SPHE Policy

Presentation School Wexford is a Catholic Secondary School, guided by the ideals of Nano Nagle, foundress of the Presentation Congregation. The school is committed to the pursuit of excellence in a caring environment.

The school recognises that the world in which we live presents young people with many opportunities and challenges that affect their health and well-being. A student who has a high self-esteem and a sense of security will be better able to meet these challenges and opportunities. Social Personal and Health Education ( SPHE) supports the personal development, health and well-being of young people. It provides them with opportunities to develop skills and competence to learn about themselves and to care for themselves and others and to make informed decisions about their health, personal lives and development.

Presentation School Wexford recognises that the home is the natural environment in which children grow, develop and mature into adults. In line with the Education Act (1998) Presentation Wexford supports parents and guardians in this work by promoting the social and personal development of students and by providing health education for them.. The school’s approach to health education is in line with its Mission Statement and supported by all teachers across the curriculum.

Aims of SPHE.
1. To enable students to develop skills for self-fulfilment and living in communities.
2. To promote self-esteem and confidence.
3. To enable students to develop a framework for responsible decision-making.
4. To provide opportunities for reflection and discussion.
5. To promote physical, mental and emotional health and well-being..

Outline of the programme.

The programme is presented as ten modules over three years. The curriculum is an enabling one, its purpose is to offer a flexible framework around which the school can build an SPHE programme. Teachers of SPHE follow the DES guidelines for each year. The order in which the modules are covered may vary depending on the needs of individual classes, as indicated by regular review and the circumstances and issues which may prevail at the time.

1. Belonging and integrating.
2. Self-Management: a sense of purpose.
3. Communication Skills
4. Physical Health.
5. Friendship.
6. Relationships and Sexuality.
7. Emotional Health.
8. Influences and Decisions
9. Substance Use.
10. Personal Safety.

In line with Circular M22/00 each class is allocated one class period per week. Staff allocation varies from year to year. Teachers who are not contracted to deliver S.P.H.E do so by choice and become involved by a process of consultation.
The school designates a room for S.P.H.E classes. The school’s view is that S.P.H.E should have a co-ordinator and will endeavour to have same as far as resources allow
The methodology is experiential where each student is actively engaged in her own learning.

To mark the introduction of SPHE the entire teaching staff received
in-service which stressed the whole- school aspects of SPHE and its connections with many other subjects.
Each year details of SPHE in-service will be circulated to the staff who will be facilitated to choose the in-service of interest to them.

Parents /Guardians.
Each parent/guardian of incoming first year students is informed of the contents of the SPHE curriculum. If a parent/guardian has a concern about any aspect of the curriculum they are invited to contact the Principal to discuss the concern. Each parent has a right to withdraw her/his daughter from the Relations and Sexuality Education (R.S.E.) module. However, it will be necessary for parents of any student opting out of RSE to make suitable arrangements with school management for the welfare of the student at these times. It is important to be aware that in these circumstances the school cannot be responsible for information subsequently passed on by participating students.

Guidelines for the Use of External Agencies
The teacher is the primary educator in SPHE. An outside speaker is a resource and does not replace the teacher. When engaging the services of an outside agency suitably qualified and experienced personnel will be sourced. The needs of the target group will be identified. The SPHE teacher will normally be present and boundaries of confidentiality will be agreed beforehand. Any concerns/issues arising will be followed up in SPHE classes, with referrals to appropriate authorities where necessary,

Sensitive Issues.
While it is acknowledged that teachers have a professional responsibility to impart the S.P.H.E course content, they will respond flexibly to the needs of the students as they arise. Where it is appropriate the school will refer students to other supportive links, internal and external to the school community in line with Child Protection Guidelines for secondary schools. Class discussion will be of a general nature in accordance with previously agreed ground rules and will not be personally directed. Questions not directly related to the lesson content will be addressed appropriately by the S.P.H.E teacher.

Relationships and Sexuality Education.

R.S.E is covered as a module in S.P.H.E. See the school policy on R.S.E.
The school has R.S.E guidelines for teachers


The normal limits of confidentiality will apply to any information coming to the attention of the teacher. Any concerns about a student’s welfare will be dealt with discreetly and sensitively within the Child Protection Guidelines for post-primary schools issued by the Dept. of Education and Science.