“At St. Beacon’s, we believe that P.E. provides children with learning opportunities through the medium of movement and contributes to their overall development by helping them to lead full, active and healthy lives. The children are also helped to make informed decisions to make a healthy lifestyle.”
There are six strands to the Physical Education curriculum. These are; (1) Games (2) Athletics (3) Gymnastics (4) Dance (5) Outdoor and Adventure Activities and (6) Aquatics. All children have access to five strands each year. The sixth strand, Aquatics, is implemented in St. Beacon’s from 2nd Class to 5th Class. Children attend swimming lessons in the Apex Swimming Pool, New Ross. The swimming programme is divided to give each class eight lessons. In addition to this, Land PAWS 1 is taught as part of the SPHE curriculum to these classes in the last term of the year.
Outdoor and Adventure Education
The scheduled P.E. days for each class are as follows;
Junior Infants: Wednesday
Senior Infants: Tuesday
1st/2nd Class: Wednesday
2nd/3rd Class: Thursday
4th Class: Tuesday
5th Class: Thursday
6th Class: Friday
All pupils receive one hour of PE weekly and should ensure that tracksuits and runners are worn on their scheduled day. All pupils receive P.E. homework once weekly on the same day as their P.E. lesson.
Last year, the staff of St. Beacon’s completed a self-evaluation so as to focus upon a P.E. strand for development. It was decided to develop the Outdoor and Adventure Activity Strand so as to make better use of the grounds around our school. We collaborated with Irish Heart to develop a Slí na Sláinte route (meaning ‘Path to Health’). This involved measuring and mapping the school grounds to create four different walking tracks ranging in distance from 400m to 70m. The map is displayed clearly outside our school for all pupils to use.
On September 28th, we had the launch of our ‘Slí na Sláinte’ route with the entire school completing the 400m Perimeter Loop. From now on, at break times, pupils not participating in sport or games will be encouraged to ‘Do Their Talking as They’re Walking’!!!
Pupils completing their first lap of the ‘Slí na Sláinte’ walking route
“Our Active School is the best, we run rings around the rest”-
Our Active School slogan by Mikey Phelan (6th Class)
Huge celebrations were had in our school on Friday, September 28th as our second Active School Flag was raised and our Slí na Sláinte walking route was launched.
Congratulations to the Committee and all pupils on their hard work and enthusiasm!
In addition to the teaching of P.E., St. Beacon’s have put in place lots of events and initiatives to promote Physical Activity. Here are a selection of these;
- Tour of Europe Challenge: We kicked off the school year by participating in this challenge as part of the European Week of Sport and Physical Activity, which took place from September 22nd- September 30th. Each day all classes ran laps of either the pitch or yard with each lap being equated to one kilometre. All in all, we ran 4, 323 km which took us beyond the farthest point on our map (Turkey) to finish somewhere in the Middle East!!
2 . Walk on Wednesday: In collaboration with the Green Schools Committee, we encourage all pupils to walk, cycle or scoot to school on Wednesdays, where possible. The RSA generously donated a High Visability Jacket to each child in the school last year, so remember ‘Be Safe, Be Seen!’
3. Playground Leaders:At St. Beacon’s, we pair up some of the older and younger classes for weekly playground games. 6th Class are paired with Junior Infants, 5th with Seniors and 4th Class with 1st Class. 3 pupils from each of the older classes go to the Junior Yard for the duration of the small break each Wednesday. Here they oversee and play a playground game with the younger children. All children thoroughly enjoy this and look forward to seeing their new friends each Wednesday.
4. Busy Breaks: On rainy days, it’s not nice to have to sit in a seat all day long so, at St. Beacon’s, we make sure to have ‘Busy Breaks’. Teachers often put on guided dance videos from websites such as GoNoodle, The BodyCoach and Cosmic Yoga so as to give the pupils a fun and energetic break from all that learning!!
6. Music on Yard: 1st Class to 6th Class have come up with the ultimate music playlist for Friday lunchtimes. It’s a great way to finish the week in school!
7. Additional Sports and Activities: In our school, we try to take part in lots of extra sports and activities- these are many and varied so as to provide opportunities for pupils to try out different things. We have lots planned for the 2018/2019 school year, such as;
Swimming (2nd & 5th), Cycle Safety (6th), Rugby (5th – 6th), Gymnastics (JI- 1st), GAA County Coach (3rd – 4th) and Soccer (3rd- 4th). No doubt lots more will be added over the coming months!
ACTIVE SCHOOL WEEK
This year, our Active School Week will be held from May 7th to 10th.
Lots of pupils would say it’s the best week of the whole year!!
We have had huge success in 2018 with our school teams- both the boys and the girls won the Cumann na mBunscoil tournaments in Roinn C and Roinn D respectively. Huge congratulations go to all involved!
We have a fantastic Active Schools Committee who have a huge input into all we do in our school. They are;
Over the coming months, we hope to continue to join forces with many agencies to form successful partnerships. Here follows some organisations with which we already work closely alongside;
(1) Laya Healthcare: The entire school will take part in the ‘Super Troopers’ programme in the first term.
(2) The Road Safety Authority: To promote our ‘Walk on Wednesday’ initiative, the RSA kindly provide high visability jackets to each child in the school.
(3) Irish Heart: Our grounds have been measured and mapped to create a ‘Slí na Sláinte’ walking route. This has also been registered as an ‘Active School Walkway’.
(4) PDST: Our teachers have attended professional development courses in Physical Literacy called ‘Move Well, Move Often’.
In 2018, 1st Class to 6th Class took part in a ‘What Club are you in?’ survey. 137 pupils were surveyed all in all. Of these, a whopping 98% played sport outside of school and 90% were members of a club. We found out that pupils played EIGHTEEN different sports in total, ranging from basketball to badminton and handball to kick boxing. To promote and honour the wide variety of sports played by our pupils, we have set up a ‘Wall of Fame’ inside our front door where pupils have the opportunity to display their sporting achievements from outside of school.