Active School Flag

Active School Flag 

What is the Active School Flag? 

The Active School Flag (ASF) is awarded to schools that strive to achieve a physically educated and physically active school community. The process aims to get more schools, more active, more .Schools must self-evaluate their current provision across 3 areas: Physical Education, Physical Activity and Partnerships. Schools must also organise an Active School Week. Schools that can say ‘yes’ to all of the ASF success criteria will be awarded with the active flag.  ASF is a Department of Education and Skills initiative supported by Healthy Ireland. To learn more about the Active School Flag Initiative, visit their website http://www.activeschoolflag.ie

Why get active?

Did you know that four out of five children in the Republic of Ireland are still not getting enough exercise, posing serious risks to their health and well-being?  Being active helps release chemicals in your brain (endorphins), which have a positive effect on your mood, not to mention the benefits to your heart, lungs, muscles and bones. Getting out and being active is also a great way to manage stress.

10 Health Benefits: Physical activity helps a child to

  •    Improve agility, balance and co-ordination.
  •    Feel more energised
  •    Reduce feelings of stress, anxiety and depression.
  •    Burn and generate more energy.
  •    Improve their physical and mental wellbeing.
  •    Maintain healthy weight.
  •    Improve concentration.
  •    Improve self-esteem and helps them feel good about themselves.
  •    Develop friendships.

So What Has Changed This Year?

Here are the changes we have made to make our school more active:

Active School Committee

To carry out our Active School application, we needed the help of our students. To facilitate this we set up an ‘Active Schools Committee’. We have a member of each class represented on our active School committee who meet regularly throughout the year. They have been working hard with committee members carrying out surveys, sharing ideas and performing duties.  All our A.S.F. initiatives are possible  thanks to the research, ideas and hard work of the ASF committee. Well done to all involved, you are doing a great job!!

Our New Walking Track 

As you may have noticed, our yard has undergone a makeover this year. We have introduced a new track that surrounds the perimeter of the yard. Since its introduction, we have seen an increase in children walking at yard time instead of chatting in groups. Mr. Dooley has also been using the track while training the Cross Country teams. Classes regularly use the track during the school day as an active break and it has proved to be a great success. Keep it up everybody, and remember ‘DO YOUR TALKING AS YOU’RE WALKING!!

Active Homework

Did you know that 5-18 year olds need 60 minutes of physical activity every day? Well, 80% are NOT meeting that requirement. As part of our Active school application, we have introduced ‘ACTIVE HOMEWORK’ once a week. Children must do 30 minutes of exercise where they get their heart rate up. Children may choose which exercise they do. 

P.E Programme

At Divine Mercy we pride ourselves on providing the best P.E programme possible. Our lessons take place in a friendly environment that promotes full participation. Each class is allotted a time in the P.E hall and this may be supplemented with yard time to provide 1 hour of P.E time per week. We have recently reviewed our school plans and introduced a standardised plan for all classes. P.S.S.I plans are used as a guide and teachers utilise their skills and talents to provide a variety of lessons that the children enjoy. Each year, we cover all strands which take place across the school year.