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Resources for learning and teaching in SPHE/RSE

These resources have been carefully selected to support teachers in planning for teaching and learning in junior cycle SPHE. They are not a prescriptive list of teaching resources as each teacher/school and class will decide what resources are best suited to their needs. Young people in junior cycle are typically aged between 12-15/16 years. They are at different stages of emotional, social and physical development and each young person will bring a wide variation of life experiences to their learning in SPHE.  These resources have been selected because they were developed for this age group by a State agency or organisation with a proven educational track record in the area of SPHE/RSE. The resources have been carefully mapped against the learning outcomes of the junior cycle SPHE short course to facilitate planning. However, the relevance and appropriateness of each resource for a particular class needs to be considered by the SPHE teacher as the teacher is best placed to discern what resource is suited to supporting learning for their students’ unique needs, stage of development and school context.

 

Who am I?  

    

How I see myself 

1.1  Appreciate the importance of building their own self-esteem and that of others
1.2  Welcome individual difference based on an appreciation of their own uniqueness

 

Understanding Ourselves:  This unit is aimed at first year students in their early months of post-primary education
Activity 1 Starting out

Activity 2 Who am I?

Activity 4 I am unique
 
b4udecide: This resource was developed for junior cycle to encourage young people to make healthy, responsible decisions about relationships and sexual health.

Lesson 9: Self Esteem

 

Ditch the Monkey: Short animation videos by Spunout.ie which can be useful classroom conversations

 

BodyWhysA range of resources to support learning and teaching about eating disorders and body image issues among adolescents. Available on request from [email protected]

 

Background information
Wiser: Webpage on how body image influences self-esteem and ways to develop a more positive body image
ISPCC Parenting Hub: Resource on body image 

 

Being an adolescent

1.3 participate in informed discussions about the impact of physical, psychological and social development in adolescence

1.4 recognise how sexuality and gender identity is part of what it means to be human and has biological, psychological, cultural, social and spiritual dimensions

 

Relationships and Sexuality Education Unit 1: RSE is addressed in a spiral manner in every year of junior cycle and these lessons were designed for first year. 

Activity 3 Gender and Gender Identity

Activity 4 Sexual Orientation

Activity 8 Changes in Puberty 

 

Background information
ISPCC Parenting Hub: Supporting your child through puberty 
Barnardos: Parenting Positively - Teenage Well-being ebook 
Being LGBT in School: A Resource for Post-Primary Schools to Prevent Homophobic and Transphobic Bullying and Support LGBT students

 

Self-management

1.5 identify short, medium and long-term personal goals and ways in which they might be achieved

1.6 apply decision-making skills in a variety of situations

1.7 source appropriate and reliable information about health and wellbeing


Understanding Ourselves: This unit is aimed at first year students in their early months of post-primary education.

Activity 3 My achievements so far 

Activity 5 Goal setting  


Healthy Choices Unit 1: This unit supports students making choices that could have a significant impact on their health and well-being in the long term.

Activity 8 Pressure to conform 

 

Goal setting lesson: This lesson was developed by NCGE and Careersportal


b4udecide: This resource was developed for junior cycle to encourage young people to make healthy, responsible decisions about relationships and sexual health.

Lesson 7 Values 

Lesson 8 Making decisions 


Resilience: Reachout is Australia’s leading online mental health organisation for young people. Classroom resources here include suggestions and activities about impulse-control, self-regulation and goal-setting.

 

My rights and the rights of others 

1.8 explain how stereotyping can contribute to a person’s understanding and experience of rights and wellbeing
1.9 appreciate the importance of respectful and inclusive behaviour in promoting a safe environment free from bias and discrimination.

 

Understanding Ourselves: This unit is aimed at first year students in their early months of post-primary education.

Activity 6 Belonging and connection


Relationships and Sexuality Education Unit 1: RSE is addressed in a spiral manner in every year of junior cycle and this lesson was designed for first years. 

