Our Active Flag Journey
EXERCISE IS WISE
St. Joseph's N.S. has always been a very active school. We have participated in cycling, hurling and swimming to name a few. We were awarded our first Active Flag in 2018 and this year we decided to renew our Active Flag status. The 4 main areas that the school will be focusing on for the Active Flag include- PE, Physical Activity, Partnerships and Active School Week.
Dromore NS will endeavour to follow all Covid-19 guidelines while we are participating for the Active Flag.
Miss O’Sullivan completed two information webinars for the Active Flag. We registered to renew our Active Flag status and have begun focusing on reducing sedentary time and including more movement breaks into our daily schedule.
We participated in Cycle Sense on Tuesday September 29th. The pupils brought in their bikes, learned some safety tips and enjoyed cycling around the yard. The older classes were also able to cycle up and down on ramps.
St. Joseph's N.S. also came in 3rd place in Ireland’s Fittest School competition. We entered this competition when schools were closed during lockdown. The main aim of the competition was to be active every day and complete a variety of fitness session videos by School Fitness Ireland. We won an outdoor fitness session for the whole school!
Check out the article that our local newspaper ‘The Southern Star’ wrote about St. Joseph's N.S. during the competition.
We upgraded our PE and playground equipment. New basketballs, skipping ropes, spot markers, hockey sticks, beanbags and tennis balls were purchased. Juniors to 2nd class have been making great use of the hockey sticks during PE. The sticks are then wiped down or put in quarantine so that it is safe for other class bubbles to use them.
The pupils enjoyed our active Halloween parade as they got to show off their costumes to the rest of the school. Miss Cotter provided the scary music and each child got a cheer for their spooktacular costumes!
All classes are working on reducing their sedentary time. Junior and Senior Infants have ditched their chairs during Art and stand while they make their magnificent masterpieces!
Our challenge for November was to include at least one movement break into our busy daily schedule. It is important to have movement breaks during the day as we are sitting down for long periods of time. Our bodies need to stretch and fresh air is also a vital component in promoting concentration levels in the classroom. Each teacher chose a child to mark off the chart each time the pupils completed a movement break. The movement breaks included dance, running, exercise and stretching sessions and going for a walk along our designated walkway.
Our walkway is not fully completed as we are awaiting signage, but we will be working on this during the coming months.
Miss Cotter and Ms. O’Shea’s room really enjoyed doing the 10@10 sessions while Miss O’Sullivan’s room focused a lot on dance breaks. Miss Walsh’s room were busy doing stretches and running laps around the school.
Miss Walsh suggested that we should make things interesting and create a competition for running laps of the school. Each lap around the school is approximately 100 metres.
Congratulations to 3rd and 4th class who won the laps competition. They ran an outstanding 125 laps. That is the equivalent of 12.5km. They were presented with medals and were also given full bragging rights! Miss Cotter’s room came in 2nd place while Miss O’Sullivan’s room and Ms O’Shea’s room came 3rd.
A special mention to Michael, Oisín and Ciara in 5th class who took it upon themselves to run laps of the court during break time. Well done !
The annual Caheragh Threshing was unable to take place this year due to Covid 19 restrictions. The pupils played their part in raising funds for this event. Each child in the school was asked to take part in a sponsored 5km walk with their family. The pupils raised an impressive amount of €2,156. Well done!
Every class bubble participated in an outdoor Elf hunt before the Christmas holidays. Every elf had a different type of exercise for the children to perform. Frog jumps, jumping Jacks, mummy kicks, squats, air punching and holding balance on one leg were the exercises that the elves wanted the children to do. After finding the 6 elves, the pupils then found the main man- Santa. Santa wanted the children to dance to Christmas songs. We witnessed some very interesting and impressive dance moves by some pupils. Great fun was had by all!
January and February 2021
We all did our best to keep active during remote learning. We know how important physical activity is for our body as well as our mind. The teachers and students enjoyed doing workouts and practising their kicking, catching and throwing skills. The infants enjoyed taking part in Joe Wicks workouts, especially the Spiderman workout. Other classes reported that the 10@10, Rebel Óg training sessions, Munster Rugby skills sessions and Cosmic Yoga went down a treat at home.
In addition to this, Miss O’Sullivan took part in the School Walkway webinar. We will be looking forward to setting up our walkway route in the coming weeks.
March was a busy month!
The whole school started focusing on their priority PE strand- Outdoor and Adventure Activities. Miss O’Sullivan’s room went for a lovely walk up to the old school while Ms. O’Shea’s 1st and 2nd class walked a bit further to the crossroads. Miss Walsh’s and Miss Cotter’s room had great fun exploring the school grounds finding different items that are cold, rough, smooth and items that are different colours.
Our Active Walkway is set up, thanks to our caretaker Seán Collins for erecting the signage. All class groups are enjoying participating in the activities and getting active at the blue stations. We also started our Run Around Ireland Challenge. The infants were proud to have made it all the way to Mizen Head before the Easter holidays. This challenge has encouraged us to get out running around the school and get some fresh air in between our lessons.
Dromore NS had a visit from a cheeky leprechaun named Larry. Larry stole the school bell and he left clues around the school to help us find it. We found the bell in the vegetable patch! Many thanks to Miss O’Shea for getting in contact with Larry the Leprechaun to visit the school.
The Easter Bunny made an early appearance in our school and the pupils were treated to an Easter egg hunt. There were chocolate mini eggs scattered all around the school and the children were so happy to eat them after their lunch. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to meet the Easter Bunny but many thanks to Miss Cotter for contacting the Easter Bunny to visit the school.
On the day of the Easter Holidays, we held an Easter bonnet parade. Each class group kept within their bubble and did not mix with the others in the court. There were some fabulous bonnets on display and it was evident that each class put a huge effort into this activity. The pupils walked up and down the designated catwalk to show off their creations.
We are continuing with our Run Around Ireland challenge. Junior and Senior Infants have run to the Spire in Dublin and to the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare. The pupils and teachers are still focusing on their priority PE strand. Miss O’Shea’s and Miss Walsh’s class created a fabulous obstacle course while Miss O’Sullivan’s class enjoyed doing the hula hoop challenge and playing with the parachute.
Active Week took place on the last week of April. Every day the bell rang at 10 o’clock for 10 minutes of exercise. Joe Wick’s workouts were popular as well as Bizzy breaks and the Funky Fruit Spinner wheel. We also put a greater emphasis on movement breaks throughout the day. Each day had a certain focus. Monday = Drop everything and dance. Tuesday= Drop everything and stretch. Wednesday= Drop everything and Run. Thursday = Drop everything and walk. Friday= Drop everything and skip.
Staff and students were able to wear their comfortable PE clothes and runners to school for the week. Each class group had extra PE and they also engaged in active stations. Some of the active stations included Gaelic football drills, obstacle course, hopping, crossbar challenge and skipping.
Miss O’Sullivan and Miss Luttrel recorded daily active challenges for the pupils to do at home. Many thanks to local sports heroes Colm O’Driscoll and Lily de la Cour for coming on board and creating challenges for the pupils to do as well. Great fun was had by all!
Miss Cotter officially launched our Active Walkway on Thursday 29th of April.