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Casa Caterina









Whole School Plan for


















Social, Personal and Health Education



n Title

Social, Personal and Health Education Whole School Plan



n Introductory Statement and Rationale


(a)    Introductory Statement

The staff of Casa Caterina School 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 in-school planning meetings and brought to the attention of the Board of Management, students and Parents.


(b)   Rationale

Aspects of SPHE have been taught in Casa Caterina for many years through various programmes and initiatives such as Stay Safe, Walk Tall, Relationships and Sexuality Education and through our involvement in the Health Promoting Schools Initiative, Learning through Play, annual questionnaires and mental health checklists, through our Code of Behaviour and Special Educational Needs Policy and through the use of MAPA (Managing Acts of Potential Aggression).  We have introduced new intiatives such as nurture group for children identified with additional social and emotional needs and through our Educating for Human Values Programme. We have also recently introduced the Weaving Well-Being Programme into the school for middle and senior classes. It has also been taught through integration with other subject areas such as Physical Education, Religion, Geography, etc.  SPHE is dedicated more time than is allocated in most timetables because we feel that it is essential to allocate additional time to SPHE because of the nature of our students' disabilities and their need to master the skills taught and learned in SPHE in order to return to inclusive education. We wish now to formalise our teaching of SPHE and to plan for it on a whole school basis in conjucntion with planning a well-being policy.



n Vision and Aims


(a)    Vision:

SPHE fosters self-worth and selfconfidence and places a particular emphasis on developing a sense of personal responsibility for one’s own behaviour and actions. SPHE promotes self-awareness and understanding by helping children to name and manage their own feelings, to recognise and appreciate individual abilities, and to cope with change of various kinds. They can learn how to manage their own behaviour and to set and review personal goals within a safe and supportive environment. Such intrapersonal development will increase the child’s sense of self-efficacy and help him/her to be more in control of his/her own life. SPHE helps children to establish supportive relationships, to enjoy the company of others, and to resolve conflicts in appropriate ways. While in school the child can learn to be fairminded and caring in his/her dealings with others and to be competent in operating in a variety of social situations. He/she can come to understand other people and the reasons why they act and behave in particular ways while also learning how to be more responsible in his/her relationships. Health habits adopted in childhood will influence health and well-being both now and in the future. Developing health-promoting practices throughout his/her time in school can encourage the child to take increasing control over his/her own health and help to establish and maintain healthy behaviour from an early age. SPHE provides children with opportunities to become aware of the various influences on their lives. They can begin to become critical of information they receive and more discerning about information they choose to access. SPHE explores how children can learn from and with their peers and can assist in developing the skills and attitudes that children need in order to cope with pressure from their own age group. In a constantly changing society it is imperative that children develop a sense of belonging—of understanding where they fit in. When they feel valued and know that individual opinions and concerns are taken into account, they are more likely to understand the idea of community based on caring and a shared sense of responsibility. Experiencing the democratic process in action at school and in the community can help children to develop an understanding of democracy and how it is practised in everyday life.


(b)   Aims:

The children of Casa Caterina School 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





n Content of Plan




1               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.


CASA CATERINA SCHOOL will teach aspects of all three major strand units each year and strand units will be chosen in such a way that the child will receive a comprehensive programme in SPHE over a two year period.  CASA CATERINA SCHOOL have created this timetable to reflect this approach:





Strand Units (Year 1)

Strand Units (Year 2)





Self-identity (Sept.–Oct.)

Safety and Protection (Jan-Feb)-Stay Safe Sensitive Lessons

Taking care of my body(Jan-Feb)

Making Decisions (March-April)

*This strand unit is for third to sixth only. Infants to second complete the Safety Issues section of Safety and Protection

Growing and Changing (Mar-April)


Stay Safe

Myself and others

Myself and My Family (Nov.-Dec.)

My friends and other people (May-June)

Relating to others (Sept-Oct.)

Myself and the wider world

Developing Citizenship (May-June)

Media Education (Nov-Dec.)













2               Contexts for SPHE:

SPHE will be taught in Casa Caterina School through a combination of the following contexts:


  1. 1.       Positive School Climate and Atmosphere

  CASA CATERINA SCHOOL 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


  1. 2.       Discrete time for SPHE

The Deaprtment of Education allocates ½ hour per week for SPHE on each teacher’s timetable. In CASA CATERINA SCHOOL, however, teachers may allocate up to half an hour a day through discrete and integrated learning to allow for more indepth exploration of a strand unit and to facilitate inclusive education and learning.


