What is an Active School?
The Active School Flag (ASF) 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 often.
To achieve the ASF, we began the process by self-evaluating our current provision across 3 areas: Physical Education, Physical Activity and Partnerships. We organised an Active School Week programme. The flag remains valid for a period of 3 years after which we can re-apply.
ASF is a Department of Education and Skills initiative supported by Healthy Ireland.
We started our ASF journey in September 2018 and were awarded the flag in March 2020. Though we have achieved the flag, our exercise during school will continue long into the future.
Croagh Active School Activities
One of the first things we did was to measure the perimeter of the school yard, which was 79m. Then we could measure the distance from Croagh to many places and figure out how many laps were needed to run by each pupil!
From 1st to 6th class our students helped us run to a many different stadia and cities across Europe. We ran to Croke Park and the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, from St. James’ Park in Newcastle to Brighton and London Tower. We also ran to Paris and Madrid.
Weather permitting, we tried to run in the morning time and afternoon time. The pupils enjoyed reaching our targets and getting fit along the way.
Active School Flag Activity Week
As part of our ASF Activity Week, we taught our pupils the skills of single skipping, double-dutch and hula hooping. We taught the pupils how to hold the skipping rope, the rhythm needed and when to know to jump (when the rope passes your eyes).
Classes were brought out and taught the skills needed for the skipping and hula hooping. Pupils learned that keeping your hips moving was key to keeping the hula hoop up. Double-dutch was particularly popular. This activity was played at small break right up to the summer holidays of 2019.
Being from Limerick, our staff thought we should teach ‘The Walls of Limerick’ to our students.
We started off with the senior side of the school, first showing them the one-two-three and then the steps of the dance. When the dance was familiar we included the infant room (juniors to 1st). Each pupil in the junior room was paired with an older student to model the steps.
As we do not have a hall, the dancing took place in our yard whenever the weather permitted. Our pupils enjoyed the process and there was a big improvement from the first day to the last. We showed the assessor ‘The Walls of Limerick’ and she was very impressed with their dancing skills.
Movement Breaks/ 10 @10
When the days were wet, we used ‘Go Noodle’ for dancing inside the classroom. Movement breaks and exercise are important whether it is outside or inside the classroom! The students enjoyed ‘Go Noodle’ and some firm favourites were quickly established; ‘The Pirate Song’, ‘Jump’ and ‘Feel it Still’.
On Wednesday the11th of March we had our inspection. The team had to explain the powerpoint presentation which had been produced by them and all the activities were displayed in the school yard – on a beautiful dry day.
During the lockdown we got the wonderful news that we were successful in our endeavours.
A huge congratulation to all involved –students staff and parents. It just goes to show that when we all pull together we can achieve great heights. Well done to the community of Croagh National School!!