We are on a mission to earn an Active School flag. We have been working hard this year and last year and have had lots of fun along the way! The Active school Flag Initiative is a Department of Education and Skills Initiative (DES) supported by Healthy Ireland, which aims to get schools more active, more often. ASF schools promote inclusive physical activity throughout the school day and work in partnerships with others to promote a physically active school community.  The ASF is accredited to schools who strive to achieve a physically educated and physically active school community.

There is a representative from each class from 2nd to fifth class on our Active School committee.  There are two representatives from each of the Sixth classes. The girls had to outline their strengths to their classmates before they were elected onto the Active Schools Committee. There are also four teachers involved in the Active School’s committee, the teachers involved are Mrs Harkin, Ms Colfer, Ms O’Connor and Ms Kelleher. 

The committee meets regularly and decides on how best to promote physical activity in the school. They also lead the school in activities. The committee decides what needs to be done and who is going to do it. They update the active schools board and check the suggestion box regularly. They do a great job encouraging and motivating the whole school community!

 

We had a school wide slogan/poster competition at the beginning of the year. There were amazing entries from all classes and age groups. Our winning slogan is catchy though! Check it out below!

 

The Active School Flag Programme has helped us to focus more on our provision of physical education in the school. Teachers use the PE curriculum, PSSI lesson plans and the Move Well, Move Often Resources in their planning for physical education lessons. Three of our teachers have completed ‘Move Well, Move Often’ inservice training days and have fed back information to the staff via staff meetings. The Active School flag is discussed at all staff meetings. 

All classes are taught 5 different PE strands each year: Athletics, , Gymnastics, Games, Dance, Outdoor and Adventure, Aquatics*(Water Safety). The school plan reflects each of the strands of the curriculum and pupils receive 1 hour of Physical Education a week in the Halla and the school yard (weather permitting!). 

Check out the pictures below that document the provision of PE across the strands of the curriculum! 

 

This year the school will focus on Gymnastics from Junior Infants to Sixth Class:

The following strands will be covered at each level:  

The Strands of the Gymnastics Curriculum include: 

  • Movement
  • Understanding and appreciation of Gymnastics

The following content objectives will be covered at each level: 

Infants:

  • Develop the basic movement actions of running, stopping, jumping, rolling, climbing, transferring weight, balancing, twisting and turning wrong body parts – exploring space
  • Practice rocking and rolling activities
  • Develop body awareness through variations of direction, pathways, levels, shape, speed etc….
  • Work together to create and perform a sequence
  • Talk about movement and answer questions about it.
  • Develop ability to lift, carry and place apparatus safely.

First and Second:

  • Basic movement actions:  e.g. balancing, rolling, turning, twisting, stretching, climbing, transferring weight (variety of rolls)
  • Body awareness through movement (direction, levels….)
  • Travelling on apparatus
  • Individual and pair sequences
  • Take off and landing skills
  • Posture/good body tension
  • Ability to lift, place apparatus

Third and Fourth: 

Sequence of movement, vary direction, pathways etc.

  • Move and travel on floor and an apparatus
  • Headstand and handstand
  • Forward and backward rolls (at the discretion of the teacher)
  • Produce and perform sequence
  • Develop good body tension and posture through gymnastics
  • Show increased control in take-off, flight and landing
  • Observe and describe movement and ask and answer questions about it.

Fifth and Sixth: 

  •  Select and link a range of gymnastics actions to travel on the floor and on apparatus
  • Practice and perform a range of skills
  • Produce and perform more complex sequences with a partner on the floor and using apparatus
  • Show controlled take off, flight and landing
  • Produce group sequences

Our Plan: 

  • All teachers will deliver gymnastics lessons at the same time. (October – December 2019)
  • Active Schools’ Teacher representatives will provide both the PSSI lesson plans and the relevant fundamental movement skills for teachers planning. The teachers will also use the PDST resources at the following link: PDST Gymnastics
  • Resources for Station Teaching and activity rotation will be printed and laminated. 
  • Teachers will use a range of assessment techniques including observational checklists, photos,  rubrics and checklists to assess pupils progress. 
  • Pupils will assess the work of their peers. 

Our school loves to stay very active!! The girls go to the yard twice daily and are allowed to run on the yard. 

 Here are some of the additional physical activities and initiatives that we participate in:

On Tuesdays and Thursdays we have walk and talk days where we encourage all pupils to be active on yard.

When it is raining each class does a wet day activity and we record these in class.

Last year we  also took part in the ‘Run Around Europe’ challenge and the girls travelled more than 18,000km over the space of 6 weeks! 

Here are some videos of classes participating in the challenge: 

Infants..Run Around Europe Challenge 

Fourth Class..Run Around Europe Challenge (2)

In 2017/2018 each of the classes completed the  ‘Marathon Challenge’ 

Here are some other activities we have used to make the school community more active! 

Busy Breaks – Classes use go noodle, cosmic yoga, busy breaks and Youtube fitness videos to get up and move during the school day! 