  1. 3.       Integration with other subject areas and Linkage within SPHE

Teachers will endeavour to adopt an 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 Healthy Eating Week, Friendship Week, Education for Human Values, Healthy Heart Week, Lenten Campaign, etc. will also be explored.



3               Approaches and Methodologies:

CASA CATERINA SCHOOL believes 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



4               Assessment:

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.

CASA CATERINA SCHOOL uses the following recommended informal tools for assessment in SPHE:

  • Teacher observation
  • Teacher-designed tasks and tests
  • Portfolios and projects
  • Boxall Profile
  • Reintegration Readiness Profile
  • MAPA Profile


Each child will keep an SPHE folder and this will be used to assess a child’s progress in SPHE.  Each year the child will be given a teacher-designed task or test related to the strand units taught, and the folder will be added to cummulatively during the child’s schooling.  The child will receive their folder as a record of their work in SPHE during their schooling in CASA CATERINA SCHOOL at the end of each school year. Individualised Education Plans (IEPS), will have targets in SPHE as well as in literacy, numeracy and communication.



5               Children with Different Needs:

Teachers will endeavour to adapt and modify activities and methodologies in SPHE to encourage participation by children with special needs.  Teachers in CASA CATERINA SCHOOL will liasise with trained professionals/appropriate agencies when dealing with sensitive issues such as bereavement or loss to ensure that the children involved are fully supported.


6               Equality of Participation and Access:

CASA CATERINA SCHOOL 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-sex  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.  CASA CATERINA SCHOOL is under Roman Catholic school management, and we endeavour to provide for Members of Travelling community, Children with disabilities, Families with literacy difficulties, Children who are learning English as a second language









7               Policies and Programmes that support SPHE:



  • Stay Safe Programme
  • Relationships and Sexuality Education Programme
  • Walk Tall (Substance Misuse Prevention Programme)
  • Child Safeguarding
  • Anti-Bullying
  • Code of Behaviour
  • Admissions and Participation
  • Health and Safety
  • Healthy Eating
  • Internet Acceptable Useage
  • Special Educational Needs Policy
  • MAPA/Time Out Policy
  • Attendance Strategy
  • Well-Being Policy (currently being researched)





  • Stay Safe Programme
  • Health Promoting Schools
  • Food Dudes
  • Amber Flag
  • Alert
  • Education For Human Values
  • Nurture Group
  • Weaving Well-Being



8               Homework:

SPHE homework, if prescribed in SPHE, will reflect the active learning approach and will reinforce information already taught during class.















9               Resources:

(PDST have developed a resource list, which is available on the SPHE page New resrouces are added to this from time to time.)


9.1         Programmes and Other Materials:


Books for Pupil

Books for Teacher

Audio / Visual


Media & ICT








RSE Manuals

Walk Tall

Stay Safe

Bi Follain

Making the Links

Weaving Well Being

Primed photocopiable resources books

Alert Programme (contact Ms. H.)

Busy Bodies

Food Dudes

Various posters throughout the school



9.2         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. Accord visit the school every year to teach the RSE programme to 6th class students and the school expects to continue with this.


10           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.


11           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
  • MAPA training
  • Nurture Training

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. 


12           Parental Involvement:

Parental involvement is considered an integral part to effectively implementing SPHE as CASA CATERINA SCHOOL believe that SPHE is a shared responsibilty.  This plan and the curriculum documents are available for parents to inform them of the programme for SPHE, and they are welcomed as committee members on the Relationships and Sexuality Education Policy and Substance Use Policy. They are also welcomed as committee members of the Health Promoting Schools initiative.


13           Community Links:

CASA CATERINA SCHOOL believe that the local community has a very important role to play in supporting the programme in SPHE and endeavour to liasise with the members such as the Dental Hygienist, Health Nurse, Fireman, Vet, New Parent, etc.




n 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.




n Implementation


(a)   Roles and Responsibilities:

CASA CATERINA SCHOOL 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.


(b)   Timeframe:

The plan will be implemented as soon as it is ratified.




n Review


(a)   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.  ______ is responsible for co-ordinating this review.

Those involved in the review will include:




Post holders




(b)   Timeframe:

This plan will be reviewed in 2022








Ratification and Communication

The Board of Management of CASA CATERINA SCHOOL ratified this plan on (state date).


Signed _________________________

Date ___________________________

This plan is available to view at the school by the parents on request.





Designed and Created by PC Solutions for Casa Caterina School, Cabra, Dublin