Springdale Social Personal and Health Education Policy

Introductory Statement
The staff of Springdale N.S. formulated this school plan for SPHE, in consulation with our Board of Management and our Parents, as we believe that SPHE is a shared responsibility and their contributions and involvement will be essential to the effective implementation of the SPHE programme in the school. It was drafted during a staff meeting and brought to the attention of the Board of Management and Parents.

Aspects of SPHE have been taught in Springdale N.S. for many years through various programmes and initiatives such as Stay Safe, Walk Tall, Relationships and Sexuality Education, The Friends for Life Programme, workshops provided by Parents Making Teachers Aware (PMCA) and through our involvement in various initiatives which promote health and well-being. It has also been taught through integration with other subject areas such as Physical Education, Religion, Geography, etc. However, we wish to formalise our teaching of SPHE and plan for it on a whole school basis.

Springdale N.S. values the uniqueness of all individuals within a caring school community. We provide a safe, caring school environment where every child is cherished and helped to achieve their maximum potential intellectually, spiritually, physically and emotionally. We recognise that SPHE is intrinsic to the holistic 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 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.

The children of Springdale NS should be enabled to achieve the aims outlined in the SPHE curriculum, which include:
– 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 all its 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 active and participative 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

Content of Plan:
Curriculum: Strands and Strand Units
The curriculum is delineated at four levels—infant classes, first and second classes, third and fourth classes, and fifth and sixth classes—and is divided into three strands: Myself, Myself and others, and Myself and the wider world. Each of these strands is further subdivided into a number of strand units or topic areas that contain particular objectives.
Springdale NS will teach aspects of all three major strand units each year. Teachers will use ‘Making the Links- a practical; guide to the use of programmes supported by the DES in the implementation of the SPHE curriculum’, to choose strand units in such a way that the child will receive a comprehensive programme in SPHE over a two year period (See Appendix 1).

Contexts for SPHE:
SPHE will be taught in Springdale NS through a combination of the following contexts:
Positive School Climate and Atmosphere
Springdale NS has created a positive atmosphere by:
– building effective communication
– catering for individual needs
– creating a health-promoting physical environment
– developing democratic processes
– enhancing self-esteem
– fostering respect for diversity
– fostering inclusive and respectful language
– developing appropriate communication
– developing a school approach to assessment
Discrete time for SPHE
SPHE is allocated ½ hour per week on each teacher’s timetable in Springdale NS. However teachers may allocate 1 hour per fortnight to allow for more indepth exploration of a strand unit.
Integration with other subject areas and Linkage within SPHE
Teachers will endeavour to adopt a thematic approach to SPHE by integrating it with other subject areas such as Language, Geography, History, Religion, Visual Arts, Physical Education, etc. Themes/Projects such as Friendship Week, Show Racism the Red Card, Bealtaine Festival.
Approaches and Methodologies:
Springdale NS believe that the approaches and methodologies used in SPHE are crucial to the effectiveness of the programme. Active learning is the principal learning and teaching approach recommended for SPHE, therefore we will endeavour to teach SPHE using a variety of strategies which include:
– drama activities
– co-operative games
– use of pictures
– photographs and visual images
– written activities
– use of media
– information technologies and looking at children’s work


Assessment is a central part of the everyday learning and teaching process in SPHE. It can provide valuable information on the child’s progress and on the effectiveness and suitability of the programme and the teaching methods being used.
Springdale NS uses the following recommended informal tools for assessment in SPHE:
– Teacher observation
– Teacher-designed tasks and tests
– Projects and work samples filed in assessment folders

Children with Different Needs:
Teachers will endeavour to adapt and modify activities and methodologies in SPHE to encourage participation by children with special needs. The special education teachers will supplement the work of the class teachers where necessary. Springdale NS will liasise with refer to its Critical Incident Policy and consult with trained professionals/appropriate agencies when dealing with sensitive issues such as bereavement or loss to ensure that the children involved are fully supported.
Equality of Participation and Access:
Springdale NS recognises and values diversity, and believes all children are entitled to access the services, facilities, or amenities that are available in the school environment. Ours is a mixed school and we endeavour to challenge traditional stereotypes and ensure that equal opportunities are given to boys and girls to participate in discussion, debate, presentation, etc. Springdale NS is under Church of Ireland school management, and we endeavour to provide for all children in our school community.
Policies that support SPHE:
– Child Protection
– Critical Incident
– Anti-Bullying
– Relationships and Sexuality Education
– Substance Use
– Code of Behaviour
– Enrolment
– Health and Safety
– Healthy Eating
– Internet Acceptable Useage

Programmes/Initiatives used in Springdale NS:
– The SPHE Curriculum
– Walk Tall Programme
– RSE Programme
– Stay safe Programme
– Busy Bodies
– Webwise
– Be Safe (Road, water & fire safety)
– RSA Safety Programme
– Halloween safety talks (City Council)
– Active School Flag (to begin 2017/2018)
– PMCA Programme
– Food Dudes
– Green Flag
– Fun Friends/Friends for Life (2 nd; 5 th Class)
– Circle Time
– Mindfulness
– Zoom Boom Kids (regulation stations)

Guest Speakers:
When a guest speaker addresses the children in SPHE, the class teacher will remain in the classroom (as per Circular 22/2010) and make the speaker aware of this school plan and attached policies.
SPHE homework, if prescribed in SPHE, will reflect the active learning approach and will reinforce information already taught during class.
Individual Teachers’ Planning and Reporting:
This plan in SPHE and the curriculum documents will inform and guide teachers in their long and short term planning in SPHE. Each teacher will keep a Cuntas Míosúil and this will inform our progress and needs when evaluating and reviewing our progress in SPHE.
Staff Development:
Training opportunities will include the following areas and this training will support an effective implementation of the SPHE programme:
– training in the Child Abuse Prevention Programme/ Stay Safe
– training in the Substance Misuse programme /Walk Tall
– training in the Relationships and Sexuality Education programme /R.S.E.
– PDST Advisor support and modelling of lessons
Teachers are encouraged to attend SPHE related courses and will share information/skills acquired at these courses with other members of staff during staff meetings.
Parental Involvement:
Parental involvement is considered an integral part to effectively implementing SPHE as Springdale NS believes that SPHE is a shared responsibilty. Parents will be informed when their children are due to begin working on the Stay Safe Programme and the RSE programme. This plan and the curriculum documents are available for parents to inform them of the programme for SPHE.
Community Links:
Springdale NS believe that the local community has a very important role to play in supporting the programme in SPHE and endeavour to liaise with members of the community such as the local library, local hospitals, speakers on web safety, etc.
Success Criteria
The success of this plan will be evaluated through teacher’s planning and preparation, and if the procedures outlined in this plan have been consistently followed. We will also judge its success if the children have been enabled to  achieve the aims outlined in this plan.

Roles and Responsibilities:

Springdale NS believes that the school community must be involved to successfully implement SPHE. Therefore the teaching staff will implement this plan with the support of the Board of Management, Parents and the Local Community.
The plan will be implemented by October 2017 Review
Roles and Responsibilities:
It will be necessary to review this plan on a regular basis to ensure optimum implementation of the SPHE curriculum in the school. The Principal is responsible for co-ordinating this review.
Those involved in the review will include:
Post holders/plan co-ordinator
This plan will be reviewed in October 2020
Ratification and Communication
The Board of Management of Springdale NS ratified this plan on 10th October 2017.
Signed _________________________
Date: 10/10/17