Definition of RSE

RSE is an integral part of SPHE and will be taught in this context. RSE provides structured opportunities for pupils to acquire knowledge and understanding of human sexuality and relationships so children can grow into adulthood confidently with a good self image, an understanding of their own development and as people who respect themselves and others.

Aims of RSE

  • 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, 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 children to be comfortable with their own sexualities and those of others while growing and developing.

Broad Objectives

While due account is taken of varying abilities and circumstances, the RSE curriculum should enable children to:

  • Develop a positive sense of self-awareness, self esteem and self worth
  • Develop and appreciation of the dignity, uniqueness and well being of others.
  • Come to value family life and appreciate the responsibilities of parenthood.
  • Develop and awareness of different family structures.
  • Develop strategies to make decisions, solve problems and implement actions in various personal, social and health contexts.
  • Develop coping strategies to protect self and others from various forms of abuse.

Role of Parents

The school recognises that parents/guardians are the primary educators of their children. The RSE programme is not intended to replace the role or responsibilities of parents/guardians in this area, but rather to support and compliment them.

Organisational Matters

The child’s right to privacy must be respected at all times by both the teachers and all the other children in the class. It is equally important that the teacher shares this right and never feels obliged to impart information about his/her own personal life.

The right of parents to withdraw their children from aspects of the programme will be respected and facilitated.

Provision will be made by teachers who may have difficulties with teaching sections of this programme. A teacher in this situation will be facilitated in making arrangements with a colleague, by mutual agreement, to deliver these sections of the programme. The principal must be informed of RSE arrangements.

Curriculum

The programme will be implemented in conjunction with and supplemented by the Social, Personal and Health Education Programme, the Walk Tall and Stay Safe programme and the school’s core curriculum programme. 

The acquisition of appropriate language in RSE is crucially important to enable children to communicate confidently about themselves, their sexuality, growing up, physical changes, feelings, etc.  It enables children to discuss these issues with others confidently. The RSE programme will encourage the use of the proper terms for body parts from the earliest age so that these terms are given status and acceptability. These terms will be reinforced and used consistently throughout the school.

It is envisaged that some aspects of RSE will be taught through a number of time-tabled core periods, with the remainder being taught in a cross curricular manner. Individual teachers will have to identify the appropriate links with other subject areas to ensure that children receive a broad-based approach to RSE.

The lessons plans being used are those provided by the NCCA. Additional resources are available within the school. (See resource list attached)
Letters will be sent to parents prior to teaching the sensitive elements of the programme, normally during the 2nd term. (See sample letter attached)

The primary and post-primary RSE programmes are divided into sections and the following parallel divisions are considered appropriate in Scoil Chiarain:

Junior & Senior Infants

Primary 1 & 2

1st & 2nd Class

Primary 3 & 4

3rd & 4th Class

Post-Primary 1 & 2

5th & 6th Class

Post-Primary 3 & 4

Junior Cycle

Post Primary 5 & SC1

Senior Cycle

Senior Cycle

From time to time, guest speakers may be invited to address staff, parents and children.

Dealing with Questions

The RSE programme is so structured that the information given is appropriate to the age and development of the child. During the RSE lesson the teacher will normally only answer questions which come within the scope of the agreed programme for each particular age group. If a child asks other questions, the teacher may inform her/him that the questions may be answered in later stages of the programme or may advise the child to ask at home. Flexibility and teacher discretion may be necessary in response to students’ questions and needs.

Ongoing Support and Development

As part of our staff development, we will invite guest speakers or arrange workshops to deal with issues relevant to RSE from time to time.

In supporting parents we will keep them informed through the home school communications and by inviting guest speakers as appropriate.

The appropriate and necessary resources will be assessed and acquired to teach RSE.

Material intended for class/pupil use should be carefully assessed in advance in order to ensure they comply with our agreed policy.

Review

This policy will be reviewed October 2017

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