Active Schools Flag is a Department of Education and Skills initiative supported by Healthy Ireland. You can read all the details here. Essentially it is a flag awarded to schools that strive to achieve a physically educated and physically active school community….which is something we do at Scoil Mhuire!! We were awarded our first Active Schools Flag in the 2013/2014 school year and since then we have continued to encourage our students and the community to be active!
The national curriculum allows for an hour of Physical Education each week for each class. We teach all 6 strands each year: Athletics; Dance; Gymnastics; Games; Outdoor and adventure activities; and Aquatics (from 1st class). Scoil Mhuire has good sporting facilities for our PE lessons. We have a school hall that is suited to indoor activities in poorer weather. We have a basketball court and a playground on our school grounds and plenty of space outdoors. We also have access to the community hall and sports fields nearby.
As well as teaching Physical Education lessons in Scoil Mhuire we strive to encourage physical activity throughout the day. We take regular activity breaks: dancing it out or stretching throughout the day in our classrooms. A school circuit has been set up with activities at every turn, this can be done as a class activity break or in smaller groups. Our school yards are designed to encourage activity at play time and the children particularly love the playground added to our yard in 2015. Each class uses the playground in turn during the week and some classes have access during break times.
We have special days that focus on encouraging activity. Ideas vary from year to year but we have had “a scoot to school day”, sponsored walks and every year we have an active schools week – including lots of activities throughut the week and a whole day dedicated to sports and fun!
We encourage our students at School Mhuire to get involved in activities outside of school. Involvement in a local club is most likely to encourage lifelong participation in a sport or activity. Basketball, table tennis, swimming, GAA, Zumba, Creative Dance and Athletics are amongst the options locally and our students get a taste for these activities in their PE lessons at school. This variety of activities allows each child to find something active that suits them and their personal interests that can be continued after school and hopefully become a lifelong interest!
It’s not all about competitions and winning – though we like to do a little bit of that too!
Athletics is an important part of the year’s sports programme in Scoil Mhuire. The school takes part in the Cork County Primary Sports every year and always with great success! Training takes place in school.
Gaelic Football and Camogie
Gaelic Football and Camogie are very popular sports for the fifth and sixth classes in Scoil Mhuire. The school participates in the Sciath na Scol competitions in both sports. The girls train after school. The training is carried out by Scoil Mhuire teachers. A lot of the girls also play in the local Ballincollig clubs.
Some years the P.F.A. (Parents & Friends Association) has been able to sponsor 6 weeks of Camogie coaching for Fifth Class as part of their P.E. programme and the local Ballincollig GAA Club has supplied coaches.