Student wellbeing is present when students realise their abilities, take care of their physical well-being, can cope with the normal stresses of life and have a good sense of purpose and belong to a wider community. (NCCA)
We often associate wellbeing with just physical or mental health. However, it is much broader than this. It includes social, emotional, physical, spiritual, intellectual and environmental aspects. Learning in wellbeing focuses on the students’ journey across all aspects of wellbeing. There are 6 indicators of wellbeing which we use to describe what is important for young people’s wellbeing. The Wellbeing Indicators play a central role in all wellbeing related subjects and make it easier to identify where a student is in need of support. These indicators are displayed in the school journal in many parts of our school as a reminder of their importance.
The Wellbeing Programme in our school has allocated over 400 hours for Wellbeing in Junior Cycle for 2019-2020. The Junior Cycle wellbeing guidelines place a strong emphasis on the role that CSPE, SPHE, PE and Guidance can play in supporting learning about Wellbeing and learning for Wellbeing.
Gallen CS has a full suite of curriculum programmes which focus on developing the skill sets around wellbeing and which support student formation.
● SPHE programme ● CSPE programme ● RE programme ● Guidance programme ● RSE programme
In developing the Wellbeing curriculum in Gallen CS, we have been cognisant of the following principles:
• There is a coherent and coordinated approach to the provision of CSPE, PE, SPHE and Guidance as part of the wellbeing programme in junior cycle
• Staff are afforded opportunities to work collaboratively in planning for these subjects and CPD is actively supported
• Curricular provision is informed by student and parental feedback and is overseen actively by the Board of Management in the context of curricular change.
• Guidance-related learning is an important aspect of the wellbeing curriculum in junior cycle
• The Guidance Counsellors work collaboratively with staff in relation to the wellbeing programme and its implementation
SPHE in Gallen CS
Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) in junior cycle provides a unique opportunity where students can develop the skills and competences to learn about themselves, to care for themselves and others and to make informed decisions about their overall health and wellbeing. SPHE also provides the context within which students can learn about the important moral, physical, social and emotional issues around relationships, sex and sexuality including where to get reliable information from trusted sources.
SPHE is not formally assessed in the Junior Certificate examination.
In Gallen CS we run an adapted version of the Department of Education’s 100 hour SPHE short course. By choosing to include this short course in the school’s Wellbeing programme in junior cycle, students have a dedicated space and time to learn about themselves, caring for themselves and others and making informed decisions for their health and wellbeing.
There are four strands, each one focusing on learning in different but related areas of social, personal and health education:
Who am I?
- developing self-awareness
- building self-esteem
- Communication skills
- Goal setting & Study Skills
Minding myself and others
- Transition to first year programme
- Personal hygiene
- Taking care of myself and others
- Benefits of exercise
- Smoking Alcohol and drugs education
- Friendship skills
- Decision Making
- Relationships and sexuality education
- Lockers Programme
My mental health
- building positive mental health
- supporting myself through challenging times
- Self confidence
- Dealing with loss and bereavement
Our programme helps students to make informed decisions about their health, personal lives, and social development. It promotes self-esteem and self-confidence and provides opportunities for reflection and discussion.