Social Environmental and Scientific Education (SESE) Plan

In The Commons N.S. SESE provides opportunities for the child to explore, investigate and develop an understanding of the natural, human, scientific, historical, social and cultural environment in which they live.  This plan forms the basis of individual teacher’s long and short term planning.


Vision:  SESE fosters children’s respect for the past, responsibility for our living world, and inspires them for the scientific future.


Aims:  To endorse the aims of the SESE curriculum.


1.                   Curriculum Planning


Strands and Strand Units:  Outlined below are the strands in the SESE Curriculum and the skills that we hope to develop.  Each strand is subdivided into Strand Units which focus on particular concepts.



  • Human Environments
  • Natural Environments
  • Environmental Awareness and Care


  • Myself and my Family
  • Story
  • Early People and Ancient Societies
  • Life, society, work and culture in the past
  • Eras of change and conflict
  • Politics, conflict and society
  • Continuity and change over time


  • Living things
  • Energy and Forces
  • Materials
  • Environmental awareness and care


Skills Development



  • A sense of place and  space
  • Maps, globes and graphical skills
  • Geographical Investigation Skills


  • Time and Chronology
  • Change and  Continuity
  • Cause and Effect
  • Using Evidence
  • Synthesis and communication
  • Empathy


  • Working Scientifically
  • Designing and   making





1.                 Approaches and Methodologies


Teachers can choose from the following:

  • Whole class work
  • Small group work
  • Individual work on chosen topics or projects
  • Investigative approach
  • Closed activities
  • Open investigations
  • Teacher-directed approach
  • Exemplars.

1.                 Linkage and Integration


We will explore possibilities to integrate the SESE subjects at all levels.  Teachers create their own integrated topics by referring to the Teacher Guidelines in Geography, History and Science.

2.                   Multi-Grade Teaching

Our school has multi-grade classes.  We follow a two-year cycle so that all curriculum areas are covered within the two years according to the plan of the relevant teachers.


3.                 Assessment and Record Keeping


The following may be used:

  •    teacher observation
  •    teacher-designed tasks and tests
  •    Brainstorm/concept-mapping,pyramid ranking,ladder 

ranking,KWLcharts,rubric,PMI charts

  •    work samples, portfolios and projects
  •    Pupil/parental feedback
  •    Quizzes
  •    Curriculum profiles.


1.                 Differentiation


Teachers will differentiate within their class for all children to ensure that objectives are attainable for every child. We believe in equality of participation and access. To ensure this occurs teachers will employ some/all of the following initiatives ...


  •   Find out what pupils know beforehand
  •   Vary content pace
  •   Ask a variety of questions
  •   Offer a variety of teaching styles
  •   Offer a variety of recording techniques
  •   Be conscious of the “literacy barrier”
  •   Vary class organisation
  •   Consider groups carefully
  •   Avail of SNA/SET support
  •   Avail of peer support/tutoring



1.                 Organisational Planning



Our teachers work in keeping with the recommendations in the Primary School Curriculum (page 70) for SESE, i.e. a minimum of two and a quarter hours in Infant years, with three hours for classes 1st – 6th per week.  On occasion, time will be blocked as appropriate. 


2.                            Resources used within Classrooms


Junior &               Smallworld History, Geography & Science Junior Infants.

Senior Infants       Smallworld History, Geography & Science Senior Infants

                             Unlocking SESE History, Geography & Science(Jn.& Sn Inf)




1st & 2nd                 History, Geography & Science Smallworld 1 and 2 (Alternate years)

                              Unlocking S.E.S.E. 1St & 2nd (Folens)



3rd & 4th                History, Geography, Science (Smallworld) 3 and 4 (Alternate years)

                             Unlocking SESE 3rd & 4th

                             Google Images

                             Internet sites – variety according to topic

                             Classroom resources eg.wall maps,time lines,display models etc.


5th & 6th                 History, Geography, Science Smallworld 5 and 6(Alternate years)

                              Unlocking SESE 5th & 6th


                             Internet sites

                             National Geographic Magazines, other publications as necessary.

                             Shared school,solar system model,skeleton,model 

                             of torso showing internal organs...School Science Kit (all strands)

3.       ICT Resources used within classrooms



1.  Individual Teachers’ Planning and Reporting


Teachers write long term plans for each SESE subject.  We also produce a fortnightly plan for each subject, which combine to form a Cuntas Míosúil. 


2.                 Community Links/People


Local people with expertise in SESE topics include:

  • fishermen
  • historians (Patsy Kavanagh; annual historical presentation)
  • electricians
  • Fire Officers
  • District Nurse/Dental Nurse
  • IT experts(SMART Programme; Safe & Secure Online)
  • Wildlife experts (live display of captured wild animals)
  • Na Gardai
  • County Road Safety Officer...............


1.  Local Places of SESE Interest(see History Trail Of Killybegs...a booklet  compiled by the pupils in 5th/6th class)



  • Fintra Beach
  • Local Waterworks Plant (Annual walk)
  • Cert College
  • Old school building
  • Mass Rock (Cnoc na Feola)
  • Church and graveyard
  • St.Catherine`s Well
  • Wildlife Park
  • Heritage Centre
  • Museum
  • Killybegs Pier.........

1.                  Implementation


Each teacher has responsibility for implementing this school plan within their classroom.  The principal is responsible for ensuring all teachers are aware of the plan and use it within their classrooms.


Review Date:


School Year 2019-2020 or whenever the need arises




Ratification: 30th May 2017


Ratified by The Board of Management