Revised RSE. Policy

Relationships and Sexuality

Plan formulated:1999

Plan reviewed:November 99, 2004,Nov 2009, Oct 2014,Nov 2017

Plan to be reviewed every.4 years….

Date of next review 2021

:

  1. Scoil Peadar ‘s Pól

Ballon

Co. Carlow

Phone No. 0503 59280           Enrolment: 276           Roll No. 148371

2        Introductory Statement

All schools are required to have an RSE policy to detail how RSE is taught in the school, including the sensitive aspects. This policy is an approved approach to the teaching of Relationships and Sexuality Education(RSE).It was developed to inform teachers and parents as to what material is covered in the RSE programme within SPHE both formally and informally.The first RSE policy was developed in 1999 with a committee and was revised in 2004 ,2009, and 2014.

  1. Our School Philosophy

Relationship and sexuality will be taught in accordance with the aims of our school set out in the school plan. Our school is a place where people feel valued, self esteem is fostered, creativity and inventiveness are encouraged and open communication IS the norm. Pupils are encouraged to attain high standards express themselves within the limits of their ability, to be aware of their environment and cultural and religious background and to establish and promote good interpersonal relationships at all levels.

We promote in our pupil’s an ability to make-reasoned judgements and choices and to take responsibility for their actions and we encourage attitudes and habits related to spiritual fulfilment.

  1. Definition

Relationships and sexuality aims to provide opportunities for children and young people, to learn about relationships and sexuality in ways that help them think and act in a moral caring and responsible way. It will enable them to form values and establish behaviours within a moral spiritual and social framework.

  1. Relation to Social Personal and Health Education Relationship and Sexuality is an important part of Social Personal and Health Education and will be taught in that context. The Social Personal and Health Education Programme will include a wide range of topics such as healthy eating, alcohol drugs environmental issues, safety and social responsibility as well as relationships and sexuality. It is important to teach Relationships and sexuality in this context because of the changing nature of our society in which children receive informal and

unsupervised information about relationships and sexuality which may be inadequate and inappropriate.

  1. Current Provision of Relationship and Sexuality

Elements of the Social Personal and Health Education / Relationship and Sexuality Education Programme are already taught both formally and informally in our school. In the Religious Education Programme, they are encouraged to recognise and express their feelings, to appreciate and understand family life to make and have friends and to make responsible choices.

In the Science Programme, the concepts of new life is explored – new life in spring, new animals life cycles of animals in senior classes. T.  The Stay Safe programme is taught to all classes. Sensitive issues are now dealt with by the class teacher and outside speakers are not used. Our school also supports Social Personal and Health Programme / Relationships and Sexuality Education informally by creating a supportive school climate where the aims of the programme are modelled. Self-esteem is encouraged, respect, tolerance and fairness are fostered and there is open communication with the wider school community. Conflict is handled constructively and social, moral and civic values are promoted. Initiative and creativity are encouraged and uniqueness and difference are valued.We use Webwise, Walk Tall, Busy Bodies ,Stay Safe and the RSE Manuals.

  1. Aims of our relationship and sexuality education programme
  • To enhance the personal development, self-esteem and well-being of the child
  • To help the child to develop healthy friendship and relationships
  • To foster an understanding of, and a healthy attitude to, human sexuality and relationships in a moral, spiritual and social framework
  • To enable the child to acquire an understanding of, and respect for human love, sexual intercourse and reproduction
  • To develop and promote in the child a sense of wonder and awe at the process of birth and new life.
  • To enable the child to be comfortable with the sexuality of oneself and others while growing and developing
  1. Guidelines for the management and organisation of relationship and sexuality education in our school

Aspects of the relationships and sexuality education will be taught within a specific time delegated on the school timetable. However as many of the objectives of relationship and sexuality programme are similar to those in other curricular areas much, of its contents will be in a cross -curricular manner.

