What is SPHE (Social, Personal and Health Education)?

SPHE, as part of the curriculum, supports the personal development, health and well-being of young people and helps them create and maintain supportive relationships.


What SPHE Aims to Achieve

  • To enable the students to develop skills for self-fulfillment and living in communities

  • To promote self-esteem and self-confidence

  • To enable the students to develop a framework for responsible decision-making

  • To provide opportunities for reflection and discussion

  • To promote physical, mental and emotional health and well-being

These aims can be achieved through addressing the ten modules below, each of which appears in each year of the three-year cycle. The emphasis will be on building skills, understanding attitudes and values important to all these areas. The SPHE programme reflects the unique ethos of each school. The attitudes, skills and values fostered in the SPHE classroom can only truly flourish in a school where all members of the school community are treated with respect and dignity.







Overview of Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) Junior Cycle Programme


Module Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Belonging & Integrating
  • Coping with change
  • Joining a new group
  • Appreciating difference
  • Bullying is everyone’s business
  • Coping with loss
  • Looking back, looking forward
  • Group work
  • Family Ties
  • Goal setting for third year
  • Work Contract
  • Organising myself
  • Organising my work at home and at school
  • Study skills
  • Balance in my life
  • What motivates me
  • Study skills
  • Organising my time
  • Planning for effective study
  • Coping with examinations
  • What motivates me
  • Study skills
  • Planning for effective study
  • Coping with examinations
Communication Skills
  • Express yourself
  • Learning to listen
  • Passive, assertive, aggressive, sensitive and respectful communication
  • Assertive communication
  • Learning to communicate
  • Communication in situations of conflict
Physical Health
  • Body care
  • Healthy eating and food labelling
  • Exercise, physical activity and rest
  • Body care
  • Body image
  • Feeling unwell
  • Physical exercise
  • Relaxation
  • Diet
  • Making new friends
  • A good friend
  • The changing nature of friendship
  • Bullying
  • Boyfriends and girlfriends
Relationships and Sexuality
  • Me as unique and different
  • Friendship
  • Changes at adolescence
  • Reproductive system
  • Images of the male and female
  • Respecting myself and others

  • From conception to birth
  • Recognising and expressing feelings and emotions
  • Respecting myself and others
  • Peer pressure and other influences
  • Managing relationships
  • Making responsible decisions
  • Health and personal safety
  • Body image
  • Self esteem
  • Where am I now
  • Relationships-what’s important
  • The 3 r’s: respect, rights and responsibilities
  • Conflict
  • Sexual orientations
  • STI’s
Emotional Health
  • Recognising feelings
  • Respecting my feelings and the feelings of others
  • Self confidence
  • Body Image
  • Stress
  • Feelings/Moods
Influences and Decisions
  • My heroes
  • Positive and negative influences
  • Making decisions
  • Making a good decision
Substance Use
  • Why people use drugs
  • Solvents
  • Medicine and drugs in our lives
  • Alcohol: the facts
  • Smoking and its effects
  • Smoking: why, why not
  • The effects of drugs
  • Alcohol and its effects
  • Alcohol: why, why not
  • Cannabis and its effects
  • Cannabis: why, why not
  • Ecstasy: the realities and consequences
  • Heroin: the realities and consequences
  • Cocaine: the realities and consequences
Personal Safety
  • Looking after myself
  • Fire, road and personal safety
  • Accidents: at home, farm, water
  • Feeling threatened
  • Cyber safety
  • Recognising unsafe situations
  • Violence
  • Help agencies
  • Personal safety
  • Internet safety


Parents/ Guardians and SPHE

Parents/Guardians have the primary responsibility for the Social, Personal and Health development of their children. Their contribution and involvement is vital to the successful implementation of the SPHE curriculum. Parents/ Guardians who are familiar with the modules, topics and issues addressed in SPHE can very effectively reinforce these concepts at home.




For additional information regarding SPHE please see:




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Coláiste Dún an RÍ
Co. Cavan

042 969 8294


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