Junior & Senior Infants
RSE Manual pg 145
The aim of this lesson is to help children become aware of human life, in relation to the care of a new-born baby. Their sense of awe and wonder at the simplest experience of new life is refreshing and may awaken in the adults around them an appreciation of new life and the world of nature.
Children have many experiences of new life – springtime; new growth in the garden; new pets at home or new animals on the farm; the arrival of a new baby brother or sister, cousin or neighbour.
Opportunities are provided in school for children to appreciate the care and attention which is needed so that the healthy growth of new life may be nurtured.
The following are suggested Home Activities for Parents/Guardians to undertake with their children on the theme Caring for New Life:
Talk about a new baby: How often do new babies need to be fed? What kind of food do you give a new baby? Where does the milk come from? Why do babies need ‘winding?’
Or Let’s look at new life in the world of nature: Are there any signs of new life in the garden – what are they? What are the baby animals you might see on a farm?
Or Look at books, at home or in the library, on new life
Or Draw a picture, on the back of this page, under the heading Caring for New Life
RSE Manual pg 156
The aim of this lesson is to help children learn about their bodies and in this context to learn correct names for all parts of the body.
Children are usually given “baby” words for their private parts, or they may have learned “slang” terms, but it is recommended that they are given the correct names, as naturally as possible and without undue emphasis or fuss. Opportunities arise, at home and in school, for parents/guardians and teachers to introduce names for body parts, in the context of hygiene practice, injury, swimming, etc.
Teachers are guided in this by the School RSE Policy, drawn up in consultation with parents, teachers and management.
The following are suggested Home Activities for Parents/Guardians to undertake with their children on the theme
My Body – Talk about Bath-Time – What is fun about having a bath? What do you like least about having a bath? Why? What parts of your body do you wash while you’re having a bath? What do you do when you get out of the bath?
Or Talk about Swimming – What do you like best about going swimming? What do you like least about going swimming? Why? Where do you change for swimming? How would you know the difference between a boy and a girl?
Or Look at books on Bed-time/Bath-time/the Seaside and talk about the pictures, using opportunities that may arise to introduce names for parts of the body, if appropriate.
Or Talk about A Visit to the Doctor – How does the doctor find out what is wrong when you are sick? Would you like to be a doctor? Why/why not? Would you mind if the doctor examined your …? Why/why not?
RSE Manual pg 65
The aim of this lesson is to provide children with opportunities to appreciate and celebrate the wonder of new life in the world of nature. Their sense of awe and wonder at the simplest experience of new life is refreshing and may awaken in the adults around them an appreciation of even a green shoot in Spring.
By teaching children to understand new life and how it comes about, parents and teachers are encouraging them not to take these daily miracles for granted and to respect, value and cherish new life.
The following are suggested Home Activities for parents/guardians to undertake at home with their children on the theme The Wonder of New Life:
If an opportunity arises to look at a baby animal (kitten, pup, baby rabbit, pet mouse), the occasion can be used to talk about new life, using questions such as: What baby animal did we see? How big was it? Where was the baby animal before it was born? (Inside its Mammy, in its Mammy’s womb). How does it’s owner care for it? What food does it eat? How is it like a human baby? How is it different?
Or Together, make a collage of baby animals, by cutting pictures from magazines and pasting them onto a page, under the heading New Life.
Or Look at, and talk about, children’s books on Baby Animals, from the home or school library.
RSE Manual pg 160
The aim of this lesson is to provide children with opportunities to appreciate and celebrate the wonder of new babies. By teaching children to understand new life and how it comes about, parents/guardians and teachers encourage them not to take these daily miracles for granted and to respect, cherish and value new life.
The following are suggested Home Activities which parents/guardians may wish to undertake with their children on the theme The Wonder of New Life:
Talk to your child about a new baby brother/sister/cousin/neighbour/friend: What is the baby’s name? Why was s/he called this name? What food/drink does s/he like? What special care is given to the baby? etc.
Or Discuss with your child his/her own early days as a baby, encouraging him/her to ask questions about: Birth – place, date, time, weight, length, doctor, nurse, etc. Growth – food, drink, sleep, exercise, crawling, walking, talking, etc.
Or Together, look at the photo album and look at the development of family members from the early years through childhood, etc.
RSE Manual pg 169
The aim of this lesson is to provide children with an opportunity to revise the names of the external parts of the male and female body, and some associated functions, in the context of the body’s occasional need for special care. There is a great deal of power in language and not being familiar with the biological terms for the body can put children at a disadvantage.
To give children the vocabulary, it is recommended that the teacher uses everyday situations to include words for the body, and bodily functions, naturally and without undue emphasis. This will be at the discretion of the teacher, in accordance with the school’s RSE Policy.
The following are suggested Home Activities which parents/guardians may wish to undertake with their children on the theme When My Body Needs Special Care:
Discuss with your child an occasion when s/he had to visit the doctor: Do you remember when you had to go to Dr. …? What did the Dr. do? Did you mind being examined? Why/why not? etc.
Or Talk about the wonderful work of the body: Heart – pumps blood Lungs – take in and let out air Stomach – digests food and separates good from waste, etc.
Or Use everyday situations to give correct names for all parts of the body.
3rd & 4th Class
The aim of this lesson is to provide children with opportunities to recognise and learn to sequence the stages of development of the human baby from conception to birth. By teaching children to understand how new life develops, parents and teachers are encouraging them not to take the miracle of life for granted and to respect, value and cherish new life.
This home-school links page suggests that children are told the story of the growth of the baby in the womb before being born. You may wish to personalise it, telling your child the story of his/her own development, whether you are Daddy, Mammy or Guardian. It is advisable to read it for yourself first and to present it in your own words, as naturally as possible. Your child will probably have many questions to ask you about himself/herself after hearing this story.
Have you ever seen a bird’s nest up close? What is it made of? (Grasses, twigs etc.) How does the mother bird make it comfortable for her little ones when they hatch? (She lines it with grass, leaves and moss).
Before you were born you spent about nine months cradled in your mother’s (my) womb. The womb prepared a soft lining to keep you comfortable. It did this by becoming softer and thicker. This lining kept you safe and snug. You needed nine months to grow completely and to be strong enough to live outside the womb.
Nine months is the usual length of time a baby spends in the womb. During that time the womb was your home. Everything you needed for life and comfort was provided in the womb. You were joined to your mother by a tube called the umbilical cord. Through the cord you got the food you needed to grow. What you didn’t need returned to your mother (me).
At eight weeks you were the size of a grown up’s thumb nail, the size of a 20p piece. Your hands and feet had already started to grow and you began to move about. You kicked gently. But because you were so small your mother (I) didn’t feel you moving around. Now you were beginning to look like a baby. Though your eyes were closed, you moved your arms and legs around, stretching and kicking, curling your toes, making fists, frowning and making faces. You were doing your exercises and this helped your muscles to grow strong.
As the day of your birth drew near you had grown so much you had less room to move around. Now you practised breathing. There was no air in the womb, only liquid. Sometimes you swallowed the liquid and this gave you hiccups. Mammy may have felt you burping and wondered what was going on!
After nine months you were ready to be born. As you were welcomed into the world you were ready to begin another wonderful adventure.