In general R.S.E. comprises of 9 lessons in a year divided into three lessons per term. Lessons can be taken from Stay Safe ,R.S.E. Teaching materials, Walk Tall programme Guidelines as laid down by the Department of Education and Science and as discussed in this document will be followed. It is recognised that during any year a special teacher / pupil relationship develops within a class. A trust and understanding of each other is acquired and having regard to this special relationship we recognise the need to allow the teachers flexibility / discretion as the need may arise when dealing with certain areas of the curriculum

. It is envisaged that the programme will be taught in an integrated manner where possible .Parents are  to be informed in advance, regarding when the formal lessons on the sensitive areas of the programme e.g. puberty, will be covered in school

. If a video is to be used to complement the teaching of RSE parents are to offer

an opportunity to view same –we usr Busy Boies-.Parents have the responsibility  to become involved, to inform themselves of the programme content, to prepare children for the information they will acquire around the sensitive areas and to discuss areas covered in school in

RSE/SPHE with their children

. If a parent wishes their child to be withdrawn from a formal RSE class they must first discuss this with the teacher involved and the principal and then inform the principal in writing.Every effort will be made to withdraw the child with the minimum of fuss. Recognising that the Department of Education and Science do not allow a child to stay away from school ‘while RSE is being taught the child will be sent to another classroom to work. Children will be encouraged to discuss the material being covered in class with their parents, guardians or older siblings. Where possible handouts, worksheets etc will be provided to facilitate this

. In a class situation children will be encouraged to recognise that certain information is for them only i.e. that it is inappropriate for them to discuss information received about puberty, intercourse and birth with younger siblings, friends from outside school, etc… It will be explained that other children will be given this information by their own parents and teachers when they reach the appropriate age

Children will also-be taught to recognise that certain personal disclosures are inappropriate- Teachers will neither give nor request personal information. A respect for personal information and a respect for personal privacy will be emphasised

Parents will be informed it the teacher feels a particular child would benefit from more in-depth discussion, at home, of a topic covered

If a parent has a particular concern / issue which has arisen as a result of an

RSE discussion in school they would be encouraged to discuss same with the teacher or the principal.

As always, parents are requested to inform teachers of special family situations- These will be dealt with in confidence. It is the experience of the teachers that it is to everyone’s benefit if they are kept informed Sensitive issues may be dealt with in the following class groupings

Puberty – fourth or fifth class depending on class groupings .maturity of class

Puberty, intercourse and birth with boys and girls during sixth class. To facilitate this, appropriate arrangements will be made for the rest of the classes for the periods concerned Children’s questions will be dealt with, taking into account the following criteria, when relevant

– by being aware of circumstances in which the quest[on has arisen

– by clarifying what information is required

– by deciding, if the issue is relevant, who it is relevant to – by giving an age-appropriate answer

– by deferring the question as one which will be answered in the next lesson,

one which should be answered at home or one which will be answered

more fully in the future There will be ongoing assessment of the programme through observation by and feedback from parents, teachers and pupils

After four years there will be a review of this policy. The partners will be given

an opportunity to make comments and suggest amendments as appropriate. It

is intended that the senior pupils’ opinions will be included in this review.

 

9 Role of Parents

The School recognises that the Parents are the primary educators and home is the natural environment in which RS.E.should take place. It is envisaged that the school R.S.E. programme would complement this. Parents will be informed in advance of lessons on the sensitive areas of the RSE Programme with a letter relevant to what will be taught at their child`s class level. The class teacher will send home appropriate home school links pages from the Relationships and Sexuality manual which outline the material that will be covered in class and encourage further discussion on the topics at home. The letter will be issued in advance giving parents an opportunity to meet with relevant class teachers if they so wish, to discuss or clarify what is covered and to prepare their children .It also gives parents an opportunity to inform themselves of the programme content and to prepare children for the information they will acquire around the sensitive areas. Following discussion with the Principal and Class Teacher, if a parent wishes to withdraw their child from the sensitive lessons this should be done in writing stating their reasons for doing so and this will be centrally filed.

10 Role of Principal

It will be the principal’s role to arrange the teaching of the programme and to deploy the necessary staff .The principal together with the staff will help to create an environment where the child’s self-esteem is fostered. Lesson plans will be available for inspection R.S.E. is part of the S.P.H.E. programme.

 

 

11 Withdrawal of Pupils

Parents will have the right to withdraw their children from any aspect of the relationship and sexuality programme. Children who have been withdrawn will be accommodated in another classroom until the RSE. lesson is over.

12 Organisation and Curriculum Planning.

RSE forms part of the national curriculum for SPHE and will be taught from infants to 6th class. RSE will be covered under the following strands and strand units of the SPHE curriculum.

Myself-Growing and changing

Taking care of my body.

The RSE programme is divided into two main parts:

  • The general programme which contains content covered through SPHE Strands and Strand Units and compliment the aims and objectives of RSE.

