Active School Flag Celebration 17/02/2016

Scoil Chroí Naofa

Athenry, Co Galway

Telephone: 091-844510

Email: [email protected]



Dear Parents,


Wonderful news for the school community of Scoil Chroí Naofa Athenry. We have just been informed by the Department of Education and Skills that we have been awarded the Active School Flag, because we have become a physically educated active school as a result of participating in the Active School Programme. As a community we are going to celebrate our achievements tomorrow, Wednesday, the 17th of February.


The following is the itinerary for the day:

  • The children may wear tracksuits coming to school.
  • Green School Committee are organising a Monster Walk to School from Kenny Park weather permitting. Staff will be present at the venue from 8.30am. If for any reason you cannot drop off your child at Kenny Park, the doors of the school will be open at the normal time.
  • At 11am there will be a special assembly led by Mr. McDonald and the Active School Committee. Children will have an opportunity to see our flag and celebrate our achievement.
  • A number of celebrities have been invited to mark this occasion, e.g. Representatives from the Camogie Club, FAI, Athenry Athletics, Rugby, Zumba, Past Pupils, Teachers and the some of the students from Presentation College who won the All Ireland Championship this year.
  • Board of Management and Parents Council have also been invited.
  • Sharon Higgins has very kindly offered to do a Zumba Workshop with the children.
  • Children will conclude the school day with a menu of activities that were recommended during our Active School Week.


ACTIVE SCHOOL COMMITTEE: Mr. McDonald is in charge of the two year Active School Flag Programme. An Active School Committee was established in November 2013. He is the Co-Ordinator assisted by his class and Mr. Wallace. The Board of Management purchased new bibs for the Committee. According to research children between 5 – 12 years of age need at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every day. Children should reduce the amount of time spent on watching TV, using video, computer games and phones.  Scoil Chroí Naofa has become a very active school. We take part in many different activities and programmes.  We encourage every child to be active at home, at school and at play and to have fun while doing so. Our Active School slogan is Be active! Keep active! Stay active! The Active School flag committee has 3 aims:

  • To make sure that everybody takes part in some kind of activity during or after school, e.g. walking, cycling, swimming, running or just playing.
  • To help children to be more active inside and outside of school. It is recommended that children have at least 60 minutes of activity every day.
  • To make sure we have fun while getting more active. It’s much easier to be active if you’re having fun doing it.





  • The following is a list of various activities that took place during our Active School Weeks in June. Children came to school in their track suits and runners. Children were encouraged to be active in their travel as they walk to school. There were a wide variety of fun activities on offer every day for the different classes.  Each morning commenced with a wake up shake up morning assembly presented by the Active School Committee. They demonstrated and encouraged the whole school to participate in some fun exercises, yoga, dancing and action songs. The teachers organised a variety of activities to mark this fun week, e.g., disco, hulahoopathon, skipathon, runathon, jogathon,  bizzybreak activities, active homework, teddy bears picnic, active travel (park & stride from Kenny Park), active tours, drop everything and dance/jog/think,  Mexican Wave, penalty pandemonium against the principal/teacher, basketball knockout, sports day  in Kenny Park (numerous stations are set up on the pitch), Samba with Edivania de Melo Brito and her sister, Zumba with Sharon Higgins,  fun & fitness activities with Hugh &Aoife (from Club Vitae in the Maldron Hotel  Oranmore) circuit training with Geoffery Sheridan, active homework, teddy bears picnic, walk a mile with a smile, fun & fitness activities (District Health & Fitness Gym),  etc.  The following were some ideas in supporting  children to be active at home: walk, run, jog, skip, cycle, dance, swim, trampoline, walk or play with the dog, play tag, hide and seek,  football/soccer, do active chores e.g. plant/weed garden, tidy bedroom, walk to the shop/church/park/library etc. Active Awards were presented to children who made a special effort in being extra active during the week. Children were encouraged to drink water in preference to juices during this week.


