Clarin College Athenry


Wellbeing Rationale

There is a strong international base demonstrating that life-skills in school-based programmes can help to ‘prevent mental health difficulties when used in a whole-school context’ (NCCA, 2005, p.12).

The World Health Organisation has defined how wellbeing is present when

  • A person realises their potential
  • Is resilient in dealing with the normal stresses of life
  • Takes care of their physical wellbeing
  • Has a sense of purpose, connection and belonging to a wider community.

Wellbeing at the heart of the curriculum

Your child’s well-being is of central importance to his/her educational success and overall happiness, and student well-being is at the heart of the vision of the new Junior Cycle programme. Eight principles underpin this new programme and one of them is well-being. Central to wellbeing are the six basic indicators: Active, Responsible, Connected, Resilient, Respected and Aware. These indicators are used to assess wellbeing in the classroom and form the basis on which our curriculum is built.


Assessment in well-being is not about teachers assessing where the student is situated on the continuum of wellbeing or the student’s subjective state of wellbeing. This is not our role. The focus of assessment in this area is on gathering evidence of what the student has learned about the subject, i.e. the knowledge, skills and dispositions students have gained and their engagement with the actual curriculum.

While not everything needs to be assessed, it’s important that students are encouraged to reflect regularly on their learning throughout the programme. Most of the assessment activities are classroom-based and formative in nature. Ultimately, learning in Wellbeing aims to encourage young people to take responsibility for their health and be mindful of others. Therefore, the aims of the well-being programme are centred around the six basic indicators mentioned above. In keeping with our mission statement, it is hoped through guided self-reflection and group work students will develop a positive sense of themselves and their physical, social-emotional, and spiritual health and well-being.

Wellbeing Curriculum

This area of learning includes, amongst others, Physical Education (PE), Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE), Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE), including relationship and sexuality education and guidance related learning.



SPHE (Social Personal and Health Education) provides students with the opportunity to develop skills and competencies to learn about themselves and others. It allows them to make informed decisions about their health, personal lives and social development. Through studying aspects of SPHE, students have time to focus on developing personal and social skills including self-management, communication, coping and problem solving. Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) is an integral part of junior cycle health and wellbeing.

SPHE Specification

Physical Education:

This 100 hour short course builds on the Junior Cycle Physical Education Framework which physical education teachers currently use to plan their physical education programme in junior cycle. There are four strands, each one focusing on one of these 4 areas. Games, individual and team challenges, dance and gymnastics.

The learning outcomes in PE aims to develop students as knowledgeable, skilful and creative participants who are confident and competent to perform in a range of physical activities safely. In order to ensure that students are motivated to learn and participate in PE, there is emphasis on consultation with students about the course and assessment design.

Physical Education

Civic, Social & Political Education

(CSPE) It is built around three strands, rights and responsibilities, global citizenship and exploring democracy. There is a strong focus on student action aimed at giving students an experience of active citizenship.

CSPE is an important part of a wellbeing programme within the junior cycle as it enables students to feel connected to and take responsibility for the wellbeing of others. It also develops students' confidence, agency and engagement which are important characteristics of student wellbeing.

CSPE Specification

Guidance Related Learning - This is where you the Parents and Guardians can be involved

This area depends on the needs and interests of the students and the gaps in their learning. Proposed areas of learning include study & research skills, resilience programmes, mindfulness, choir, nutrition, online safety, CBT, dance, circuit training, and career-related learning etc among other topics. From 2019 students complete annual surveys and student voice is a core part of our evaluations.

The Wellbeing Junior Cycle Guidelines (2017),

This document sets out the promotion of Key Skills within teaching and learning has an important part to play in supporting student wellbeing. When teachers plan skills-rich lessons, students are more actively engaged in their learning, feel more positive about it and take more responsibility for their learning. While the key skill of Staying Well focuses specifically on wellbeing, many of the positive dispositions associated with student wellbeing are fostered through the conscious development of all the key skills in the classroom.


The principal key skills of the junior cycle are managing myself, staying well, communicating, being creative, working with others, managing information and working with digital skills and technology.

These skills underpin the principles that support the 24 statements of learning that underpin the New Junior Cycle. A number of the statements relate explicitly to wellbeing, that includes among others, that the student has an awareness of personal values and an understanding of the process of moral decision-making, the student values what it means to be an active citizen, with rights and responsibilities in local and wider contexts and that the students have the awareness, knowledge & skills, to live sustainably and is a confident and competent participant in.

Special Education Needs (SEN)

There is a clear connection between the support offered through the SEN Department in the school and the support of SEN students with regard to wellbeing. One of the central goals of the SEN department is: ‘To recognise each pupil as a unique individual with different talents and needs and to meet their physical, intellectual and emotional needs through our student-focused programmes

(SEN policy 2015)

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Tutors & Year-heads

Wellbeing Support is available to all students through our tutor and a year-head system where support can be directly provided in a class form or on a one to one.

Guidance & Counselling

Referrals are made where appropriate to the Guidance & Counselling department and beyond. Students can also avail of confidential one to one appointments for wellbeing support or to discuss issues that are causing temporary stresses in their lives

School Care Co-ordination Team (SCCT)

The group meets weekly to discuss individual cases of concern, as well as general, school-wide initiatives. The team consists of management representatives, Guidance Counsellor, Learning Support co-ordinator and SPHE co-ordinator & subject teacher.

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Clarin College, Athenry, Co. Galway.
091 844 159
Galway and Roscommon Education and Training Board
Exam Revision
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