Thursday, 27 June 2019

Active Flag

We here at  SS Peter and Paul JNS are striving to achieve a more active school community.
With help from our teachers, students, parents and wider community we hope our school will be recognised as an official ‘Active School’ and be rewarded with an Active School Flag.

We were thrilled to finally receive our Active Flag in the post and officially be awarded Active Flag Status. A lot of hard work and dedication has gone into achieving our very first school flag. Mr Donovan, the Active School coordinator, first brought the proposal to our staff back in April 2018 and we all whole heartily agreed that it was something we could achieve as we were already quite an active school. We were participating in The Daily Mile for a number of years before this and we are a very health conscience school so we were eager to get started on the process. 
Each month we focused on a different Fundamental Movement skill taken from the Move Well, Move Often programme (PDST) and we also decided to concentrate on the Outdoor and Adventure Strand of the P.E curriculum (NCCA). We had taster sessions from various sports organisations, installed a new Active Walkway, established an Active School Committee, held annual Active School Weeks and took part in lots of sports initiatives such as the Tour of Europe Challenge, National Fitness Day and Junior Parkrun to name but a few. 
We finished off what was a busy, energetic year by raising our Active Flag at the end of June. We were blessed with the weather and the whole school, along with members from the Board of Management and Parents Association all turned out to cheer this momentous occasion. 

 Our Active School Committee members

_Fundamental Movement Skills__
Each month we will be concentrating on one Fundamental Movement Skill taken from the Physical Literacy programme-Move Well, Move Often


For our last Fundamental Movement Skill of the school year, we focused on Striking- Striking an object with the hand and Striking an object with an implement. 
Striking an object with the hand involves two key movements, controlling an object in an upward direction (the volley) and controlling an object in a downward direction (the bounce) , this skill is important as it is incorporated into many sporting activities such as basketball, Gaelic Football etc.
Striking with an implement (also referred to as the two handed strike) involves applying force to an object using an implement.  This striking action is found in many sporting contexts such as tennis, hurling, cricket, baseball, rounders, hockey and golf. (PDST)

Striking with an object
20190610_143005  20190610_142934


Golf                                                        Croquet

Striking with the Hand
Bounce pass in Basketball 

Fist pass in GAA

For the month of May, the classes worked on their kicking skills during P.E lessons. We have a GAA coach called Ellen who comes to our school every Tuesday and she demonstrated the solo kick to the children. 



In April the classes focused on their catching skills. They practised individually, in pairs and in groups. Have a look at some of the classes displaying their catching skills in games such as Queenie-i-o. 



The F.M.S for the month of March was Throwing. 
Here are some of the classes practising the underarm and overarm throw in their PE lessons. 


For the month of February, our F.M.S was Rolling. We kept the gymnastic mats out from the month before and the children practised various types of rolls on these mats. They practised rolling on their back with their knees to their chest, the pencil roll, where they have their hands straight out in front and their legs straight and the circle roll where they had their legs apart and rolled to the side. They all thoroughly enjoyed these activities. 

It a brand new year and as part of our New Years Resolution we are going to strive to be even more healthier and active in 2019 than we were in 2018. To begin the year we have been focusing on the Fundamental Movement Skill of Balancing for the month of January. In the hall our caretaker set up the gymnastic equipment for the class to use as part of their P.E lessons. These activities including lots of various balancing techniques. 


The children have also been practising their balancing skills outside as well as in the classroom. 

Jumping Skills
The FMS for December was developing the children's Jumping skills.
 Jumping is the transfer of weight from one or two feet. It is sub-divided into two categories.
1) Jumping for height and 2) Jumping for distance (PDST).

Take a look at Ms O Regan's class below trying to master this skill. 

Dodging Skills
The Fundamental Movement Skill covered this month was Dodging. Here's Ms McNamee's class playing a game of Sunshine and Snowballs. To play the game a few children are appointed  the "snowballs" and some are appointed "sunshine". If the rest of the class are caught by a "snowball" they must freeze and wait until they are melted by the "sunshine". For more games like this visit

Running Skills 
For the month of October, our Fundamental Movement Skill that we focused on was Running. The Daily Mile is a great initiative that we continue to participate in and we have seen a notable increase in the level of fitness of all students (and teachers) who participate. For P.E all classes have been incorporating running activities into their lessons.


Our Active Flag noticeboard in the school hall is filled with pictures of famous athletes and there are also suggestions for running activities the classes can participate in during their P.E lessons. Each month this noticeboard will be changed to showcase a new Fundamental Movement Skill. 


