Our Active School
Exercise is Wise!
We have always been an extremely active school. This year we decided to renew our Active Flag status and we are trying to achieve our second Active Flag.
When applying for the flag there are 4 main areas to consider- PE, Physical Activity, Partnerships and Active Schools Week.
PE is always a part of our school curriculum. Each class teacher devotes 1 hour a week to PE. The teachers created a PE timetable so that equipment would be sanitised and yards would be free during designated times. Miss Walsh’s PE day is Wednesday from 1.30-2.30. Miss O’Sullivan’s PE day is Thursday from 9.45-10.45. Miss Cotter’s PE day is Thursday as well from 1.30-2.30. Miss O’Shea’s PE day is Friday from 11.30-12.30.
The school uses the ‘Move Well, Move Often’ fundamental skills handbooks and 3 of the teachers in the school have completed this course.
We bought new PE equipment this year. It included skipping ropes, basketball nets, basketballs, hockey sticks, tennis balls and spot markers. We keep our PE equipment stacked neatly and we have everything clearly labelled. We also got the basketball court lines painted again.
The pupils receive PE homework every night and they enjoy it as it gives them a break from their written and learning homework.
PE is always discussed at parent/ teacher meetings.
We encourage physical activity through out the school day. Each class has two outdoor breaks in the playground every day. Pupils are encouraged to keep moving and no sitting is allowed. Children are encouraged to talk as they walk. Our playground is zoned for different age groups with marking made for games like hopscotch. We also swap our kindness teddy bears to buddy up with someone in our class and play a game with them during Wellness Wednesdays.
The whole school encourages movement breaks through out the day. We have been engaging with the Run Around Ireland Challenge and Drop Everything and Dance/Skip/Walk/Run. Our Active Walkway was set up in April 2021 and we love playing educational games at the different zones. Miss O’Sullivan’s class enjoy naming out jungle and farm animals with the designated letters on the plaques. The pupils really look forward to the blue plaques where they can follow their teacher and do an exercise such as jumping Jacks, punching the air, skipping with our imaginary rope and mummy kicks.
Skipping breaks are also proving to be very popular with the older classes. This is a great way to keep fit and active and it is an excellent movement break away from the classroom.
Our school is also focusing on reducing sedentary time. We have decided on 3 ways to do this- increase movement breaks, stand for our sight words/ spellings/tables and stack up our chairs for Art and stand or kneel.
In September 2021 we came in 3rd place in the School Fitness Ireland competition. We were extremely active during lockdown and only 6 schools made it to the final for the public vote. We won an outdoor fitness session with the School Fitness Ireland instructors.
Every year we promote physical activity with the Dromore Challenge where students are challenged to walk, cycle or find an alternative way to come to school instead of using the bus or car. This happens for 30 days in the last term and the pupils who have 25 days or more without using the car or bus will be rewarded with extra break time. The school also promotes physical activity with WOW- Walk on Wednesdays.
As Covid 19 has made it difficult to set up a committee with pupils from different classes the Active Committee was the 5th and 6th class.
We have an Active Flag notice board in our hallway and we update our Active Flag page every month on our website with active news.
Each teacher celebrates the success of their students physical activity achievements from outside of school. We have always had excellent partnerships with the local GAA club Tadgh MacCarthaigh and Bantry Rubgy Club. The under 14 Tadgh Mac Carthaigh girls team called into our yard in September with their cup. Some pupils from 5th and 6th class were playing on this team.
Every year Cycle Sense comes to our school. They visited us in September and the pupils were very excited to bring their bikes into school for the day and cycle around during their Cycle Sense lesson.
We also engage with Cork Sports Partnership and take part in CPD courses that they hold.
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!