St. Patrick’s N.S., Ballylinan R.S.E. (Relationships and Sexuality Education) Policy (Draft)

In circular 2/95 issued by the Department of Education and Science the minister requested all schools to introduce Relationship Sexuality Education (RSE) as part of the curriculum. In the 1999 curriculum RSE and Stay Safe programme were included in the Social, Personal and Health Education. The content of the school’s SPHE programme includes a wide range of topics such as healthy eating, alcohol, drugs, environmental issues, safety and social responsibility as well as RSE.

RSE is lifelong process of acquiring knowledge and understanding and of developing attitudes, beliefs and values about sexual identity, relationships and intimacy.

In a school situation RSE, provides structured opportunities for pupils to acquire a knowledge and understanding of human relationships and sexuality through processes which enable them to form values and to establish behaviours within a moral, spiritual and social framework, appropriate to their age. As St. Patrick’s N.S. is a Catholic School this moral framework will be based upon our School Ethos. RSE will also be taught in accordance with the Department’s directives and within the Philosophy framework of the school. The teaching methods used in the school are child centred and reflect the age and stage of development of each child. Sensitive issues will be dealt with appropriately.

In partnership with the home our aims are
* To provide opportunities for our pupils to learn about relationships and sexuality, imparted in a loving and caring way, within a wholesome environment.
* To help them think and act in a moral caring and responsible way.
* To learn about their own development and about their friendships and relationships with others.
* To teach children personal safety skills so they can look after themselves in situations which could be upsetting or dangerous.

The development of relationships is an integral part of all curriculum subjects. Aspects of RSE and Stay Safe are taught during SPHE, Religion, Drama, Art, English, Science, implementation of the Code of Behaviour etc. An integrative approach towards RSE and Stay Safe ensures that the children encounter RSE and Stay Safe in a holistic manner rather than in isolation.

What the School Currently Provides

Current programmes and policies in place in St. Patrick’s N.S. are
* Religious Programme
* Code of Behaviour
* Care for the environment
* Health and Safety Policy
* Child Protection Policy
* Internet Acceptable Use Policy


* To enhance the personal development, self-esteem and well-being of the child.
* To help the child to develop healthy friendships and relationships within families, in friendships and in wider contexts.
* To develop an appreciation of the dignity, uniqueness and well-being of others.
* To foster an understanding of and a healthy attitude to human sexuality and relationships in a moral, spiritual and social framework, taking into account different family patterns.
* To enable the child to acquire an understanding of and respect for human love, sexual intercourse and reproduction and to appreciate the responsibilities of parenthood and the value of family life.
* To develop and promote in the child a sense of wonder and awe at the process of birth and new life.
* To enable the child to be comfortable with his/her sexuality and of others while growing and developing.

All topics will be taught at the appropriate age.

Management and Organization

* RSE will be taught to all classes at the appropriate level throughout the school year. In a multi-class situation, extra care will be taken to ensure that all information/instruction is age appropriate. In certain instances, it may be considered beneficial to invite specialists into the school to participate in the programme. The programme will be taught according to the syllabus supplied by the Department of Education and Science.

* Relationships and sexuality education (RSE) is an integral part of Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) and will be taught in this context (see school SPHE Plan). The curriculum is spiral in nature (i.e. similar content is revisited at different stages throughout the child’s time at school) and all content will be delivered developmentally throughout the child’s time in the primary school. RSE-specific education (or core RSE education) will be covered in the strand units Taking Care of My Body, Growing and Changing and Safety and Protection. Parents shall have the right to withdraw their children from RSE classes.

* The acquisition of appropriate language in RSE is crucially important to enable children to communicate confidently about themselves, their sexuality and their relationships. Not being familiar with the biological terms for the body can put children at a disadvantage.

Therefore we will give children the correct and appropriate language as outlined in RSE Resource Materials as follows:

Junior Infants Senior Infants

This Is Me Look What I Can Do
Who Are You These Are My Friends
We Are Friends This Is My Family
This is My Family I Can Be Safe
People Who Teach Us about Keeping Safe Other People Have Feelings Too
We Have Feelings Caring For New Life
New Life My Body
I Grow I Grow and Change
Making Choices Making Decisions

> Term “Womb” will be taught in Junior Infants.
> Terms “Penis” and “Vagina” (urethra) will be taught as the obvious physical difference between a boy and a girl, in the contect of a visit to the doctor.
> Term “Breastfeeding” may be used in conversation as a means of feeding baby.