Outdoor & Adventure activities
‘Our school prioritises a different PE strand for further development each year’

After careful deliberation during a staff meeting we voted to prioritise the Outdoor and Adventure Strand. We had several meetings to discuss how we could enhance this strand for all classes. Each month we will incorporate Outdoor and Adventure activities into our P.E lessons as well as linking this strand into other curricular areas.

For the last month of the school year, the Outdoor and Adventure activity we decided to partake in was a Blindfold Walk. The children practised following directions, using control cards and following a path using a map with a partner.


This month the children put all the Outdoor and Adventure skills they have been learning over the past year to the test by partaking in an Orienteering exercise. They had great fun finding the letters around the school and working out the code. 

It was the last month of the term and what better way to practice
 our Outdoor and Adventure Skills than to go on an Easter Egg hunt around the school. The children had great fun trying to find the eggs hidden around the school and then complete the exercise that was inside

To tie in with St Patrick's Day, our Outdoor and Adventure activity for the month of March was to go on a Snake Hunt around the school. 
The children from Junior Infants had to find the snakes numbered 1-5 and Senior Infants the snakes numbered 1-10. They then matched the colour of the snake to the corresponding box on their worksheets
1st and 2nd classes had to find the snakes numbered 1-15 and record the letter above their class level to spell out a sentence. 

All the classes had such a great time doing this activity. 
First classes found out that the jumbled sentence was "St Patrick's Day" and Second classes' sentence was "Lá Fhéile Pádraig"!!

For the month of February we integrated English into our Outdoor and Adventure Strand and carried out Literacy trails around the school. Mr Donovan did a great job coming up with some cryptic clues for the children to solve. 
The children had to find things on the yard that began with certain letters and make new words out of words they found on signs on the yard.

They examined the staff cars and wrote down on their worksheets any words they found on the cars. 

 As they children walked from one side of the yard to the next, they said the alphabet. They had to count how many times they got through the full alphabet and what letter they landed on when they reached the end.

And finally the children had to find codes on the school windows and match them to a letter on their code sheet. Once they found all the codes they had to figure out what words the letters spelt out. 

As part of our Outdoor and Adventure Strand this month we played cone and picture games where the children had to find their friends who had the matching pictures and words. They had so much fun doing this activity. 

Needless to say as part of our Outdoor and Adventure activities for the month of December we decided to keep it festive and play a Santa Search game. The children had to turn over the cones and hunt for Saint Nick himself. They had lots of fun doing this. 

For the month of November the classes participated in Outdoor and Adventure Games, though since the weather was so wet, most of these games had to be "Inside and Adventure Games!"

 For Maths Week in October, all class teachers took their classes out around the school grounds to find Maths answers to Maths Trails around the school. 

In September the children were exploring their new classrooms and the environment around them by going out on Nature Trails. 

__Golf Taster Session with Maria Dunne__
We were delighted to welcome former Ireland lady golfer and Curtis Cup winner Maria Dunne from Skerries for a taster session with four of our classes. The children had a fantastic time and perhaps may join their local golf club from this experience. 


We had a fun filled week planned for our second annual Active School Week. This year we incorporated some new activities, such as a "Scoot Around the Yard", a "Take on the Teacher Challenge" and we finished with a "Whole School Dance". 

We were blessed with the weather, the sun shone down on us all week and everyone had a fantastic time. 

To view all the fantastic activities we took part in as part of Active School Week 2019 click here

Active Walkway

We have signposted around our school an Active School Walkway. The teachers take the children out of class during the day for either their Daily Mile or for a "Do your Walking while Your Talking" session. 


I rith Seachtaine ns Gaeilge chuaigh na ranganna amach ag siúl timpeall na scoile agus bhí siad ag labhairt Gaeilge.

___RTE News 2day___
On Tuesday 4th December we were thrilled to welcome the cameras for RTE News2day into our school. The presenter Zainab Boladale was keen to find out about all the fun fit things we are doing to achieve our Active Flag and to film the kids taking part in some energetic exercises. The members of the Active Flag Committee discussed all the ways in which we are becoming active and healthy. It was a fantastic morning and we were thrilled to see ourselves on television that evening. 

Click on the image to see the video in full. 



_Active Break Every Day Challenge_

The weather has turned wet and cold and some days we are not able to get outside to play, so to maintain our active lifestyle in school we have committed to the ACTIVE BREAK EVERY DAY Challenge. Each day, the classes tick off their exercise and record their fitness at the end of the week. The Active School Committee are tasked with going around to each class and taking note of the activities being carried out throughout the school. Have a look at your child's classroom door to see what activities are taking place and maybe you could try some at home. 
Our goal is to keep the school energised and that includes all the children, parents and staff!!!

