Whole School Plan SPHE

Scoil Fhionáin




This plan was formulated by the teaching staff of Scoil Fhionáin  to conform to principles of learning outlined in the Primary School Curriculum and reviewed in Nov. 2013.


  • In our school we strive to make each child and adult feel valued in a caring atmosphere where everybody is equally respected


  • The school seeks to embrace children of all needs, cultures and beliefs


  • The development of the whole child, which includes his/her academic, physical, moral, emotional, spiritual, social, aesthetic, cultural and personal growth is our priority


  • We aspire to create an environment where honesty and justice prevail


  • We aim to achieve a healthy work ethic and a dedication to excellence

    Dia ár mbeannachadh


The aims of Social, Personal and Health Education are:


  • 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 al it 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 activate and participate 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

(See page 9 of the Curriculum Statement)



When due account is taken of intrinsic abilities and varying circumstances, the SPHE curriculum should enable the child to:

  • Be self-confident and have a positive sense of self-esteem.
  • Develop a sense of personal responsibility and come to understand his/her sexuality and the process of growth, development and reproduction.
  • Develop and enhance the social skills of communication, co-operation and conflict resolution.
  • Create and maintain supportive relationships both now and in the future.
  • Develop an understanding of healthy living, an ability to implement healthy behaviour and a willingness to participate in activities that promote and sustain health.
  • Develop a sense of safety and the ability to protect himself/herself from danger and abuse.
  • Make decisions, solve problems and take appropriate actions in various personal, social and health contexts.
  • Become aware of, and discerning about, the various influences on choices and decisions.
  • Begin to identify, review and evaluate the values and attitudes that are held by individuals and society and to recognise that these affect thoughts and actions.
  • Respect the environment and develop a sense of responsibility for its long-term care.
  • Develop some of the skills and abilities necessary for participating fully in groups and in society.
  • Become aware of some of the individual and community rights and responsibilities that come from living in a democracy.
  • Begin to understand the concepts of personal, local, national, European and global identity.
  • Appreciate and respect the diversity that exists in society and the positive contributions of various cultural, religious and social groups.
  • Promote the values of a just and caring society in an age-appropriate manner and understand the importance of seeking truth and peace.

(See page 10 of the Curriculum Statement)


Since SPHE is spiral in nature we will cover the following content at each level throughout the school over a two year period: (See Appendix 1attached)

  1. Building effective communications within the school.
  • Informal staff discussion.
  • Staff meetings.
  • Notice Board in staff room, corridors and lobby.
  • Important information sent around to staff in a folder.
  • Children are involved in in-class decisions.
  • Health promoting environment.
  • Respectful language towards all staff and pupils.
  • Children report bullying to class teacher/yard duty teacher. Incidents are recorded on a standard template according to DES guidelines.



  • Text-A-Parent.
  • Notes i.e. homework journal.
  • Phone calls to parents.
  • Parent/Teacher Meetings- Meetings also by appointment.
  • Open evening for parents of Junior Infants.
  • Coffee/Tea sessions after sacramental events, cake sale etc.
  • Parent’s Council meet in the school.
  • Parent’s Council organise talks for parents.
  • Parent’s Council organise certain fundraising events.


  • Visitors are greeted upon arrival and seated in lobby, if appropriate.
  • Facilities and room provided for visitors.
  • Invited to staff room for breaks.


  1. Catering for individual needs
  • Individual reward system in every class e.g. student of the week, homework pass etc.
  • Announcement made by Principal, Deputy Principal, Post-holder.
  • School band/choir/sports teams/quizzes/school concert.
  • Timetabling for supplementary teaching is drawn up by consultation with class teacher.
  • Use of a variety of teaching styles and activities – emphasis on Activity Based Learning.
  • A positive school climate promoting and encouraging positive behaviour.
  • Resource teachers.
  • Learning Support teachers.
  • Social skills development.
  • Supplementary teaching.
  1. Creating a health-promoting physical environment
  • Aesthetically pleasing and well maintained school.
  • Playground equipment designated for yard time activities (sponge-ball, hoops etc.).
  • Children’s work on display throughout school.
  • Classroom gardens.
  • Wildflower meadow.
  • Litter management by all pupils within their classrooms.
  • Green Schools programme.
  • Recycling in classrooms.
  • Newsletter mentions achievements.
  • Active Parents’ Council.
  1. Developing democratic processes
  • Pupils involved in drawing up class rules.
  • Code of Behaviour is widely publicised.
  • Children bring home own rubbish.
  • Reading buddies, recycling campaign, gardening tasks.
  • Job allocations in classrooms.
  • Involvement in school activities.
  • Children have responsibilities given by class teachers on a rota basis.
  • Children represent the school in a wide variety of activities e.g. sports, music, science, art, write a book, chess, quizzes.
  • Biannual assembly.
  1. Enhancing the self-esteem and well being of members of the school community.
  • Reward systems in place in classes.
  • Display of children’s work.
  • Photographs on display of winners and participants, special visits, school tours, sports days, etc.
  • Junior Infants taken on tour of the school.
  • New pupils – appointed ‘buddies’ to watch out for them at playtime.
  • Folder for new staff members on policy & procedures/and other information.
  • Involvement in concerts, performances and school events.
  • In- class libraries to promote reading, computer time, participation in outside competitions, projects.
  • Organising and attending training courses and seminars
  • Openness to change.
  • Regular appraisal of results of staff efforts.
  • Support and conferring between staff members.
  • Inclusion in newsletter/website note
  1. Fostering respect for diversity
  • All staff are familiar with Anti-bullying policy and Child Protection Policy. Communicating school policies and practices to all parents and children.
  • Integration of different social groups through organised games, activities, field trips, tours, band etc.
  • Positive affirmation approach towards children who display anti-social behaviour or lack of personal discipline.
  1. Fostering inclusive and respectful language
  • Refer to children by Christian name.
  • Praise, encourage and affirm
  • Racist, offensive or homophobic language is not tolerated. Aggressive or disrespectful tone of voice or body language is forbidden.
  • Promote minority cultures in a positive light
  • Awareness of different family structures and units. Refer to them with respect in whole class situations where relevant.
  1. Developing appropriate communication between home and school
  • Regular newsletters, notice boards, posters, text-a-parent etc.
  • Parent / Teacher meeting.
  • Notes in homework journal.
  • Parents’ Council – notes on website.
  • School surveys/ballots.
  • Access to relevant policies on website.
  • Parish newsletter.
  • Local newspaper.
  1. Developing a school approach to assessment
  • Annual testing – MICRA T and SIGMA T
  • Teacher and SNA observations (ongoing)
  • Discussion with children formally/informally
  • Teacher designated tasks and tests.
  • Communication with parents.


