RSE Policy


Scoil Mhuire Junior

Dublin 15

Telephone/Fax: (01) 8216916


Email:                                       Website :



Relationships & Sexual Education (RSE) Policy


This policy statement is an approved approach to the teaching of RSE in Scoil Mhuire Junior. It was developed in 2010 by the Relationships & Sexual Education Committee, which included two teachers, two representatives of the Board of Management and two parent representatives and was reviewed and amended in 2017. It was developed to inform teachers and parents as to the material covered in RSE programme within the Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE) curriculum.



Scoil Mhuire Junior is a co-educational, Catholic, primary school, which strives to provide a well ordered, caring, happy and secure atmosphere where the intellectual, spiritual, physical, moral and cultural needs of the pupils are identified and addressed.


While Scoil Mhuire Junior is a school with a Catholic ethos, it also respects all other religions.


Scoil Mhuire Junior will strive to promote, both individually and collectively, the professional and personal development of teachers through staff development programmes.


Scoil Mhuire Junior will encourage the involvement of parents through home/school contacts and through the future formation of a parents association. The school recognises that the parents are the primary educators of their children and we support them in that role. In the area of RSE, above all, the schools’ role is subsidiary to that of the parents. We support and compliment their work.


Scoil Mhuire Junior will endeavour to enhance the self-esteem of everyone in the school community, to instil in the pupils respect for people and property and aims to promote the full and harmonious development of all aspects of the person.


Déanfaimid gach iarracht ár gcultúr agus ár ndúchas a chothú agus a choiméad beo tri gnáthshaol na scoile.”


“Do your best, try your best.”



Definition of: Relationships & Sexual Education



RSE is an integral part of Social, Personal and Health Education and must be taught in

this context. R.S.E. aims to help children learn at home and in school about their own

development, about their friendships and relationships with others. This work will be

based on providing them with appropriate information in relation to:


  • Relationship with others – parents, siblings, friends and the community in general
  • Respect for themselves and others
  • Physical development – bodily functions and changes, and personal hygiene
  • Emotional development – maturing in society




Relationships and sexuality education (R.S.E) is an integral part of social, personal and

health education and must be taught in this context. It provides structured

opportunities for pupils to acquire knowledge and understanding of:


  • Human sexuality and relationships
  • Growth and development
  • Personal and social skills
  • The fostering of self-esteem


The key characteristics of this programme are that SPHE is a lifelong process and  

is a shared responsibility between family, school, health professionals and the

community. The main strands of the SPHE programme are:


  • Myself
  • Myself and Others
  • Myself and the Wider World

The Content of all lessons will be governed by the schools’ Catholic ethos as taught in the Grow in Love Religion Programme.






We are a child-centred school. The educational and emotional needs of the children in our care are central to our planning and policy making processes. We have always, and will (always) continue to, put the welfare of the children first.


  • The SPHE programme will be used to teach this topic under three specific strands -Myself, myself and my family and myself and the wider world.
  • Walk Tall: Junior Infants to Second Class
  • Stay Safe: Senior Infants and Second Class
  • Fun Friends: First Class
  • Incredible years programme
  • Web Wise Primary school booklet
  • Physical Education.
  • Social, Environmental & Scientific Education (SESE)
  • Relationships and Sexual Education (RSE)
  • E. Programme
  • Be Safe Junior Infants to Second Class
  • Home/School Liaison Co-ordinator
  • The Educational Opportunities Programme; The school Completion Programme


R.S.E. is delivered informally through the ethos of the school, the manner in which

respect for others is practised and encouraged and in which conflicts are resolved and

problems dealt with.


Policies which support RSE/SPHE


  • Code of behaviour
  • Head lice Policy
  • Anti-Bullying Policy
  • Child Protection Policy
  • Enrolment Policy
  • Healthy Eating policy
  • School Tour Policy
  • Internet Safety Policy
  • Administration of Medicines Policy








When due account is taken of intrinsic abilities and varying circumstances, the Relationship and Sexuality Education curriculum should enable the child to:


  • Develop a positive sense of self-awareness, self-esteem and self-worth
  • Develop an appreciation of the dignity, uniqueness and well-being of others
  • Understand the nature, growth and development of relationships within families, in friendships and in wider contexts
  • Develop an awareness of differing family patterns
  • Come to value family life and appreciate the responsibilities of parenthood
  • Develop strategies to make decisions, solve problems and implement actions in various personal, social and health contexts
  • Become aware of the variety of ways in which individuals grow, change and understand that their developing sexuality is an important aspect of self-identity
  • Develop personal skills, which will help to establish and sustain healthy personal relationships
  • Develop some coping strategies to protect themselves and others from various forms of abuse
  • Acquire and improve skills of communication and social interaction
  • Acquire and use an appropriate vocabulary to discuss feelings, sexuality, growth and development
  • Develop a critical understanding of external influences on lifestyle and decision making.


Guidelines for the Management and Organisation of RSE in our School:


Curriculum Matters


  • The curriculum as published by the National Council for Curriculum & Assessment (NCCA) and Department of Education & Skills will be followed. All content objectives will be covered by the time each pupil leaves 2nd class. The curriculum will be taught from Infants to 2nd
    • Much of the content of R.S.E. will be taught in a cross curricular manner as many of the topics fall naturally into other subject areas. This integrated approach ensures that the child will encounter R.S.E. in a holistic manner rather than in isolation. It should be noted that the areas of the R.S.E programme that are sensitive will always be taught at a specific time.





