Lucan East ETNS R.S.E. Policy
Our School Philosophy
To develop each child to his/her fullest potential morally, emotionally and educationally while welcoming and encouraging parents and teachers to actively become complementary factors in the education of each whole child.
Definition of R.S.E.
RSE aims to provide children with the opportunity to learn, at home and in school, about their own development and about their friendships and relationships with others. This work will be based on developing a good self-image, promoting respect for themselves and others and providing them with appropriate information. Within the school, RSE will form an integral part of a wider programme, covering several core subjects areas, which will be encompassed in the SPHE programme.
What our school currently provides
Many of the strands of SPHE/RSE recommended by the Department of Education and Science are already in place within the school. Named below are a number of subject areas which fall into this category:
Language Development/Oral Language
Language has a vital role to play in SPHE/RSE. It is important that a child be able to articulate her feelings and this is why Language Development is emphasised from day one. Topics of conversation include: Myself, My News, Friends and My Family.
Several of the lessons in the LT programme are based on the child as a person. Some examples of these include: I am Unique, My Body, Resolving Conflict and Growing.
Social and Environmental Studies
This subject deals with a wide range of issues including: Personal Hygiene, Life Cycle and My Body.
Certain themes within the RSE programme already form part of the Irish curriculum, where family topics are discussed informally with the children, for example: My Body, Myself and My Family.
Stay Safe Programme and the Walk Tall Programme
These programmes deal with many of the issues developed upon in the RSE syllabus, namely, the Development of Self-Esteem, My Body, Self-Protection, taking care of my body and feelings.
Art & Craft
Through many of the varied Art & Craft activities the children already interpret and display an understanding of some of the information contained in the RSE programme, for example, making a Life Cycles display – frog, butterfly etc (introducing new life), Self portraits (Myself), Materials, fabric and fibre (Sense and Touch) (my body), Hand and Feet Prints (awareness of physical growth and uniqueness).
Music, Movement and PE
Through music, movement and PE, the children become aware of the physical nature of their bodies and various exercises are carried out within the classroom and P.E. hall, which develop upon the idea of physical growth.
As part of the science curriculum, ‘the identification of the parts of the human body is included at each level of the primary programme’ and ‘children will be helped to develop ideas about the human body, growth, movement and breathing…the development of children’s ideas about body changes and reproduction should be done in accordance with the school’s policy on SPHE. (Science Curriculum Teacher Guidelines) Our policy on RSE will also inform the teaching of the strand ‘Living Things’ in Science. As is apparent from the above, much of the RSE programme is already contained within today’s curriculum. Many more examples exist, as the school currently provides a large number of programmes both formal and informal, which all come under the umbrella term SPHE.
The Aims of our RSE Programme
- To enhance the personal development, self esteem and well being of the child.
- To help the child develop healthy, friendships and relationships.
- To help the child to develop an understanding and a healthy attitude to relationships in a moral, spiritual and social framework.
- To develop and promote in the child, a sense of understanding at the process of birth and new life.
- To acquire and develop knowledge and understanding of oneself.
- That the child be able to identify external parts of the male and female body.
- That the child is able to articulate fluently, information about him/herself, his/her ideas, his/her feelings and his/her attitudes.
- To develop an appreciation of the dignity, uniqueness and well being of others.
- To develop an awareness of differing family patterns.
- To develop some coping strategies to protect oneself and others from various forms of abuse.
- To enable the older children (5th/6th class) to acquire an understanding and respect for reproduction.
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 partnership in a supportive role.
On enrolment in our school, parents will be provided with an overview of the SPHE/RSE programme and the list of possible sensitive issues.
An outline of the lessons/sensitive issues will be available to parents before they are taught, so that they can prepare the child before they are dealt with in school, if they so wish.
A parent’s right to *withdraw* a pupil from the process will be honoured on the understanding that the parent is taking full responsibility for this aspect of education.*It is the responsibility of the parent to inform the school in writing of their decision to withdraw and their willingness to cover sensitive issues with their child outside of school hours*
If a child is withdrawn from the class for the teaching of sensitive issues, we cannot guarantee that the other children will not inform him/her about what happened. The teacher may also need to make incidental reference to the issue at another time while that child is present.
Rights and Responsibilities of Teachers
Each class teacher will teach the SPHE programme including the sensitive issues unless they opt out.(see below)
Teachers will teach only the topics laid down for the class and will answer only those questions on the above programme for that year.
A teacher’s right to opt out from teaching the sensitive issues will be honoured. Provision then will be made for these issues to be taught by a colleague or the 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 principal.