Activity 2: Gender stereotypes 

 

Spotlight on Stereotyping: A set of resources developed by the Equality Authority which explore how stereotypes can lead to bias, discrimination and denial of human rights. 
All Different – All Equal: A set of activities developed by the National Youth Council of Ireland for youth settings to explore diversity, promote equality and challenge bias and discrimination. Can be adapted for SPHE class
ISPCC: Your Rights -  UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in accessible language 
 

Minding myself and others  

 

Being healthy 

2.1 evaluate how diet, physical activity, sleep/rest and hygiene contribute to self-confidence, self-confidence and wellbeing

2.2 critique the impact of the media, advertising and other influences on one’s decisions about health and wellbeing

2.3 describe what promotes a sense of belonging in school, at home and in the wider community and their own role in creating an inclusive environment

2.4 distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate care giving and receiving

 

Being Healthy Unit 1: This unit focuses on the physical aspect of health, and how the health of our bodies and minds are intertwined. 

Activity 2 The benefits of being active

Activity 3 Physical Activity weekly plan

Activity 4 What am I eating

Activity 5 The big breakfast 


Relationships and Sexuality Education Unit 1: RSE is addressed in a spiral manner in every year of junior cycle and this lesson was designed for first year. 

Activity 10 Personal hygiene 


Healthy Choices Unit 1: This unit supports students making choices that could have a significant impact on their health and well-being in the long term.

Activity 1 Talking about healthy choices

 

Connected: A Webwise resource

Module 1 My Online Wellbeing

 

Connectedness and reaching out: Reachout is Australia’s leading online mental health organisation for young people.  Classroom resources here explore the concepts of ‘connectedness’ and ‘reaching out’.


SPHE Personal Safety Handbook: Lessons to support teachers in educating students about abuse and to protect themselves from harm in other situations. 

Lesson 1 Caregiving 


Young Carers’ Stories: Young people telling their stories about being a carer 

 

Background information
Healthy Ireland: Is a government-led initiative aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of everyone 
Mental Health Ireland: Five Ways to Wellbeing 
Healthy Eating Training and Resources for Post Primary School Teachers (HSE)                    
Building healthy sleep routines: Developed by GROW, a national community based organisation providing support and education around emotional and mental wellbeing
This Girl Can: Sport England campaign to encourage girls and women to be physically active 
 

Substance use 

2.5 demonstrate the personal and social skills to address pressure to smoke, to drink alcohol and/or use other substances
2.6 reflect on the personal, social and legal consequences of their own and others’ drug use
2.7 critique information and supports available for young people in relation to substance use

 

Healthy Choices Unit 1: This unit supports students making choices that could have a significant impact on their health and well-being in the long term
Activity 1: Talking about healthy choices 
Activity 2: Second-hand smoke 
Activity 3: Tobacco table quiz
Activity 4: The journey of alcohol through the body
Activity 5: Alcohol in our society
Activity 6: Alcohol myths and facts
Activity 7: Exploring drugs 
Activity 8: Pressure to conform 

  
Background information
Substance use information and resources for teachers developed by the HSE 
Ask about alcohol: HSE website with information about how alcohol affects health and wellbeing
Barnardos: Dealing with parental drug and alcohol problems Barnardos webpage
Young people and Alcohol – information for parents  
 

Respectful communication 

2.8 use the skills of active listening and responding appropriately in a variety of contexts
2.9 use good communication skills to respond to criticism and conflict

 

 

Anti-bullying 

2.10 describe appropriate responses to incidents of bullying
2.11 appraise the roles of participants and bystanders in incidents of bullying
2.12 review the school’s anti-bullying policy and internet safety guidelines explaining the implications for students’ behaviour and personal safety

 

#Up2Us Anti-Bullying Kit: Ten lessons developed by Webwise which address bullying 
Connect with Respect: This Webwise resource aims to help students understand the impact 
that cyberbullying can have on different people. 
It’s up to You: A short video encouraging everyone to tackle online bullying. 
 

All Different – All Equal: A set of activities developed by the National Youth Council of Ireland for youth settings to explore diversity, promote equality and challenge bias and discrimination. Can be adapted for SPHE class.

Section 2 Prejudice and Discrimination 

 

Background information
Bullying: Reachout is Australia’s leading online mental health organisation for young people. 
Stand Up Awareness Week: A resource to help you to organize a ‘Stand Up Awareness Week’ against homophobic, transphobic, and biphobic bullying 
Being LGBT in school: A Resource for Post-Primary Schools to Prevent Homophobic and Transphobic Bullying and Support LGBT Students
‘Stand Up’, LGBT Safe & Supportive Schools Project: Resources to support schools to create a safe, supportive and fully inclusive school for young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students.
Parenting Positively: Helping teenagers to cope with bullying ebook.

