RSE

SCOIL CHOLMCILLE,KILMACRENNAN.

RELATIONSHIPS AND SEXUALITY EDUCATION POLICY.

Introductory Statement
Definition of RSE
Relationship of RSE to SPHE
Current Provision
Aims of RSE Programme
Guidelines for the Management and Organisation of RSE in our School
Content
Confidentiality/Child Protection
Support for Parents
Teachers’ Options/Provisions for Ongoing Support/Development
Guest Speakers/Visitors
Roles and Responsibilities
Ratification and Communication
Appendix- Sensitive Issues

Introductory Statement.

Our school currently has 11 teachers, inclusive of 8 mainstream teachers, one Learning Support, one Resource base and an administrative Principal Teacher.
The school is managed by a Board of Management and the ethos is Catholic.
We seek to fostering feelings of self-esteem in our pupils while providing them with positive learning experiences necessary to support their readiness for life experiences. This policy is based on a consultative and collaborative process involving teachers, management and parents. It aims to provide teachers with a consistent framework to ensure that all aspects of this spiral curriculum are taught throughout our Primary School.

Definition of RSE

Relationships and Sexuality Education(RSE) is a lifelong process of acquiring knowledge and understanding and of developing attitudes, beliefs and values about relationships, sexual identity and intimacy. In our school we will provide structured opportunities for this learning through processes which will enable our pupils to form values and establish behaviours within a moral, spiritual and social framework. Our approach will help our children learn about relationships and sexuality in ways that help them think and act in a moral, caring and responsible manner.

Relationships of RSE to SPHE

SPHE is a social and personal health education programme of which RSE is an integral part. As educators we have a duty to provide the best quality and most appropriate social, personal and health education to our pupils. The individual theme of RSE will not be taught in isolation but rather in the context of our overall SPHE Curriculum. This will provide our children with a moral, social and spiritual framework within which to apply their knowledge and make informed choices.

Current Provision

Our teaching staff has been trained in the delivery of the RSE programme. This programme is delivered to all classes and parents are asked to sign a consent form on enrolment permitting the teaching of RSE to their child. Any parents wishing to opt out are asked to state this intention in writing if they decide to withdraw their child from the teaching of “sensitive areas”of the programme and the onus is thus placed on parents to inform each subsequent class teacher for their child of this decision. In such circumstances, the school will remind parents that the responsibility for teaching these lessons will rest with them and we will seek to provide them with any support if so requested.
Teachers will communicate the content of ‘sensitive’ lessons only to parents prior to the teaching of these parts.

- Specific Programmes:
· Relationship and Sexuality Education(Dept of Education-Resource Materials)
· Stay Safe Programme
· Walk Tall Programme

Existing School subjects:

Elements of RSE are approached during such subjects as Physical Education, Religious Education, Social and Environmental Studies etc.

Special Initiatives: Healthy Eating Policy, Anti-Bullying Policy,
Participation in Sports-, Competitions, involvement of various Community Members- invited speakers, etc.

Extra Resources:

“Busy Bodies” DVD for use in 4th class to support the teaching of Menstruation, and in 5th and 6th classes to support the teaching of Physical Development, sexual intercourse, conception and Birth.

NCCA “Guidelines for teachers of students with General Learning Disabilities”

agrams depicting male/female physical changes during puberty for use in class only.

* These diagrams may be viewed by parents in our school office but will not be sent home with your child. Parents may also visit our school and arrange to view DVD material.

Aims of the RSE programme

1. To recognise and assist parents in their role as primary educators of their children.
2. To nurture Catholic values in relation to love, marriage, parenthood and family life.
3. To enhance the personal development, self-esteem and well-being of the child.
4. To help the child to develop healthy friendships and relationships.
5. To foster an understanding of and a healthy attitude to human sexuality and relationships in a moral, spiritual and social framework.
6. To provide our pupils with appropriate terminology for
labelling/ discussing body parts/functions.
7. To develop and promote in the child a sense of wonder and awe at the process of birth and new life.
8. To enable the child to be comfortable with oneself and others while growing and developing.
9. To give clear and accurate information that we hope will protect the child against possible abuse or exploitation.
10. To assist our pupils in developing the skills necessary to cope with sexual stimuli which confront them from an early age in advertisements, music and in the media in general.

Guidelines for the Management and Organisation of RSE in our School

Teachers are encouraged to spend a period of time prior to the teaching of RSE agreeing conditions of confidentiality, mutual respect and acceptance necessary for an environment conducive to learning. Our teaching methods will always be child-centred and age/stage appropriate. We favour the frequent use of Circle Time as an excellent medium encouraging the active participation of pupils. The programme will be delivered by the class teacher, a colleague or by visiting speakers, where appropriate. Most lessons will be taught to the class as a whole, excepting certain sensitive lessons in the Senior classes ( for e.g. menstruation, wet dreams) which will be taught separately to boys and girl’s.

Content

The content of each lesson will be in accordance with the Departmental guidelines, the ethos of our school and this policy. The eight Primary school years are divided into four stages- Junior/Senior Infants, 1st/2nd classes,3rd/4th classes and 5th/6th classes.
As this is a spiral curriculum the content objectives taught in the first year of each stage will be revised and extended in the second year.
The content of more sensitive lessons will be communicated to parents prior to the teaching of this material. This will provide them the opportunity to discuss this information with their child.
The sensitive issue/terminology contained in certain lessons for each year group is included in the appendix of this policy.

Confidentiality/Child Protection:
As referred to earlier, teachers will negotiate a contract with their class establishing ground rules to limit discussion if necessary, detailing the expected level of respect to be shown to teacher and children and the concept of confidentiality. This school follows the DES Child Protection Guidelines (2011).

If a matter is divulged to a teacher of a serious nature this disclosure must be brought to the attention of the Principal/DLP and/or his Deputy. They will refer the matter to the appropriate authority. In such a case a teacher can never agree to keep a secret for a child.

Support for Parents

We provide copies of our policy to parents’ upon enrolment of their child. The Principal and/ or class teacher will seek to address any areas of concern. .The booklet, “Busy Bodies” is also available to Parents.

Teachers’ Options.

-All teachers are encouraged to participate in teaching the programme.
However a teacher may decide to opt out of the teaching of the sensitive lessons. In this case the SPHE Co-ordinator or another colleague will teach these lessons.
-When possible continued professional development will be provided to teachers.

It will be at the discretion of each teacher how to deal with awkward questions but in keeping with our policy it is recommended to stay within the agreed limits. Questions from the senior classes will be written down and handed up by the pupils to facilitate a screening process and also to reduce embarrassment in the case of genuine questions.

-Our Special Educational Needs Teachers will be available to class teachers to support our children with special educational needs with this programme.

Guest Speakers/Visitors

Visiting speakers/guests may be invited occasionally to address any aspect of the curriculum. Permission will be sought from the Principal and the class teacher will remain with the class at all times. The guest will be made aware of our policy, ethos and lesson objectives.

Community Links.

Our school will liaise with the Health Promotion Unit of our local HSE and other agencies to assist as appropriate in the school’s Programme.

Roles and Responsibilities.

Class teachers are responsible for the implementation of the RSE Programme in their own class. The SPHE Co-ordinator supports this implementation, will update the policy in collaboration with all parties and will monitor and distribute resources.

Ratification/Communication.

This policy was ratified by the Board of Management and is available for parents in our office or on our School website. It is given to parent’s upon the enrolment of their child in our school. The entire programme will be evaluated periodically and any amendments deemed necessary will be made.
We welcome comments/feedback from all involved.

  • School Holidays

    • Christmas Holidays
      School closes on Fri 22nd Dec 2017 and will re-open on Mon 8th Jan 2018.
    • Feb Mid-term 2018
      Closed on Thurs 15th & Fri 16th Feb 2018
    • Easter Holidays 2018
      Closing for Easter Holidays on Fri 23 March & re-opening on Mon 9 April 2018.
    • May Bank Holiday 2018.
      The school is closed on Mon 7th May 2018.
    • June Bank Holiday 2018.
      The school is closed on Mon 4th June 2018.
    • Provisional Summer Closure 2018
      Provisional date for Summer Holidays is Fri 22nd June 2018.

      Please note that the above dates are subject to change.

      In the event of unforeseen closures, the Board of Management may use the first three days of the Easter Holidays to catch up on missed school days.