Introductory Statement and Rationale

(a) Introductory Statement

The original plan was formulated by a subcommittee of the board of management, comprising of parents, teachers and representatives from the PTA. All members of the committee attended a training session at St. Patricks training college and /or an information meeting organised at the school by the PTA. The plan was reviewed by Principal and staff at staff meeting during the school year 2012/13.

Reasons for review:

  • The original plan was devised in 2007 and was due for review.
  • 1/3 of our staff was new and needed to be made familiar with the content.
  • It was necessary for all staff to familiarise themselves with the specific content and language to be taught in each class.
  • The opt out clause for parents and teachers was no longer relevant and needed to be deleted from the policy.

The plan was revised again in November 2018 to take account of the revised Stay Safe Programme.

This programme will be presented in conjunction with and supplemented by the Social Personal and Health Education programme, the Walk Tall programme, the Stay Safe programme, and the ET Learn Together Programme.  It should be read in conjunction with the communications policy and Children First Guidelines. Summary of this can be had online at http://www.dohc.ie publication 1999.

(b) Rationale

To review existing interim policy
To comply with regulations laid down by circular 2/95 from the Department of Education and Science.

Aims

  • To enhance the personal development, self-esteem and wellbeing of the child.
  • To help the child develop healthy friendships and relationships.
  • To foster an understanding of and a healthy attitude towards human sexuality and relationships in a moral, spiritual and social framework.
  • To develop and promote in the child a sense of wonder and awe at the process of birth and new life.
  • To enable children to be comfortable with, and understand, their own growth and development.
  • To enable the child to acquire an understanding of, and respect for, human love, sexual intercourse and reproduction.

Content of Plan

Curriculum:

1. Strands and Strand Units:

The lesson plans being used are those provided by the NCCA and are attached to this policy.

2. Approaches and Methodologies:

Some aspects of RSE will be taught through a number of time-tabled core periods, with the remainder being taught in a cross-curricular manner. Teachers will have to identify the appropriate links with other subject areas to ensure that children receive a broad based approach to RSE.

The acquisition of appropriate language in RSE is crucially important to enable children to speak confidently about themselves and their relationships. Acquiring the appropriate vocabulary related to sexuality, growing up, physical changes, feeling etc. gives the child the means by which these issues are discussed in an age appropriate way. The RSE programme will encourage the use of the formal terms for body parts from the earliest age so that these terms are given status and acceptability.

The RSE programme is structured so that the information given is appropriate to the age and development of the class. During the RSE lesson, the teacher will only answer questions which come within the scope of the agreed programme for each particular age group. If a child asks other questions, the teacher may inform her/him that the question may be answered in later stages of the programme or may advise child to ask at home. If issues arise which might be seen to contravene “Children’s First Guidelines” the teacher will notify the designated liaison person (DLP) in the school.

The privacy of staff members will be respected and they should not feel obliged to disclose aspects of their own personal life. For certain aspects of the RSE Programme guest speakers may be invited (circular 22/2010).

3. Guest Speakers

Some topics may be facilitated by an outside contributor (A theatre group may present a piece dealing with the issue of bullying or a parent with a new born baby may visit the class to talk about taking care of a baby). These visits will be decided by the class teacher in conjunction with the principal.

The guest speaker and class teacher will consult beforehand. Topics and teaching approaches will be agreed together. All guest speakers will work within national guidelines and the teacher will be present in the class at all times (circular 22/2010).

4. 5th and 6th class programme

There will be an information evening held for parents/guardians of 5th class children every year to outline the specific content of the RSE programme. An RSE instructor from the Drumcondra Education Centre will be invited to give the talk. The school may also decide to invite a guest speaker to deal with certain aspects of this programme within the class. In such cases the individual will work within national guidelines and the teacher will be present in the class at all times. Parents will be informed of this at the information evening.

Information on the national guidelines can be had from the National Council Curriculum and Assessment, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2 or www.ncca.ie. Information and support can also been had from RSE Training Support Service for School, Wexford Education Centre, the co-ordinator is Margaret Nohilly, PDST Health and Well Being.

Parental Involvement:

Parents/guardians will be informed of and invited to talks /training sessions both in the school and at the Drumcondra Education Centre.

Parents/guardians with particular skills may be asked to give talks to children [Guest speaker] in the broader context of SPHE (Social, Personal, Health Education).

