Physical education provides children with learning opportunities through the medium of movement and contributes to their overall development by helping them to lead full, active and healthy lives.
There are six strands in the P.E. Curriculum
- Outdoor and adventure activities
Each of these 6 strands are covered by teachers throughout the year. For aquatics children from Senior Infants – Sixth Class usually receive a 6 week block of swimming lessons in Monaghan Swimming Pool, unfortunately due to Covid this was not possible this year. This year First class covered the ‘Land Paws’ programme that focuses on water safety theory and land-based skills.
All classes are allocated 2×30 minute slots for P.E. For the last two years classes got a 6 week block of gymnastics, dance and GAA coaching. 3rd- 6th had basketball and rugby coaching.
This year we prioritised Athletics, with a particular emphasis on running and jumping and Outdoor and Adventure Strand as due to the new norms we found ourselves spending much more time exercising outside. The new signage for our Active Walkway has been a great resource for the school and has provided great opportunities for cross curricular activities and a suitable track for the many running and walking initiatives we participated in this year such as ‘Daily Mile, ‘Goal Mile’ and ‘Run around Ireland’. As part of our P.E programme we decided to work on the fundamental skills of walking, running, hopping, skipping and side stepping as these very much complement the Outdoor and Adventure Strand and could be worked on outside without the need for much equipment. We have used the Fundamental Movement videos to teach the basic movements and these are also put on the class blogs as part of their active homework. We also make use of the PSSI Lesson plans, the NCCA guidelines for children with Learning Difficulties and the Move Well Move Often programme to aid the teaching of PE. Múinteoir Ciara is a coach in the local athletics club and has completed several coaching courses, Múinteoir Anita and Múinteoir Niamh are two of our local GAA stars and Múinteoir Diarmuid and Múinteoir Philip are involved in training and coaching GAA teams so we have a wealth of expertise when it comes to the coaching of running and movement. Staff also attend regular training sessions to improve our teaching also.
We have been delighted with the positive effect our running initiatives have had on the children. Teachers have reported greater levels of fitness and improved concentration in class. Parents have noticed a great improvement in fitness levels. All classes complete daily laps and the majority of children can now complete a mile without stopping. Sixth class undertook to follow the ‘Couch to 5k ‘ programme and we were astounded at how every child was able to complete 5k around St.Tiarnach’s park!
Some of the classes have taken on skipping as part of their ‘Reducing Sedentary Time’ activities are there has been great improvement in technique and endurance.
This month First class took part in the Land PAWS (Primary Aquatics Water Safety) Programme. We learned about being safe when around any water. Whether it be water in a bath, lake, river or swimming pool- we know that we must take care.
Some of the things we learned were to always get an adult to help us when filling a bath or to accompany us when going to the pool/river/beach. We must always make sure that there is a life guard at the beach/swimming pool before getting in and to stay away from slurry pits or drains when we’re out and about.
Each child was given a pack which contained leaflets about water safety and a fun book with puzzles, quizzes and spot the difference activities. This made learning about water safety fun!!
What we learned?
Justina learned that it is safe to swim when she sees a yellow flag or a red and yellow flag but if she sees a red flag or no flag at all it’s not safe to swim.
Donncha learned to always swim with an adult, to never swim at night time and to not bring a float into the sea.
Lily learned that if someone falls into deep water you can throw a ring buoy in to help save them.