Active Flag

St. Attracta’s N.S. was delighted to be awarded its first Active School Flag in June 2021. During 2023-2024 we are working on renewing our Active Flag. We hope our efforts will be rewarded with a second Active Flag in June 2024.

Look here at our 2023-2024 Active School Committee with our new Active School slogan.

The Active School Flag 2023-2024 Calendar dates and activities will guide us in our work during the year.

Here is our school’s Active Flag Activities’ Calendar  2023-2024. 

Our Active Flag Calendar links with our school’s Wellbeing  Action Plan 2023-2024.

Physical Education

St Attracta’s is committed to providing high-quality Physical Education to all pupils.  All classes receive 60 minutes of formal PE lessons each week.  All classes are taught the strands of Athletics, Dance, Gymnastics, Games and Outdoor & Adventure each year.  Pupils from our 4th classes also take part in Aquatics, having swimming lessons in Claremorris Pool. See our whole school P.E. Plan.

Teachers use a variety of resources to guide them in delivering quality PE lessons. PSSI Lesson Plans are widely used throughout the school and we have focused on the Athletics strand for the school year 2023/2024.

We have already introduced and embedded the the Move Well, Move Often programme to teach the Fundamental Movement Skills to all pupils into our whole school School P.E. Year 1 & 2.  All classes are taught the same strand and Fundamental Movement Skill at the same time during the school year. This allows for the sharing of resources and ideas among staff and ensure that an equal amount of time is given to each strand.

Our school teaches the Land PAWS water safety programme every year.

Our PE equipment and resources are clearly labelled, well organised and accessible  in our P.E Equipment Storage steel container. Every class is also supplied with its own sports equipment for break times.

An Oide P.E Advisor visited our school in Term 1 2023/2024  to provide in-school teacher professional development for the fundamental movement skills. The pupils and teachers enjoyed modelled lessons. The follow-up discussion in our Croke Park session after school gave staff an opportunity to learn more from the Oide advisor.

All teachers work together to strengthen their delivery of a different PE strand every year. This is promoted through whole school activities like Feel Good Friday where teachers work in class pairings to lead movement break sessions in which a specific Strand and related FMS is practiced e.g. Athletics>> Running.

Throughout 2023/2024 external coaches supported class teachers with Gymnastics (all classes) and Gaelic Football & Tennis (Infants to 2nd) for six week blocks.

We  conducted an online Active School Flag survey with pupils from 3rd to 6th class in April 2024.  The survey findings  affirmed the work going on through the year and highlight some things to consider for P.E. classes as we plan for 2024-2025.

Physical Activity

Here are some of the activities the Active Flag Committee will organise to help all classes get more active. Pupils will be encouraged to share more suggestions with the Committee using the Suggestion Box in the school reception area.

  •  11-B4-11  –  11-B4-11 activities for all classes on Fridays.
  • Active special occasionsHalloween and Christmas themed 11-B4-11; Table Tennis Take-Over Day
  • Lunchtime Leagues – lunchtime leagues at different times during the school year in Basketball, Table Tennis / photos and Soccer. Teams are made up of pupils  from different classes and matches are played during lunchtime. Older pupils act as referees for the matches.
  • Playground Leaders – Pupils from 5th to 6th classes to give up two yard breaks per week to independently organise and run games with the Junior Classes, ensuring they are active and happy throughout break time. Our school trained these pupils as playground leaders. Pupils in the playground leader role rotate during the year to ensure that as many children as possible have an opportunity. The school facilitates the use of playground equipment during breaktimes. Playground leaders oversee the daily distribution and collection of the equipment.
  • Active School Walkway – Pupils will use our designated  run / walkway around the playgrounds in our school. One lap of the walkway is 500m, meaning that for every 2 laps you do, you have completed 1 kilometre. Class nature trails also provide lots of opportunities to work up the steps count.
  • Active Breaks – All classes will take part in active breaks throughout the school day. This includes Go-Noodle and a variety of classroom movement ideas. On a wet day, if pupils cannot go outside at break time, extra time is given to movement breaks in the classroom.
  • Run Around Europe Challenge – Every class completed the ‘Run a Day’ challenge, as a whole school initiative, over a period of 6 weeks in Term 2. Each class selected a European city to ‘run’ from our school. We used our Active Walkway to clock up the kilometres; 2 laps of our walkway is 1km. Progress for each class in the Run Around Europe Challenge was updated on the class record posters. Our school promotes physical activity in a cross-curricular way through the Run Around Europe Challenge. Teachers used the running destinations to support pupils in their study of geography, history and maths.
  • Active Homework – Teachers assigned identified active homework to pupils once weekly.
  • Staff v 6th Class Step Challenge – the 6th class pupils will take on the staff in an active challenge. The Active Flag Committee Pupils look forward to coming up with an active challenge that will test the staff!! More details to follow…

