Ennis Educate Together National School
RSE Policy [May 2015]
The Aims of Our R. S. E. Programme are:
1. To enhance the personal development, self-esteem and well-being of the child.
2. To develop an appreciation of the dignity, uniqueness and well-being of others.
3. To acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of self.
4. To understand the nature, growth and development of relationships within families, in friendships and in wider contexts.
5. To acquire and improve skills of communication and Social interaction.
6. To acquire and to use an appropriate vocabulary in naming parts of the body, Junior Classes up to Second.
7. To acquire and to use an appropriate vocabulary which will enable pupils to discuss feelings, sexuality, growth and development in an appropriate manner.
Management and Organisation of R.S.E.
The R.S.E. Proqramme wilI be delivered as follows:-
1. The Programme will be taught in the normal classroom situation by the Class Teacher.
2. It is recognised that a teacher has the right to opt out of teaching part/all of the programme. In this case alternative arrangements will be made to ensure that the programme will be taught in all classes. Teachers who have received special training in RSE will be available to cover this eventuality.
3. A visiting speaker may be invited to deliver aspects of the programme – e.g. aspects concerning their sexual development and any other sensitive issues (as per guidelines). Visitors such as the following – Nurse, Garda, Fire Person, Post Office Worker, Farmer, Mother and baby may be brought into speak to any class if the teacher feels that a talk from such visitors would be beneficial to the pupils.
4. Issues discussed will be age appropriate. All topics will be dealt with in a manner which will show care and sensitivity to all pupils.
5. R.S.E. will be facilitated in 3 ways within the school :-
- In the context of a positive school climate and atmosphere
-As part of S.P.H.E. on an integrated cross curricular basis
-As Parents/Guardians are the primary educators of their children they may wish to deal with certain aspects of the R.S.E. programme in the home. Parents will be informed of upcoming RSE topics and consequently, you may decide to withdraw your child from the classroom while the lessons are being taught.
A Note on Language for the Body
There is a great deal of power in language and not being familiar with the biological terms for the body can put children at a disadvantage. To give children this vocabulary, it is recommended by the R.S.E. Policy Development Committee that the teachers in our school use everyday situations to include words for the body and bodily functions naturally and without undue emphasis. A simple example of this might be where a child whose mother is expecting a baby says “My Mammy has a baby in her tummy”. The teacher can take that opportunity to explain that the special place in a woman’s body where a baby spends the nine months before it is born is called the womb. The vast majority of children use colloquial terms to describe the penis, the breasts, female genitalia etc.
- “New Life” (Junior Infants)
- “My Body” (Senior Infants)
- “Growing Means Changing” (First Class)
- “When My Body Needs Special Care” (Second Class)
(These lessons will be done over a period of 4 years).
Children will come to learn the following terms – Breasts, Penis, Womb, Anus, Vulva, Testicles, Vagina, Umbilical Cord.
* Please note that this vocabulary will be taught in an informal manner over a 4 year period during lessons that lend themselves to the teaching in a sensitive manner of such words. Please note also that lessons involving the teaching of such vocabulary will not be sex education lessons.
Ongoing Development and Review
R.S.E. Programme will be reviewed from time to time as it is considered advantageous to do so. Any amendments necessary as a result of such review will be undertaken. The Board of Management/School Manager will (1) give financial assistance for the purchase of Resource Materials (2) and also cover the cost of providing ongoing training for the teachers to help them implement the R.S.E. Programme if this is considered necessary.
We trust that the Programme will prove to be both satisfactory and beneficial for all involved in the teaching and learning of it.
RSE – Specific Content (lnfants -2nd)
Taking Care of My Body P17 (Knowing About My Body 3,4)
-Explore and discuss the different things the body can do – move, feel, think, grow, heal.
-Name parts of the male and female body, using appropriate anatomical terms (RSE P148).
See also Science , Myself P24.
Growing & Changing P18 (New Life 1,2)
- Become aware of new life and birth in the world – new growth in springtime, baby animals being born.
- Develop an awareness of human birth – that a baby grows and is nurtured in the mother’s womb until ready to be born (RSE P71 & P138). See also Science, Human Life P24.
Safety & Protection p19
- ldentify situations and places that are safe and those where personal safety might be at risk – being in a supervised playground, going on an outing with family, going into unfamiliar places, feeling unsafe with people, being asked to keep a difficult secret (one that causes worry or makes him/her feel uncomfortable).
- Realise how other people can persuade him/her to engage in unsafe behaviour.
Taking Care of My Body p27 (Knowing About My Body 3,4,5)
-Explore the various things the body can do: see, hear, move, breathe, make energy, feel, think.
- Name parts of the male and female body, using appropriate anatomical terms and identify some of their functions (RSE p68 & p162). See also Science, Myself p41
- Develop and practise basic hygiene skills: discussing and exploring the effects of poor personal hygiene, practising and learning about hygienic eating habits, practising effective dental care.
Growing & Changing p28 (As I Grow I Change 1,2,3/New Life 1,2)
-Begin to recognise the physical, emotional, social and spiritual factors that promote growth – love, food, warmth, shelter, communication, friendship, sleep (RSE p78 & p172). See also Science, Myself, p41
-Realise that growth takes place in many different ways and is unique to each individual – physical, social, intellectual, spiritual.
. Begin to understand that reproduction, birth, life, growth and death are all part of a life cycle (RSE p59 & p153). See also Science, Myself P41.
- Appreciate what is necessary in order to provide and care for newborn babies in both the animal and human world – love, regular feeding, nappy changing, careful bathing, medical checkups (RSE p.60 & p156)
Safety & Protection p19
-Recognise and explore situations where children feel safe and those where safety might be at risk – getting lost, being left alone, coming in contact with unsafe or unknown substances, being with people who make me feel unsafe, inappropriate or unsafe touches, being asked to keep a difficult secret (one that causes worry or makes me feel uncomfortable).
-Explore how other people can persuade him/her to engage in unsafe behaviour and how this may be counteracted.
RSE – Specific Content (3rd to 6th)
Taking Care of My Body p39
- Understand the physical changes taking place in both the male and female body – growing height and weight, increasing strength, growing from boy to man, growing from girl to woman (RSE p93 & P198). See also Science Curriculum, Human Life, P61.
-Realise that these changes do not occur at the same time but nonetheless are predictable and natural and that being different is normal – accepting his/her own body image, being sensitive to the patterns of growth and development in himself/herself and other people (RSE P9B & p198).
-Recognise the adverse effects of sexual stereotyping and realise that these effects can become more exaggerated as the physical differences between males and females are more apparent (RSE P94-98 & P201- p202).
-Understand and explore the relationship between health and hygiene – the transmission of bacteria and viruses, the spread of infection and disease (RSE p189).
Growing & Changing P41
-Recognise and discuss how feelings and emotions are affected by the physical changes that take place at Puberty (smiling when hurt or angry, being withdrawn when afraid) (RSE p9a & P196).
-Discuss the stages and sequence of development of the human baby, from conception to birth (RSE p71 & P171).
- ldentify the care that needs to be taken while waiting for a baby to be born (diet, rest, love, support of other family members) (RSE P73).
Safety and Protection P43 (Personal Safety 2)
- ldentify people, places and situations that may threaten personal safety – bullies, large gatherings, being touched inappropriately, being asked to keep a difficult secret (one that is worrying or makes him/her feel uncomfortable).
Taking Care of My Body P56
-ldentify and discuss the physical and other changes that occur in boys and girls with the onset of puberty and understand that these take place at different rates for everyone.
Female: Hormonal changes, changing body shape, development of breasts, appearance of pubic hair, onset of menstruation (periods)
Male: Hormonal changes, physical growth, enlargement of testicles and penis, appearance of pubic, underarm and facial hair, breaking of the voice, beginning of sperm production, onset of nocturnal emissions (wet dreams) (RSE p84 & p201).
- Understand the reproductive system of both male and female adults (RSE p85). See also Science Curriculum, Human Life, P83.
- Become aware of diseases and explore how diseases and infections are spread –some communicable diseases; chickenpox, rubella, HIV infection, hepatitis infections are spread through air, body fluids, direct contact, poor hygiene and sanitation (RSE p171).
Growing & Changing P57
-ldentify and discuss the changes that are experienced in growing from child to adult – changing interests and leisure activities, developing a widening circle of friends, increasing personal independence, increasing personal and community responsibility, coping with transfer from primary to post-primary school, (RSE p184)
-Understand sexual intercourse, conception and birth within the context of a committed loving relationship. (RSE pg6 & p204).
-Discuss and explore the responsibilities involved in being a parent and the emotional and physical maturity required to be a parent (RSE P105, P206, P21 3).
-Discuss the different types of love that exist and explore how love is portrayed. (RSE p142).
Safety and Protection P59 (Personal Safety 2)
- ldentify situations and places that may threaten personal safety – bullying, seeing others being bullied, being asked to keep a ‘difficult secret’, large public gatherings, recognising inappropriate or unsafe touches, being with people who make me feel unsafe.
lnformation For Parents
Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE)
The lmportance of SPHE
Social, Personal and Health Education is concerned with the personal development of the child and with his/her health and well-being. lt is, therefore, one of the most important areas of the child’s education. It helps children to understand how to care for themselves and it fosters in them a sense of responsibility for their own actions.
Skills and Attitudes
SPHE is also concerned with helping children to develop skills, attitudes and self-esteem that will bring the greatest fulfilment and happiness to their lives. lt is an important part of all school and classroom activity but it is also given its own individual space in the timetable.
Care and Respect for Others
SPHE helps children to develop a sense of care and respect for themselves and for other people. It also promotes responsible social behaviour, helping children to relate successfully to others, and to work with others in resolving conflicts.
A Sense of Community
Through SPHE children develop a sense of belonging to a community. They are encouraged to understand their own culture and traditions and to appreciate other cultures and the different ways people live.
SPHE and RSE
Relationships and sexuality education (RSE) is now a part of SPHE. Schools will also include other programmes such as Stay Safe and Walk Tall in their SPHE Programme.
The lmportance of Home – School Links
SPHE cannot be separated from the child’s life in the home or from the influence of the home. lt is very important, therefore, that the home and the school work closely together in helping the child’s social, personal and health development.
Parents can contribute to the social, personal and health development of the child by:-
-Keeping themselves fully informed of the content of the SPHE Programme and of the approaches to the teaching of it in school.
- Being consistently aware of the importance of helping in the development of values and attitudes.
- Encouraging and affirming children in their efforts.
- Encouraging children to take care of themselves through good hygiene and healthy eating habits.
-Stressing the importance of taking plenty of exercise – walking, cycling, skateboarding, swimming etc.
-lmpressing upon children the dangers involved in the misuse of different substances such as alcohol and drugs.
- Helping them to learn about the changes that take place in their bodies at various stages of development.
-Stressing the importance of family, how people should get on as a family, and how members of the family should care for each other.
- Talking to children about the importance of friendship – how necessary friends are, how we should be loyal to friends, how we sometimes fall out, and the valuable lessons that can be learned from making up.
-Helping children to be involved in taking responsible decisions and in making good choices.
-Helping children to be aware that they are part of a wider community in which they should play their part.
This policy was reviewed and updated by staff in May 2015.