First Class Second Class

Things I like to do Other People are Special
My Friends Being Friends
My Family My Family
Keeping Safe Keeping Safe
Showing our Feelings Coping with Our Feelings
The Wonder of New Life The Wonder of New Life
How My Body Works When my Body needs Special Care
Growing Means Changing Growing and Changing
Decisions and their Consequences Personal Decisions

> “Penis” and “Vagina” (urethra) will be taught/revised in the context of their biological functions
> Teachers will teach that the baby is in the womb for 9 months and may be breast fed.
Third Class Fourth Class

Special Gifts Myself and Others
Sometimes Friends Fight Bullying and Behaviour
My Family My Family
Keeping Safe Reasons for Rules
Expressing Feelings Feelings and Emotions
Preparing for New Life The Wonder of New Life
Our Senses Being Clean-Keeping Healthy
As I Grow I Change Growing and Changing
Making Decisions Problem-Solving

“Umbilical cord” and “Navel” are taught in third class and menstruation is taught in fourth.

Fifth Class Sixth Class

The Person I am Me and My Aspirations
Different Kinds of Friends Different Kinds of Love
My Family Families
Keeping Safe Keeping Safe and Healthy
Feelings and Emotions Feelings and Emotions
My Body Grows and Changes Growing and Changing
The Wonder of New Life Relationships and New Life
Caring for New Life A Baby is a Miracle
Making Healthy Decisions Choices and Decision-Making

Puberty, human reproduction and sexual intercourse, in the context of a committed, loving relationship, will be taught using the language outlined in DES RSE Resource Materials for 5th/6th classes.

Certain aspects of our sexuality element of the RSE programme, in the context of a loving relationship, will be taught gender separately at the teacher’s discretion.

> Girls’ Menstruation
> Boys Puberty
> Sexual intercourse in the context of a loving relationship.
> Development of a human foetus.
> 5th and 6th class teacher may offer the children an opportunity to write questions they wish to ask on a sheet of paper. The teacher may then answer a selection of the relevant questions within the confines of the SPHD curriculum.
> We acknowledge that parents are the primary educators of their children and the school will work in a supportive role.
> On request, parents will be provided with an overview of the SPHE curriculum, including the RSE programme.
> Parents will be informed that they are welcome to view RSE materials at the school and will be notified of the RSE element prior to beginning it within the classroom.
> Should a parent wish to withdraw their child, we have an understanding that the parent provide an alternative in this area of education. It is understood that parents will state this wish in writing.
> If a child is withdrawn, the school cannot guarantee that other children will not inform the child in question of the content of the lesson from which the child was withdrawn or that the children will not refer incidentally in class to aspects of the lesson during subsequent days/weeks.

> All content within the RSE will be covered by the end of 6th class. Teachers will teach only the topics laid down for the class and curriculum content for the year. Teachers will then, at their own discretion, introduce the Question Box to ensure that age appropriate questions are answered only, as defined within the curriculum.

Ongoing Support and Development

In-service will be available to staff on an on-going basis.

Arrangement may be made for the RSE Trainers to speak to parents with a view to clarifying the material in question. These meetings will also provide parents with the opportunity of asking relevant questions. It will be the duty of the Board of Management to ensure that there will be periodic review of the Policy Statement and that any amendments as a result of such review will be undertaken.

Roles and Responsibilities.

Class teachers are responsible for the implementation of the SPHE programme in their own classes. SPHE resources are at all times available and specialised equipment can be purchases if required.
Arrangements for Policy Review

This policy will be reviewed by the Board of Management as necessary.

Ratified by Board of Management _______________________

Signed: _________________________________
Chairperson, Board of Management


Halloween:  Dress-up on Friday.  Contribution of €2 per child or €3 euro per family.  We hope everyone will have a great and a safe Halloween.

Parent Association A.G.M.See below.

Message from Ballylinan NS Parents Association

Parents Association AGM

Tuesday November 8th @ 8.30 pm. in the school.

