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School Policy

Click on the Policy Heading to see Scoil Treasa's Policy

Code of Behaviour

Anti Bullying Policy

Enrolment Policy

S.P.H.E. Policy

R.S.E. Policy Statement

Stay Safe Policy

S.P.H.E. Scoil Treasa Firhouse

  • Title

Social, Personal and Health Education Whole School Plan

  • Introductory Statement and Rationale

 (a) Introductory Statement

The staff of Scoil Treasa 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,] with the assistance of a local cuiditheoir from the Primary Curriculum Support Program, and brought to the attention of the Board of Management for approval and ratification.

(b) Rationale

Aspects of SPHE have been taught in Scoil Treasa for many years through various programmes and initiatives such as Stay Safe, Walk Tall, 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 to ensure compliance with D.E.S. guidelines

  • Vision and Aims

(a) Vision:

S.P.H.E in Scoil Treasa should enable each child to respect himself and others,  to relate to himself and others  and  to become an active citizen in society

(b) Aims:

The children of Scoil Treasa 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 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

                                  (Curriculum Statement page9)


  • Content of Plan

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 and others, 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.
Scoil Treasa 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. 
Scoil Treasa have created this timetable to reflect this approach:


 Strand Units 3rd, 5th

Strand Units  4th, 6th


Self-identity (Sept.–Oct.)

Safety and Protection(Jan-February)


Taking care of my body(Jan.-Feb.)



Making Decisions(March-April)
3rd-6th classes only





Growing and Changing (March-April)




Myself and others

Myself and My Family (Nov.-Dec.)




My friends and other people (Nov-Decemberb.)


Relating to others (Sept.-Oct.)


Myself and the wider world




Developing Citizenship  (May-June)

Media Education (May-Junec.)

** Strand Unit Growing and Changing in 6th class; topics may be covered by outside speaker. 

Contexts for SPHE:

SPHE will be taught in Scoil Treasa through a combination of the following three contexts:

  • Positive School Climate and Atmosphere

Scoil Treasa has created a positive atmosphere by:
building effective communication e.g regular content with parents. Parent teacher meetings, ‘open school’
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

  • Discrete time for SPHE

SPHE is allocated ½ hour per week on each teacher’s timetable in Scoil Treasa.  However teachers may allocate Integration with other subject areas and Linkage within SPHE
Teachers will endeavour to adopt an thematic approach to SPHE by integrating it with other subject areas such as Language (Media Education), Geography (Citizenship), History (Myself and my Family), Religion (Decisions), Visual Arts, Physical Education (Water Safety), etc.  Themes/Projects such as Healthy Eating Week, Lenten Campaign, Green Schools Campaign, Seachtain na Gaeilge, Tree Week etc. will also be explored.

 3. Approaches and Methodologies:

Scoil Treasa believe 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
                                             (page 57 Teacher Guidelines)

4. 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. The primary emphasis in this area is on informal assessment.

Scoil Treasa uses the following recommended informal tools for assessment in SPHE:

Teacher observation:
Teacher observation is a particularly suitable and effective technique for assessing this area of the curriculum (curriculum statement p72)
Teacher observation might focus on
• the ability of the child to co-operate and work in groups or to work
• the informal interactions between the child and adults and between
the child and other children
• the quality of presentation of work
• particular interests or aptitudes displayed by the child
• the participation and interest of the child in a variety of activities
• the level of personal or social responsibility exhibited by the child
• the reliability of the child in carrying out established routines
• the perseverance of the child in carrying out a task
• the child’s awareness of the difficulties of others and his
willingness to help
• the questions the child asks and the responses the child makes to
questions and suggestions made by the teacher
• various behaviour, for example shyness, leadership ability, level of selfconfidence,
the tendency to be anxious, sense of fair play,
assertiveness, aggression, readiness to take risks and meet challenges
• physical and emotional maturity
• the ability of the child to engage in assessing his/her progress and
reflecting on his learning.

