SPHE for Junior Cycle and RSE for Senior Cycle

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Relationships and Sexuality Education

Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) is a lifelong process of acquiring knowledge and understanding and of developing attitudes,beliefs and values about sexual identity,relationships and intimacy.This education is delivered consciously and unconsciously by parents, teachers, peers, adults and the media.

In Irish schools, RSE will provide structured opportunities for pupils to acquire a knowledge and understanding of human relationships and sexuality through processes which will enable them to form values and establish behaviours within a moral, spiritual and social framework.

This approach gives opportunities to children and young people to learn about relationships and sexuality in ways that help them think and act in a moral, caring and responsible manner.
At primary level, RSE aims to help children learn, at home and in school, about their own development and about their friendships and relationships with others.This work will be based on developing a good self-image, promoting respect for themselves and for others, and providing them with appropriate information.

At post-primary level, this means building on the primary programme and providing young people with information and skills to critically evaluate the wide range of information, opinions, attitudes and values offered today, and so make positive, responsible choices about themselves and the way they live their lives. 
In the school setting, RSE will be taught in the context of Social, Personal and Health Education.

Social, Personal and Health Education

Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) contributes to developing the work of the school in promoting the health and well-being of children and young people.This happens in the context of their emotional,moral, social and spiritual growth,as well as their intellectual,physical,political,religious and creative development.A supportive school climate, where the needs and well-being of all members of the school community are considered, is essential to the best possible provision for SPHE.

Social, Personal and Health Education looks at issues such as relationships at home and in school, building self-esteem, and learning skills of communication, decision-making and expressing feelings in an appropriate way. It also includes giving clear information on a range of topics, including healthy eating, alcohol, drugs, human growth and development, safety and social responsibility, and environmental issues. 

Relationships and sexuality education - A Partnership between Home and School - The guidelines for policy development in this booklet are laid out is a series of steps: 

Steps 1 and 2 
are aimed at assisting you to clarify what is contained in the NCCA curriculum and guidelines and other documents, and what is already happening in your school 

Step 3 
contains the framework for the policy statement 

Steps 4 to 6 
provide guidance on what to do after the initial policy statement has been drafted.

Step 1: Study relevant documents

Over the past two years your school has received a number of relevant documents on RSE.These include:

The Report of the Expert Advisory Group on Relationships and Sexuality Education 

This report was distributed to boards of management school authorities in January 1995 and has become known as the 'Blue Book'.The report formed the basis on which RSE is being introduced into Irish schools. Recommended reading: pages 6-8 and 16.

Department of Education Circulars

2/95 to Primary and M4/95 to Post-Primary Schools in January 1995 explain the rationale for the introduction of RSE into schools and the manner in which the implementation process is to be managed.

9/96 to Primary Schools and M20/96 to Post-Primary Schools summarise progress to date and outline plans for inservice teacher training.

Documents included in this folder:

Relationships and Sexuality Education Policy Guidelines - This document provides guidelines for the development of RSE policy and promotes a partnership between home and school.

The NCCA Curriculum and Guidelines for Primary Schools/Infants to Sixth - Pages 5, 7-9 and 49-54 will be particularly relevant for you in your policy-making role.You may also be interested in content (pages 13-46) and methodology (pages 55-68) or 

The NCCA Curriculum and Guidelines for Post-Primary Schools - Pages 7-11 and 33-34 will be of particular relevance.

Parents' Information Booklet, 'Going Forward Together' - This booklet provides information on RSE for parents. It explains what and how children and young people may be taught and also answers commonly asked questions. It highlights how home and school together can support children's learning and it invites and encourages parents to become involved.

Step 2: Review current provision of SPHE/RSE

The aim in drawing up Relationships and Sexuality Education policy is to indicate how RSE will be implemented in the school.At the outset,the policy will outline what provision is being made for RSE and SPHE in your school. Most schools are engaged in some relevant activities and this section is intended to provide a summary of what is already being provided.

It should be possible to gather the information from the policy committee members' own knowledge, experience and observation of the work of the school.Additional information may have to be sought from parents, teachers or the school authorities through their representatives on the committee.

Your committee should gather information on how SPHE/RSE is already being made available to children through the formal and informal activities of the school.

Under formal provision, your school may be teaching SPHE/RSE through: 

Specific programmes

Examples include initiatives developed by the Departments of Education and of Health - the Stay Safe and the Substance Abuse Prevention Programmes.

Existing school subjects 
Elements of SPHE and/or RSE are being approached during such subjects as Biology; Civic, Social and Political Education; Guidance and Counselling; Home Economics; Physical Education; Religious Education; Science; Social and Environmental Studies, or during school-developed Social, Personal and Health Education programmes. 

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Tel: 041 - 6851344

Fax: 041 - 6861522

Address: Barn Road, Dunleer, Co. Louth.


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Scoil Uí Mhuirí

Welcome to Scoil Uí Mhuirí’s website where we hope you will find useful and up to date information about our school. Scoil Uí Mhuirí is a vibrant, dynamic, multi denominational Post Primary School situated in the heart of the growing community of Dunleer, Co. Louth.

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Contact Information

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel: 041 - 6851344

Fax: 041 - 6861522

Address: Barn Road, Dunleer, Co. Louth.