Social Personal and Health Education

 Laragh 2(Muff) NS, Kingscourt Co. Cavan

Introductory Statement and Rationale


This plan was formulated by the teaching staff of Laragh 2 N.S.  As teachers, we acknowledge the importance of the S.P.H.E and well being of students and staff alike in our school.  This policy reflects that view and has been drawn up to benefit teaching and learning in our school, to conform to principles of learning outlined in the Primary School Curriculum and to review S.P.H.E. instruction in the school.


We seek to foster the personal development, health and well-being of the individual child and to prepare pupils to contribute and play a meaningful role in their communities.


Aims and Objectives

We endorse the aims of the Primary School Curriculum for S.P.H.E.:


  • To promote the personal development and well being of the 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 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

This S.P.H.E. plan will be addressed under the following headings:

 Curriculum planning

 Strands and strand units

  1. Contexts for S.P.H.E.
  2. Approaches and methodologies
  3. Assessment
  4. Children with different needs
  5. Equality of participation and access

Organisational planning

Policies and programmes that support S.P.H.E.

7.1. Policies and programmes

7.2. Substance Use Policy & Walk Tall Programme

7.3. Relationships and Sexuality Education Policy & R.S.E. Programme

7.4. Child Protection Policy & Stay Safe Programme

  1. Well Being Policy Statement and Framework for Practice.
  2. Homework
  3. Resources
  4. Programmes and other materials
  5. Guest speakers/visitors
  6. Individual teachers’ planning and reporting
  7. Staff development
  8. Parental Involvement
  9. Community links


Curriculum planning

  1. Strands and Strand Units


  • S.P.H.E will be planned in such a way that the child will receive a comprehensive programme in S.P.H.E. over a two year period.  Some strand units should be chosen from each of the strands in any one year.  The strand units not covered in year one will be included in the teacher’s planning for the following year.
  • Teachers are familiar with the content objectives for their own class
  • The curriculum consists of three strands:
  • Myself
  • Myself and others
  • Myself and the wider world.
  1. Contexts for S.P.H.E

S.P.H.E. will be taught through a combination of contexts

  • Positive school climate and atmosphere
  • Discrete time
  • Integration with other subject areas

Positive School Climate and Atmosphere:

Teachers in this school will endeavour to create a positive school climate and atmosphere by:

  • Building effective communication with the school
  • Catering for individual needs of the children
  • Creating a health-promoting physical environment
  • Student council giving pupils a say
  • Enhancing self-esteem
  • Fostering respect for diversity
  • Fostering inclusive and respectful language
  • Developing appropriate communication between home and school
  • Setting high expectations for pupils in terms of manners, respect and courtesy.

Discrete Time

  • This time will be used to develop and practise particular skills, deal with sensitive issues or explore issues that are not addressed in other areas of the curriculum.
  • Timetabled ½ hour per week.
  • Lessons will be timetabled by each individual teacher.
  • Discretionary time will be used for S.P.H.E. as required.



  • At each class level, teachers will seek to integrate S.P.H.E. with other curricular areas.
  • Content objectives will be addressed through meaningful integration with other subjects
  • Integration will be reflected in the teacher’s planning. eg. Through Religion – 6th class alcohol/Confirmation.


  1. Approaches and Methodologies

Active learning is a key principle of the overall curriculum and is the principal learning and teaching approach recommended for S.P.H.E.  The more the child is directly engaged in the learning process, cognitively, physically, emotionally and creatively, the more he or she is enabled to internalise what is learned.

The following active learning strategies will be promoted in the school.

  • Drama activities
  • Co-operation games
  • Picture, photographs and visual images
  • Discussion: in pairs, small groups, with whole class
  • Written activities: surveys, questionnaires, lists, check-lists, projects, worksheets
  • Information and communication technologies
  • Looking at children’s work: portfolios, projects….

A broad range of approaches and methodologies are suggested in the curriculum guidelines to realise the aim of involving children in their own learning.  These approaches and methodologies will be also used for S.P.H.E.

