SPHE plays a vital role in a Cluny Education. The SPHE department aims to promote all round student wellbeing, giving students the tools to develop into a mentally and physically healthy person who is informed, responsible and self-confident.
At junior level each class group in each year has one 40 minute class of SPHE per week. Throughout the three years of the Junior Cycle similar subjects are addressed and revisited each year in more depth according to the students’ level of maturity. A Scheme of Work suitable for each year group is compiled by the SPHE teachers at the beginning of each school year. Modules covered in the Junior Cycle include:
- Belonging and Integrating
- Communication Skills
- Physical Health
- Relationships and Sexuality (RSE)
- Emotional Health
- Influences and Decisions
- Substance Use
- Personal Safety
At senior cycle SPHE is timetabled to run concurrently with another subject for one period per week for Transition Year and 5th Year students. Consequently the class is divided into two groups of 10-13 students who attend SPHE class for 15 weeks approximately. RSE is covered within this timeframe. This structure allows for more personal and intimate discussion due to smaller groups and an opportunity for the SPHE teacher and students to develop a relationship more in keeping with the sensitive nature of the topics. 6th years are timetabled for one SPHE class per week for the whole year.
Our SPHE teaching methodologies at both junior and senior level include:
- Class Discussion
- Icebreaking and Role-playing Games
- Analysing and reacting to Case Studies
- Artwork, campaign posters etc.
- Project Work
Society today leaves children exposed to increasing influences particularly where sex and sexuality are concerned. Over the past decade we have witnessed the media deliver information on sex and sexuality that indirectly promotes and perhaps encourages behaviour that can often compromise young peoples’ self-esteem, morals and core values. The RSE programme aims to deliver age-appropriate and practical information that encourages students to rise above the pressure and expectations of their peers and society. It informs students of the practical/physical and emotional/moral elements of the subject, empowering them to make healthy and correct decisions that impact on their lives in a positive and affirming way.
The SPHE Syllabus is presented in ten modules, three of which are closely related to Relationship and Sexuality Education. The themes of RSE, as per Department of Education SPHE Curriculum Junior Cycle are incorporated into this schedule. (See www.sphe.ie)
The RSE topics are:
- Me as unique and different
- Changes at adolescence
- Reproductive System
- Images of Male and Female
- Respecting myself and others