The Active Schools Flag is a process designed to get our school more active. It encourages pupils and their families to get more exercise and try new things to keep fit. In June 2015, we successfully received our first ever Active Schools Flag. Here is a look at just some of the things we did to receive it:
1.) Our first major change was that everyone from first to sixth class went to the Cross Country Running in Kilnaboy. Some children had never been before and even the children who aren't overly interested in running made a big effort and we are proud to say that every child in our school finished their race, even though it was tough. We intend on making this a yearly event.
2.) We are continuing our Football Free Thursdays. This is a chance for the children to use their imaginations and not rely on a football for entertainment at break. We are encouraging the children to play typical 'playground games'. By this we mean 'Tip the Can', 'Catch', 'Statues', 'Cat and Mouse', etc. If any parents remember games they used to play when they were in school, be sure to teach your children how to play. The more ideas we get, the better!
3.)On rainy days, unfortunately our exercise is normally limited. Our pupils have no choice but to stay indoors and play boardgames. We're attempting to change that! We introduced the Bizzy Breaks programme (by Irish Heart Foundation). This is a series of exercises the children can do in the classroom at their desks, on days where going out into the yard is impossible. Each teacher will spend ten minutes on these exercises on a rainy day.
4.) Every day, three times a day, the children run around the school for exercise. This process is not a race. It is an opportunity for the children to improve on their fitness levels.
5.) We have created a motto for our school: 'Keep fit in school, keep healthy for life.' This motto was created by two of our pupils and it sums up what we want to do with Active Schools: teach the children how to keep fit and they will keep up this habit in the future.
6.) We now have an Active Schools Flag noticeboard where everyone can keep up to date with what's going on. Parents are welcome to view this board- it is immediately in front of you when you enter the school (you can't miss it!)
7.) Active Schools is about what the children are doing outside of school too. The children have been asked to share with us activities they do in the evenings or weekends. If they receive a medal or trophy, they should bring it in to school and we'll add it to our Active Schools Flag noticeboard.
8.) For the first time, we entered the FAI soccer competition in Lees Road in 2015. We entered again in subsequent years and did really well!
9.) Football has always been important in our school but we signed up for more competitions, including the Mini 7s football for boys and girls. We won the Primary Schools Competition in 2015 in Division 4. In 2016, we made it to the finals again in Division 3.
10.) We now have an Active Schools Committee.
11.) We took part in the Skipathon. Michaela Kelly gave us this great idea!
12.) We had our first ever Active Schools Week.
13.) We had a special sports day involving Cuckoo Hill instructors. This was a mixture of different activities to cater for all needs and interests.
This list is constantly growing. We will have the flag for three years and then we will have to work really hard again to keep it!
We want everyone in the community to continue to be involved in this process. If you have any ideas, tell us! We would also like people from the community to teach us what they know- if you have ever done something to keep active and would be interested in teaching us a few things, please contact Mrs Scanlan. This can be anything, from yoga to zumba dancing, basketball to athletics activities. We're asking you for a bit of your time (even a half an hour would do!) to teach us a few basics so that we can get an idea of some activities not typically taught in our school. It's all about having fun so please consider lending us a hand.
If you know of anyone in the area who is not a parent of one of our pupils but may be able to help, it would be great if you could tell them what we are doing.
...you've no excuse! You know what Active Schools is all about so get out there and walk, run, dance or cycle!