Friendship, Self Identity,Family,Self-Esteem,Growing up.

  • The second section will deal with any sensitive /specific content covered through RSE strands and strand units.

 

The sensitive aspects are in bold.

 

Topics covered up to 2nd include:

  • Keeping safe
  • Bodily changes from birth (birth – 9)
  • Making age-appropriate choices
  • Appreciating the variety of family types and the variety of family life that exists in our school and community
  • Recognising and expressing feelings
  • Self-care, hygiene, diet, exercise and sleep
  • Expressing opinions and listening to others
  • Naming the parts of the male/female body using appropriate anatomical terms (Junior/Senior Infants)
  • Naming the parts of the male/female body using appropriate anatomical terms and identify some of their functions (1st/2nd)

 

Topics from 3rd to 6th include:

  • Bodily changes
  • Healthy eating, personal hygiene and exercise
  • Keeping safe
  • Expressing feelings
  • Appreciating the variety of family types within our school and community and how these family relationships shape us
  • Making healthy and responsible decisions
  • Forming friendships
  • Discuss the stages and sequence of development of the human baby in the womb (3rd, 4th class)
  • Introduction to puberty and changes (3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th class)
  • Changes that occur in boys and girls with the onset of puberty (5th and 6th class)
  • Reproductive system of male/female adults (5th and 6th class)
  • Understanding sexual intercourse, conception and birth within the context of a committed loving relationship (6th class).

 

 

13 Sensitive Issues

Sensitive issues such as sexual intercourse, teenage pregnancies, separation, divorce etc. will be dealt with where appropriate to the child’s age and development with the context of the schools ethos. These issues are currently dealt with in sixth class by the class teacher

 

14 Approaches and Methodologies

When implementing the programme staff will endeavour to display respect for and sensitivity towards the different cultural and family backgrounds experienced by the children. The curriculum will be taught in an age appropriate manner at all times. The curriculum will be taught from Junior Infants to sixth class. It will be taught through a spiral curriculum (key topics will be revisited in a developmental manner at regular intervals).The material taught will reflect the needs of the children. The RSE curriculum will be taught through:

  • Stories and poems
  • Classroom discussion
  • Group work
  • Games
  • Art activities
  • Reflection
  • Circle time

15 Differentiation

Teachers use assessment and professional judgement to differentiate the programme and content to suit the needs of the class. Some techniques used:

  • Ensuring the objectives are realistic for the students
  • Ensuring that the learning task is compatible with prior learning
  • Providing opportunities for interacting and working with other students in small groups and spending more time on tasks
  • Organizing the learning into small stages and ensuring that the language used is pitched at the students level of understanding
  • Understanding of the activity using task analysis outlining the steps to be learned/completed in any given task posing key questions to guide students through the different stages/processes and to assist in self -correction and self direction.
  • Having short and varied tasks creating a learning environment through the use of concrete everyday materials and by displaying word lists and laminated charts and pictures.

Sometimes the stage of development in a class can vary widely and strategies to differentiate in class can support gradual and appropriate teaching

  • Group work and discussion
  • Higher and lower order questioning in groups
  • Moderated whole class discussions through use of a Question Box

16 Pupils with Special Educational Needs

 

The content  and the way in which it is delivered may need to be adapted for children with special needs. Consultation with parents/guardians in advance and anticipation of the children`s needs will be central to ensuring learning is meaningful.

  • Children may be pre –taught language or concepts in anticipation of whole class work
  • Children may work in smaller groups or 1:1 on adapted and suitable material
  • Any different or specific objectives related to the pupils own learning needs should be detailed in their IEP or IPLP in consultation with parents/guardians

 

 

 

  1. Language

SPHE curriculum provides a context in which children are given opportunities to develop and enhance their language skills and to increase their vocabulary related to SPHE.  Children should become aware of the power and influence of language.  When used positively, language can build up, affirm and show respect to another human being but if used in a negative manner can hurt, diminish and demean.  Children need to recognise and become sensitive to the ways in which they themselves use language in their relationship and their everyday interactions.  Language is a powerful tool and should be used with respect and integrity for the dignity of each person.  There are two areas where the use of language is applied in RSE lessons;

  • The formal use and teaching of language generally throughout the school
  • The use of language in discussion through your formal RSE lessons

 

Appropriate vocabulary in formal teaching

  • Relating to sexuality, growing up, physical changes, parts of the body and feelings will be used.  The use of slang will be discouraged.
  • Anatomical terms and language introduced is consistent with RSE Materials Books
  1. Assessment

The teacher uses

  • Observation and questions to assess the children’s engagement and interest
  • Use of teacher-designed tasks such as worksheets, quizzes or games
  • Use of reflection or learning log.

