Physical Education in school is hugely important to a child’s holistic development. Classes are taught all the strands of the PE curriculum. By taking part in the Active School Flag programme it has helped us to focus on an improved provision of Physical Education in our school. Teachers use the Primary Schools’ Sport Initiate(PSSI) and the “Move Well, Move Often” resource to help when teaching and delivering the different strands. We emphasis the importance of keeping active and encourage pupils to do their “ talking as they’re walking”. In St. Aidan’s N.S each class receives at least an hour per week of physical education, timetabled into two half-hour slots but other initiatives such as “Walking Wednesday”, Active Walkway, Active Breaks are now part of the weekly routine. As part of the ASF initiative, it was decided by staff to select athletics as the strand for development in PE this year.
The key messages of the Primary PE curriculum are:
- Develop a love and interest in staying fit
- Maximum participation by all children
- Development of skills and understanding
- Balance between competitive and non-competitive activities
- Providing opportunities for achievement for every child
- Providing activities equally suitable for boys and girls
The strand units of the athletics curriculum include:
- Understanding and appreciation of athletics
Athletics was our strand for development and we focused on this strand in our Physical Education lessons in January and February.
When delivering the athletics programme we contacted Áine from Cavan Sports partnership and she introduced us to Sasha who agreed to visit our school and complete a 4-week athletics programme. She provided opportunities and ideas on how to challenge children to run faster or for a longer period, to throw an implement further and to jump further or higher whilst providing the teachers with ways and ideas on how to add to their lessons. The Move Well, Move Often and the PSSI lessons proved a great help when delivering the athletics strand. Have to say Sasha we just loved your hat!!!
The strand units of the Gymnastics curriculum include:
- Understanding and appreciation of Gymnastics
Our strand for development last year was gymnastics when from Cavan gymnastics club joined us for 6 weeks. This year, we continued to practise all our basic movement actions of rolling, turning, balancing, stretching and transferring weight. We hope to purchase mats and apparatus next year to help us continue to develop this strand.
The strand units of the Games curriculum include:
- Sending, receiving and travelling
- Creating and playing games
- Understanding and appreciation of games
During Games lessons children are provided with opportunities to develop skills, create and play games, understand and appreciate new and familiar games. The children have opportunities to develop skills and understanding through enjoyable individual, small group and team activities.The Move Well, Move Often resource proved a very useful tool to develop the Games strand and new games were further reinforced by our very able Active Playground Leaders.
Outdoor And Adventure
The strand units of the Outdoor and Adventure curriculum include:
- Outdoor Challenges
- Understanding and appreciation of outdoor and adventure activities
The activities in this strand help to develop appreciation and enjoyment of the great outdoors. The activities are team-orientated and help develop social skills. Some involve problem-solving and this was the case for our Easter Egg Hunt in April.
The strand units of the Aquatics curriculum include:
- Water safety
- Entry to and exit from the water
- Stroke development
- Water-based ball games
- Buoyancy and propulsion
- Understanding and appreciation of aquatics
At St. Aidan’s, we bring our 3rd-6th class pupils to swimming lessons every other year. Each week the children learn and develop different swimming strokes and techniques.
As part of the ASF this year we decided to complete the PAWS programme-Primary Aquatics Water Safety (PAWS).The Irish Water Safety society created this wonderful, educational resource for primary schools- PAWS outlines life-saving guidelines for children of every age and is available digitally to every school in the country. PAWS teaches children how to be safe around water in homes, farms, pools, beaches and on our waterways, and is written and designed for different age groups. It incorporates all aspects of the Physical Education Aquatics strand of the primary school curriculum.
The strand units of the Dance curriculum include:
- Exploration, creation and performance of dance
- Understanding and appreciation of dance
The Dance strand helps children to learn through dance and to learn about dance. Through dance, children are encouraged to improve body management skills, understand a range of movement concepts, work harmoniously with others and develop creativity and imagination.
In exploring, creating and performing dances children come to understand that dance is a medium for the expression of ideas, thoughts and feelings. The dance strand consists of folk and creative dance.
The P.E. Timetable
Each teacher has allotted 2×30 minute sessions per week for PE. Discretionary curriculum time is also used eg Sports Day, sporting competitions, Seachtain na Gaeilge, Active School Week and Run Around Ireland Initiative.
As part of the ASF process the committee decided that the school shed provided insufficient space for the P.E. equipment so it was moved to the pre-fab. An inventory of all equipment was completed and lots of new resources were ordered. Equipment is now clearly labelled and stored conveniently for pupils and teachers to access easily.
Members of staff complete CPD training in Physical Education throughout the school year. All ideas and resources are discussed and shared during Croke Park staff meetings and by setting up pupil workshops to show activities taught. Material is photocopied and placed in a central PE library so that all teachers have access at all times.
Move Well, Move Often- Seminar 2
Mrs Maguire attended the Move Well, Move often seminar in the Cavan Crystal hotel on 17th October, 2018. The seminar explored the fundamental movement skills of walking, running, jumping and throwing. Mrs Maguire reported back to the staff the activities, games and resources that she was introduced to.
Primary PE Workshop – Folk Dance
After school on Wednesday, 13th February, 2019, Mrs Boyle attended a Folk Dance Workshop hosted by the PDST in St. Clare’s NS in Cavan The workshop explored the Dance strand of the PE Curriculum with a particular focus on Folk Dance. The teachers examined the dance curriculum objectives and the main message was getting our pupils fully involved and enjoying the dance rather than mastery of individual steps. Teachers were introduced to a variety of multicultural folk dances suitable for all age groups and the instructors, Laura and Vincent demonstrated how easily dance can be implemented in the PE curriculum. The workshop was very enjoyable, with lots of great ideas to bring back to school. Can you spot our teacher, Mrs Boyle?
Move Well, Move Often – Seminar 3:
Mrs Boyle attended the Move Well, Move often seminar in the Cavan Crystal Hotel on 27th March, 2019.
The seminar explored the the development of the physically literate pupil through the lens of Fundamental Movement Skills.
Mrs Boyle reported back to the staff the activities, games and resources that she was introduced to.
An Introduction To Physical Literacy – 8th May, 2019
Mrs Boyle attended an after school workshop in Scoil Naomh Bríd. She was introduced to many more new games which she introduced to the school during an active break.
CPD Summer Workshop
Mrs Maguire has enrolled in a summer course from 1st July-5th July 2019. It will be held in Cavan Rugby Club and aims to up skill teachers on how to teach the Fundamental Movement Skills in PE through Tag Rugby.
As part of our bid to achieve our first Active School Flag the pupils receive active homework every Thursday. The active school committee design a plan for homework and demonstrate the activities in each classroom. Pupils enjoy their active homework and parents have reported an increased enthusiasm for homework…as long as it is not written!!!