Dear Parent/Guardian,

All students are taught SPHE as part of the Junior Cycle. SPHE is Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE). SPHE is not an exam subject but is allocated one class period per week during 1st 2nd and 3rd Year as per Department of Education and Skills guidelines. It is also not a new subject to students as they will have had some element of it during Primary School.

             RSE or Relationship and Sexuality Education is taught in 5th and 6th year. It is not allocated a full class but is taught in blocks of approximately 6 class periods from the Religious Education timetable in both years. While the time may come from the Religious education time, RSE is not taught from any religious viewpoint.

            We recommend all pupils participate in the course (and the vast majority of students do) however we accept that some parents prefer their children not to participate. We will assume you child will participate unless we hear otherwise from you.

Please note that from September 2017 incoming 1st Year students will follow a new (but similar) SPHE course as part of the new 'Wellbeing' subject being introduced. Further information on this course can be found under the New Junior Cycle tab above.


Key Themes 1st Year 

  • Coping with change, joining a new group, bullying
  • Organising myself, balance in my life Expression, listening, different types of communication
  • Body care, health eating and exercise
  • Making new friends, a good friend
  • Friendship, adolescent changes, respect, reproduction
  • Recognising feelings and respecting them
  • My heroines/heroes
  • Alcohol facts, why use drugs, smoking and its effects Looking after yourself

Key Themes 2nd Year

  • Looking back& forward, group work, family ties
  • Motivation, study skills Assertive communication
  • Body care and image
  • The changing nature of friendship
  • Conception to birth, expressing feelings managing relationships, influences, peer pressure, decisions
  • Self-confidence, body image
  • Positive and Negative influences, making decisions
  • The effects of drugs (alcohol, cannabis)
  • Accidents at home and school, feeling threatened

                                                                                                                                     Key Themes 3rd Year 

  • Goal setting for third year, work contract
  • Time management, effective study, coping with exams
  • Learning to communicate, communication in conflict
  • Physical exercise, diet and relaxation
  • Boyfriends and girl friends
  • Where I am, respect, rights, responsibilities, conflict
  • Stress, moods, managing feelings
  • Making good decisions  
  • Ecstasy and heroin - the realities 
  • Recognising unsafe situations, violence, help agencies

RSE -Curriculum 


Self Awareness and Personal Skills  

Human Growth and Development  



Sexuality, Sexual Identity, and Self Esteem   

Moral Development

  • Decision making
  • Problem solving
  • Assertiveness
  • Managing emotions
  • Reproduction
  • Pregnancy
  • Life stages
  • Child care
  • Family planning
  • Partnership
  • Marriage
  • Separation
  • Bereavement
  • Love and relationships
  • Gender stereotyping
  • Media and self-image,
  • Sexual harassment,
  • Legislation and sexual behaviour
  • Sexual violence
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Respect for self and others
  • Moral and spiritual development
  • Social responsibility