Team up  

 

Having a friend and being a friend 

3.1 establish what young people value in different relationships and how this changes over time
3.2 evaluate attitudes, skills and values that help to make, maintain and end friendships respectfully
3.3 recognise their capacity to extend and receive friendship

 

Relationships and Sexuality Education Unit 1: RSE is addressed in a spiral manner in every year of junior cycle and these lessons can be taught in first year. 
Activity 6: Healthy Connected Relationships 
Activity 7: Maintaining Healthy Relationships 

 

b4udecide: This resource was developed for junior cycle to encourage young people to make healthy, responsbile decisions about realtionships and sexual health.

Lesson 3 Friendships 

Lesson 4 Healthy friendships

Lesson 6 The influence of friends  


Relationships: Reachout is Australia’s leading online mental health organisation for young people. Here you can find classroom resources to help students identify and understand the qualities of healthy relationships and learn how to establish and maintain positive and respectful relationships.
 

The relationship spectrum

3.4 explain the different influences on relationships and levels of intimacy
3.5 analyse relationship difficulties experienced by young people

 

b4udecide: This resource was developed for junior cycle to encourage young people to make healthy, responsbile decisions about realtionships and sexual health.

Lesson 10 Building a Relationship

Lesson 11 Rights and Responsibilities in a Relationship 

Lesson 12 Age of Consent 


Be in Ctrl: This resource focuses on the online sexual coercion of children by adults although this behaviour can also exist in a peer group

 

Lockers: Is an information and education resource, it assists schools in coping with and preventing the sharing of explicit self-generated images of minors.

Lesson 2 When Online Sharing Goes Wrong

Lesson 4  Peer Pressure and non-Consensual Sharing 


Forever: This short video addresses the topic of sexting and potential consequences. Forever can be used to lead a class discussion or as an additional case study for the Lockers Teaching resource.
 
Background information 
Consent – What do I need to know?: A fact sheet developed by the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre 
Teaching about Consent in PSHE Education at Key Stages 3 and 4: Guidance and lesson plans developed by the PSHE Association UK
Tea and Consent Video  
Talking to your teenagers about relationships and sexual health 

 

Sexuality, gender identity and sexual health

3.6 describe fertility, conception, pre-natal development and birth, and the particular health considerations for each
3.7 explain what it means to take care of their sexual health
3.8 demonstrate assertive communication skills in support of responsible, informed decision-making about relationships and sexual health that are age and developmentally appropriate
3.9 reflect on the personal and social dimensions of sexual orientation and gender identity

 

Relationships and Sexuality Education Unit 1: RSE is addressed in a spiral manner in every year of junior cycle and these lessons can be taught to first years. 
Activity 3: Gender and gender identity 
Activity 4: Sexual orientation 
Activity 9: Human reproduction – The journey of the egg and sperm 

 

b4udecide: This resource was developed for junior cycle to encourage young people to make healthy, responsbile decisions about realtionships and sexual health.

Lesson 12 Age of Consent 

Lesson 13 Relationships Pressures

Lesson 14 Resisting Relationships Pressures


HSE website for young people developed to support the b4udecide campaign


SPHE Personal Safety Handbook: Lessons to support teachers in educating students about abuse and to protect themselves from harm in other situations 

Assertive Communication lesson


Growing up LGBT: The aim of the resource is to increase awareness and understanding about sexual orientation and gender identity and to reduce levels of prejudice and discrimination against people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT).

Lesson 4 Friendship 

Lesson 7 Coming Out to Others  

Lesson 8 Relationships

Lesson 9 Transgender 

 

Background information 
Belongto: A website providing advice and support for LGBT young people   
Transforming the classroom: Supporting Trans Young People in Schools (TENI) 
Advice for Mams and Dads: Talking to your teenagers about relationships and sex 
ISPCC Parenting Hub
 

Media influence on relationships and sexuality 

3.10 critically analyse the use of sexual imagery and gender stereotyping in various forms of media
3.11 critique the influence of media on their understanding of sexuality and sexual health 

 

Relationships and Sexuality Education Unit 1:RSE is addressed in a spiral manner in every year of junior cycle and these lessons can be taught in first year. 
Activity 2 Gender stereotypes

 

b4udecide: This resource was developed for junior cycle to encourage young people to make healthy, responsbile decisions about realtionships and sexual health.

