Over the next few weeks the school will be covering a module called Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) as part of our ongoing Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE). The aim of the programme is to provide children with structured opportunities to develop their knowledge, attitudes, values, beliefs and practical skills necessary to establish healthy personal relationships as children and subsequently as adults. As a school community we acknowledge that parents have a pivotal role in the education of their children and most particularly in this aspect of the curriculum.
In order for you to familiarise yourself with the content we have placed our policy and plan on the school website, eskeretns.ie. You can access the RSE documents from the parent section of our website under the heading policies. In this document and PowerPoint explanation you will find the specific content for your child’s class outlined along with general information about the programme.
The material covered will be delivered by the class teachers from Junior Infants to 3rd class.
It has been decided by the RSE steering committee to split the boys from the girls in 4th class for the more sensitive areas of the programme. The class teachers will talk with the girls and Tom (Deputy Principal) will talk with the boys. Parents in 4th class will be asked to sign a consent form for these lessons.
For 5th class and 6th class children, we have invited ACCORD, an agency which has experience and expertise in this area to speak to the children. These lessons, delivered by Accord to 5th class and 6th class separately will take place here in the school during the school day on May 24th . Parents of 5th and 6th classes will be asked to sign a consent form to allow their children to take part in these lessons. Although Accord is a Catholic organisation, there will be no religious message delivered with the programme. We recognise the diversity of our families and we recognise and appreciate their different values and morals regarding RSE. Accordingly the steering committee feels that it the duty of parents to ensure that their own religious and moral values will be central to what they teach at home.
We strongly advise that all parents and parents of pupils of 4th, 5th and 6th class attend the meeting tomorrow night Wednesday 18th May in the school. Colette will present the 4th class programme and a speaker from Accord will present the 5th and 6th class programme and will be available to answer any questions that you may have.
We also strongly advise that you allow your children to participate in these lessons to ensure that the information they receive is factually correct and is delivered in a safe environment. Children receive messages from television, advertising, videos, magazines and computers from their friends about this subject. Parents may not even be aware or, or indeed may not like, the messages their children get from informal sources. We believe that it is preferable that this information is presented accurately and sensitively by a professional educator.
Please do not bring your children with you to this meeting as it is reserved for parents only.