What is the Active School Flag?
“The Active School Flag (ASF) is a Department of Education and Skills initiative supported by Healthy Ireland that is awarded to schools that strive to achieve a physically educated and physically active school community. The process aims to get more schools, more active, more”. (Active School Flag)
While we feel a lot of physical activity goes on in our school, our challenge will be to encourage the whole school community to enjoy physical activity. The ASF requires schools to review and self-evaluate their current provision under three areas; Physical Education, Physical Activity and Partnerships. If we can say yes to all of the criteria in these areas we will be awarded a flag and we will have got the whole school more active. This is our aim for this school year to become more active.
Why get active?
Did you know that four out of five children in the Republic of Ireland are still not getting enough exercise, posing serious risks to their health and well-being? Being active helps release chemicals in your brain (endorphins), which have a positive effect on your mood, not to mention the benefits to your heart, lungs, muscles and bones. Getting out and being active is also a great way to manage stress.
10 Health Benefits: Physical activity helps a child to…
- Improve agility, balance and co-ordination.
- Feel more energised
- Reduce feelings of stress, anxiety and depression.
- Burn and generate more energy.
- Improve their physical and mental wellbeing.
- Maintain healthy weight.
- Improve concentration.
- Improve self-esteem and helps them feel good about themselves.
- Develop friendships.
So What Has Changed This Year??
Here are the changes we have made to make our school more active so far:
· We launched Active School Flag in the school; all teachers explained what ASF is to their classes.
· We sent a note home to inform parents and guardians about ASF.
· We have introduced Active homework. We are using Super Troopers. Each night as part of the homework, each student has an active activity.
· We have set up an Active School Committee.
· We have an Active School Flag Notice board in the school where we display our active events and active news.
· We also have a Well Done Wall where we display our student’s achievements.
· We have got rid of our treat day on a Friday and replaced it with an active reward-extra play time in the yard.
Active School Committee
To carry out our Active School application, we needed the help of our students. To facilitate this we set up an ‘Active Schools Committee’. Our Active School Committee consists of two members of staff Niall and Kelly and we have two members from each class from 3rd to 6th class represented on our committee who meet regularly throughout the year. They will be working with Niall and Kelly carrying out surveys, sharing ideas and performing duties.
Did you know that 5-18 year olds need 60 minutes of physical activity every day? Well, 80% are NOT meeting that requirement. As part of our Active school application, we have introduced ‘ACTIVE HOMEWORK’ each night. Children must do an activity from their Super Troopers Journal each night where they get their heart rate up.
Active School Notice board/Well Done Wall
Keep an eye out for our Active School notice board and Well Done Wall. This is a special area to recognise any sporting achievements of our students, both inside and outside school. You can also find out about active events and active news.
Physical Activity Events
· Maths Week – Senior Classes designed Maths Trials for junior classes around the school building and yards (October)
· 5th and 6th Class Rugby Blitz (October)
· SARI Sports against Racism Workshop (October)
· Circus Workshop (November)
Active School Motto
We are currently running a competition for an Active School Motto/Logo. Each class has been asked to draw a picture, come up with a motto to motivate us to become more active as a school. Watch this space. We hopefully will have a winner soon.
After School Clubs
We offer a range of physical activities after school;
At NKETNS we pride ourselves on providing the best P.E programme possible. Our lessons take place in a friendly environment that promotes full participation. Each class is allotted two sessions two times a week in the P.E hall, total P.E time is 1 hour per week. We cover the 5 P.E. strands in the Primary School Curriculum. P.S.S.I plans are used as a guide and teachers utilise their skills and talents to provide a variety of lessons that the children enjoy. Each year, we cover all strands which take place across the school year.
In October we had SARI- Sports against Racism visit our school and give a workshop to 5th and 6th Class. The sessions comprised of football training games and exercises which focused on awareness of what it means to discriminate both on and off the pitch.
In November we had a Circus Workshop for classes. The workshop incorporates plate spinning, juggling, balance tasks and tightrope walking. It was great to help us work on our hand eye co-ordination and equilibrium.