Social, Personal and Health Education



Title Social, Personal and Health Education Whole School Plan. 
Introductory Statement and Rationale (a)    Introductory StatementThe staff of Kilmacrennan N.S. formulated this school plan for SPHE, in consulation with our Board of Management and our Parents, as we believe that SPHE is a shared responsibility and their contributions and involvement will be essential to the effective implementation of the SPHE programme in the school. It was drafted during an in-school planning day, with the assistance of a local cuiditheoir from the Primary Curriculum Support Program, and brought to the attention of the Board of Management and Parents.


(b)   Rationale

Aspects of SPHE have been taught in Kilmacrennan N.S. for many years through various programmes and initiatives such as Stay Safe, Walk Tall, Relationships and Sexuality Education and through our involvement in the Health Promoting Schools Initiative. It has also been taught through integration with other subject areas such as Physical Education, Religion, Geography, etc. However, we wish to formalise our teaching of SPHE and plan for it on a whole school basis.



Vision and Aims (a)    Vision:We seek to foster the personal development, health and well-being of the individual child and to prepare pupils to contribute and play a meaningful role in their communities.


(b)   Aims:

The children of Kilmacrennan NS should be enabled to achieve the aims outlined in the SPHE curriculum, which include:


  • to promote the personal development and well-being of the child
  • to foster in the child a sense of care and respect for himself/herself and others and an appreciation of the dignity of every human being
  • to promote the health of the child and provide a foundation for healthy living in all its aspects
  • to enable the child to make informed decisions and choices about the social, personal and health dimensions of life both now and in the future
  • To develop in the child a sense of social responsibility, a commitment to active and participative citizenship and an appreciation of the democratic way of life
  • to enable the child to respect human and cultural diversity and to appreciate and understand the interdependent nature of the world  




 Content of Plan Curriculum:


1               Strands and Strand Units:

The curriculum is delineated at four levels—infant classes, first and second classes, third and fourth classes, and fifth and sixth classes—and is divided into three strands: Myself, Myself and others, and Myself and the wider world.


Each of these strands is further subdivided into a number of strand units or topic areas that contain particular objectives.


Kilmacrennan NS will teach aspects of all three major strand units each year and strand units will be chosen in such a way that the child will receive a comprehensive programme in SPHE over a two-year period. Kilmacrennan NS have created this timetable to reflect this approach:




Strand Strand Units (Year 1) Strand Units (Year 2)
Myself  Self-identity (Sept.–Oct.) Safety and Protection (Jan-Feb)-Stay Safe
Taking care of my body(Jan-Feb) Making Decisions (March-April)*This strand unit is for third to sixth only. Infants to second complete the Safety Issues section of Safety and Protection
Growing and Changing (Mar-April)
Myself and others Myself and My Family (Nov.-Dec.) My friends and other people (May-June)
Relating to others (Sept-Oct.)
Myself and the wider world Developing Citizenship (May-June) Media Education (Nov-Dec.)


2               Contexts for SPHE:

SPHE will be taught through a combination of the following contexts:


  1. Positive School Climate and Atmosphere

Kilmacrennan NS has created a positive atmosphere by:

  • building effective communication
  • catering for individual needs
  • creating a health-promoting physical environment
  • developing democratic processes
  • enhancing self-esteem
  • fostering respect for diversity
  • fostering inclusive and respectful language
  • developing appropriate communication
  • developing a school approach to assessment


  1. Discrete time for SPHE

SPHE is allocated ½ hour per week on each teacher’s timetable in Kilmacrennan NS.   However teachers may allocate 1 hour per fortnight to allow for more indepth exploration of a strand unit.


  1. Integration with other subject areas and Linkage within SPHE

Teachers will endeavour to adopt an thematic approach to SPHE by integrating it with other subject areas such as Language, Geography, History, Religion, Visual Arts, Physical Education, etc. Themes/Projects such as Healthy Eating Week, Friendship Week, Agri-Awareness, Healthy Heart Week, Lenten Campaign, etc. will also be explored.


3               Approaches and Methodologies:

Kilmacrennan NS believe that the approaches and methodologies used in SPHE are crucial to the effectiveness of the programme. Active learning is the principal learning and teaching approach recommended for SPHE, therefore we will endeavour to teach SPHE using a variety of strategies which include:

  • drama activities
  • co-operative games
  • use of pictures
  • photographs and visual images
  • written activities
  • use of media
  • information technologies and looking at children’s work


4               Assessment:

Assessment is a central part of the everyday learning and teaching process in SPHE. It can provide valuable information on the child’s progress and on the effectiveness and suitability of the programme and the teaching methods being used.

Kilmacrennan NS uses the following recommended informal tools for assessment in SPHE:

  • Teacher observation
  • Teacher-designed tasks and tests
  • Portfolios and projects


Each child will keep an SPHE Scrapbook and this will be used to assess a child’s progress in SPHE. Each year the child will be given a teacher-designed task or test related to the strand units taught, and the scrapbook will be added to cumulatively during the child’s schooling. Finally, an informal “graduation ceremony” will be held in 6th class when the child will receive their scrapbook as a record of their work in SPHE during their schooling in Kilmacrennan NS.



