What is SPHE?

Social, personal and health education (SPHE) provides particular opportunities to foster the personal development, health and well-being of the individual child, to help him/her to create and maintain supportive relationships and become an active and responsible citizen in society. Through an SPHE programme that is planned and consistent throughout the school, children can develop a framework of values, attitudes, understanding and skills that will inform their decisions and actions both now and in the future. Since SPHE has a moral and a spiritual dimension, its development and implementation are influenced significantly by the ethos or characteristic spirit of the school.

Shared Responsibility:

SPHE does not begin or end in school. Children’s understanding of the world, their own role and place in society and ways of behaving are significantly influenced by the family and the home environment. An SPHE programme is most effective when the responsibility is shared between school and home. This partnership approach helps to ensure that children are provided with a consistent experience in SPHE and are able to make connections between life at home, in the school and in the community

The SPHE Curriculum:

The SPHE curriculum is presented in three strands: Myself, Myself and Others and Myself and the Wider World. 

Myself is concerned with the personal development of the individual child and his/her health and well-being.   

Myself and Others focuses on developing a sense of care and respect for other people and the facility for relating to and communicating effectively with others. 

Myself and the Wider World enables children to explore the various communities in which they live. They can learn how to operate competently in society and to understand what it means to belong and to share a sense of purpose. 


The aims of social, personal and health education are:

• to promote the personal development and well-being of the child 

• to foster in the child a sense of care and respect for himself/herself and others and an appreciation of the dignity of every human being

• to promote the health of the child and provide a foundation for healthy living in all its aspects

• to enable the child to make informed decisions and choices about the social, personal and health dimensions of life both now and in the future

• to develop in the child a sense of social responsibility, a commitment to active and participative citizenship and an appreciation of the democratic way of life 

• to enable the child to respect human and cultural diversity and to appreciate and understand the interdependent nature of the world.


SPHE is taught through a range of programmes in St. Laurence’s such as:

Walk Tall 



Stay Safe 

Zippy’s Friends 

Friends for Life 

Nurture - Small groups of children are taken out for this wellness and creativity programme. This programme will help them to develop more confidence and some skills to help with self- regulation at times when they feel worried, uncertain, nervous, angry or ill at ease.