Active School Flag
Active Schools Flag 2021- 2022
The active school flag is a Department of Education and skills initiative. It encourages, inspires and recognises schools who achieve and improve the physical activity of children and the school community. Here in St. Patrick's we are actively engaging with the Active Schools initiative in a variety of ways that we cant wait to share with you. To begin, we self-evaluated, planned, implemented and monitored improvements in the area of Physical Education, Physical activity and Partnerships as well as holding an active school week.
Our Active Schools Committee
Part of the active schools initiative process involved setting up an active school committee consisting of teachers and pupils. The committee meets on a regular basis to come up with ideas to make our school more physically active. The active schools committee provide a link between the teachers, other students and the whole school community. They also organise games / activities at lunch time to ensure all children are active.
The children at St. Patrick's NS 4th Class designed posters and slogans for our Active Schools Campaign. The slogan for our school this year is:
"Don't be a fool, when you can be cool! Always be bright and active in school!"
Children require at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day, we strive to promote the importance of staying active and eating healthily. As well as our timetabled PE lessons, which cover each strands, Athletics, Gymnastics games , Dance, Outdoor and adventure activities and Aquatics, visiting coaches, activity based school tours, exercise station and short 2-3 minute breaks during the school day. Our sports day, held every June is a day for the whole school community to enjoy . Everyone participates in all activities such as races, football, obstacle courses and it’s not just children who get competitive!. We also have a swimming programme for children in 4th class as well as promoting the PAWS programme from Junior infants as well as consulting the Move Well, Move Often resources available to teachers.
Our school provides, an opportunity for every child to become physically active. We have a good variety of P.E equipment, playground markings, active agents who encourage new skills and soft playground for junior classes. We are highly engaged with our local community through engaging with St. Patrick's GAA, Donore Harriers Athletics Club, Municipal Rowing Club, Ballyfermot Leisure Centre and the use of the Phoenix Park. Each year, there are equipment leaders given the task to organise the P.E equipment. These children are asked to organise the equipment, make note of the equipment we have and label the equipment to maximise organisation for classes to use.
An active school committee will be selected each year to further develop the progress made from the previous year. We incorporate a wide variety of the local clubs and resources in our area that allow us to develop actively and we acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of all pupils. We have established strong links with local clubs and organisations and a wonderful Parents Association who support our school efforts to provide new equipment and fundraising when needed. Some of the clubs that we work alongside to develop our skills are St. Patrick's GAA Club, Donore Harriers Athletics Club, Municipal Rowing Club, Ballyfermot Leisure Centre, St. Matthew's Boxing Club, Platform Dance School and the use of the Phoenix Park.
Our Active Schools Walkway
We had our Active Schools Walkway Day on Friday the 25th of March 2022. We all had so much fun!!
Active Schools Week
Every year we take part in Active Schools Week. Our aim for Active Schools Week is to introduce and afford the children opportunities to take part in various activities and sports throughout the week. Some of these activities include: Active homework, photo orienteering in the Phoenix Park, rowing, athletics, basketball, tennis, movement breaks, soccer, active yards, and dance yards. The children are encouraged to keep active throughout the week both at school and at home. We also love to use resources from: www.layasupertroopers.ie, www.getirelandactive.ie and www.Irishheart.ie.
As part of our Active Schools campaign we have asked our senior class students to create playground markings to utilise during yard time. The children are asked to consider how they could promote fundamental movement skills through these markings and how they can engage the younger children in gross motor skills such as hopping, skipping, jumping, running and balancing.
Active breaks have become a very important part of our school day. Breks may include being outside to run around the yard and engaged with playground games or a quick brain break in the classroom. Here are some of the resources that we may use in the classroom.
Each year we strive to better our skills in each strand of the Primary Physical Education Curriculum. This year we are working to improve our fundamental movement skills through dance. We have specifically chosen to work on Folk Dance. We worked very hard to learn our dances and showcase them to the rest of our school. We worked on our development of our exploration of movement through dance and development of rhythm.
Run Around Ireland
As part of working towards our Active School Flag, we took part in a Running Challenge. During this time, we built a running break into every day. It was an excellent way for children to learn about some of Ireland’s most famous landmarks and ideal for bringing learning outdoors. Class teachers were given: A map of Ireland’s famous landmarks and a laminated class challenge chart where you can tick off each landmark as you run to it.
The Challenge was completed at different times by different classes and on various routes throughout the day.
We also choose to focus on the strand of Athletics in PE while taking part in this challenge
It was amazing to see some of the classes getting very competitive and even running/jogging and walking laps at lunch time- nice and refreshed returning to class!!