Recognising the fact that parents have busy lives and following consultation, the Parents Association for the current school year will introduce some new changes (with the permission of the A.G.M.) –

  • A core committee (5/6 people) will be set up which will meet between 3 and 5 times in the year or on a need basis.

  • Parents who do not wish to be part of the committee can give their names as volunteers for special occasions – First Confession, Graduation, etc as the need arises.

  • By attending the A.G.M. it does not mean you will get a job!

  • By attending the A.G.M. you are indicating your support for the school, your children and for each other.

  • The role of the Parents Association is to work with the Principal, staff and Board of Management to provide the best possible education for the children in the school.

Ms. Brennan’s 1st Class – Gardening Oct 2016

Today, Ms Brennan’s first class cleaned the garden.  Each child wore old clothes and brought garden tools.  We had great fun picking all the weeds.  We even found some tomatoes and pumpkins and brought these inside.  We will use the pumpkins for Halloween fun.  Our garden patch is now ready for Spring.  We investigated the pumpkin and designed his face.

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EARLY CLOSING:  A reminder that the school will close this Wednesday (15th) at 12.30 pm (Infants from 12.20 pm).

REPORTS:  School reports will be put in the post this Wednesday.  The envelope will contain –

  1. Report(s)
  2. Book List 2016/2017
  3. Voluntary Contribution Receipt.
  4. Information about Sigma T / Micra T Assessments.

CLASS DIVISIONS –  2016 / 2017:
Due to changes in numbers it is necessary to restructure some of the class divisions.

Junior Infants                               Mrs. Kavanagh

Junior/Senior Infants               Ms. Twomey

Senior Infants/1st Class             Ms. Goff

1st Class                                              Ms. Brennan

2nd Class                                            Ms. Kiernan

2nd/3rd Class                                    Mrs. Hurley

3rd/4th Class                                    Ms. Mulhare

4th/5th Class                                    Ms. Cunningham

5th Class                                          Ms. Hayden

6th Class                                          Mrs. Connolly

 YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS:  Bizworld is an organization sponsored by Bank of Ireland which visits primary schools promoting business ideas and skills.  Ms. Farrell’s 5th Class took part in a two day workshop last week and it turned out to be a great success.  Thanks to our past pupil and manager at Bank of Ireland (Athy), Kieran Kelly for all his support and encouragement.

ATHLETICS:  Congratulations to Josh McDonald and Padraig Doyle who represented the school at the schools county sports held in Tullamore last Wednesday.  Josh returned home as County Champion in the high jump and 80m sprint while Padraig reached the final stages o the high jump and finished in the top half of a very competitive 1000m race on one of the warmest days of the year.  Well done lads!

SOCCER CAMP:  St. Anne’s F.C. will host a summer soccer school at their grounds from July 25th – 29th.  Payment can be made by installments if required.  Please contact Paul Hickey (087) 7570987.  Brochure attached.

Supervalu Hits for Club –  Ballylinan Juvenile Ladies G.A.A. Club is one of the nominated clubs for the new scheme.  If shopping in Pettits you can pledge your tokens to the club with a target of 2000 tokens.  Once achieved the club will receive sports gear and equipment.  Every €40 spent earns a token and the deadline is July 17th.  The club very much appreciates your support.


WRITING WORKSHOP:  Children’s author Jackie Burke visited the school on Tuesday and spent time with 3rd and 4th classes.  She was very impressed by our “budding” writers and also read from her books.  Photos on school website

CUMANN NA MBUNSCOL SKILLS: Footballers from 5th and 6th class travelled to Portlaoise last Friday to take part in trials to choose players who will play at the All Ireland Football finals and semi-finals  in Croke Park later in the summer.  This event attracts the elite of juvenile football in the county and we were well represented by Jane Bride, Shauna Kealy, Alison Walsh, Ryan Brady, Michéal Downey and Lochlann Kelleher.  The Laois representatives for Croke Park have yet to be announced.

MID-TERM BREAK:  The school closes tomorrow (Friday 29th) at the usual times and re-opens on Monday May 9th.


LIP SYNC:  A reminder that tickets are now on sale for the big event to be held on Saturday May 7th.

PILATES:  8 week course commencing Tuesday May 10th @ 7pm in the Fitness Studio, Ballylinan.  All welcome – from beginners to advanced.  For further information contact Mary @ 086 3733327.