Active Walk Way  – The Walk way is around the perimeter of our school. Children use the walk way before and after school, classes also use the walk way during the day for active breaks or as a revision walk, talking about things they have learnt, ag caint as Gaeilge or even practising tables! 


Active Yard – Our Active yard takes place from Tuesday – Friday for all class levels. The yard is ably led by 6th class playground leaders. The girls love making up new games and exploring new equipment. The equipment was kindly sponsored by our parents association! 

Fit Fridays/Get up and Move- The Active Schools’ Committee members love to get on the intercom on Fridays to keep the school updated on our Active School progress, they also do a Get Up and Move, doing some stretches and exercises to start the whole schools’ day, the active way! 

Sponsored Walk – The girls love the annual sponsored walk and the opportunity for the whole school to be active together! 

Well Being Week – This week focused on mental and physical wellbeing, the girls learnt the importance of physical fitness for mental fitness! We also had a whole school assembly in which we completed a dance to ‘Try Everything’ by Shakira.  Click on the Link for a small clip of it: Try Everything

Whole School Yoga- The whole school came together to do some Yoga moves in the Halla! They were ably led by our Active Schools’ Committee. 

Whole School Flash Mob!- The whole school came together in the yard to do a Flash Mob in the yard…We had great fun! 

Santa Dance As part of our Christmas Assembly we all participated in the Crazy Santa Dance! 

Check out a short clip here! Santa Dance 

Visits from Inspirational Sports Stars – We have had many visits from various sports starts throughout the year, Johnny Cooper, Cormac Costello and other members of the Dublin team have inspired the girls with their stories of Croke Park on All Ireland Final days. Davy Cryan spoke to the girls about keeping fit and healthy after his time on Operation Transformation. Ollie Campbell brought the Heineken Cup and Championship plate and spoke to the girls about the importance of  sport. He shared a very special motto with the girls, which is displayed on our Active Schools’ board. Megan Williams inspired the girls during Active Schools’ Week 2019 as a fantastic female sports star! She spoke about the importance of sports and activity for mental wellbeing. She also shared some of her international rugby skills with our 6th class girls.  

                           Megan Williams 

                Ollie Campbell and the 6 Nations 

                  Jonny Cooper

                             Davy Cryan

Partnerships within and outside the school are an important aspect of the Active School Flag. When a school participates in the Active School Flag Programme it is vital to interact and engage with other organisations and clubs.

We are very fortunate to have had a variety of partnerships during our Active Flag mission.

We have an extremely supportive and ongoing partnership with Na Fianna GAA. Girls from all classes enjoy GAA coaching sessions with Mark!

Our school has a long standing tradition of participating in Cumann na mBunscoil competitions and have enjoyed many trips to Croke Park and Santry Stadium!

Derek Ahern is our local Sports Officer for North Dublin and he has organised tag rugby coaching sessions for 5th and 6th classes.

We have a very active school community our girls take part in a range of activities outside of school. We carried out a school wide survey of the types of activities the girls are involved in outside of school.

A sample of the data collected.

 

Our girls are a very active bunch. There is a huge variety in the clubs and activities in the area that the girls take part in outside of school to keep fit. If you would like to try out any of the activities that our girls are already involved in, check out some of the links below:

Na Fianna GAA Club     Ballymun Kickhams    Homefarm Football Club             Gymnastics       Glasnevin Lawn Tennis Club     Clonliffe Harriers Athletic Club  Tolka Rovers Basketball                                                                                             DCU Mercy  Botanic Hockey Club    Aerlingus Swimming Club    Clontarf Rugby Club

We have had a number of outside coaches who work with the staff to provide training to the staff including Tolka Basketball, Na Fianna GAA and Hockey Ireland. Several of the parents have helped out with our active schools weeks. 

Check out some of the pictures of girls working with outside coaches and partnerships throughout the school year!

Active Schools Week took place in June 2019.  we had a jam-packed week filled with lots of fun activities! Check out the video below!

We had a whole range of new activities.. Taekwando, soccer, rugby, GAA, Zumba, Box Fit, Pilates, Tennis, Tug-of-War.. to name a few, something for everyone! Check out the photos below to see the girls in action…

We would like to thank all of the volunteers, visitors and parents who gave so generously of their time to help make our action packed week a success! 

The whole school went to Na Fianna for a giant Sports Day in which they took part in a variety of races and activities. These activities were run by the parents, it was a great, active day for the whole school community! During our Sports Day in Na Fianna, Megan Williams came to speak to the girls, staff and parents about the importance of being active and the benefits of physical activity for both our mental and physical health. 

As part of Active Schools’ Week 2019, the girls had no written homework, they were challenged to get out and be active in the evening times by completing Active Homework! 

We are already looking forward to Active Schools’ Week 2020.. watch this space! 

Active School Gallery

Check out our Video of Active Schools' Week Video from June 2019...

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