We are an ACE school.
Activity, Confidence and Eating healthily are the three lifestyle components which a school must promote in order to receive Ace status from the HSE. At present, we are working towards our bronze certificate in this programme, with a number of initiatives in place.
A comprehensive PE programme is taught in the school with all strands of the curriculum offered to all pupils and the emphasis very much on maximum participation by everyone in activities. In April, we have Active Schools Week when the whole school community is invited to join in daily exercise routines. Over recent years, a varied supply of PE resources have been bought for the school, including Playground games and equipment and these, along with the teaching of traditional playground games, and the use of playground markings on the yard, mean that children have a very active lunch time. Children are introduced to a number of organised sports during their time in our school, by their teachers, by outside coaches and through participation in blitzes and leagues. In recent years we have benefited from GAA, Basketball, Rugby and Cycling training and participated in Cumann na mBunscoil, FAI soccer, Basketball and Rugby Blitzes and Cross Country Athletics. Gymnastics, orienteering taught in all classes and children from second class upwards attend swimming lessons in Athlone Swimming pool. The school has close links with local sporting organisations, such as Community Games and GAA and encourages pupils to become involved in these activities. With such a comprehensive range of exercise options, it is hoped that all pupils will find something they really enjoy and that they will continue to pursue throughout their lives.
Children’s confidence and self esteem is promoted in the school through lessons in SPHE and through the everyday atmosphere of the school, which is one of respect and appreciation for all. Pupils are encouraged to always do their best and are praise and complimented when good behaviours and manners are noticed.
Through our Healthy Lunches policy and nutrition lessons in SPHE, children learn what constitutes a healthy diet and why it is important. They are then encouraged to put this knowledge into practice, along with the rest of the school, through their lunchbox choices. Last year, we took part in the Food Dudes Programme, which encouraged children to try new vegetables and fruits in return for small rewards and was very successful.
Again, as with exercise, it is hoped that the good eating habits developed at this stage of the cchildren’s lives, will be continued by them in adulthood, so that they can continue to enjoy the benefits if a healthy lifestyle.
Class Trips to Clara Bog.
2nd and 3rd class pupils, along with their teachers, visited Clara Bog recently where they learned a great deal about this very important Wildlife Habitat. Clara Bog is perhaps one of the most important Raised Bogs in Europe, due to the array of flora and fauna that is to be found living there. It is a preserved wildlife sanctuary, run by the National Parks and Wildlife Services. A wooden boardwalk provides access to view the bog as walking on the surface is prohibited as it causes up to 7 years damage to the delicate living organisms found there. The bog was formed 10,000 years ago and is home to plants such as bog rosemary, sundews and wild cranberries and numerous insects, including dragonfly. It is an important habitat for birds such as snipe, curlew and skylarks, whose traditional ranges are ever decreasing. On their trip, the pupils visited the Interpretive Centre in Clara Town, before heading out to the Bog for their fieldtrip, which was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.