The Healthy School Committee under the guidance of Mrs. Hennessey and her class carried out a daily survey on the number of children in each class who drank water each day during Active School Week. An award was given to the class who drank the most water. The Committee also did major research on the amount of sugar in different juices. They displayed their findings on a noticeboard in the hall. The following are some of many interesting facts about their study:

  • Capri Sun contains 5 teaspoons of sugar
  • A small bottle of club lemon contains 15 teaspoons of sugar
  • A small bottle of Coca cola has 13 teaspoons of sugar
  • Water has no sugar


SUPERTROOPERS;We are participating in the Super Troopers Programme created by Laya Healthcare again this year which is designed to encourage children to be active for 60 minutes on a daily basis. The children have been provided with homework activity journals. These are filled with fantastic fun activities to do at home designed to help pupils increase agility, strength, balance and overall activity levels along with fortnightly healthy lifestyle tips/reflection activities. Parents are requested to encourage their child to complete the physical activity homework on a daily basis.

CAMOGIE: Children from 2nd up to 6th class had the opportunity to be coached in camogie by Mrs. Burke, Ms. Tyrrell, Mr. Wallace & Mr. Mc Donald and assisted by Michael Helebert /Owen Fahey from  the GAA Coaching Committee, The school camogie team competed in the INTO  Mini Sevens and the Cumann na mBunscoil Blitz.

ATHLETICS: Mr. Wallace selected two teams to participate in the Cumann na mBunscoil Cross Country Championship and the Athletic Association Irish Primary Schools Cross Country Championship in Renmore. He also selected children from 1st up to 6th class to participate in the Cumann na mBunscoil Galway County Primary School Sports in the Regional Sports Centre in Dangan

RUGBY; The Galway Community Rugby Officer from Corinthians Rugby Club, Wendy Hickey and Darren Colins provided tag rugby coaching to senior classes and finish with a blitz.

FOOTBALL: John Burke from the Football Association of Ireland provided football coaching to all the classes. He provided a “Give Racism the Red Card” soccer workshop for a senior class along with a six week course on Football assisted by Michelle Leggett.

SWIMMING; Third class attended Swimming Lessons in Raheen Woods Hotel. A number of children are encouraged to take part in the Community Games Swimming.


  • Sharon Higgins provided Zumba Dancing Workshops to all the children financed by the Parent’s Council. Sharon very kindly provided workshops for all the classes during Active School Week.
  • Ciara from PDST provided a Yoga Workshop for the children in Ms Monaghan’s class and the staff.
  • Ita Seoighe from PDST provided sean nos dancing workshops.
  • Marina Keating provided Martial Arts sessions to children in the three senior classes.
  • Skipping workshops were provided for all the children. The Board of Management purchased a skipping kit along with two long ropes for classes 1st to 6th. Children had the opportunity to purchase their own skipping rope. Skipping is encouraged during outdoor recreation. Mr. Mc Donald also provided another workshop for the staff assisted by his class.
  • Sixth class participated in a Cycling Workshop organised by an Taisce.
  • Michelle Hanley Nutritionist provided a nutrition workshop from third to 6th
  • Owen Diviney, Life Coach provided a Well Being workshop to senior classes.
  • The Board employed an artist Emma to sketch ideas and suggestions from the Committees for our mural. The Active School Committee assisted her in painting her sketches. A section of the wall is devoted to the role and function of the Active School Committee.


EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES: The school offers a great variety of activities after school. Times and days for these activities vary from year to year according to availability of staff. Activities include Sports Club, Gaelic Games Club, Basketball, Creative Dance, Yoga, Activity Clubs for Infants, Easter & Summer Camps.


COURSES: Staff have attended courses on Physical Education (revised curriculum), Buntus Programme, Playworks Programme,   Be Active After School Activity Programme (Galway Sports Partnership CE in Education Development. A large folder entitled Be Active ASAP folder was donated to the school as a result of staff participating in the Be Active After School Programme.  Galway Sports Partnership CE in Education Development provided a junior and senior kit of equipment long with lesson plans and a DVD as a result of our participation in the Buntus programme. The H.S.E. gave us a loan of stencils to paint playground games in both yards. The staff assisted by the Parents Council and Student’s Council painted games on both yards.

RESOURCES: The Board of Management has financed resources to include the Primary School Supports Initiative CD, Action for Life Health & Related Exercise Programme (Irish Heart Foundation), Bizzy Break Programme, YOGA Pretzels Resource which contains 50 Fun Yoga activities for kids and Grown Ups. Mr. Mc Donald recommended to the staff a website based on fun activities graded for different age groups. Parents Council has purchases helmets when necessary.


A special thank you to Mr. McDonald who was assisted by the current 2nd & 3rd classes and Mr. Wallace.


Yours sincerely, ______________________Teresa Neylon, Principal

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