__Active School Suggestion Box__

One of the many jobs of the Active School Committee is to discover ways we can become a more active school. Therefore they have designed an Active School Suggestion box and placed it in the school hall. Every week two members from the Active School Committee will go around the school yard with their clipboard in hand and ask the children of any ideas they may have to make our school more active. This month it is Caitlin's and Darragh's role. 

____P.E Survey____

Very soon each class teacher will be sending home a Physical Education Survey for all children to complete at home. This survey was compiled by the staff and the Active School Committee. The results from this survey will give us a good insight into what sports our students are involved in and how much physical activity they partake in on a daily basis. Please take the time to go through it with your child and return it to the class teacher as soon as possible. 

______Yoga in School_____

Not only are we trying to improve the children's physical activity in school, we are also helping them to relax their bodies and soothe their minds. The junior infants have therefore been practising Cosmic Yoga in the classroom. It is a great way for the children to slow down and focus their brains which in turn improves concentration levels. Why not take the time to try it at home as a family, turn off all screens, put on some relaxing music and stretch out those muscles. 

__________Junior parkrun________

On Sunday the 30th September our school teamed up with Balbriggan Junior parkrun. We encouraged all of our students to get out and get active as they ran the 2km around the course. We are delighted to announce it was a great success. There was a fantastic turnout from children in junior infants up as far as second class. We really hope the children and parents loved it so much that they will continue to participate every week. For more information on Balbriggan Junior parkrun and to check out your finishing time and leader board, visit:
Take a look at some of the photos below to see the fun that was had. 

____European Week of Sport___
22nd -30th September

The European Week of Sport ran from the 22nd-30th September and was a week long celebration of sport and physical activity. Sport Ireland is the National Coordinating Body for the European Week of Sport in Ireland. 

Tour of Europe Challenge
As part of European Week of Sport, we here at SS Peter and Paul JNS decided to increase the amount of physical activity we already do by taking part in the Tour of Europe Challenge. This is where our first and second classes completed their Daily Miles and recorded the distance they ran at the end of the week. We tallied all the kilometres together and calculated where in Europe we have travelled to. In total we ran a distance of 1347.25km - this brought us as far as Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. 
Well done everyone!!

To find out more about the Tour of Europe Challenge, click on the image above. 

National Fitness Day: 27th September 2018
National Fitness Day took place this year on Thursday 27th September and was a day to celebrate the role that physical activity plays in Ireland. 
We decided to mark this occasion by hosting a Take on the Teacher Challenge. 
The junior and senior infants had a Dance Off with their class teachers. It was a great success. Mr Donovan went into each infant class to show the class teachers his best disco moves but unfortunately they weren't up to scratch and in the end ALL of the infant classes won the Dance Off. Hard luck teachers!!
 Rm 5

Rm 14

 First and Second classes competed against the teachers in a Skipping Competition. They all did really well and all but one class beat the class teacher!
Rm 6

 Rm 7

Rm 8

Rm 10

For more information on European Week of Sport visit: 

___Our Active School Motto and Mascot__

We held a competition for the boys and girls to think of an original idea for our school's Active Flag motto and mascot. There were some fantastic entries. In the end the winners were Maia and Caelan. Maia came up with our motto..DON'T SIT, BE FIT and Caelan designed our mascot, Beep Bop1 Well done to both of you. 

Our Active School Committee
We are delighted to present our fantastic new Active School Committee. The children were chosen from 1st and 2nd classes. They have the important job of ensuring that our yard lines are kept active at break times whilst also coming up with as many varied ways as possible for the school to GET ACTIVE in a FUN way. They will also be keeping the classes informed of events that will be taking place throughout the year as we work towards our Active Flag. 
Zack Kelly, Eleanor Rocho, Darragh O Brien, Caitlin Stuart, Alex Everitt, Ahad Bager, Rebecca Moore, Daniel Cash, Adam, Ellis, Amy McCaffety, Scott Mulvey, Caysie Richardson, Isabel Mallon, Cayden Richardson, Abbie Donnelly and Kyle Blaszak



Our first ever Active School Week ran from Monday 11th June to Friday 15th June 2018. It was filled with lots of fun games and activities to suit all levels of abilities. Thankfully the sun stayed shining for most of the week so the boys and girls were able to get outside and enjoy getting fit and active.

To view all the fantastic activities we took part in as part of Active School Week 2018 click here