St. Rynaghs National School


Main St., Banagher, Co. Offaly   -   Phone: 057 91 51419

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Incorporating R.S.E., Stay Safe, Walk Tall.


SPHE is a lifelong process and as such begins before the child comes to school. SPHE is taught in school and we hope to provide children with the skills to continue their social, personal and Health Education when they leave St. Rynagh’s Primary School.

General Aim:

Our general aim is to use the programmes provided by the Department of Education and Science to help each child grow in knowledge and understanding and encourage them to live a healthy responsible Christian life. This we aim to do through our school ethos and through our religion programme Alive O, the Walk Tall Programme and the Stay Safe programme.

Specific Aims:

We aim to use 3 programmes supplied by the Department of Education and Science to guide our discrete teaching of S.P.H.E.

Walk Tall:

The Walk Tall Programme aims to

  1. Give primary school children the confidence, skills and knowledge to make healthy choices.
  2. Avert/or at least delay experimentation with substances
  3. Reduce the demand for legal/illegal drugs.

The Relationship and Sexuality Education Programme:

The RSE Programme aims to

  1. Promote an understanding of and a healthy attitude to sexuality and relationships.
  2. Promote knowledge of and respect for reproduction.
  3. Promote a sense of wonder and awe at the process of birth and new life.
  4. Enable the child to feel comfortable with his/her sexuality as they develop and that of others.

The Stay Safe Programme:

The Stay Safe Programme aims to

  1. Prevent child abuse by giving children the skills and strategies necessary to enable them to respond safely to any dangerous, upsetting or abusive situation.
  2. Teach children how to deal with unsafe or inappropriate touch and never to keep touch a secret.
  3. Teach children about the importance of telling.
  4. Give children safety strategies to deal with strangers.

In line with 2011 guidelines the Stay Safe Programme will be taught in its entirety by each class teacher each year.

Alive O

As a Catholic school we will teach the Alive O Programme. The Christian values of the Alive O Programme will be our guide in our school ethos, in our school policies and in our SPHE programme.

Planning the SPHE Curriculum:

All the strand units of the SPHE curriculum should be taught in St. Rynagh’s Primary School over a two year cycle.

This would work out as follows:-

Year 1 Strand Units:

Self identity, Taking Care of my Body, Growing and Changing, Myself and My Family and Developing Citizenship.

Year 2 Strand Units:

Safety and Protection, making Decisions, My Friends and other people, Relating to others and Media Education.

It is our intention in St. Rynagh’s Primary School to cover all the strand units in two years. We intend to incorporate the Walk Tall, Stay Safe and RSE programmes into our S.P.H.E. In the Senior classes Veritas DVDs on substance/alcohol abuse and sex education will be used.

Visitors to the School External Visitors/Facilitators/Tutors who contribute to the S.P.H.E. programme must be approved and work in line with Circular 0022/2010

In line with 2011 guidelines the Stay Safe Programme will be taught in its entirety by each class teacher each year.


Appendix 1 contains the strands and strand units to be covered every two years. Appendix 1 also contains the programmes that the lessons can be drawn from. A half hour can be set aside each week or indeed an hour every two weeks to teach these programmes.

School Vision:

In St. Rynagh’s Primary School we appreciate that the discrete SPHE lessons that we teach will only be of use as lessons if they are supported by our school ethos.

We aim to model the values we teach in our administrative policies, in our teaching, in our interaction with pupils, in our interaction with parents and visitors to school and in our interaction between teachers and in our interaction with our environment.


S.P.H.E. will be integrated into other subjects where teachers feel it is appropriate. For example a science lesson on food hygiene and the development on microbes in food is also a lesson on keeping healthy. A drama lesson can be used as a lesson where assertiveness in difficult situations can be developed.

Appendix 1:

Appendix 1 is a guide for teachers to link the Walk Tall, RSE and Stay Safe Programmes into their delivery of S.P.H.E. lessons.

Appendix 1 is the “Making the links” document available here or from Dublin West Ed. Centre.

Parental information and SPHE contact details

The entire content of the three programmes Stay Safe, Relationships and Sexuality Education and the Walk Tall programme can be viewed through the following links:-

Relationships and Sexuality Education Support Service

Child Abuse Prevention Programme (Stay Safe)

Walk Tall Programme Support Service

H.S.E. provide a book and guide for parents and their children about puberty called Busy Bodies which is produced by Health Promotion Department, H.S.E. South Western Road, Cork and is available through our local Health Promotion Department at 057 9357828. These are also available from the website