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St Andrew's College Dublin St Andrew's College Dublin


 Acting Subject Leader and Teacher: Mr Damien Shevlin

SPHE Teacher's Name Contact
Ms Comaskey
Ms Groves
Ms Keane
Ms McGrane
Ms McKeown
Ms Mockler
Mr Moore
Ms M Moran
Ms Murphy
Ms Shanahan
Mr Shevlin
Ms Sloan
Mr Walshe
Ms Woods

What is S.P.H.E.?

S.P.H.E. is part of the Department of Education and Science curriculum. The subject aims to encourage students to develop personally and to learn how to live a healthy lifestyle. It helps to build self-esteem, self-confidence and teaches students how to communicate their feelings. It encourages students to begin and maintain healthy relationships. In a busy, academic week it allows time for the students to reflect and discuss issues which relate to them. It helps students to make responsible decisions about their own lives and promotes physical, mental and emotional health.

S.P.H.E. is a subject of huge importance. It supports young people through a period of their lives which is often challenging. It helps them to become secure and happy adults who embrace their own diversity and the diversity of others.


Curriculum At Junior Cycle (1st Year- 3rd Year)

Each student has one class per week. The following topics are covered, in greater detail each year:

  • Belonging and Integrating:
  • Communication and group work skills
  • Problem solving
  • Addressing bullying behaviour
  • Self-management: A sense of purpose
  • Effective management of study time
  • Preparing for examinations
  • Balancing work, leisure and rest
  • Communication Skills
  • Developing good listening skills
  • The differences between passive, assertive and aggressive communication
  • Physical Health
  • Making healthy food choices
  • The importance of physical exercise
  • Personal care and self-image 
  • Friendships
  • The nature and meaning of friendship
  • Distinguishing between healthy and unhealthy friendships 
  • Relationships and Sexuality
  • Physical, emotional and social changes during puberty and adolescence
  • The reproductive systems and conception
  • Attitudes relating to gender and gender stereotypes 
  • Emotional Health
  • Expressing feelings and emotions
  • Responding to everyday situations 
  • Influences and Decisions
  • The influence of the media and peers on behaviour
  • Making good decisions 
  • Substance Use
  • The use and misuse of alcohol in our society
  • The health and social impact of tobacco smoking 
  • Personal safety
  • Exploring situations where personal safety could be at risk
  • Developing a personal safety strategy

Transition Year

Two classes per week are allocated to the subject and the students take seven modules. These modules are rotated and delivered by seven teachers who have completed extensive preparation and have undergone training in their area of expertise. The modules are as follows:

Senior Cycle (5th and 6th Year)

Although S.P.H.E. is not timetabled in fifth and sixth year a day is set aside for the students to attend a series of classes by trained teachers who deliver a variety of lessons around the topic of Relationships and Sexuality. These include:

  • Loving relationships
  • Contraception
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections and Diseases
  • Sexuality