SPHE Whole School Plan

Scoil Naomh Treasa


Whole School Plan for


















Social, Personal and Health Education


  • Title

Social, Personal and Health Education Whole School Plan



  • Introductory Statement and Rationale


  1. Introductory Statement

The staff of Bellewstown N.S. formulated this school plan for SPHE, in consulation with our Board of Management and our Parents, as we believe that SPHE is a shared responsibility and their contributions and involvement will be essential to the effective implementation of the SPHE programme in the school. It was drafted during an in-school planning day and brought to the attention of the Board of Management and Parents.


  1. Rationale

Aspects of SPHE have been taught in Bellewstown N.S. for many years through various programmes and initiatives such as Stay Safe, Walk Tall and Relationships and Sexuality Education.It has also been taught through integration with other subject areas such as Physical Education, Religion, Geography, etc. However, we wish to formalise our teaching of SPHE and plan for it on a whole school basis.


  • Vision and Aims


  1. Vision:

SPHE in Bellewstown NS should foster self-worth, self-confidence and enable children to make responsible choices for life.


  1. Aims:

The children of Bellewstown NS should be enabled to achieve the aims outlined in the SPHE curriculum, which include:


    • 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 the social, personal and healthdimensions 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




  • Content of Plan



  1. Strands and Strand Units:

The curriculum is delineated at four levels—infant classes, first and second classes, third and fourth classes, and fifth and sixth classes—and is divided into three strands: Myself, Myself andothers, and Myself and the wider world.

Each of these strands is further subdivided into a number of strand units or topic areas that contain particular objectives.

Bellewstown NS will teach aspects of all three major strand units each year and strand units will be chosen in such a way that the child will receive a comprehensive programme in SPHE over a two- year period. Bellewstown NS have created this timetable to reflect this approach:


Strand Units (Year 1)

Strand Units (Year 2)


Self-identity (Sept–Oct)

Safety and Protection (Jan-Feb)-Stay Safe

Taking care of my body(Jan-Feb)

Making Decisions (Mar-Apr)

*This strand unit is for third to sixth only. Infants to second complete the Safety Issues section of Safety and Protection

Growing and Changing (May-June)

Myself and others

Myself and My Family (Nov-Dec)

My friends and other people (May-June)

Relating to others (Sept-Oct)

Myself and the wider world

Developing Citizenship (Mar-Apr)

Media Education (Nov-Dec)

  1. Contexts for SPHE:

SPHE will be taught in Bellewstown NSthrough a combination of the following contexts:


  1. Positive School Climate and Atmosphere

Bellewstown NS has created a positive atmosphere by:

  • building effective communication
  • catering for individual needs
  • creating a health-promoting physical environment
  • developing democratic processes
  • enhancing self-esteem
  • fostering respect for diversity
  • fostering inclusive and respectful language
  • developing appropriate communication
  • developing a school approach to assessment


  1. Discrete time for SPHE

SPHE is allocated ½ hour per week on each teacher’s timetable in Bellewstown NS. However teachers may allocate 1 hour per fortnight to allow for more indepth exploration of a strand unit.


  1. Integration with other subject areas and Linkage within SPHE

Teachers will endeavour to adopt a thematic approach to SPHE by integrating it with other subject areas such as Language, Geography, History, Religion, Visual Arts, Physical Education, etc. Themes/Projects such as Healthy Eating Week, Friendship Week, Agri-Awareness, Healthy Heart Week, Lenten Campaign, etc. will also be explored.



  1. Approaches and Methodologies:

Bellewstown NS believes that 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 for SPHE, therefore we will endeavour to teach SPHE using a variety of strategies which include:

  • drama activities
  • co-operative games
  • use of pictures
  • photographs and visual images
  • written activities
  • use of media
  • information technologies and looking at children’s work



  1. Assessment:

Assessment is a central part of the everyday learning and teaching process in SPHE. It can provide valuable information on the child’s progress and on the effectiveness and suitability of the programme and the teaching methods being used.

Bellewstown NS uses the following recommended informal tools for assessment in SPHE:

  • Teacher observation
  • Teacher-designed tasks and tests






  1. Children with Different Needs:

Teachers will endeavour to adapt and modify activities and methodologies in SPHE to encourage participation by children with special needs. The learning support and resource teachers will supplement the work of the class teachers where necessary. Bellewstown NS will liasise with trained professionals/appropriate agencies when dealing with sensitive issues such as bereavement or loss to ensure that the children involved are fully supported.


