Spa N.S.'s Active School's Campaign 2011 - 2013
Following on from the wonderful work done in Health Promotion and having enjoyed such great success in attaining the illustrious white flag, everyone in the Spa N.S. community agreed that every effort should be made to build on these achievement and work and focus on developing Spa N.S into a truly 'Active School'.
Spa N.S. has always had a good reputation as a 'sporty' school. However when both teachers and pupils looked at it, they realised that more could be done to ensure that healthy living and active participation in sports would become a priority in the school. Luckily Deputy Principal Mrs. Griffin Crowe agreed to organise a group to put an action plan in place.
The Active School Committee was formed.
Mary Griffin Crowe: Deputy Principal & Active School Co ordinator
|Spa Community Walking Club|
Peter Linehan: Principal
Valerie Linehan: Teacher
Tracey Tyrell: Parent
Julie Foley: Parent
Berna Waldron: Parents Association
Amy Walsh: Pupil
Robbie Scott: Pupil
The committee got to work and examined how everyone could ensure that Physical Education became an integral part of the educational process in Spa N.S. The motto ‘A healthy mind in a healthy body’ was chosen as it showcased the school's commitment to increasing children’s awareness of the link between physical activity, healthy diet and academic achievement.
Here are some of the main points of the campaign so far.
- Spa N.S.'s P.E. plan was revised and is now reviewed regularly by the principal in collaboration with all teachers, parents association and Board of Management.
- Teachers have participated in many in service coaching and training workshops like Buntús Play, Gaelic Games Tag Rugby, Dance, Inclusive Sports. Every effort is made to include new workshops as part of the annual Croke Park Hours Allocation.
- Staff provide regular, challenging physical education lessons and each teacher sees physical education as providing vital opportunities for the physical, social, emotional and intellectual development of the child.
- Every consideration is also given to the needs and interests of both boys and girls which helps to develop positive attitudes towards all activities.
- All staff encourage maximum participation by all children in the physical education lesson including those children with special needs.
- The Board of Management has committed a lot of money to ensure the best of sports equipment is available to students and teachers for all lessons.
- The retrieval of our General purpose area allows classes especially the infant classes to complete their planned lessons.
- Spa N.S. has developed very good relationships with many of the local sporting organisations and as a result welcomes coaches in Gaelic Football, hurling, Tag rugby, soccer, snag golf, athletics, basketball to the school every year to help out with the delivery of the P.E. curriculum.
- The importance of healthy lunches is emphasied every week. Special reminder days every term like 'Food Dudes' 'Health Promotion Day' are organised to re inforce the message.
- Medical and Sporting experts visit the school regularly to give talks on topics such as 'Dental Hygiene, Healthy living, Good Mental Health, General Fitness
- Breaktimes are much busier for all pupils now as play equipment is distributed to all classes by our 'Playground' Buddies' who also keep an eye to ensure that everyone is included in the games.
- The Parents Association has been hugely supportive of all of these efforts and has been instrumental in setting up two more positive initiatives The Spa N.S. Gardening Club has developed a beautiful new garden in the school. The Spa Community Walking Club organises regular local walks for all members of the community.
- An action packed and fun filled 'Active School Week is organised every year.
Active Schools Week 2012 (Summer 2012 Newsletter report)
In June, Spa N.S. held its annual Active Schools Week and this year’s was bigger, brighter and better than ever. Health Promotion and stressing the importance of health living to our children has been a priority in the school for a number of years and quite an amount of work has been done by the Health Promotion Committee in that time.
The whole week got off to a flyer on Sunday June 17th with a hugely successful and enjoyable walk by many parents, pupils and teachers to Blennerville and back followed by a family fun filled barbecue organised by the Parents Association. This was a fantastic and thoroughly enjoyable day. It was lovely to be able to include the parents in the launch of our Active Schools Week. Many thanks to all those who participated and made the day such a memorable one.
This year the committee organised an absolutely fantastic schedule of activities for all of our classes. They aimed for full participation by the students and they certainly achieved that as the school was buzzing all week with children participating in and enjoying a variety of different sports and activities. Every morning the whole school dusted off the morning sleepiness with a whole school aerobics and dance session in the yard. It was wonderful to watch and the teachers were able to strut their stuff as well as the students.
During the week, the teachers and visiting coaches supervised sessions in basketball, tag rugby, camogie, boccia, bowling, taekwondo, gaelic football skills, spikeball, snag golf and tennis. The Tenacity Dance group conducted a performance workshop with each class. What a sight to see all of these classes perform a synchronised dance set to the music of One Direction! Watch out X Factor! Many thanks too to Dr. Michelle Cooper who gave very informative and age appropriate presentations to each class on the importance of healthy lifestyle choices for children today. Dr. Cooper also made the children aware of the importance of healthy eating and regular exercise and highlighted the very real dangers of alcohol and substance abuse today. One of the big hits was the bowling and boccia games played in the new general purpose area. These were so well run by past pupils Ailbhe Foley and Keelan Crowe and the children had huge fun pitting their skills against each other. Boccia is the indoor equivalent of French Boules and it was amazing to see how skilful many of the children became after a while.
Kerry football star Colm Cooper also visited the school on Wednesday and conducted training sessions with many of the classes. The children were very taken with the ’Gooch’ and hung on his every word as he advised them on how they should train and practise regularly in order to make the Kerry team. Former Kerry footballer also got involved in the action and gave our infants and first class action packed sessions on Friday. Many thanks to the two lads for helping us out.
The main day of our week was on Thursday when the teachers organised the school sports day. The mixed weather certainly didn't deter or dampen everyone’s spirits. The children having been divided into groups rotated around ten sporting zones where they got to have some fun at boccia, penalty shootout, obstacle course, parachute games, spikeball blitz, dodgeball, relay races, rounders and novelty games such as sack racing and melon racing. All of the zones were supervised by the teachers and coaches. At the end our weary athletes were treated to some ice cream as part of the Down Syndrome Ice Cream Party.
Overall a hectic week but one that all of our pupils enjoyed. Huge credit must go to Mrs. Griffin Crowe who co ordinated the week’s events. Many thanks on a fantastic job and giving the students and teachers a week they will remember for a long time to come.
Stay Active Everyone over the Summer!
|Spa N.S. gets active!|
|Everyone gets involved!|
|Boccia in the 'Halla'|
|Leave the car! Let's walk instead!|
|Healthy Food Days|
|Fun at an After School Club|
|A visit form the local dentist!|
|Gymnastics in the halla!|