Lets keep it moving!
Here in St. Patricks we promote healthy living through physical activity amongst our staff and students. In 2016, we made our first application for an Active Flag which was awarded to us in Term 3. It was a wonderful achievement that reminded us of the wide range of activities undertaken within the school. This amazing work was led by Ms. Roper and a team of students who met regularly to discuss new initiatives. The team often reported to us during whole school assemblies to remind us of many ways to keep active.
We are looking forward to re-establishing an Active School Committee with student representatives from each class (1st – 6th) when it is safe for us to do so. We also anticipate the return of our afterschool activities that included hockey, basketball, football and much more.
The time has come again for us to update our Active School Flag and we have some exciting projects underway within the school to help us achieve this goal once again.
Firstly, all teachers and staff met to discuss the implementation of the Move Well Move Often Programme with our students. This programme aims to develop physical literacy within children by the teaching of fundamental movement skills (FMS). This comprehensive PDST programme consists of three activity booklets for the different age groups within the school. It provides in depth lesson plans that support the teaching of essential movement skills like walking, running, hopping and skipping. The programme also provides excellent, child friendly posters and videos that demonstrate each skill, breaking the skills into smaller movements. The Move Well, Move Often programme supplies helpful teacher assessment sheets where student’s progress can be monitored. All teachers in St. Patrick’s incorporate the above programme into their weekly Physical Education lessons.
In 2018 Ms. Ryan and Ms. Roper secured an Active Walkway ‘Slí na Sláinte’ in our school yard. Lots of the classes within the school complete a daily run on this track and have seen noticeable improvements to their fitness. Some students even complete the track twice. We also adopted the slogan ‘Do your talking, while you’re walking’ to encourage students to keep active during lunchbreaks. Our junior yard also boasts impressive active artwork on the tarmac with permanent hopscotch, jumping, hopping and balancing paintwork. These resources are very useful to us in specific FMS teaching whilst also encouraging independent practice during break times.
Earlier this year, we participated in an Active Break Challenge where our aim was to reduce the amount of sedentary time in our classrooms. This has been a huge success as the children participated in dance breaks, squat challenges and outdoor running breaks in between subjects. A remarkable improvement in concentration and focus was noted in our students. Active breaks have become a permanent part of our daily schedules. In addition to this, we avail of every opportunity to teach outdoors in our beautiful school grounds.
In term two, throughout the remote learning period, 6th Class Ash completed a walking challenge for the month of March to raise money for two incredible charities- DSPCA and the Gavin Glynn Foundation. The class decided that they wanted to give back to others by raising much needed funds after what has been the most difficult year for so many. Between the class, they walked the equivalent of the coast of Ireland which is 3171 km while staying within their 5km. All their hard work and dedication paid off as €1200 was raised for these charities. They are super proud of their participation and is a memorable challenge that they achieved together as a class while keeping a distance.
This term, 1st and 4th class have been invited to participate in an Active Sitting pilot programme which will involve table groups actively sitting on yoga balls for a period of one week. The balls are then sanitised and passed onto the next table group for the following week. The exploration of yoga balls for sitting, aims to improve posture, fitness and core stability. Keep an eye out for class updates over on our school blog.
With the safety of our students, their families and our staff in mind, we will not be able to host our usual sport’s day this term. We have decided that each class will be offered a sport’s afternoon to avoid mixing/gathering. We will complete our usual fun activities such as the spoon race etc…
You can help us achieve our Active Flag once again by walking, scooting and cycling to school in this beautiful summer weather. Be healthy and cool, we’re an active school.