The school has a responsibility to put in place an RSE policy as part of the wider social, personal and health education strand of the curriculum.
The need for this policy arises from our schools obligation to provide for all the needs of the student body and respond appropriately to sensitive and emotive issues relating to emerging sexuality.
• To enhance the personal development, well being and self-esteem of each child
• To enable each child to gain an understanding of and respect for human love, reproduction and sexual activity in a sensitive and measured way
• To enable the child develop healthy friendships and relationships
Relationships to School Ethos:
The school ethos affirms and supports close links between school and home.
Parents also have the right to withhold their children from participating in RSE classes.
Myself - Self identity, taking care of my body, growing and changing, safety and protection
Myself and Others - Myself and family, friends and relating to other people
Taking Care of My Body – Naming parts of the male and female body using appropriate terminology (Junior and Lower Middle classes). Identifying physical changes, understanding puberty and the reproductive system (Senior Classes)
Growing and Changing – The stages of development of a baby from conception to birth (Middle Classes). Understanding sexual relations within the context of a committed loving relationship (Senior Classes).
Teachers do not cover topics such as contraception and same sex relationships. Children who ask questions in class on content outside the curriculum are asked to talk to their parents.
Boys and girls are taught together in all classes. Senior pupils are treated in a mature way and are encouraged to discuss issues that arise with their parents. The Alive O 8 resource materials are used in senior classes.
Topics covered up to 2nd class include;
• Keeping safe
• Naming bodily parts using correct terminology
• Bodily changes during growth and development
• Making and keeping friends
• Making age appropriate choices
• Appreciating family life
• Recognizing and expressing feelings
• Self care, hygiene, diet, exercise and sleep (link with P.E. and S.P.H.E.)
• Expressing opinions and listening to others
Topics covered from 3rd to 6th Classes include;
• Bodily changes
• Healthy eating, personal hygiene, exercise
• Keeping safe
• Expressing feelings
• Family relationships
• Making healthy and responsible decisions
• Forming friendships
• Reproduction, conception (5th and 6th Classes)
Guidelines for Management:
Parents have the primary responsibility for educating their children in sexual matters. The school R.S.E. programme acts as a support only to parents, and parents retain the right to withdraw their children from classes. The programme is taught within the ethos of the school and contemporary issues/topics are dealt with by the teacher at a level appropriate to the age and stage of development of pupils within a moral and spiritual framework. Teachers are present at all times if a guest speaker is visiting a class.
The school follows the DES child protection guidelines and has a Child Protection Policy with the Principal as Designated Liaison Person. In cases of disclosure; the DLP will follow the procedures as set out in Children First.
The teacher’s right to choose is enshrined in the policy and if teachers do not wish to teach specific aspects of the programme or require additional resources, a suitable speaker will be employed by the BoM. The teacher may need to plan the specific material to be covered and should be present during the talk.
Roles and Responsibilities:
The school community of BoM, staff, pupils and parents play a key role in the implementation of the policy.
This policy was ratified by the Board of Management.
(Chairperson, Board of Management)