the planned programme in SPHE. This informs decisions and gives direction for planning. The teacher will be able to discern what the child knows and understands and how he/she transfers learning from one situation to another. While the content of the SPHE curriculum is not amenable to assessment as other curriculum areas, teachers and parents/guardians in collaboration with each other can gauge how this learning for living is impacting on the child. Questions posed, spontaneous reactions but above all the quality of response and appreciation evident in behavior patterns may be pointers to success or its opposite.

Roles & Responsibilities

The plan will be monitored and evaluated by individual teachers in their classrooms and by Staff, as a whole, at a staff meeting prior to ratification.

Timeframe for Implementation

Our target date for full implementation is March 2019. Our last review was 17/09/2018.

Responsibility for Review

Staff, parents/guardians, Board of Management will be involved in the review.

Ratification and Communication

Discussion by Board of Management scheduled 5th March 2019.

Ratified by Board of Management on:________________________

Signature of Chairperson:________________________________


Signature of Principal:__________________________________



Review Date:  March 2022

Downloadable File: SPHE policy

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