Social, Personal and Health Education
SPHE is a broad curriculum that helps children and young people learn about themselves and to develop and maintain healthy relationships. Over time, it also gives them the knowledge and skills to be able to make responsible decisions in relation to their overall health and wellbeing.
Within schools, learning in SPHE is best supported through an ongoing process starting in junior infants and continuing to senior cycle. This learning occurs in a variety of contexts such as through a positive and inclusive school climate, through integration across different subjects and importantly, within time-tabled SPHE lessons.
Planning: It’s important to plan for SPHE/RSE using the curriculum as your guide. The learning outcomes for both junior cycle and senior cycle SPHE are broad and flexible to support you in planning learning for your students’ unique needs, stage of development and school context. Designing teaching and learning that meets the needs of children and young people across the range of topics that can arise in SPHE/RSE is challenging. It’s important to seek the advice of other staff members and take every opportunity you can to engage in CPD and other learning opportunities.
We hope this toolkit will support you in deepening your understanding and developing your skills and confidence in teaching all aspects of SPHE. The materials in this toolkit are designed to support you in independently progressing your professional development in SPHE. They can also be used to support professional conversations in school and for professional development at a team or whole staff level.
To get started, you might find these Q&As on Relationships and Sexuality helpful.