Physical Education (PE) provides children with learning opportunities through the medium of movement. It contributes to their overall development by helping them to lead full, active and healthy lives. Children can experience the joy of physical exertion and the satisfaction of achievement while developing the skills of positive attitude that enhance self-esteem.
Through PE we aim to help children develop physically as well as socially, emotionally and intellectually. We use PE in our school to support children in every aspect of their lives and development. To achieve that goal, we use our agreed approach to teaching PE and the content of the curriculum programme at each year level. The strands include:
• Outdoor and adventure activities
In this school all classes have two 30 minute physical education lessons per week. The Whole School Plan ensures a coordinated delivery of the curriculum and ensures all classes develop a strand over a four week block with an emphasis on a particular Fundamental Movement Skill (FMS) during that period. Fundamental movement skills will be covered over a two year period and this plan offers a balanced approach to the teaching of all the fundamental movement skills necessary for a child’s development. Each classroom also has a FMS poster for display to ensure consistency in delivery across the school.
As our school continues to grow we are gradually increasing our supply of P.E. equipment. Our Active School Committee members help to monitor our store area in the foyer to ensure that it is kept tidy. An inventory of all the equipment is done at the end of each academic year and any broken or damaged equipment is replaced.
Games is taught under the strand units of Sending, Receiving and Traveling, Creating and Playing Games and Understanding and Appreciation of Games. Some of the fundamental movement skills taught alongside this strand are throwing and catching.
Dance is taught under the strand units of Exploration, Creation and Performance of dance and Understanding and Appreciation of Dance. Some of the FMS skills taught alongside this strand are balance and landing.
Athletics is taught under the strand units of Running, Jumping, Throwing and Understanding and Appreciation of Athletics. Some of the fundamental movement skills are taught alongside this strand. They include walking, running and striking with the hand/implement.
From Junior Infants to First Class, the strand units of Movement and Understanding and Appreciation of Gymnastics are taught.
We use the Land PAWS (Primary Aquatics Waters Safety) programme to teach the children the basic water safety skills they need from the classroom. They can then take this knowledge and apply it whenever they go swimming.
Outdoor Adventure is taught under the strand units Walking, Orienteering and Understanding and Appreciation of Outdoor Adventure. This strand is taught during the summer months as the weather is much better for being outdoors. This strand lends itself well to the teaching of walking and running as FMS.
As part of our Active School journey we have been working and collaborating with local sports groups and professionals. We are very lucky to be able to try some taster sessions and activities.
Craig from Cork Sports Partnership did an athletics session with all the children in the school.
Danny, a qualified Zumba instructor, came to do a whole class Zumba workout with the children.
The children have worked with coaches from local GAA clubs to practise ball and fitness skills.
Every week Colm visits the school to provide a focused P.E. lesson to each class in the school. Colm works in collaboration with the class teachers to ensure he follows the primary school curriculum and and link the focus fundamental movement skills into his lessons. The children love these sessions as all content is presented in a fun and energetic way.
Every week Karen, our, yoga teacher, visits the school to provide a 30 minute yoga session for every class in the school. The children thoroughly enjoy their weekly slot and not only does it improve their balance coordination and range of movement it also improves their emotional awareness and regulation.