Organisational Matters


  • Prior to the teaching of lessons involving “sensitive issues”, parents will be informed by letter (including vocabulary to be used) See Appendix A
  • The Stay Safe programme is mandatory.
  • There is an option for parents to ‘opt out’ of the RSE programme if they so wish.
    • This request for withdrawal must be made in writing using the ‘opt out’ form. See Appendix B.
    • If parents/guardians request the withdrawal of a child from RSE lessons, provision will be made for them to leave the classroom at that time. Supervision will be provided. With regard to matters of a confidential nature, the school cannot take responsibility for what is discussed in the yard or classroom. Should a child who is withdrawn from the sexually sensitive classes receive inappropriate information from others outside of these classes, it will be the responsibility of the parent/guardian to address the issue.
    • Any teacher has the right to opt – out from teaching the sexually sensitive issues in RSE. It is the responsibility of the Board of Management to ensure that the curriculum will be delivered to the children, by another teacher, or an outside speaker.
    • Parents are welcome to view the curriculum and may speak to the class teacher if they have any concerns.




It is natural that children should wish to ask questions in the area of RSE. However, this area is treated somewhat differently from other subjects due to its sensitive nature.


All questions answers will reflect the parameters of the curriculum. Certain topics will not be discussed i.e. abortion, contraception. Questions to the teacher may be written or oral within the group setting and answered within the boundaries of the curriculum and school policy. If any questions asked by the children are judged to be inappropriate, the teacher will refer the child to their parents, or state that this information may be available at a later stage of the curriculum. The school cannot guarantee confidentiality if a child asks a question of a personal nature or disclose personal information


At all times the child’s and teacher’s right to privacy will be maintained




Parents/Guardians are the primary educators of their children and as such the school

supports them in this role. As stated parents/guardians will be given the option of

withdrawing their child from a particular lesson if they so wish.




Lesson plans from the DES have been assessed and amended where necessary in line

with this school policy. The Grow in Love programme, the Stay safe programme, and a

selection of other appropriate resources will also be used. All resources are available for

parents/guardians to view if they so request prior of the delivery of the lesson.





It is the policy of Scoil Mhuire Junior to provide support for teachers, pupils, parents and board members in the area of R.S.E. as required. This would include;

  • In-service for teachers.
  • Home school links
  • Information booklets
  • Guest speakers
  • Provision of resource material for the implementation of R.S.E.


Pupils with special needs


Many students with special needs lack confidence and need opportunities to develop the following skills through a structured SPHE/RSE programme:

  • Development of positive self esteem
  • Social and communication skills
  • Appropriate expression of feelings
  • Safety and protection skills
  • An understanding of their body


The teaching of RSE to special needs children;

  • The education of the child should be needs led.
  • Consultation with the child’s parents is necessary and ongoing where extra support is required to develop their understanding of specific concepts.

We need to be conscious of the children’s language skills, as these are fundamental to their self-expression.



This policy was reviewed in November 2017. An appointed review committee will review the policy in two years. Ongoing review and evaluation will take cognisance of changing information, legislation, developments in the school based programme and feedback from parents, teachers and students.



Signed : ____________________                                         Date : ____________




































Appendix A : Sample Letter



Scoil Mhuire Junior

Dublin 15

Telephone/Fax: (01) 8216916


Email:                         Website :



Dear Parents /Guardians,


At this time of year, when the students are settled into their classes and know their teachers well, it is time for the teaching of the Stay Safe and the Relationships and Sexuality Programme (RSE) to commence. They are separate programmes under the Social Personal and Health Education curriculum (SPHE).

Over the coming weeks the teachers will be teaching the RSE part of the SPHE Curriculum. The Department of Education and Skills requires all schools to teach RSE and to have an RSE policy. RSE is taught in the context of the subject Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE).

The RSE programme is not a new programme but it is now obligatory to schools to teach this part of the curriculum.


RSE (Relationships and Sexuality Education) teaches children about relationships, sexuality and their own growth and development.

You can access the books from which these lessons will be taught by following these steps.

  1. Log onto
  2. Click on Programmes. Click on RSE.
  3. Click on RSE Primary Resources.
  4. Click on resource material for ….…click class appropriate to you.


The information to be taught will be covered in a series of lessons, appropriate to the age and maturity of the children and approved by the Department of Education and Skills.


The vocabulary to be taught to your child is included on the following sheet.



If you wish for your child to opt out of these lessons please ask the class teacher for an opt out note.

You can opt out of the RSE programme on the understanding that you undertake to complete this at home. The Stay Safe Programme is mandatory. Please make an appointment with the class teacher or myself if you would like to discuss this further.


Thanking you,



Charlotte Hughes

Principal Secretary Board of Management

































RSE – Vocabulary


Junior Infants


  • Womb
  • 9 months
  • Feeding bottle
  • Breast milk
  • Seed growing in the womb, grows hands, feet etc.
  • Penis
  • Vagina


Senior Infants

  • Womb
  • 9 months
  • Feeding bottle
  • Breast milk
  • Seed growing in the womb, grows hands, feet etc.
  • Penis
  • Vagina


First Class

  • Womb
  • 9 months
  • Feeding bottle
  • Breast milk
  • Seed growing in the womb, grows hands, feet etc.
  • Urethra
  • Penis
  • Vagina


Second Class


  • Womb
  • 9 months
  • Feeding bottle
  • Breast milk
  • Seed growing in the womb, grows hands, feet etc.
  • Urethra
  • Penis
  • Vagina





Appendix B


Scoil Mhuire Junior


Dublin 15

Telephone/Fax: (01) 8216916



Email:                            Website :







I wish that my child _____________________ does not take part in the teaching of the RSE Programme in Scoil Mhuire Junior.


I understand that it is my duty to discuss this with my child when I feel the time is appropriate.


______________________                                 ____________                                                  


Parent/Guardian Signature                                     Date