Our school community is working together to attain our first Active School Flag Award. This will be achieved in a number of ways including: increasing levels of physical activities in our daily lives (both in school and at home), looking at specific areas of the PE curriculum, ensuring that all aspects of the curriculum are being taught and creating links with sporting agencies and community groups in our local area. The main goal of participating in this scheme is that a sense of health, well-being and physical activity will continue to be fostered in our school.
After some general information about our work towards this goal, you will find on-going updates of our progress in four categories:
- Our ASF co-ordinator has established a committee to oversee the progression.
- Discretionary time throughout the year is being used by teachers and qualified coaches to coach the children in a range of non-competitive activities including individual and team sports. For example, swimming lessons are taking place for 1st class and above in the third term. Gaelic football and hurling skills are taught after school as well as athletics and basketball.
- Each class is provided with at least 1 hour of timetabled Physical Education per week. This is comprised of at least two 30-minute lessons.
- Our PE Curriculum Policy was drafted by teachers as part of the Active School Flag process last year. It was ratified by the Board of Management. This plan will be reviewed and amended by staff every two years. All staff members have access to the PE plan as well as the PDST lesson plans for teaching all aspects of the PE curriculum.
- An audit of all PE equipment will be made and an itemised list will be compiled of equipment that needs to be replaced as well as new equipment needed to be purchased.
- The specific area of focus within the curriculum is the strand ‘games’. Two of our teachers attended a course in the teaching of ‘games’ and have kindly shared their knowledge with the rest of the teachers in our school.
- We are becoming more aware of the importance of being physically active on rainy days when the children cannot play outside. If the children are unable to go outside due to rain, each teacher ensures that he or she gets at least 10 minutes of physical activity that day. Each class has a ‘Go-noodle’ or ‘Just Dance’ account.
- We are incorporating physical activity into our everyday lessons. As part of Engineering week, all classes went on an engineering trail. Walks around Knocknacarra, Cappagh Park and Bearna Woods have become more active and fun as well as educational.
- We have set up an ASF notice board whereby we inform our school community of our progress to date and any upcoming school events.
- All the children and staff love to dance in KETNS. We have explored dance at events such as the Halloween disco, Christmas disco. Every Friday the children dance in the yard listening to music on the school’s “party rocker” using a school’s playlist.
- We have liaised with the Health Promotion Officer with the HSE, and our school co-ordinator attended a Health Promotion Healthy School’s activity day in March 2018. All staff are aware of the importance of a healthy and balanced diet along with an active lifestyle.
- The KETNS yard at our new premises is kept very busy. All the children are encouraged to run and travel freely around the yard. Ball and tag games are permitted and encouraged. The older children often teach the younger children new and exciting games. Yard markings were painted by a volunteer parent last Spring.
- The school has created new opportunities to exercise where emphasis in on fun e.g. active line where the children do different activities every morning during small break. Each day a different child from each class leads the activity.
- We are currently taking up the challenge of running around Europe.
- Every Thursday the children get ‘active homework’ where they are encouraged to get not only themselves physically active but also their other family members physically active too.
- At the moment we have no official competitive teams in our school. However, as we grow we plan on having a Basketball team, a Gaelic football and a hurling team. An athletics team has represented the school at Galway City Sports.
- Active School Week takes place annually in May.