  • E.
  • E.S.E.


The following are policies related to SPHE issues.

  • Anti-Bullying in the context of our Behaviour and Discipline policy.
  • Cyber-Bullying as a component of Anti-Bullying policy.
  • S.E. Policy.
  • Substance Use Policy.
  • Acceptable Use (I.T.) Policy.
  • Health and Safety Statement.
  • Child Protection Policy.
  • Critical Incident Policy.


We will adapt the following approaches and methodologies:

  • Active Learning which includes drama activities, co-operative games, use of pictures, photographs and visual images, written activities, discussion, use of media and information technologies and looking at children’s work.
  • Talk and discussion.
  • Skills through content.
  • Collaborative learning.
  • Problem-solving.
  • Use of Environment.


 Walk Tall Programme.

  • S.E. Programme.
  • Visiting Speakers.
  • SPHE Curriculum Books.
  • Stay Safe Programme.
  • Alive O Programme.
  • Bí Folláin.
  • Food/Nutrition – Healthy Eating Policy.


  • Children are involved in church singing, altar serving.
  • Visits by Parish Priest.
  • Carol singing before Christmas in the town.
  • Christmas Concert in the church.
  • Involved in Community Games/C. ns mBunscoil.
  • Local Credit Union Saving Scheme and Art Competitions.
  • Involved in Environmental Projects, Tidy Towns.
  • Cake Sale and Café for a Day. (Ostán Fhionáin etc.)
  • Visits from local Historian/Garda/Health Worker.
  • Involvement with Scoil Pól – Science demonstrations, Hurling Blitz, T.Y. Projects etc.
  • Health Board – Provide health checks and supports.
  • Parents’ Council activities.
  • Visits to local theatre, Outdoor Education Centre, Library church.
  • Walks in locality (Tree Day, Historical etc.).


 Some / all of the teaching staff have attended:

  • Training in the Child Abuse Prevention Programme (Stay Safe).
  • Training in the Relationships and Sexuality programme (R.S.E.).
  • Training in the Walk Tall Programme (S.M.P.P.)
  • Training in the Children First Guidelines (DES Guidelines and Procedures).
  • Two full day in-service seminars in 2001-3 by the Primary Curriculum Support Programme.
  • Professional Development Positive Behaviour Management, Mental Health in the Classroom etc.



  • Wide variety of family backgrounds.
  • SEN/learning support children will be included and involved in class lessons.


Self-assessment for Teachers

  • Have I covered the agreed strand units?
  • What do we need to change?

Pupil assessment: P.70-77

  • Teacher observation.
  • Teacher designed tasks and tests.
  • Projects and Portfolios.
  • Self-Assessment.

Outside assessment:


  • D.E.S.
  • Informal family and community feedback.
  • Visiting speakers.



  • BOM:-           Ratify plan and support implementation.
  • Parents:- Be aware of school plan and support SPHE through involvement in

homework e.g.

  • Principal:- Oversees implementation and supports staff.
  • Teachers:- Follow school plan and implement SPHE accordingly.
  • Pupils:- Co-operate and participate in class lesson.
  • Other Staff:- Be aware of contents of this plan and follow procedures re. same.



  • Staff will review this plan in November 2017



This school plan was formulated by the Principal and staff and approved by the Board of

Management of Scoil Fhionáin on __________________________________




Chairperson of Board of Management:_______________________________


This plan will be reviewed every four years.





Strands Strand Units (Year 1)

2017 –  2018

Strand Units (Year 2)

2018  –  2019

Myself Self Identify


  Taking care of my body


  Growing and Changing


Safety and Protection


    Making Decisions and Sensitive Issues*


Myself and



Myself and my family  
    My friends and other


    Relationship to others


Myself and the wider




    Media Education




*Parents are informed that children will receive instruction on Sensitive issues as part of the R.S.E. (Relationship and Sexuality Education) Programme.  Parents are invited to view this material if they wish to do so.  They have the option to withdraw their child from this lesson, if desired.