 

  1. Confidentiality
  • The school follows Children’s First Guidelines 2011 and The Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2011.
  • If a child is withdrawn from the teaching of sensitive issues, we cannot guarantee that the other children will not tell or inform him/her about what happened.
  1. Resources

Relationships and Sexuality Education Resource Materials (DES) – Each class teacher has a copy of the appropriate manual or access to it in online/pdf format.  Other resources that support the broader aims of RSE include:

  • Stay Safe programme
  • Walk Tall Programme.
  • Anatomical Dolls and Story books
  • Busy Bodies DVD and Booklet.  This DVD and booklet were developed to support the teaching of the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th class component of RSE within the context of SPHE.
  • Picture books across the 9 grounds of equality
  • INTO Different Families, Same love Poster
  • RESPECT  guidelines

 

 

  1. Provision for ongoing support Development of R.S.E.

We are committed to ensure access to in – career development opportunities for teachers and policy committee members. We will support the efforts of parents to provide educational opportunities for other parents in the form of parent programmes.

  1. Policy Review

The policy and programme will be reviewed every four years. Any amendments necessary as a result of such review will be undertaken.

Reviewed during November 09.Ratified by the Board of Management17 Nov 09

Reviewed November 2017 in light of training received by staff members.

 

Appendix 1

 

Topics covered up to 2nd include:

 

  • Keeping Safe
  • Bodily changes from birth (birth-9)
  • Making age appropriate choices
  • Appreciating the variety of family types and an variety of family life that exists in our school and community
  • Recognising and expressing feelings
  • Self-care, hygiene, diet, exercise and sleep
  • Expressing opinions and listening to others
  • Naming the parts of the male/female body using appropriate anatomical terms (Junior/Senior Infants)
  • Naming the parts of the male/female body using appropriate anatomical terms and identify some of their functions (1st/2nd)
Topics from 3rd to 6th include:

 

  • Bodily changes
  • Healthy eating, personal hygiene, exercise
  • Expressing Feelings
  • Appreciating the variety of family types within our school and community and how we these family relationships shape us
  • Making healthy and responsible decisions
  • Forming Friendships
  • Discuss the stages and sequence of development of the human baby in the womb (3rd, 4th class)
  • Introduction to puberty and changes (3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th class)
  • Changes that occur in boys and girls with the onset of puberty (5th and 6th class)
  • Changes that occur in boys and girls with the onset of puberty (5th and 6th class)
  • Reproductive system of male/female adults (5th and 6th class)
  • Understanding sexual intercourse, conception and birth within the context of a committed loving relationship (5th, 6th class)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix 2

 

Topics covered up to 2nd include:

 

  • Keeping Safe
  • Bodily changes from birth (birth-9)
  • Making age appropriate choices
  • Appreciating the variety of family types and an variety of family life that exists in our school and community
  • Recognising and expressing feelings
  • Self-care, hygiene, diet, exercise and sleep
  • Expressing opinions and listening to others
  • Naming the parts of the male/female body using appropriate anatomical terms )Junior/Senior Infants) 
    The Language at taught at this level will be….
  • Naming the parts of the male/female body using appropriate anatomical terms and identify some of their functions (1st/2nd)
     The Language at taught at this level will be ……
Topics from 3rd to 6th include:

 

  • Bodily changes
  • Healthy eating, personal hygiene, exercise
  • Keeping Safe
  • Expressing Feelings
  • Appreciating the variety of family types within our school and community and how these family relationships shape us
  • Making healthy and responsible decisions
  • Forming Friendships
  • Discuss the stages and sequence of development of the human baby in the womb (3rd, 4th class)
  • Introduction to puberty and changes (3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th class)
  • Changes that occur in boys and girls with the onset of puberty (5th and 6th class)
    The language at taught at this level will be …..
  • Reproductive system of male/female adults (5th and 6th class)  The Language at taught at this level will be ….
  • Understanding sexual intercourse, conception and birth within the context of a committed loving relationship (5th and 6th class)
    The Language taught at this level will be …….