Growing Up – SPHE and Me

Growing Up – SPHE and Me

Last week in First Year SPHE, the students had a class discussion about adjusting to school life under the module Belonging and Integrating. The students made flashcards about what belonging meant to them and what they felt when were included in activities or events. They shared this with the class. We made a big jigsaw paper puzzle which reflected the lesson plan of fitting in / adjustment to school life and the students all had one aspect of the puzzle which they had to focus on which I hoped would enhance their communication and group work skills. The students then completed a worksheet about themselves which was their own personal account of their first half term in school. You can access that worksheet here; Personal Account .

This week the topic I focused on was Growing Up which linked in with the previous lesson of Belonging and Integrating. I asked the students to arrange the chairs in a circle in the classroom while I set up and called the roll. I started off the lesson with Learning Outcomes and asked the students what they believed SPHE was all about.

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I put up a SPHE First Year PowerPoint Presentation which you can download and edit if you wish. It was an introduction to Social Personal and Health Education and what it is all about. I talked about how it enables the students to develop skills for self-fulfilment and how SPHE wishes to promote physical, mental and emotional health and well-being as well as confidence and respect for themselves, their class and school community.

We discussed this as a class group and the students talked about their experience of SPHE at primary level.

I handed out coloured lollipop sticks (which you can buy in Eason’s, bookshops and any good arts and crafts shops between €1 and €2) and gave a different colour to every fifth student.


In one of the slides, I gave the students a task where they must pair up in groups with students with the same colour lollipop sticks as theirs. Then I asked the students to pair off into twos again within their group and ask one another questions about their interests, achievements and what they looked forward to learning in school.

Next we discussed growing up and the barriers that we are confronted with. I recorded these answers on the whiteboard and the students filled this out and it also coincides with an activity in their SPHE workbook.

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I then discussed the Disney film Up and the theme of this film which is Adventure. I explained to the students that their secondary school adventure begins here and how it is all a part of growing up.

Then I handed out balloon templates which the students coloured in and wrote their names on. As a class activity, the students made a poster based on Up but applied it to their own class group.                                image (3)

It was a really engaging lesson and everyone was involved.  I felt it was a good start to the SPHE module, it was inclusive and before the students left they asked what we are doing next week in SPHE which is always a good sign 

Let me know what you think or if you try something similar in your classroom 


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