Active School Week
The Department of Education and Skills and Healthy Ireland encourage schools to organise an Active School Week (ASW) as part of their annual school calendar. The ASW initiative is about providing FUN and INCLUSIVE physical activity opportunities for all members of the school community. It allows schools to reinforce the message that not only is physical activity good for you but it also very enjoyable. It provides schools with an excellent opportunity to raise awareness about the physical activity opportunities that are available in their locality and to work collaboratively with students, parents and members of the community.
Many of our parents kindly volunteered to help promote physical activities during our Active School Week. Parents from each class volunteered their expertise and coaching services and they generously gave of their time leading to a very successful and enjoyable active week at St Patrick’s GNS. We held our Active Schools Week in June to run in conjunction with our annual sports day. The girls experienced a wide variety of sports workshops throughout the week including hockey, football, tag rugby, yoga, frisbee, Gaelic football, golf, and athletics to name a few! Take a look below to see what we got up to this year!
PE Curriculum in our School
Our PE curriculum is broad and varied. Pupils are provided with 60 minutes of PE per week. We teach five strands of the PE curriculum. These include Games, Athletics, Dance, Gymnastics and Outdoor & Adventure Activities.
Teachers use the PSSI lesson plans to help when teaching and delivering the different strands. Our teachers also use a number of other programmes to support their teaching such as the “Move Well Move Often” programme. The strands are also supported by our GAA coach Pat Ring, and sports coaches Aled Hughes and Mr. Gourley.
Physical Activity is the promotion and engagement of exercise and movement in addition to our scheduled P.E. times. We have been very busy engaging in a wide variety of different programmes, ideas, and initiatives which have inspired the children to become more active. We launched our active walkway in the yards and pupils are encouraged to run, play and to do ‘talking as you’re walking’. We have two daily playground breaks and our schoolyard is zoned to allow children to engage in a variety of different activities. Our school has playground leaders who set up activities and sports equipment during break times for others to use.
St. Patricks GNS have launched a daily Walk To School initiative in conjunction with the parents and the Green School Committee. A daily record of children walking to and from school was filled in by the Green School Committee and the Golden Boot is awarded to the class with the most walkers at the end of the week along with homework passes for those who walk to school daily.
We had an Active Break Every Day Challenge for the month of March where the children engaged in classroom based activity breaks and on rainy days teachers ensure pupils are kept active by incorporating extended classroom-based physical activity breaks such as 10at10, Go Noodle and yoga activities.
Pupils from fifth and sixth class will be performing in the musical “Mary Poppins” and are skillfully mastering all the dances during extra dance tutorials. Third classes got active during Seachtain na Gaeilge by participating in a céilí with Hollypark BNS.
Partnerships within and outside the school are an integral part of The Active School Flag process. We invited sports coaches such as coaches from rugby Ireland and ultimate frisbee to our school to give taster sessions to our girls. Local sports clubs and physical activity providers came to coach and talk to our pupils. Staff have also collaborated with the local Sports Partnership and completed a training course on inclusive games.
An Active School Committee was set up in St. Patrick’s GNS, Hollypark with representatives from each of the 5th and 6th classes. From the outset of the process, pupils, teachers and parents were informed that the school had decided to work towards the ASF and were kept up to date with progress via the Active School Committee.
The Pupil Voice is central to all we do in Hollypark GNS and it was an important part of Active Flag process. The Active School Committee helped organise a poster competition for the Active School Motto that is displayed on Active School notice boards and classrooms.
The Active School Committee are responsible for organising and devising activities for active school week. They distribute PE equipment to ensure that pupils are active during yard times and form part of the friendship squad in the yards to ensure that all children have somebody to play with and are kept active and included.
Active School members from the Active Committee teach playground games to Infant and First and Second classes during yard time. A folder with playground games and skipping rhymes for each class level was made available to each class level.
Our school informs parents and pupils about physical opportunities that are available in the local community. The school has a very strong relationship with Foxrock Cabinteely GAA club. We have regular visits from the coaches and senior players alike. At St Patrick’s GNS we celebrate the physical achievements and success of our pupils both during and outside of school hours. Photos are displayed on our active school noticeboard and our Sports Star awards are held every June.