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 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.
All classes are taught 5 different PE strands each year: Athletics, Aquatics*(Water Safety, , Gymnastics, Games, Outdoor and Adventure. Each of our seventeen classes receives at least an hour per week of physical education. Children make use of both the Halla and the school yard (weather permitting!).
Our school loves to stay very active!! Here are some physical activities 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.
We also took part in the ‘Run Around Europe’ challenge and the girls are becoming very fit from this!
Last year we completed the ‘Marathon Challenge’
Here are some other activities we have participated in to stay 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.
Whole School Yoga- The whole school came together to do some Yoga moves in the Halla
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.
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!
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 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. We have had tremendous support from the local GAA club na Fianna.
Last year’s 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 activities.. Taekwando, soccer, rugby, GAA, Zumba, Box Fit, Pilates, Tennis, Tug-of-War.. to name a few, something for everyone! 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!
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.
We are already looking forward to Active Schools’ Week 2020.. watch this space!
Active School Gallery