St. Mary's Academy CBS
- An Edmund Rice School



“Student wellbeing is present when students realise their abilities, take care of their physical wellbeing, can cope with the normal stresses of life and have a sense of purpose and belonging to a wider community” (Junior Cycle Wellbeing Guidelines, 2021)

There is overwhelming evidence that students learn more effectively, including in their academic subjects, if they are happy in their work, believe in themselves, and feel school is supporting them. Here in St. Mary's Academy CBS, we aim to create that environment which enriches the lives of all our students.

Wellbeing on the curriculum

There are four pillars to our Junior Cycle Wellbeing programme: Physical Education (PE), Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE), Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE), and Forás. From 2024/25 that work will be supported by Tús, a programme facilitated by class teachers each morning, designed to support all areas of student wellbeing. CBS WB.jpg


Physical Education is a main pillar of our junior cycle Wellbeing programme. The subject aims to develop students as competent, confident and autonomous physical activity participants in a range of physical activities. It aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions on their involvement in physical activity either through the pursuit of recreational participation or sport. It supports students’ motivation to pursue an active and healthy lifestyle while instilling an appreciation of the benefits of physical activity participation. 1st and 3rd year students have 1 PE class per week, with 2nd year students having 2 classes per week.


Social, Personal and health Education is a Junior Cycle Short course in our school. It is a one-hour class per week for first, second- and third-year students. Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) provides a unique space where students can develop the knowledge, understanding, skills, dispositions and values needed to support their physical, emotional and social wellbeing, now and in the future. This course places a strong focus on the development of important life skills that young people need growing up in a fast changing and complex world. Specifically, it focuses on developing the core social and emotional skills of self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, social awareness and relationship skills. Materials and resources required for SPHE are provided in school. In second or third year a CBA will be completed as part of the assessment of this subject.


Civic, Social and Political Education is a Junior Cycle Short course in our school. It is a one-hour class per week for first, second- and third-year students. It is taught across three strands: 1) Rights and Responsibilities 2) Global Citizenship 3) Exploring Democracy. There is no textbook for CSPE therefore students have a designated copy for this subject which they use in class weekly along with various handouts and resources provided by their teacher. CSPE is an interactive subject where discussion of current topics is actively encouraged. In second or third year a CBA will be completed as part of the assessment of this subject.


Forás (Evolution, Growth, Development) is a 33-hour programme developed in consultation with staff, students and parents in our school to support the transition of students from primary school to St. Mary’s Academy CBS. It is delivered across three strands: 1) Learning to Learn – delivered by the Guidance Counsellor 2) Digital Skills and Online safety 3) Active and Connect, which seeks to make connection between students and between students and our school and community.

Wellbeing in action

Although there are designated wellbeing hours on every student's timetable in the form of PE, SPHE, CSPE, Forás and Tús - the promotion of positive wellbeing in St. Mary's Academy is not restricted to the classroom or timetable. Our teachers and students have positive relationships which are built on respect, trust and honesty. We aim to create a happy and supportive environment in which students can thrive.

You will find full details of the comprehesive Wellbeing Programme Here

Railway Road, Carlow, Ireland
059 9142419
An Edmund Rice School
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