  • Talk and discussion
  • Skills through content
  • Collaborative learning
  • Problem-solving
  • Use of the environment
  1. Assessment.

Teachers will assess informally throughout the school year. Assessment tools will be used as follows:

  • Teacher observation
  • Teacher-designed tasks
  • Work samples, projects
  • Assessment information will be reported to parents at the Parent-Teacher Meeting, in the end-of-year report, and on other occasions, if necessary.
  1. Children with Different Needs.
  • Teachers will support and ensure the participation of children with special needs
  • All children will be enabled to make an important contribution regardless of academic achievemen
  1. Equality of Participation and Access.
  • Equal opportunities will be given to boys and girls to participate in classes/activities.
  • Boys and girls will have equal access to and opportunities to experience all strands.
  • All children have access to services, facilities or amenities in the school environment.
  1. Policies and Programmes that Support S.P.H.E.

7.1 Policies/Programmes

S.P.H.E. links with school policies/programmes:

Policies: Substance Use; RSE; Child protection; Enrolment; Code of Behaviour; Anti-Bullying; Health and Safety Statement; Healthy Eating.

Programmes: Walk Tall Programme; Stay Safe Programme: RSE Programme; Well-Being Programme; Weaving Well-Being Programme.

Overview of the Stay Safe Programme


To teach children personal safety skills so they can look after themselves in situations that could be upsetting or dangerous.


The lessons cover the following areas as given in the updated Stay Safe Programme of 2018:

  • Feeling Safe and Unsafe
  • Friendship and Bullying
  • Touches
  • Secrets and Telling
  • Strangers

Children participating in this programme will learn:

  • To distinguish between safe and unsafe feelings
  • What to do if lost
  • What to do if the phone or doorbell ring when they are alone in the house
  • The importance of friends in the children’s lives
  • What to do if bullied
  • Stay Safe Rules: Say No/Get Away/Tell
  • Why not to bully others
  • Appreciating normal, appropriate touches
  • That unsafe touches should never be kept secret
  • How to respond to inappropriate touches (Stay Safe Rules)
  • Good and bad secrets
  • That some secrets should not be kept
  • Who and how to tell if in trouble
  • About strangers and safety issues

All children do the Stay Safe Programme in our School.  It is done on a whole school basis in the last term.  Parents are informed of when it is being done. If any parent has any concern, they can contact the school and discuss issues with teachers and/or the principal.  The programme is taught every year, with all aspects being covered over a two year cycle.

Child Protection

 The school follows the DES Child Protection Guideline and Procedures, which are based on Children First, national Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children.  The principal is the designated liaison person (DLP). Ms M Carolan is the Deputy DLP.  Each teacher has a copy of our policy on Child Protection and a copy is available to parents, through the secretary, if they request one. It is available to view on


  1. Well Being Policy and Framework

The School will, as requested by the DES, incorporate a Well Being Policy & Framework through Self Evaluation by 2023.

Well Being already is and has been an integral part of our teaching.  This is done through:

  1. Culture & Atmosphere that is created in our school. Every day in all our interactions we foster a sense of respect, empathy and courtesy.
  2. Curriculum – through direct teaching of S.P.H.E. & through integration.
  3. Relationships – between pupils, pupil & staff, parents. We are setting up a student council to enhance the voice of students in the school’ decision making process.
  4. Planning & Policy with the regular review of this policy.
  5. e) The Well being of all staff will also be a priority.

We will look at further embedding Well Being in our school through the SSE process while being cogent to the DES Circular on external facilitators/programmes.


A comprehensive selection of resources is available for teaching all strand units including Walk Tall, Stay Safe programme, Relationships and Sexuality (DES), Well Being, Circle Time.  Materials purchased with school funds remain the property of the school.


Parental Involvement

S.P.H.E. is a shared responsibility between family and school.

  • Copies of the school plan for S.P.H.E. are available from the office
  • Parents will be made aware of content objectives that deal with “sensitive” issues before teachers cover these in class and will be asked to discuss these issues with their child prior to lessons in the school.