5               Children with Different Needs:

Teachers will endeavour to adapt and modify activities and methodologies in SPHE to encourage participation by children with special needs. The learning support and resource teachers will supplement the work of the class teachers where necessary. Kilmacrennan NS will liasise with trained professionals/appropriate agencies when dealing with sensitive issues such as bereavement or loss to ensure that the children involved are fully supported.


6               Equality of Participation and Access:

Kilmacrennan NS recognises and values diversity, and believes all children are entitled to access the services, facilities, or amenities that are available in the school environment. Ours is a mixed-sex school and we endeavour to challenge traditional stereotypes and ensure that equal opportunities are given to boys and girls to participate in discussion, debate, presentation, etc. Kilmacrennan NS is under Roman Catholic school management, and we endeavour to provide for Members of Travelling community, Children with disabilities, Families with literacy difficulties, Children who are learning English as a second language




7               Policies and Programmes that support SPHE:


  • Child Protection
  • Anti-Bullying
  • Relationships and Sexuality Education
  • Substance Use
  • Code of Behaviour
  • Enrolment
  • Health and Safety
  • Healthy Eating
  • Internet Acceptable Useage



  • Active School Flag
  • Health Promoting Schools
  • Food Dudes
  • Green Flag Initiative
  • Stay Safe Programme



8               Homework:

SPHE homework, if prescribed in SPHE, will reflect the active learning approach and will reinforce information already taught during class.


9               Resources:

(PDST have developed a resource list, which is available on the SPHE page at www.pdst.ie. New resources are added to this from time to time.)


9.1         Programmes and Other Materials:


Books for Pupil Books for Teacher Audio / Visual Posters Media & ICT




RSE ManualsWalk TallStay SafeBia Follain

Making the Links

Busy BodiesFood Dudes Various posters throughout the school


9.2         Guest Speakers:

When a guest speaker addresses the children in SPHE, the class teacher will remain in the classroom (as per Circular 22/2010) and make the speaker aware of this school plan and attached policies.


10           Individual Teachers’ Planning and Reporting:

This plan in SPHE and the curriculum documents will inform and guide teachers in their long and short term planning in SPHE. Each teacher will keep a Cuntas Míosúil and this will inform our progress and needs when evaluating and reviewing our progress in SPHE.


11           Staff Development:

Training opportunities will include the following areas and this training will support an effective implementation of the SPHE programme:

  • training in the Child Abuse Prevention Programme/ Stay Safe
  • training in the Substance Misuse programme /Walk Tall
  • training in the Relationships and Sexuality Education programme /R.S.E.
  • PDST Advisor support and modelling of lessons
  • other

Teachers are encouraged to attend SPHE related courses and will share information/skills acquired at these courses with other members of staff during staff meetings.


12           Parental Involvement:

Parental involvement is considered an integral part to effectively implementing SPHE as KIlmacrennan NS believe that SPHE is a shared responsibilty. This plan and the curriculum documents are available for parents to inform them of the programme for SPHE, and they are welcomed as committee members on the Relationships and Sexuality Education Policy and Substance Use Policy. They are also welcomed as committee members of the Health Promoting Schools initiative.


13           Community Links:

Kilmacrennan NS believe that the local community has a very important role to play in supporting the programme in SPHE and endeavour to liasise with the members such as the Dental Hygienist, Health Nurse, Fireman, Vet, New Parent, etc.







 Success Criteria

The success of this plan will be evaluated through teacher’s planning and preparation, and if the procedures outlined in this plan have been consistently followed. We will also judge its success if the children have been enabled to achieve the aims outlined in this plan.



 Implementation(a)   Roles and Responsibilities:

Kilmacrennan NS believes that the school community must be involved to successfully implement SPHE. Therefore the teaching staff will implement this plan with the support of the Board of Management, Parents and the Local Community.


(b)   Timeframe:

The plan will be implemented with immediate effect.



 Review(a)   Roles and Responsibilities:

It will be necessary to review this plan on a regular basis to ensure optimum implementation of the SPHE curriculum in the school.

Those involved in the review included the Principal, Staff, Pupils, Parent and BOM.

Mr O’Donnell and Ms Gallagher are responsible for co-ordinating this review.


(b)   Timeframe:

This plan will be reviewed in 2021.


 Ratification and CommunicationThe Board of Management of Kilmacrennan NS ratified this plan in 2018.This plan is available to view at the school by the parents on request.











  • School Holidays

    • Enrolment Application 2023/24
      Use the first link for Applications to our Mainstream Junior Infant class & for applications to other Mainstream Classes

      Enrolment Application Form  school year

      Please attach a copy of the child's Birth Certificate with the application.

      Closing Date  31 January 2023.


      Please contact the School Office for Information regarding Applications for our ASD Class.

      Forms for Special Class Applications are listed below.

      NCSE-Application-Form-1-Application-for-access-to-SNA-support (9)

      SEN-School-Transport-Application-Form (22)

      Closing Date  31 January 2023.



    • June Bank Holiday
      The school will close for pupils on Monday 5 June 2023.
    • Summer Closure
      The school will close for the Summer Holidays on Fri 23 June (12 noon)
    • School Re-opening
      The school will open for the 2023-24 school year on Wednesday, 30th August 2023.
    • Halloween Holidays
      The school will close for the week Mon 30th October (Bank Holiday) until Friday 3rd November 2023.
    • Christmas Holidays
      All schools close on Friday, 22 December 2023, which is the final day of the school term.

      All schools re-open on Monday, 8 January 2024.