Teacher-designed tasks
Portfolios and projects

5. 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.  Scoil Treasa 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 e.g. N.E.P.S.and The H.S.E.

6. Equality of Participation and Access:

Scoil Treasa recognises and values diversity, and believes all children are entitled to access the services, facilities, or amenities that are available in the school environment.


Policies and Programmes that support SPHE:

7.1 Policies/Programmes:

Code of Behaviour
Enrolment Policy
Health and Safety Policy
Anti-bullying Policy


7.2 Substance Use Policy:

 See Substance Use Policy

7.3 Relationships and Sexuality Education:

 See Relationships and Sexuality Education Policy

7.4 Child Protection:

See Child Protection Statement

8. Homework:

Homework in this subject will usually be informal.However if prescribed in SPHE,homework, will reflect the active learning approach and will reinforce information already taught during class, e.g. relevant R.S.E/ Stay Safe worksheets used as homework.
Resources:The most important resource for SPHE in our school is the school community, pupils, staff, parents, management. Other members of the community who may assist us in the implementation of our SPHE programme are public health nurses, dental nurses, Gardaí etc.

              All resources will be slected in accordance with the critera laid down on page 103 of the Teacher Guidelines.                                                           

Programmes and Other Materials:
             Stay Safe Programme:
                     Walk Tall
                     Relationships and Sexuality programmme
                     Making The Links
                     Bi Folain  

Books for Pupil

Books for Teacher

Other Resources




Walk Tall
Stay Safe
Be Safe
R.S.E. Books
Making the Links


9.1 Guest Speakers:

Guest speakers may be used to enhance the work being done by the class teacher in SPHE. When a guest speaker addresses the children in SPHE, the class teacher will remain in the classroom. The speaker will be made aware of this school plan and attached policies and work accordingly. Criteria for selecting guest speakers will be in accordance with the recommendations on page 32 of the Teacher Guidelines. In 5th and 6th classes an experienced nurse/counsellor, with qualifications in sex education will be invited to speak. From time to time other speakers will be invited to speak on different curricular areas.

10. Individual Teachers’ Planning and Reporting:

This plan in SPHE and the curriculum documents will inform and guide teachers in their long and short term planning in SPHE. This planning will be in line with the year grid on page 3 of this plan.  Each teacher will keep a Cuntas Míosúil and this will inform our progress and needs when evaluating and reviewing our progress in SPHE. Teachers may make observations on children’s progress which may be recorded on the child’s file.

11. Staff Development:

The staff have received either pre-service and/or in-service in 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 Circle work
training in SPHE
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. It is planned over the next couple of years to upskill teachers in these areas.

12. Parental Involvement:

Parental involvement is considered an integral part to effectively implementing SPHE as Scoil Treasa 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, and they are welcomed also to view the Relationships and Sexuality Education Policy and Substance Use Policy.

13. Community Links:

Scoil Treasa believe that the local community has a very important role to play in supporting the programme in SPHE and endeavour to liaise with the members such as the Dental Service, Health Nurse, Fireman,Garda, Sports clubs, Credit Union.

Success Criteria

The success of this plan will be evaluated through teacher’s planning and preparation, and is dependent upon the procedures outlined in this plan having been consistently followed. We will also judge its success if the children have been enabled to achieve the aims outlined in this plan. Other success criteria might be Atmosphere of the school,feedback from parents quality of social interactions, positive changes in behaviours and attitudes e.g. litter, language used,etc.

  • Implementation

(a) Roles and Responsibilities:

Scoil Treasa 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.

(b) Timeframe:

The plan will be implemented by September 2008

  • Review

(a) 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.  Those involved in the review will include:
Post holders/plan co-ordinator


This plan will be reviewed in Autumn 2020

  • Ratification and Communication

Ratified by Board of Management on November 19th 2018

Chairperson: _________________               Secretary: _______________ Date: