Active School Flag (ASF) is a Department of Education and Skills initiative supported by Healthy Ireland, and part of the National Physical Activity Plan. The ASF initiative provides schools with a framework to guide, support and incentivise them to work towards achieving a physically educated and physically active school community.
We are hoping to renew our Active Flag in Walterstown NS this coming year.
Active Flag Committee 2021/22
The Active Committee came up with a slogan for our Active Flag Initiative. They made a poster!
Walterstown N.S. recognises the importance of providing a structured, varied and inclusive approach to physical education affording students many opportunities to develop their physical skills in a positive environment.
The aims of the P.E curriculum are:
• to promote the physical, social, emotional and intellectual development of the child
• to develop positive personal qualities
• to help in the acquisition of an appropriate range of movement skills in a variety of contexts
• to promote understanding and knowledge of the various aspects of movement
• to develop an appreciation of movement and the use of the body as an instrument of expression and creativity
• to promote enjoyment of, and positive attitudes towards, physical activity and its contribution to lifelong health-related fitness, thus preparing the child for the active and purposeful use of leisure time.
We focused on the Athletics strand when we gained our Active Flag. As part of our Renewal procedure we are focusing on the development of Four Fundamental Skills.
Each class has committed to a daily walk on our track where students get to practise the skills of maintaining good posture walking tall with their toes pointing forward.
Our school has been working on jumping for height. We have used the “Move Often, Move Well” resources to learn the correct jumping techniques. We have introduced different sports and games that involve jumping in order to practice the skills. Watch our video below to see our superstars in action!
Balancing is a crucial part of every sport. We have been working on the skill during the Athletics and Games strands. We did a lot of work on our balance during the Gymnastics strand.
Catching is a very important part of sport. We have been working on our catches as a school in the Games strand. We have used this skill in Spike Balls, Hurling, Gaelic and Basketball.
Fundamental Movement Skills
PE Press Audit & Cleanup
Physical Activity is incredibly important. The HSE states that “All children and young people should be active, at a moderate to vigorous level, for at least 60 minutes every day”.
Our school aim, this year, is to reduce the time we spend sedentary in order to increase physical activity. Each class agreed three steps to become more active. These are some of the activities that classes are doing:
1. Daily walk on the track. This has proven one of our most successful initiatives as children are given the opportunity to work on their walking skills and enjoy outdoor time.
2. Active classroom breaks – classes are enjoying Just Dance and GoNoodle.
3. Standing Maths – a number of classes decided to do Master Your Maths standing up using their chairs as a table.
4. Active Subject Games – these breaks are very successful as students become more active in their learning; they get to move around; and have fun. These include – throwing and catching a ball asking questions; Irish playground games; and movement games.
5. Jump for January; Friendship February and Move for March are school-based initiatives which have increased our activity time.
We launched our Active Flag renewal in October! The Active Schools Committee organised an amazing whole school dance-athon for Halloween. We all took part outdoors in our class groupings. Children followed the lead of the Dance Committee and had a great time keeping active through dance!
Dance Committee 2021/22
Active Break November – We had a really active November. We tried out lots of different Active Breaks. We did daily walks on the walk track, active classroom breaks (such as Just Dance and Go Noodle) and standing maths.
12 Days of Fitness – December. We picked a number of different activities which were led by 6th class. We copied all of the exercises and had a great time getting really strong 💪
We had great fun this month focusing on skipping. We had a Skipathon and numerous skipping challenges. Each class counted all the skips they had done and over all we completed more than 20,000 skips in the month! We also counted who could do the most consecutive skips. Sixth Class won that challenge 👏
Friendship February was extremely busy. We had a great time doing playground games with other classes and taking part in many sporting activities. We played Foxes, Snakes and Chickens; Flush the Toilet; What time is it Mr. Wolf?; Sly Fox; Football; Spike Ball; Tennis; and went for walks with other classes. We had lots of opportunities to work on our Fundamental Movement Skills of Walking; Balancing; Jumping; and Catching.
We had a Device Drive in our school this month. Classes chose different activities to complete and were sponsored for them. Junior and Senior Infants did “catch the dragon’s tail”; 1st and 2nd class did a soccer blitz and were helped by our Playground Leaders in Fifth Class; 3rd and 4th class completed a Tug-o’-War Blitz; 5th and 6th Class had a spike ball blitz.
Ms. Mansworth helped us celebrate Seachtain na Gaeilge in an active way by doing Irish dancing with each class. They ready enjoyed learning the different dances.
We also started our Active Running Challenge this month. We started this challenge with 4th-6th class completing the Bleep Test. Every class is doing a daily run/walk on the track. Three laps is a mile and many children are running 1-2 miles everyday.
We finished our Active ‘Run Around Ireland’ challenge this month. We ran 6,212km over the course of the challenge. We marked all the places that we got to on the map. We were surprised to discover that we managed to visit all landmarks, and even had some distance left over!! Have a look at our map 😀
Through our partnership with Cobh GAA our Junior Infant to Second Class students have been developing their fundamental movement skills and learning football and hurling with Diarmuid Kearney who plays for Cork U-20s. Our Third Class students are currently developing their Athletics skills with Trevor Cummins from Ballymore-Cobh Athletics.
Cork Sports Partnership offer great opportunities for partnership and for offering children access to new sports. Our school has competed in Tug of War competitions in the past. Spike Ball is also a new edition to our school with older classes thoroughly enjoying the sport.
Cobh GAA Partnership
Paul and Diarmuid began Active Week by coming in and doing Gaelic Football with 3rd – 6th class. The club offers training for all age groups and we are encouraging our students to try it out.
Ballymore Cobh Athletics Partnership
Rushbrooke Tennis Partnership
Cobh Pirates Rugby Partnership
These are the results of the clubs survey:
Active Week took place in Walterstown National School from May 3 – 6 this year. The whole school took part in lots of different activities. A super fun and active week was had by all – both pupils & staff!!
Classes took part in spike ball, soccer, basketball, athletics, tag rugby, yard games, parachute games, a skipathon, orienteering, GAA, tennis, as well as dancing every morning. We were so lucky to have beautiful weather so could spent a lot of time out doors in the fresh air.
A huge thank you to all who were involved in organising our Active Week and ensuring it ran so smoothly. A special thanks to all of the volunteers from the community who generously gave up there time to come to our school and help us have fun learning different skills and activities.