  1. Equality of Participation and Access:

Bellewstown NS recognises and values diversity, and believes all children are entitled to access the services, facilities, or amenities that are available in the school environment. Ours is a mixed-sex school and we endeavour to challenge traditional stereotypes and ensure that equal opportunities are given to boys and girls to participate in discussion, debate, presentation, etc. Bellewstown NS is under Roman Catholic school management, and we endeavour to provide for:

  • Members of the Travelling community
  • Children with disabilities
  • Families with literacy difficulties
  • Children who are learning English as a second language




  1. Policies and Programmes that support SPHE:


  • Child Protection
  • Anti-Bullying
  • Relationships and Sexuality Education
  • Substance Use
  • Code of Behaviour
  • Enrolment
  • Health and Safety
  • Healthy Eating
  • Internet Acceptable Useage



  • Active School Flag
  • Health Promoting Schools
  • Food Dudes
  • Green Flag
  • Yellow Flag – promoting inclusion and celebrating diversity
  • Sticks and Stones
  • Yoga
  • Mediatation
  • Friends for Life
  • Circle Time (Jenny Mosley)



  1. Homework:

SPHE homework, if prescribed in SPHE, will reflect the active learning approach and will reinforce information already taught during class.



  1. Resources:

Teachers will reference the PDST resource list, which is available on the SPHE page at www.pdst.ie when planning their lessons.


    1. Programmes and Other Materials:


External Agencies

Books for Teacher

Audio / Visual


Media & ICT

Sticks & Stones




Various qualified tutors

Promotional Programmes (Flags etc.)

RSE Manuals

Walk Tall

Stay Safe

Bi Follain

Making the Links

Friends for Life *

Busy Bodies

Food Dudes

Guided Mediatation

Stay Safe

Recommended SPHE Programmes

Various posters throughout the school


Childnet International

Media Links


    1. Guest Speakers:

When a guest speaker addresses the children in SPHE, the class teacher will remain in the classroom (as per Circular 22/2010) and make the speaker aware of this school plan and attached policies.



  1. Individual Teachers’ Planning and Reporting:
  • Making The Links will be used by teachers in their SPHE planning as it coordinates all the various SPHE educational curricular programmes in a very clear and coherent manner and it guides and informs teachers in their short and long term planning.
  • Each teacher will include SPHE in a Cuntas Míosúil and this will inform our progress and needs when evaluating and reviewing our progress in SPHE.


  1. Staff Development:

Training opportunities will include the following areas and this training will support an effective implementation of the SPHE programme:

  • training in the Child Abuse Prevention Programme/ Stay Safe

  • training in the Substance Misuse programme /Walk Tall

  • training in the Relationships and Sexuality Education programme /R.S.E.

  • training in Child Protection/Children First Act 2015/17

  • PDST Advisor support and modelling of lessons


Teachers are encouraged to attend SPHE related courses and will share information/skills acquired at these courses with other members of staff during staff meetings.

Mrs. Light attended a Stay Safe & Walk Tall Seminar in October 2017.


  1. Parental Involvement:

Parental involvement is considered an integral part to effectively implementing SPHE as Bellewstown NS believe that SPHE is a shared responsibilty. This plan and the curriculum documents are available for parents to inform them of the programme for SPHE.

Parents have the right to refuse their child to take part in the Stay Safr Programme. In the event of a parent opting out of the programmes the following steps will be taken:

  • The principal will meet with the parent to query why they have chosen to opt out (see p.9 of Stay Safe manual), to answer any concerns or clear up any misconceptions they might have about the programme.
  • If the parent still wishes for their child not to participate in the programme they must put their request in writing to the principa,l indicating thet they take full responsibility for educating their child in the areas covered by the Stay Safe Programme.


  1. Community Links:

Bellewstown NS believes that the local community has a very important role to play in supporting the programme in SPHE and endeavour to liasise with the members such as the Dental Hygienist, Health Nurse, Fireman, Vet, New Parent, etc.





  • Success Criteria

The success of this plan will be evaluated through teacher’s planning and preparation, and if the procedures outlined in this plan have been consistently followed. We will also judge its success if the children have been enabled to achieve the aims outlined in this plan.


  • Implementation


  1. Roles and Responsibilities:

Bellewstown NS believes that the school community must be involved to successfully implement SPHE. Therefore the teaching staff will implement this plan with the support of the Board of Management, Parents and the Local Community.

  1. Timeframe:

The plan will be implemented by May 2018



  • Review


  1. Roles and Responsibilities:

It will be necessary to review this plan on a regular basis to ensure optimum implementation of the SPHE curriculum in the school. Mrs. Lighgt is responsible for co-ordinating this review.

Those involved in the review will include:





  1. Timeframe:

This plan will be reviewed in May 2021


  • Ratification and Communication

The Board of Management of Bellewstown NS ratified this plan on March 2018.


Signed; Rev John Conlon

Date ; 24/04/2018

This plan is available to view at the school by the parents on request.


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