Lesson 5 Influence of the media 

 

Lockers: Is an information and education resource, it assists schools in coping with and preventing the sharing of explicit self-generated images of minors.

Lesson 2 When Online Sharing Goes Wrong

Lesson 5 Influence of the media and gender stereotypes  

 

Background Information 
Pornography – What do you need to know?: A fact sheet developed by the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre 
Why is Porn an issue for schools?: An Australian website aimed at educating about the harm associated with children and young people’s exposure to and consumption of pornography.
What is porn? Childline.co.uk resource: Facts about pornography written for young people.
Barnardos: Get With It! About Cyberbullying ebook 
ISPCC Parenting Hub: Online Safety 
 

Minding my mental health  

Positive mental health 

4.1 explain what it means to have positive mental health
4.2 appreciate the importance of talking things over, including recognising the links between thoughts, feelings and behaviour
4.3 practise some relaxation techniques 

 

Emotional Wellbeing Unit 1: The key learning for this unit is for students to learn how to nurture their wellbeing in their daily lives. 
Activity 1 Minding your emotional wellbeing  

Activity 2 Recognising emotions

Activity 3 Thoughts, feeling and behaviours

Activity 4 Pressing pause

Activity 5 Helpful and unhelpful thoughts

Activity 6 Challenging unhelpful thoughts

Activity 7 Gratitude

Activity 8 Mindfulness

 

Ditch the Monkey: This is a short animation videos by Spunout 
Your mental health: HSE website
Walk in My Shoes: A website with resources for young people
Mental Health Ireland: Resources 
Wellbeing toolkit for post primary schools: A resource produced by the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) in the context of Covid-19 which is useful in a wider context

 

Connected: A Webwise resource

Module 1 My Online Wellbeing 

 

Background information
A mental health resource for youth workers and volunteers: This provides a comprehensive overview of youth mental health 
‘Friends for Life’ and ‘My Friends Youth’:  School based anxiety prevention and resilience building programmes. 

 

Mental health and mental ill-health 

4.4 participate in an informed discussion about mental health issues experienced by young people and/or their friends and family
4.5 appreciate what it means to live with mental ill-health
4.6 critique mental health services available to young people locally
4.7 explain the significance of substance use for one’s mental health

 

BodyWhys #MoreThanASelfie: Lessons plans and facilitators guide which explore the link between body image and mental health. Available from [email protected]

Jigsaw online: An Irish website where young people can find information and support to help them deal with a range of challenges

 

Dealing with tough times 

4.8 practice a range of strategies for building resilience 
4.9 use coping skills for managing life’s challenges

 

Emotional Wellbeing Unit 1: The key learning for this unit is for students to learn how to nurture their wellbeing in their daily lives. 
Activity 1 Minding your emotional wellbeing  

Activity 4 Pressing pause  

Activity 5 Helpful and unhelpful thoughts

Activity 6 Challenging unhelpful thoughts

Activity 7 Gratitude

Activity 8 Mindfulness

 

Be Well: Activities to address anxiety developed by Youthwork Ireland
Resilience: This resource includes classroom activities for developing resilience. The activities have been designed to help students explore and develop a growth mindset and to understand how they can bounce back from adversary. 

 

Background Information
Jigsaw online: An Irish website where young people can find information and support to help them deal with a range of challenges.
Coping with difficult situations: HSE information and guidance. 

 

Loss and bereavement 

4.10 explain the wide range of life events where they might experience loss and bereavement
4.11 outline the personal, social, emotional and physical responses to loss and bereavement
4.12 compare how loss and bereavement are portrayed in a variety of contexts and cultures
4.13 describe how they might care for themselves and be supportive of others in times of loss or bereavement 

 

Background Information

Dealing with grief and loss: Information for young people from jigsawonline.ie
Experiencing grief and loss:  An information sheet for young people about grief and loss from the Australian youth mental health foundation

Barnardos: Parenting Positively - Helping teenagers to cope with death ebook 
Barnardos: Parenting Positively - Helping teenagers to cope with separation ebook 
ISPCC Parenting Hub: Provides help in dealing with loss or changes to home and family.