Loughmore National School
Relationships and Sexuality Education Policy
The school has a responsibility to put in place an R.S.E. policy as part of the wider Social Personal and Health Education strand of the curriculum.
The need for the policy arises from our schools obligation to provide for all the needs of the student body and to respond appropriately to sensitive and emotive issues relating to emerging sexuality.
a. To enhance the personal development, well-being and self-esteem of each child.
b. To enable each child to gain an understanding of and respect for human love, reproduction and
sexual activity in a sensitive and measured way.
c. To enable the child to develop healthy friendships and relationships.
The school ethos affirms and supports close links between school and home. To this end, parents are encouraged to play a meaningful role in the R.S.E. policy implementation. Parents also have the right to withhold their children from participating in R.S.E. classes.
School Provision: Strand Units:
Self identity, taking care of my body, growing and changing, safety and protection
Myself and Others
Myself and family, friends and relating to other people.
Taking Care of My Body
Naming parts of the male and female body using appropriate terminology in Junior
and Middle classes.
Identifying puberty and the reproductive system in Senior Classes.
Growing and Changing
The stages of development of a baby from conception to birth (Middle classes).
Understanding sexual relations within the context of a committed, loving relationship such as marriage (Senior Classes).
Note: Teachers do not cover topics such as contraception and same-sex friendships. In keeping with our anti-bullying policy homophobic bullying or behaviour is not permitted and such behavior will be appropriately addressed. Children who ask questions in class on content outside the curriculum are referred to parents. Parents are discreetly informed of this and asked to talk to their child.
Circle Time is used in Junior and Senior classes to build confidence and address fears. Boys and girls are taught together in all classes. Senior pupils are treated in a mature way and are encouraged to discuss issues that arise with their parents. The Alive-O 8 resource materials are used extensively in Senior Classes.
Programmes used: Stay Safe, Walk Tall and R.S.E.
The Stay Safe programme is taught in all classes over a two year cycle.
Guest speakers may deliver a programme to Senior Classes where issues such as physical and emotional development, bodily changes and sexual awakening are explored. The cost of these lectures is borne by the Board of Management. Parents attend a private meeting prior to this programme, which outlines the content of the lecture. It is at the parents’ discretion if they wish for their child to attend the lecture. The class teacher may take on this responsibility, in lieu of a guest speaker if they so wish. Consent for such lessons is sought and parents are fully informed of these proceedings.
Topics covered from Junior Infants to 2nd class include:
Naming body parts using correct terminology.
Bodily changes during growth and development.
Making and keeping friends.
Making age appropriate choices.
Appreciating family life.
Recognizing and expressing feelings.
Self care, hygiene, diet, exercise and sleep (linked with P.E., Healthy Eating Policy, etc.).
Expressing opinions and listening to others.
Topics covered from 3rd to 6th class include:
Healthy eating, personal hygiene, exercise.
Making healthy and responsible decisions.
Reproduction and conception (6th class only).
The Media and Sexuality.
Guidelines for Management:
Parents have the primary responsibility for educating their children in sexual matters. The school R.S.E. programme acts as a support to parents, and parents retain the right to withdraw their children from classes. Consent forms will be completed by parents wishing their children to receive RSE education upon enrolment to the school. Parents/guardians will be kept informed with regards to the delivery of the RSE programme throughout their child’s primary schooling The programme is taught within the ethos of the school and contemporary issues/ topics are dealt with by the teacher at a level appropriate to the age and stage of development of pupils within a moral and spiritual framework. Teachers are present at all times when/ if guest speakers are visiting a class.
The school follows the Department of Education child protection guidelines and has a Child Protection policy, with the Principal as Designated Liaison Person (DLP). In cases of disclosures of concern, the D.L.P. will follow the procedures as set out in the Children First Guidelines 2011.
Teacher Choice/ Staff Development:
The teacher’s right to choose is enshrined in the policy and if teachers do not wish to teach specific aspects of the programme or require additional resources, a suitable speaker will be employed by the B.O.M. The teacher may need to plan specific material to be covered and should be present during the talk.
The staff will receive training from CAPP (Child Abuse Prevention Programme) in:
The Child Abuse Prevention Programme (Stay Safe)
Relationships and Sexuality Programme (R.S.E.)
Walk Tall Programme.
The S.P.H.E. (Social, Personal and Health Education) whole school plan is available in the Principal’s office.
Each teacher is responsible for his/ her long term and short term planning comprising of a yearly and a fortnightly scheme of work.
A Cúntas Míosúil (monthly Report of teacher’s work) is retained in the Principal’s office.
School and Community Links:
Loughmore National School is involved in the following:
- Athletics and inter-school GAA competitions.
- Cumann na mBunscoil- football, hurling and camogie.
- Christmas carol singing.
- Christmas Pageants.
- School Band/Music Recitals.
- School Choir.
- Seachtain na Gaeilge: Féile agus Drámaíocht.
- World Book Day events.
- Credit Union competitions and GAA quizzes.
- Science Week activities.
- Swimming in the Garda College.
- The Green Schools Initiative.
- Artist in Residence.
- Knitting Bus.
- School concerts.
- Various Charity fundraisers including: MS Readathon, Irish Heart Foundation Skipathon, Pancake Parties, Donkey Sanctuary, etc.
- Book fairs.
- Teacher observation.
- Inventory of what needs to be changed.
- Ensuring all strands are covered.
- Teacher designed tasks and tests and robust self-evaluation.
- Community feedback.
Roles and Responsibilities:
The whole school community of BoM., staff, pupils and parents play a key role in the formation and implementation of the plan.
This policy was ratified by the Board of Management on 26/04/2012 and will be communicated to parents through the school website. Hard copies are available from the office. Revised 2014 and 2017.