School Name: Star of the Sea, Riverchapel, Courtown Hbr, Co. Wexford. 053- 9425540
Date of Policy: updated Jan 2013

School Philosophy:

In line with the Department of Education guidelines, a programme of RSE as an integral part of SPHE is available to all of our students. Informal education for RSE begins from the moment a child is born. Everything you do as you interact with your child gives messages about human relationships in the broadest sense. We recognise parents/ guardians as the first and most important educators of their own child and the RSE programme will therefore build on what children experience at home and outside school. While recognising and respecting people’s right to different beliefs, it is the philosophy of Star of the Sea to nurture Catholic values.

Definition of RSE:

Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) is a lifelong process of acquiring knowledge and understanding, and of developing attitudes, beliefs and values about sexual identity, relationships and intimacy. In school RSE will provide structured opportunities for pupils to acquire a knowledge and understanding of human relationships and sexuality through processes which will enable them to form values and establish behaviours within a moral, spiritual and social framework. In Star of the Sea, RSE aims to help children learn, at home and in school about their friendships and relationships with others. This work will be based on developing a good self- image, promoting respect for themselves and for others, and providing them with appropriate information.

Relationship of RSE to SPHE:

RSE is an integral part of SPHE and must be taught in this context. It provides opportunities for children to learn basic personal and social skills which foster integrity, self- confidence and self- esteem, while nurturing sensitivity to the feelings and rights of others.

Provision for RSE:

Star of the Sea provides RSE through formal and informal activities of the school which include:

    The SPHE Programme- Walk Tall, Stay Safe
    The promotion of a caring atmosphere on a daily basis
    Lessons dealing with enhancement of self- esteem
    Health education lessons
    The SESE programme
    The PE programme
    The Alive- O programme

The Aims of our RSE Programme:

To assist parents in their role as primary educators so that they may guide their child’s development physically, socially and emotionally.
To enhance the personal development, self- esteem and well being of the child.
To help the child to develop healthy friendships and relationships.
To foster an understanding of, and a healthy attitude to, human sexuality and relationships in a moral, spiritual and social framework.
To enable the child to acquire understanding of, and a respect for human love, sexual intercourse and reproduction.
To develop and promote in the child a sense of wonder and awe in the process of birth and new life.
To acquire and improve skills of communication and social interaction.
To develop some coping strategies to protect oneself and others from various forms of abuse.

Management and Organisation of RSE in our School

A wide range of methodologies will be used which will foster the development of communication, sharing and co- operating and resolving conflict- life skills which form an integral part of the RSE programme and which along with knowledge, values and attitudes help them make responsible choices.The school approach to RSE will take cognisance of the understanding of sexuality when dealing with children with special needs.
RSE will be taught by the class teacher. A trained facilitator may be invited to the school to cover sensitive issues with 4th– 6th classes annually. Where guest speakers are invited to speak to a class they will be obliged to operate within the parameters of the school policy. The classroom teacher will be present in the classroom with any such speaker.
In our school, there are children of different class levels and abilities. Should information be inappropriate for the younger age group, we will withdraw them. Our school is a co- educational school and

We will teach boys and girls together
We can teach the boys and girls separately, giving each group the boys and the girls information, depending on the topic being discussed.

The acquisition of appropriate language in RSE is crucially important to enable children to communicate confidently about themselves, their sexuality and their relationships. We will give children the correct and appropriate language as outlined in the RSE materials.

A parent’s right to withdraw a pupil form the process will be honoured on the understanding that the parent is taking full responsibility for this aspect of education.
It is the responsibility of the parent to inform the school in writing of their decision to withdraw and their willingness to cover sensitive issues with their child outside of school hours. A child who has been withdrawn from class for the duration of an RSE lesson will be accommodated in another classroom under supervision of another teacher.
If a child is withdrawn from the class for the teaching of sensitive issues we cannot guarantee that other children will not inform him/ her about what has been taught. The teacher may also need to make incidental reference to the issue at another time when the child is present. The school hold no responsibility for any information which the pupil may receive outside the direct teaching of the RSE lessons.
Teachers have the right to opt out of teaching the programme but provision will be made to teach the programme to that teacher’s class. Teachers who wish to opt out of teaching the programme must apply in writing to the Board of Management.

Everyone has a right to privacy. Teachers will not answer personal questions about themselves or require the child to give information of a personal nature which they do not wish to share.
Any disclosures by children which the teacher feels must be reported will have to be reported to the Principal and relevant authorities.


life saving academy


We are a Catholic school under the patronage of the Bishop of Ferns. Religion is taught accordingly and children are prepared for the sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation.


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