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R.S.E. Policy

Our school is a 25 teacher mixed school in an suburban  community. The mission of the school is to ensure the provision of a comprehensive, inclusive and accessible education of the highest quality which will enable our pupils to develop their full potential as persons and to participate fully as responsible citizens in society thereby contributing to their own spiritual, social, emotional aesthetic and physical development. The school is operated in a positive and caring way, simultaneously encouraging diversity and cohesion, a sense of individuality, community and global awareness. Relationships and Sexuality education (RSE) as a component of Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) furthers this mission.

Definition of R.S.E.
R.S.E. aims to provide opportunities for children and young people to learn about themselves and relationships and sexuality in ways that help them think and act in a moral, caring and responsible way. Scoil Treasa wishes to teach children to listen and distinguish between differing points of view and to express themselves in an appropriate way.

Relationship of R.S.E. to S.P.H.E.
In the school setting, R. S.E. will be part of a wider programme of Social, Personal and Health Education. SPHE is the process which enables pupils to develop an understanding of themselves. It helps them to choose and follow a healthy lifestyle and enables them to play responsible roles as individuals and as members of society. The content of a school's SPHE programme will include a wide range of topics such as healthy eating, alcohol, drugs, environmental issues, safety and social responsibility as well as R.S.E. in order to help children deal with information and misinformation they get about relationships in the media, playground or elsewhere.

What the School currently provides:
Relationships and Sexuality education is being taught in the context of Religious Education, in Social and Environmental studies, in Health Education etc. … and through a positive school climate and atmosphere. We are using lessons and activities from the Religious Education programme (Grow in Love/ Alive -O .), Child Abuse Prevention (Stay Safe), Substance Misuse (Walk Tall), and Relationships and Sexuality(R.S.E.) programmes to do this. Scoil Treasa currently teaches all aspects of R.S.E., many of which are cross curricular. e.g.
a) Self Esteem: Fostered right through the school
b) Moral Development: Religion Classes, Grow in Love, Alive 0 Programme, reinforced by teachers in other subject areas.
c) Code of Behaviour: agreed by all partners and provided to parents on enrolment of each child. Reinforced by teachers in other subject areas.
d) Stay Safe Programme & Walk Tall are currently used as a resource throughout the classes
e)A Qualified Professional is invited to speak to 5th  ( May )& 6th  class ( February) pupils and separately their parents towards the end of the school year. (Accord )

Aims of our R.S.E. Programme
• to enhance the personal development, self esteem and well being of the child
• to help the child to develop healthy friendships 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 and sexuality.
• to develop and promote in the child a sense of wonder and awe at the process of birth and new life.

Organisation of R.S.E. in Scoil Treasa
A developmental approach : Teaching about relationships and sexuality will be delivered in the context of S.P.H.E. All content objectives will be taught developmentally by the time the children leave 6th class. All issues will be discussed with sensitivity, professionalism and awareness of the varying levels of development within a class. It will be a spiral curriculum. This means that it will return to similar topics each year. It will develop them to suit the age and maturity of the children. The following are examples of the main topics covered.:

  • expressing opinions and listening to the opinions of others

  • the different changes taking place in the children’s bodies as they grow and develop

  • caring for themselves as regards hygiene, exercise and sleep

  • keeping safe, knowing what to do if they get lost

  • recognising and expressing feelings like happiness and sadness

  • appreciating and understanding family life

  • making and having friends

  • coping with “falling out” with friend

  • caring for themselves as regards hygiene, exercise and sleep

  • keeping safe

  • the different changes taking place in the children’s bodies as they grow and develop

  • how babies are conceived and born (5th & 6th programme)

  • recognising and expressing feelings

  • extended family relationships

  • making healthy and responsible decisions

  • the nature of friendship

  • handling conflict in relationships

  • evaluating the portrayal of relationships and sexuality in the media

Possible sensitive issues such as naming the body parts and sexual intercourse will be covered within the strand units “Taking care of my body,” “Growing and changing” and “Safety and Protection”
Answering questions: Should a pupil require information that is not in line with the curriculum content, and not considered to be age-appropriate for the general body of pupils, the school will refer him/her to the parents

The acquisition of appropriate language in RSE is crucially important to enable children to communicate confidently about themselves, their sexuality and their relationships Not being familiar with the biological terms for the body can put children at a disadvantage. We will give children the correct and appropriate language as outlined in the RSE materials.

Rights and Responsibilities of Parents/Guardians:
 In SPHE and RSE parents are acknowledged as the primary educators of their children and the school will work in a supportive role.
 A parent’s/guardian’s right to withdraw a pupil from the process will be honoured. The parent(s) /guardian(s) will inform the school in writing of this decision. Confidentiality: If a child is withdrawn for the teaching of sensitive issues we cannot guarantee that the other children will not tell inform him/her about what happened.

Rights and Responsibilities of Teachers:
Each class teacher will teach the SPHE programme including the sensitive issues
A teachers’ right to opt out from teaching the sensitive issues will be honoured. Then provision will be made for these issues to be taught by
o a colleague
o the Principal or Deputy Principal
If a member of staff is unavailable to teach the sensitive issues, arrangements regarding the teaching of the programme will be made by the BOM.

RSE will be taught by the class teacher and a suitable guest speaker  will be invited to deliver the contents of the programme to  5th/6th Class. Teachers will be present when this takes place during school hours. All information delivered will be informed by the content objectives of the SPHE Curriculum. We will require the guest speaker to keep within the school guidelines and to furnish the school with detail of the talk beforehand.

Privacy: Everyone has a right to privacy (see Universal Declaration of Human Rights and UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child). Teachers will not answer personal questions about themselves nor require the child to give information of a personal nature which they do not wish to share.

Sources and Resources:
We will use the RSE and the Stay Safe and Walk Tall programmes and other resources that are deemed suitable by the Principal /SPHE coordinator in consultation with a representative of the parents such as a suitable video.
We may also invite other visitors such as a mother, father and new baby when teaching certain aspects. These adults may be invited to talk and be questioned by the pupils.

This policy was ratified by the Board of Management on November 19th 2018

Chairperson:                _______________________________

Secretary to B.O.M.    _______________________________

Date:                           ________________________________

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