RSE will be taught in junior infants to sixth class. All information delivered will be informed by the content objectives of the SPHE Curriculum.
Stay Safe – Touches
Sources and Resources*
We will use the RSE and the Stay Safe Programmes and other resources that are deemed suitable by the Principal/SPHE co-ordinator.
We may also invite other visitors such as a mother, father and new baby when teaching certain aspects. The content of the visitor’s talk will be discussed and agreed by the class teacher in advance of the visit. These adults may be invited to talk and be questioned by the pupils. The teacher will be present and will oversee the delivery of the visitor’s talk at all times. For RSE the specific pages are P11 and P12 under Teaching Strategies/Resources ‘A Visitor to the Classroom’.
Questions arising from the lesson will be answered by the teacher in an age-appropriate manner.
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:
*not give such information
*refer him/her to the parents
*teachers may contact parents themselves if they feel a question is inappropriate and/or needs to be addresses.
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.
In a case where a teacher may have some concerns about a child or there is a disclosure of information by the child of abuse, the school will follow our Child Protection Policy. The Principal is the Designated Liason Person.
Provision for Ongoing Support, Development and Review
Where necessary or if opportunities arise, the BOM may be requested to fund/support:
- In-career development for teachers
- Training for parents organised by the Parent’s Association
Any future reviews of the policy will involve possible changes/comments and suggestions added to present policy. Then it will be circulated to parents, teachers and the BOM by the Principal and amended when consensus has been reached by all parties. The final agreed policy will be presented to the BOM, ratified by them, circulated to all parties involved and implemented.
This policy and the RSE programme will be reviewed after two years and thereafter as necessary. All partners will be informed of any amendments necessary after such a review. RSE resources will also be reviewed to ensure they are kept up to date.
All relevant RSE school resources will be available to both teachers and parents.
Guidelines for the Management and Organisation of RSE in Our School
- The RSE policy was implemented in this school from January 2010 and reviewed in 2012.
- Lesson plans will be based on the NCCA curriculum guidelines.
- Any parent who does not wish their child to participate in the RSE programme/individual lesson topics will be accommodated with alternative arrangements for their child.
- Parents enrolling their child in Lucan East Educate Together School will be advised to familiarise themselves with the SPHE Policy which will be available in the office and also on the school website.
- Curriculum lessons for a specific class will be strictly adhered to by that class, as advised. Similarly, the rights of the teacher with regard to the teaching of the RSE programme will be respected. Should a teacher choose to be exempt from teaching the programme/part of same, alternative arrangements shall be made for the teaching of that class.
- The curriculum is spiral in nature and all content will be delivered developmentally throughout the child’s time at LEETNS.
- All information delivered will be informed by the objectives of the SPHE curriculum.
Ratified by the Board of Management of Lucan East Educate Together National School
Chairperson, Board of Management
Appendix 1 Explanatory Letter to Parents
We are planning to teach the Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) Programme in all classes over the coming school term, as part of the subject Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE). All teachers have received training and are fully qualified to teach this. It is best that the RSE Programme is taught naturally and appropriately within the school day, taking into consideration the age of the children. As you are the primary educators of your children, we would appreciate it if you would cover the topics listed below, with your children over the next few weeks in your home. If you have any concerns about this programme I will be happy to meet with you. A copy of the parent information booklets for these programmes will be available in the school office.
These are the ‘sensitive’ areas which will be covered in the RSE programme.
Junior Infants, Senior Infants, 1st class and 2nd class:
Taking care of my body: Name parts of the male and female body, using appropriate anatomical terms
3rd and 4th classes:
Taking care of my body
· Realise the importance of caring for and treating his/her own body, and that of others, with dignity and respect
Growing and changing – Birth and new life
· Discuss the stages and sequence of development of the human baby, from conception to birth.
5th and 6th classes:
Taking care of my body
· Recognise the importance of treating his/her body and others with dignity and respect
· Identify and discuss the physical and other changes that occur in boys and girls with the onset of puberty and understand that these take place at different rates for everyone
· Understand the reproductive system of both male and female adults
· Become aware of some communicable diseases and explore how diseases and infections spread
Strand unit: Growing and changing
As I grow I change
· Explore patterns of development and growth, comparing present development with that of earlier stages: physical, social, emotional, intellectual and spiritual
Birth and new life
· Understand sexual intercourse, conception and birth within the context of a committed, loving relationship.
· Discuss and explore the responsibilities involved in being a parent and the emotional and physical maturity required to be a parent
If you have any questions or concerns about the programmes please do not hesitate to contact me or your child’s class teacher.