80% of Irish children, currently, are not active enough’
(Children’s Sport Participation and Physical Activity Study, 2010)
Physical Education is a very important part of the culture here in Gortskehy National School. We believe that it helps contribute to the well-being of all our pupils, helping them to lead full, active and healthy lives. We aim to foster a love and appreciation of physical activity in the children.
We have a physical education plan as part of our whole school plan and we work on a two year system, whereby we incorporate the fundamental movement skills over this time. Children from 1st – 6th class go swimming for 6 weeks every year covering the aquatics strand. Each year the teachers identify a strand that we need to develop.
Each classroom teacher is committed to teaching a broad, balanced and inclusive PE lesson every week. Currently, the infants are timetabled for PE on Tuesdays and Fridays for half an hour each day. The middle room are timetabled for one hour on Friday. The senior room are timetabled for one hour on Friday afternoon also. From time to time, we alter the days and duration of lessons, depending on the strands we are teaching. Some strands may require two half hour lessons in the week for 1st – 6th class pupils in order to allow children effectively master skills.
This year we have decided to undertake the active flag initiative.
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.
We are already a pretty fit gang here in Gortskehy and we love nothing more than to get out into the fresh air and get moving. Active School Week 2019 promises to be packed full of fun and exciting events that will be sure to keep everyone ACTIVE. We have lots of new activities planned and our main goal is to have fun.
As part of our evaluation at the beginning of the year, we identified dance as an area we needed to improve. We linked up with one of our parents, who is a fantastic dancer. She came in and provided line dancing lessons for the children in the middle room. Ms Thomas and Ms Naughton took part in the lessons enabling them to teach the dances to the other classes. All classes were taught some dances for active week and we really enjoyed our country hoe-down with Jason Moyles. (See Active Week Post) Going forward these teachers will have the skills to teach some of the line dances every year, thus enhancing the skills in the dance strand. Line dancing is a very inclusive way of involving everyone in dance. Everyone can do it! It has enabled the children to explore and perform dance, and has given them an understanding and appreciation of a country dance style. It allowed children to learn about bodily movements, explore dynamics of movement and develop and understanding of the relationship between music and movement. It has been a fun-filled year achieving our targets in dance!