Expectations for students is an umbrella term that links learning outcomes with annotated examples of student work. For NCCA-developed short courses, in some cases examples of work associated with a specific learning outcome or with a group of learning outcomes will be available. Schools who design their own courses may wish to create a bank of examples of student work for discussion and for future reference.
Learning outcomes are statements that describe what knowledge, understanding, skills, attitudes and values students should be able to demonstrate having completed this junior cycle course in SPHE. The learning outcomes set out in the following tables apply to all students and represent outcomes for students at the end of their period of study.
The outcomes are numbered within each strand. The numbering is intended to support teacher planning in the first instance and does not imply any hierarchy of importance across the outcomes themselves. Nor does it imply that the learning outcomes should be attended to sequentially. When planning for learning and teaching in SPHE, teachers can work with a number of learning outcomes from within one strand or across different strands.
This course builds on a spiral approach that will be familiar to SPHE teachers. This spiral approach allows students to revisit important themes over the three years in order to allow for deeper engagement relevant to the students’ evolving needs and stage of development. In revisiting learning outcomes, it is important to ensure that there is a progression of learning. It is also important to consult regularly with students to ascertain how to plan teaching and learning using the learning outcomes so that the learning is responsive to students’ particular needs, questions and concerns. Such consultation will ensure that SPHE is relevant and responsive to the reality of students’ lives in diverse contexts and classrooms.
This SPHE course has been designed for 100 hours of student engagement to be taught over the three years of junior cycle.
A glossary of key terms for SPHE can be found here.
For guidance on planning using these learning outcomes as well as sample resources and methodologies, see the SPHE toolkit at: http://www.curriculumonline.ie/Junior-cycle/Short-Courses/SPHE/SPHE-RSE-toolkit/
The learning outcomes in this course are aligned with the level indicators for Level 3 of the National Framework of Qualifications.
explore the physical, social and emotional changes that happen during adolescence
reflect on their personal strengths and values and how they bring these into relationships
explore the range of influences and life experiences that can impact on self-image and self-esteem and identify ways to nurture a positive sense of self-worth
recognise the factors and influences that shape young people’s self-identity, such as family, peers, culture, gender identity, sexual orientation, race/ethnic background, dis/abilities, religious beliefs/world-views
reflect on gender equity and how gender stereotypes impact on expectations, behaviour and relationships
discuss experiences/situations of bias, inequality or exclusion and devise ways to actively create more inclusive environments
communicate in a respectful and effective manner and listen openly and sensitively to the views/feelings of others
reflect on the meaning and importance of empathy and discuss ways that it can be expressed
demonstrate self-management skills, including setting personal goals, delaying gratification, and self-regulation of thoughts, emotions and impulses.
evaluate how diet, physical activity, sleep/rest and hygiene contribute to self-confidence, self-esteem and wellbeing
critique the impact of the media, advertising and other influences on one’s decisions about health and wellbeing
describe what promotes a sense of belonging in school, at home and in the wider community and their own role in creating an inclusive environment
distinguish between appropriate care giving and receiving
demonstrate the personal and social skills to address pressure to smoke, to drink alcohol and/or use other substances
reflect on the personal, social and legal consequences of their own or others' drug use
critique information and supports available for young people in relation to substance use
use the skills of active listening and responding appropriately in a variety of contexts
use good communication skills to respond to criticism and conflict
describe appropriate responses to incidents of bullying
appraise the roles of participants and bystanders in incidents of bullying
review the school’s anti-bullying policy and internet safety guidelines explaining the implications for students’ behaviour and personal safety
establish what young people value in different relationships and how this changes over time
evaluate attitudes, skills and values that help to make, maintain and end friendships respectfully
recognise their capacity to extend and receive friendship
explain the different influences on relationships and levels of intimacy
analyse relationship difficulties experienced by young people
describe fertility, conception, pre-natal development and birth, and the particular health considerations for each
explain what it means to take care of their sexual health
demonstrate assertive communication skills in support of responsible, informed decision making about relationships and sexual health that are age and developmentally appropriate
reflect on the personal and social dimensions of sexual orientation and gender identity
critically analyse the use of sexual imagery and gender stereotyping in various forms of media
critique the influence of media on their understanding of sexuality and sexual health
explain what it means to have positive mental health
appreciate the importance of talking things over including recognising the links between thoughts, feelings and behaviour
practise some relaxation techniques
participate in an informed discussion about mental health issues experienced by young people and/or their friends and family
appreciate what it means to live with mental ill-health
critique mental health services available to young people locally
explain the significance of substance use for one’s mental health
practise a range of strategies for building resilience
use coping skills for managing life’s challenges
explain the wide range of life events where they might experience loss and bereavement
outline the personal, social, emotional and physical responses to loss and bereavement
compare how loss and bereavement are portrayed in a variety of contexts and cultures
describe how they might care for themselves and be supportive of others in times of loss or bereavement