Relationships & Sexuality Education (RSE)

Whole School Plan for RSE – September 2009

School Details

  • Name: Scoil Mhuire
  • Address: Airlie Height/Woodview, Lucan,Co. Dublin
  • Phone Number: 01 6240203
  • Category: Catholic,19 teacher, mixed-sex, urban,
  • Enrolment Numbers: 420
  • Introductory Statement & Rationale

This policy statement is an approved approach to the teaching of RSE in Scoil Mhuire.  It was developed by Scoil Mhuire. R.S.E. Policy Committee which included two teachers, two representatives of the Board of Management and two parent representatives.  It was developed to inform teachers and parents as to what material is covered in the RSE programme within SPHE.

  • School Philosophy:

Scoil Mhuire is a Catholic school and therefore all policies developed are implemented in ways which are in keeping with the ethos of the school.  The ethos of the school is characterised by the following:

  • Sensitive to reality of our children’s lives in a changing world
  • Mutual respect between all partners in education
  • Child-centred
  • Aims to ensure each child reaches full potential in the holistic sense
  • Hopes that children are equipped with high self-esteem to enable them to go to live happy and fulfilled live

Scoil Mhuire School Vision:

Our school values the uniqueness of all individuals within a caring school community. We recognise that SPHE is intrinsic to the learning and teaching that occurs both formally and informally in the school and in the classroom. Through our SPHE programme we wish to assist children to develop feelings of self-worth and self-confidence while encouraging their ability to relate to others in a positive way. The programme also encourages children to be aware of their rights as individuals while at the same time accepting responsibility for their actions as members of the school and the wider community. Parents have the primary role in the social, personal and health education of their children so their involvement will be encouraged as much as possible.

  • Definition of RSE

RSE is an integral part of Social, Personal and Health Education and must be taught in this context.  It provides structured opportunities for pupils to acquire knowledge and understanding of human sexuality and relationships through processes which will enable them to form values and establish behaviours within a moral, spiritual and social framework.  (p. 5 NCCA interim curriculum and guidelines for RSE)

  • Relationship of RSE to SPHE

Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) provides opportunities for pupils to learn basic personal and social skills which foster integrity, self-confidence and self-esteem while nurturing sensitivity to the feelings and rights of others. (p. 5 NCCA interim curriculum and guidelines for RSE)

  • Current Provision Included in the school curriculum in Scoil Mhuire is:
  • Religious Education (Alive-O)
  • SPHE
  • S.E. Lessons taught by teacher

Aims of our RSE programme

  • To help young people develop healthy friendships and relationships
  • To promote a healthy attitude to sexuality and to relationships
  • To enhance the personal development, self-esteem and well-being of the child
  • To foster and 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 the child to be comfortable with the sexuality of oneself and others while growing and developing

Guidelines for the Management and Organisation of RSE in our School

  • Curriculum Matters:
  • Curriculum Content – The curriculum by NCCA will be followed as published, and will be taught in junior infants to 6th It will be taught by the teaching staff.  All resources used will be in keeping with the ethos of the school and the policy


  • Organisational Matters:
  • If children are withdrawn, they will be accommodated in another teacher’s classroom.
  • With regard to matters of a confidential nature, the school cannot take any responsibility for what is discussed in the yard or classroom.
  • Any teacher has the right to opt-out from teaching the sexually sensitive issues in RSE. It is the responsibility of Board of Management to ensure that the curriculum will be taught to the children by another teacher or an outside speaker.
  • Parents are invited/welcome to view the curriculum and may speak to the class teacher if they have any concerns.
  • Teachers sending home the home/school links pages at the end of each RSE lesson

Dealing with Questions:

All questions answered will reflect the parameters of the curriculum.  Certain topics will not be discussed i.e. abortion, masturbation, homosexuality, contraception.  Questions to the teacher may be written or oral within the group setting and answered within the boundaries of the curriculum and policy.  If any questions asked by the children are judged to be inappropriate, the teacher will refer the child to their parents or appropriate adult.  The school cannot guarantee confidentiality if a child asks a question of a personal nature to them or discloses personal information.

  • Provision for Ongoing Support
  • Parents are welcome to view curriculum if they wish
  • Prior to the teaching of lessons involving “sensitive issues” parents will be informed that these lessons will take place. Parents will be informed by letter the week which the class teachers will begin these lessons.
  • The school will avail of the services of the RSE support programme as and when necessary. Books and DVD’s are available in the school should parents wish to borrow them.
  • Review:This policy will be reviewed after the initial 12th month period has passed by the RSE Policy Committee, and every two years thereafter.  This policy will also be reviewed should a need arise.  Parents and staff will be informed of any amendments made by the RSE Policy Committee.