Myself and Others

The strand ‘Myself and Others’ is subdivided into the following strand units

Myself and Others

Myself and my family


My friends and other people


Relating to others


The strand units are consistent throughout all the class levels, reflective of the spiral nature of the curriculum.


Learning to care for and respect others is the cornerstone of this strand. It explores the role of various people in one’s life and explores how people interact, communicate, live, play and work together of a family as a community to which the child belongs.


Myself and my family

  • Children can learn to value family life and appreciate their own families, beliefs and traditions through:
  • Identifying what constitutes a family, emphasising the fact that family units and structures may not all be the same.
  • Explore the kinds of things that families can do together and how they can care for, love and support each other
  • Identifying the different roles within families, understanding that these roles may vary and recognising that each individual makes a contribution to family life
  • Beginning to look at the behaviour that promotes harmony in families and becoming aware of the types of changes that could affect family life. These changes could include the birth of a new baby, moving house or school, separation, illness, violence or unemployment
  • Examining the concept of belonging to a family and exploring how family life can alter as children move into adolescence and adulthood
  • Exploring the reality of the images of family life and lifestyles presented in the media


My friends and other people

This strand unit begins with the child’s experience of immediate friends and broadens out to include other people

  • Opportunities are provided to explore:
  • the meaning and significance of friendship, what can threaten it and how it can be supported
  • aspects of genuine friendship such as listening, trust, honesty, laughter, empathy and the importance of spending time together
  • making and changing friends as part of growing up
  • the ways in which individual actions and behaviour affect others
  • treating others with dignity and respect

In the senior classes the programme facilitates the exploration of both same-sex and boy-girl friendships. Emphasis is also placed on examining the positive and negative role of peers and on helping children to cope with pressure and persuasive influences. In exploring gender equity children are given the opportunity to reflect on their own attitudes and values and to discover ways of counteracting stereotypical images.


Relating to Others

This strand unit focuses on the development of a range of communication and interpersonal skills

In all classes children are encouraged to

  • listen effectively
  • talk, discuss, question and practice various non-verbal forms of communication
  • learn about different types of communication and explore their effectiveness and appropriate use
  • give and receive compliments, affirmation and constructive criticism
  • empathise with others and explore issues from a variety of perspectives

Through this strand unit children learn how to deal with conflict by practising different techniques that focus on identifying the problem and exploring possible solutions: for example, they can learn how to compromise, to apologise, to receive an apology and to forgive. In this context, children become familiar with passive, aggressive and assertive behaviour and learn how each of these behaviour types is recognised and manifested.

Allied with the work on resolving conflict is the issue of bullying. Children can come to an understanding of what bullying is, the type of behaviour that constitutes bullying and the role of various people in bullying situations. They are taught that there are certain steps to take if they are being bullied or if they see someone else being bullied. The approach adopted to dealing with bullying in SPHE will be informed by the policy and bullying drawn up and agreed in the school.