Community Links

The following may be drawn upon where appropriate

  • Health Promotion Unit (HSE)
  • Drumcondra Education Centre
  • Other Community Links will be explored

Implementation

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Principal teacher has over-all responsibility for the implementation of the plan.
  • Class teacher has responsibility for implementing policy within her/his class.
  • Parents/guardians have responsibility to familiarise themselves with the policy.
  • The school recognizes that parents/guardians are the primary educators of their children. The RSE programme is not intended to replace the role or responsibilities of parents/guardians in this area, but rather to support and complement them.

Ratification and Communication

It has been ratified by the Board of Management. It has been circulated to all teachers and is available to parents on the school website www.d7educatetogether.com.

Review Date January 2020

Signed        ______________________________________

                 Chairperson, Dublin 7 Educate Together National School

Date:          ______22 November 2018______________________

 


Appendix 1

Outline of topics to be covered as part of RSE programme at different class levels.

Class Sensitive Curricular Objectives Language Sensitive Lessons Overview of lessons
Junior Infants Growing and changing

Become aware of new life and birth in the word
Develop an awareness of human birth

Taking care of my body
Name parts of the male and female body using anatomical terms

Womb, breastfeeding
Plus language from senior infants as it arises incidentally
Walk Tall Unit 1 Lesson 4: A New Baby
RSE Theme 7: New Life 
Signs of spring
Baby grows in womb
Care new baby needs 
Senior Infants  

Growing and changing
Become aware of new life and birth in the word
Develop an awareness of human birth

Taking care of my body
Name parts of the male and female body using anatomical terms

Womb, breastfeeding, penis, testicles, vagina, vulva, anus, bottom  RSE Theme 6: Caring for New Life
RSE Theme 7: My Body
Walk Tall Unit 4 Lesson 2: Our Amazing Bodies
Revision of Junior Infant content
Learn body parts through lesson about keeping clean / bathing a doll
Optional visit from parent and baby 
First Class  

Growing and changing
Begin to understand that reproduction, birth, growth and death are all part of new life cycles

Taking care of my body
Name the parts of the male and female body using appropriate anatomical terms and identify some of their functions

Penis, urethra, anus  RSE Theme 7: How My Body Works
Option 1
Walk Tall Unit 2 Lesson 1: All Shiny and New
Caring for babies and pets
What happens when people and animals get old
Digestion of food 
Second Class Taking care of my body
Name the parts of the male and female body using appropriate anatomical terms and identify some of their functions
 

Penis, vagina, vulva, urethra

 

Walk Tall Unit 2 Lesson 1: Our Amazing Bodies   Quiz and discussion about body parts
Third Class

Growing and changing
identify the care that needs to be taken while waiting for a baby to be born
develop an appreciation of the wonder of a new-born baby
Vagina, vulva, umbilical cord, womb, breasts  RSE Theme 6: Preparing for New Life  Baby growing in womb
Optional visit from parent and baby
Fourth Class

Growing and changing
Understand the physical changes taking place in both the male and female body
Realise that changes do not occur at the same time but nonetheless are predictable and natural and that being different is normal

Taking care of my body
Recognise and discuss how feelings and emotions are affected by the physical changes that take place during puberty
Discuss the stages and sequence of development of human baby from conception to birth

 
Revise above.
Plus: puberty, pubic hair, menstruation, period, facial hair, hormones
 RSE Theme 6: The Wonder of New Life
Option 1
RSE Theme 8: Growing and Changing
Supplement with Walk Tall Unit 7 (p.148)
 Puberty
Growth of baby in womb
Fifth Class  

Growing and changing
Understand sexual intercourse, conception and birth within the context of a loving committed relationship

Taking care of my body
Identify and discuss the physical changes that occur in boys and girls with the onset of puberty and understand that these take place at different rates for everyone
Understand the reproductive system of both male and female adults

Revise above.
Plus language from Busy Bodies https://www.healthpromotion.ie/hp-files/docs/HPM00478.pdf 
 RSE Theme 6: My Body Grows and Changes
RSE Theme 7: The Wonder of New Life
Supplement with Busy Bodies DVD
 Puberty
Conception
Sixth Class  

Growing and changing
Understand sexual intercourse, conception and birth within the context of a loving committed relationship

Taking care of my body
Identify and discuss the physical changes that occur in boys and girls with the onset of puberty and understand that these take place at different rates for everyone
Understand the reproductive system of both male and female adults

Revise above RSE Theme 7: Relationships and New Life
Supplement with Busy Bodies DVD 
Puberty
Conception