Our School Philosophy and Aims:
It is our school’s philosophy to provide a centre of life-learning for our pupils; a safe, happy school where they will receive a well-balanced and rounded education, catering for their social, spiritual, religious, physical, creative, intellectual, emotional and moral needs. To this end we ensure that clear information and opportunities are available for the pupils in all areas of their personal development, so that they learn how to make decisions while growing in self-esteem and confidence. Furthermore, the children are made aware of their responsibilities to others, to safety and environmental issues. St. Brigid’s school would see itself playing a supportive and complementary role to ‘the home’ of each child.
The aims of our Relationships & Sex Education [R.S.E.] Policy are as follows:
- To promote fairness, respect and equality.
- To enhance the personal development, communication skills, self esteem and well-being of the child. This will in turn promote good manners.
- 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 the child to be comfortable with sexuality of oneself and others while growing and developing
DEFINITION OF R.S.E. (R.S.E. forms part of the Social, Personal and Health Education Programme)
R.S.E. enhances our school’s philosophy as it helps the children to learn about their own development, friendships, relationships and sexuality in a structured way while promoting respect and good self image and providing appropriate information, which will help them to think and act in a moral, caring and responsible way.
RELATIONSHIPS OF R.S.E. TO S.P.H.E.
The S.P.H.E. programme will be a core part of the curriculum. The key topics will be similar for various age groups, but extended in range for the older children as appropriate. Relationships will be a central part of this programme and Sexuality Education will take place within this context. It will embrace cross-curricular links and have whole-school support. Parents of senior classes will be invited to preview material/resources to be used in certain sexuality education classes. Parents will have the right to withdraw their children from the programme if they so wish. Any child withdrawn will be allowed do this work at home, or where possible in another class for that period.
In addition to the existing programmes mentioned already the Staff also present ‘The Stay Safe Programme’, The Charter of Good Behaviour, Environmental Study Projects/Recycling, Healthy Eating, Hygiene, Sports and extra activities, awareness of alcohol and drug abuse and general safety.
GUIDELINES FOR THE MANAGEMENT AND ORGANISATION OF R.S.E. IN OUR SCHOOL WHICH WILL BE TAUGHT BY THE CLASS TEACHER
Themes for Infants, First and Second Classes:
I am unique; my body; as I grow and change: new life; keeping safe; feelings and emotions; making decisions; myself and my family; various family groupings; my friends; special people in my life; relating to others; communicating, sharing and co-operating; resolving conflict. The Stay Safe Programme is taught from Senior Infants upwards. The programme develops children’s ability to recognise, resist and report risk situations or abusive encounters.
Themes for Third and Fourth Classes:
Accepting myself, physical development, growing and changing; birth and new life; feelings and emotions; personal hygiene; personal safety; making decisions; roles and responsibilities in families; friendship; portrayal of sexuality and relationships; roles of males and females in society; relating to others; communicating, sharing and co-operating; resolving conflict.
Themes for Fifth and Sixth Classes:
The extra themes for Fifth and Sixth Classes include: becoming an adult; parenthood; changing relationships in families and friendships; group affiliation and loyalty. Fifth Class will concentrate on and explore the changes which occur with the onset of puberty, while Sixth Class will become familiar with the reproductive systems; understand how sexual intercourse, conception and birth take place within the context of a committed loving relationship; and explore the responsibilities involved in being a parent, and the make up of various family groupings. Generally the classes will cover such areas as: risks to health; diseases; dealing with assault myth dispelling. Confidentially will be given utmost respect. ‘Circle-time techniques’ will be used i.e., anything discussed within a group is special to this group, not to be discussed with a younger group. Children will be encouraged to discuss these lessons with their parents. Any inappropriate queries or questions asked by children will be referred to their parents.
- The aim of the programme is to teach children personal safety skills so they can look after themselves in situations, which could be upsetting or dangerous.
- It deals initially with common situations, which most children will experience at some stage or other, e.g. getting lost or bullied.
- The programme also teaches children the safety skills necessary to protect themselves from physical or sexual abuse.
- Children will be taught to tell a trusted adult about any problems they may have.
- Programme can be inspected on request.
- Our teachers have taken part in a special training course to prepare them to teach the subject.
- The Staff will avail of any suitable In-Career development opportunities as they arise; R.S.E. school resources will be acquired and added to those already in stock. Parents will be notified of classes and/or meetings which are appropriate.