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Our school invites local sports clubs and physical activity providers to give sessions as part of our P.E. 2 Year Plan. We also actively work with local clubs to promote new membership from our pupils.

  • Ballaghaderreen GAA – In 2023 /2024   we will continue to build on the strong links developed since 20219 with our local GAA club. An increasing number of our pupils play at under age levels. This follows on from the intense coaching imitative run during 2022/2023 when all classes were provided with weekly sessions throughout the school year. We are very lucky to have access to the wonderful pitches including the  new astro turf which we  use for school annual sport’s day as well as training for school teams. We enter teams in the Mini-7s and Cumann na mBunscoil leagues – football and development  hurling and camoige.  In 2021 we introduced hurling sessions for all pupils from 3rd to 6th class as part their weekly P.E. curriculum. In May 2023 the girls’ team won the camoige Division 3 league title and in April 2024 the mixed team won the Mayo County Final Shield.
  • Mayo Cumann na mBunscol – In February 2024 our two teams – girls and boys –  were selected to play exhibition games at half time during the Mayo v Dublin National Football League fixture. The exciting event took place in McHale Park, Castlebar, in front of 15.000 spectators.
  • Connaught Cumann na mBunscol Sports Quiz Award- Victors of the East Mayo area and Mayo county titles earlier in the year, the school’s sports quiz team was crowned Connaught champions in the Cumann na mBunscol in March 2024.
  • Sponsored school team jerseys – In term 1, the senior classes had a competition to design a new school team jersey. The cost of the production and purchase of the winning design jersey set was sponsored by a local business – Drury Oils, Ballaghaderreen. The jerseys got great attention on their first outing at the Dublin v Mayo National League game.
  • Be Active for Parents – this initiative helps parents get involved in a real way with our Active Flag activities. Parents of children in the infant classes are invited to join our Súgradh Le Chéile days. These run for a hour during the school day. Parents and their children are put through their paces in a fun way.
  • Tennis Ireland– coaches from Tennis Ireland visit the school for a block of time each year to teach tennis skills to our junior classes. They also coach our senior tennis team for the local tournaments in the summer term. Tennis Ireland provided lessons during our school’s Summer Camp which ran from 20th to 24th July 2020.
  • FAI Soccer – Pupils from 3rd to 6th class had soccer lessons through the FAI for a x6 week coaching block . In Term 2 the school went on to enter two teams into the FAI Primary Schools’ Soccer Blitz in Boyle. One of our teams progressed on to the next round and is looking forward to the big day in Term 3.
  • Active Flag Homework–  Active Flag homework is assigned to all our pupils each week.
  • Active Flag Committee – Our Active Flag Committee (AFC) is combined with our Pupil Voice Committee this year. The Pupil Voice Committee does great work every year by running lunchtime leagues. Pupils are given various roles and tasks to carry out throughout the school year such as making announcements to the classrooms on various initiatives, designing posters for the school, carrying out surveys and checking the suggestion box. Our pupils play a very important role in organising and delivering our Active Flag initiatives.
  • Digital Wall of Fame – We installed a new digital screen in the main corridor in Term 1. This screen celebrates  achievements of pupils in varied activities in school and outside of school, both sporting and otherwise.
  • School Assemblies – Our popular and busy monthly school assemblies always include a celebration of class participation in our ongoing active flag events.

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Active Week

Our Active Week is now being planned. More details to follow. We can’t wait!!

Watch out tweets and images from our 2023/2024 Active Week.