ST Senan’s National School in Shannon has achieved an active flag, recognising major efforts to promote physical activity among its pupils.
Jane O’Leary said that it recognised efforts in a number of different areas.
“Basically it’s a kind of PE equivalent of a green flag and we’re the second school in Clare to achieve it. We looked at the curriculum and we would have got involved with local clubs. We had coaches from St Senan’s Rugby Club, Wolfe Tones GAA club, soccer clubs and gymnastic coaching.
“Teachers attended courses given by James Murrihy and Peter Casey from the Clare Sports Partnership. Also every child in the school goes to swimming classes in the leisure centre.”
She said that for one week each year they put a special focus on physical activity.
“We have an active school’s week here every year and we would have activities every day during it. There would be things like walking or cycling to school, we would have a sports day and a jersey day.”
Jane said that there had been a large number of different strands involved in getting the active flag and there was a thorough examination of physical activity in the school.
The Active School Flag was launched by the Department of Education in 2009.
It is a non-competitive initiative that seeks to recognise both primary and secondary schools that strive to achieve a physically active and physically educated school community.
In order to receive an award a school must commit to a process of self-evaluation in terms of PE programmes and plan and implement a series of changes that will enhance PE and extracurricular provision and promote physical activity.
The initiative encourages a partnership approach empowering schools to become more proactive in approaching groups like National Governing Bodies, Local Sports Partnerships, the HSE, Education Centres and the Professional Development Service for Teachers to help them to develop their PE programmes and promote physical activity.