In Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) you learn about what might help you to make choices for a confident and healthy life. In SPHE class you will learn how to get on with your classmates better, as well as help each other to be healthy, safe and well.

What will I learn in SPHE?

Some of the things you will learn include:

  • how to settle into your new school and into your new class
  • how to make friends with new people in your class
  • where to go and what to do if you need help or advice in your new school
  • what it means to make healthy choices about such things as smoking, alcohol, healthy eating and being active
  • how to form healthy, close relationships, and to understand human sexuality.
How will I learn SPHE in school?

In SPHE you may learn by:

  • working on your own, in pairs, groups or as a whole class
  • taking part in activities and games
  • talking and listening to others, including visitors who come into your SPHE class
  • doing projects and making posters.
How will SPHE connect with the world outside of school?

Some of things you may do are:

  • talk at home about what you are doing in SPHE class
  • find out about different health issues for young people, e.g. smoking, healthy eating, sexual health
  • try out some of the things you learn in class, e.g. really listening to your friends, making healthier choices about what you eat and how you spend your free time.
How will I know how I am getting on?

You will:

  • know more about what you can do to be healthier and well
  • know who to talk to if you need help and advice
  • become better at making healthier choices
  • become more able to talk about your feelings
  • become better at listening to others.


Will SPHE have anything to do with other subjects I will be studying?

Yes.  You will also learn about your body in Home Economics, PE and Science.  You might carry out some study in Religious Education on how to form healthy relationships.

What is the SPHE Junior Certificate exam like?

There is no Junior Certificate exam in SPHE. However, your teacher may ask you to keep a portfolio, which is a personal file that could contain:

  • written accounts of what you did in class e.g. quizzes and worksheets
  • records and reports from your teacher
  • pictures, drawings and fact sheets on various topics.
Will SPHE be very different after the Junior Certificate?

At the moment, not all schools offer SPHE after the Junior Certificate. However, there is likely to be a new SPHE course in Senior Cycle. In this course, you will be able to learn about making healthier choices for when you are in school and also when you leave school.

Is learning SPHE anything like what I did in primary school?

In SPHE in primary school, you have been learning about yourself (taking care of your body, growing and changing, safety and protection), about yourself and others (your family, friends and relationships), and about yourself and the wider world (citizenship and media).

Some of the activities in SPHE may be the same, e.g. circle time.  You will now be learning about what you can do to be a healthier teenager.


For more information about SPHE:

For more information about the SPHE course: