Physical Education

OUR SECOND ACTIVE SCHOOL FLAG 2015: Scoil Mhuire has been awarded a second Active School flag 2015 - 2018. We were recognsied officially as an active school in 2010. The Active School Flag was launched by the Department of Education and Skills in 2009. It is a non-competitive initiative which seeks to recognise schools (both primary and post-primary) that provide quality PE, co-curricular physical activity and sports programmes for their students. Thank you to Cathy O' Connor, PE co-ordinator for all the work she does behind the scenes ensuring access to quality resources and maximum participation by all children. Thank you also to Ms. Kilcullen, Ms. Ní Dhonncha and Ms.O'Shea for all the work they did which helped us to get our 2nd flag. Thank you also to Caroline Acton and staff for facilitating such a wide range of after-school activities Monday - Thursday. 
Our Gaelic team with their teacher Ms Kilcullen - County Champions!
Yearly Programmes:        Junior Infants                          1st/2nd Classes          3rd/4th  Classes       5th/6th Classes    

P.E. time-table 2012

Code of Ethics                         Physical Education Plan Review 2009                      Physical Education Action Plan 2009

Physical Education equipment 2011               Swimming Programme


 We endorse the aims of the Primary School Curriculum for Visual Physical Education

·         To provide the physical, social, emotional and intellectual development of the child
·          To develop positive personal qualities

·         To help in the acquisition of an appropriate range of movement skills in a variety of contexts
·         To promote understanding and knowledge of the various aspects of movement
·         To develop an appreciation of movement and the use of the body as an instrument of expression and creativity  

·         To promote enjoyment of, and positive attitudes towards, physical activity and its contribution to lifelong health-related fitness, thus preparing the child for the active and purposeful use of leisure time.


Outdoor and adventure activities
Gymnastics: Equipment put out Mondays and Tuesdays in the morning for the 1st term


All teachers are familiar with the strands, strand units and content objectives for their class levels. Curriculum objectives area at the core of each PE lesson, and teachers refer to the curriculum objectives in their own planning. There is a balanced approach – all five strands: Athletics, Dance, Gymnastics, Games and outdoor and adventure activities are covered every year and all children have access to all five strands. The sixth strand, Aquatics was covered every year but this was reviewed in 2007. (See Teacher Guidelines pgs.94 – 95 and section on Aquatics in this plan).
The content objectives are laid out on the following pages in the Curriculum Handbook.
Infant Classes                            pgs.16 – 23
First and Second classes              pgs. 24 – 34
Third and Fourth classes              pgs. 38 – 46
Fifth and Sixth classes                pgs. 48- 59
Aquatics (all classes)                   pgs. 62 - 64
Our school introduced the zoning of our playground into various activities in the last term of 2008 - 2009. Its purpose is to promote positive playground behaviour for our children; learning the skills of team work, sharing, turn taking and learning new playground games. We want to make our playground a happier and safer place for the chidlren and adults in Scoil Mhuire. See the Physical Education Action Plan 2009.
Front Yard: The playground was zoned into nine activities:
1. Dress Up/Make Believe Area
2. Skipping Area/ Making large yard jigsaw
3. Uni-hoc/ Obsacle course area
4. Parachute Area
5. Ball area
6. Yard Markings/ beanbags area, 7. Football/ Hurdles area, 8. Hopscotch area, 9. Board games/ quiet reading area
Each infant class and 3rd/4th classes combined are assigned to a particular activity every day.
Back Yard: The back yard area was zoned into five areas, where the chidlren in first and second class pick their own activity during lunch times.
1. Football area, 2. Ball area, 3. Dress Up area, 4. Hurdles/ relay area, 5. Hoola hoops/ skipping area
Playground Friends: Children in 5th and 6th classes are 'Playground Friends' and look after each class, by brining them to each station, setting up equipment at the zone, and demonstrating and showing the games to play for each playground activity. Regular meetings are held with the Playground Friends to gain feedback and reflection from them, and devise ways to develop the activities. (Thank you to Lynch flooring for donating carpets for our board game area.)
In 2004 the playground was painted with some colourful games, for the children. A copy of these playground games was drafted by 6th class (2004 – 2005) and Ms. O’ Connor has a copy of same for any teacher who requires one. There is also a copy available in the office.
OUTDOOR AND ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES: (see exemplar 17 pg.92 and 93 of curric. T.G.)
Science/Maths trails are linked with outdoor adventures and activities.
Science - finding names of plants, trees etc., man-made or natural material. Respecting the                               environment.
Geography – wind direction, position of the sun, North, South, East, West etc.
Maths – following directions (counting) i.e. 3 steps forward, 2 steps back etc.
SPHE – safety aspects
A programme on Aquatics [Appendix A] was drawn up by the staff of Coral Leisure Centre in consultation with Ms Kate Crehan (class teacher). This programme is attached and this should be the programme followed by coaches when teaching swimming to children in ScoilMhuireConventPrimary School. To ensure all curriculum objectives, under Aquatics are covered by the time children leave 6th class, children in 1st – 4th classes in Scoil Mhuire will go swimming over a 6 week period for 2 hours per period. (12 hours per annum/ 48 hours over 4 years. The time recommended in the curriculum for Aquatics is an average of 6 hours per year or 48 hours over 8 years.)  Going to the swimming pool is time consuming and all strands in the curriculum need to be covered. Water safety will be taught in the last term every year by all classes.  
Ms. Mary Burgoyne our retired caretaker is a qualified National Coach for Athletics and if teachers wish she has agreed to work with the children and teachers during Athletics classes. The IAAF KIDS ATHLETICS guide recommended by ‘Athletics Ireland’ is used by Ms. Burgoyne and is available on-line.  
Approaches and Methodologies
(see pgs. 42 – 101 Teachers Guidelines)
In Scoil Mhuire, Roscommon we use a combination of the following approaches:
Direct teaching approach (pg.43)
Guided Discovery approach (pg. 43 – 44)
Integration (pgs. 45 – 49)
The methodologies we use to encourage maximum participation by the child include group work, individual work, pair work, team play (pg.51) Station Teaching (pgs.51 – 53) and using a play area divided into grids (pg.54).
Assessment and Record-Keeping
Curriculum Handbook (pgs. 68 – 74) Teacher Guidelines (pgs. 98 – 100)
Teachers assess children’s willingness to participate in activities and to perform using the following criteria: interest, enthusiasm, attitude, skill level, willingness to co-operate. At present assessment in PE is done primarily through teacher observation. This will be reviewed by staff in 2006 – 2007.
The information gained by teacher assessment helps in forward planning.
At the Parent-teacher meetings in November parents are informed of their child’s progress and a record of achievement is kept on the school report cards at the end of each year, which also goes home to parents.
Children with Different Needs
When planning a programme of work for the class, consideration is given to the learning needs of the children and to the different abilities of the children. A child with co-ordination difficulties may be time-tabled for extra PE under the direction of the class teacher with the help of the SNA. An Occupational Therapist works in the school on occasions with children who need therapy.
In line with DES recommendations we allocate one hour per week to Physical Education per class. This is split generally into two 30 minute sessions. At times we have block sessions, where a six – eight week period is allocated to one particular strand e.g. Swimming.
Our time-table for the current year is attached [Appendix B].
Code of Ethics (see Child Protection Policy)
At times outside coaches are used to support the teacher in the implementation of some of the PE curriculum in the school. Our Code of Ethics [Appendix C] ensures that procedures and good practices are used at all times e.g. use of appropriate language and behaviour by the coach. The teacher stays with the coach at all times, actively supporting the coach by teaching with/him her so that the children gain maximum benefit from the PE class.
Extra Curricular Activities
We have a wide range of extra curricular activities in our school. These activities are arranged and co-ordinated by Ms. Caroline Acton.
The Transition Year students assist the school in training the girls for Volleyball. The girls were regional winners in 2009 and reached the All-Ireland final. In 2009 a group of pupils who travelled to Poland made history when they played Poland  - the first time ever Ireland played Poland in a Volleyball game! Interestingly Brazil is the only country to have ever beaten Poland in Volleyball. Outside Irish, the two biggest groups in our school are Polish and Brazilian.
Ms. Anne Connell (Special Needs Assistant)
Ms. Deirdre Mc Dermott  (Teacher)
Equipment available:
17 helmets: the school purchased 12 and 5 are on loan from Cumann na mBunscoil
14 sliothars: received from Cumann na mBunscoil (voucher)
Pupils are encouraged to purchase their own hurleys when they show a genuine interest in the sport.
Skills taught:
·          Holding the hurl correctly, right hand on top of left hand
·          Hitting the ball from right and left while running
·          Jab lift the ball
·          Roll lift the ball
·          Hitting the ball from hand
·          Jab or roll lift the ball and striking it with out catching it
·          Taking an free and taking a sideline cut
Ms. Burgoyne, Ms. Morris and some parents train pupils in athletics every Tuesday evening at 7.00p.m. for one hour in the Secondary School gym (Winter) and on the all weather pitch and sports field (Summer). Ms. Burgoyne sometimes runs Athletics training outside school hours for children in the school. Early in the first term children represent the school in the schools’ athletics competition held annually.
Ms. Louise Kilcullen and Ms. Aidín Ní Dhonncha train our pupils in Gaelic and football.
The following is a general outline of a training session:
The group meet in the hall at 4p.m. Children are expected to have their training gear on them and be ready to go outside. A roll is called and the teacher outlines what is expected of the children. The group then goes to the football pitch for skills training.
The children do a slow run to warm up before doing stretches.
The group practise their solo, hand-passing, jumping, tackling and dodging skills. They then move onto the pitch to practise goal and point shooting. At this point the children generally have a 10 – 15 minute game on the pitch. The game finishes and the group returns to school, making sure to take off runners and boots used on the pitch. 
A list of equipment is attached including a list of Buntús Eauipment provided by Roscommon Partnership [Appendix E]
Equipment is stored under the stage and in a side-press in the hall. New storage shelves were put under the stage in 2005.
Ms. O' Connor pumps the balls when needed. Teachers also report any damaged equipment to Ms. O’ Connor.
Purchase of Equipment
If a teacher decides she would like ‘X’ equipment in the school she sends a list to Ms. O’ Connor who will then order it, on the Principal’s approval. Every effort is made to support local businesses when purchasing goods. If we cannot get suitable equipment, competitively priced, locally it will be ordered elsewhere. Ms. Connell assists Ms. O’ Connor in researching suitable PE equipment when necessary.
Health and Safety (see School’s Health and Safety Policy)
Some Health and Safety issues pertain to PE activities e.g. a warm-up will always occur at the start of every PE activity; use of equipment is always supervised etc. Our school sometimes participates in out-of-school activities. In this case there will always be two staff members supervising activities at all times one of which is a teacher.
In a case where an accident may occur during PE, the child will be taken care of by one of our qualified First Aid staff members – Róisín Rogerson, Pauline Hanily, Mary Burgoyne, Frances Mitchell. Where a child has an accident on the school yard she/he will be taken care of by Mary Burgoyne at 11.00 or by the staff members who were on lunch duty the previous week (at 12.45 – 01.15).
All staff members are aware of the names of children who have specific medical conditions e.g. allergy to nuts, bee stings, epileptics etc.
Sports Day
Every year we run a Sports Day in the school in June. All children get a chance to participate. The focus is on maximum participation by all not competition. A rota is made out and followed for the day. This is organised by Ms. Cathy O’ Connor. The range of activities includes parachute, novelty challenges, rounders, bouncing castle, football, novelty relays etc.
The day begins at 09.30 when children are brought to their first activity, ready to start by 09.40. The usual breaks are given throughout the day, which ends at 3.00p.m. Classes move with their teacher from activity to activity every 45 minutes. If a teacher is involved in organising an activity one of the Special Needs teachers take his/her class for the day. Parents and others in the community such as student Gárda Síóchána help out on the day. Two or more adults supervise each activity. Teachers choose activities for their classes in advance: 5 activities for Junior/Senior infants and 6 activities for 1st – 6th class pupils.
Community Links
The school’s PE programme is supported by Roscommon Sports Partnership and so far we have received lots of equipment from them [Appendix D].
The Roscommon GAA Co. board assist with coaching and development of children’s skills every year. The children take part in training and a Blitz annually organised by them.
We purchase equipment locally from George Bannon Sports and Nova Sports. A local business, Casey Bros. sponsored jerseys for us and Ms. Éílis Feeley (parent) has worked with teachers on the strand ‘Outdoor and Adventure Activites’.


Congratulations to Alicia, Róisín, Amy, Chloe, Louise and Clodagh who are through to the Regional Volleyball Final.

Our other senior Volleball team: Roberta, Cara, Sarah, Emily, Swetha, Niamh and Colleen.

Caoimhe and Sarah All-Ireland Handball champions 2009 - 2010. We are so proud of you both, this is some achievement!

Tara, Ríona and Jenni - our County Swimming Champions in the Community Games

Jenni and Tara represented Scoil Mhuire through Coman's Swimming club, in the Connacht School Swim in Salthill, Galway on Nov, 15th. Jenni qualified with her personal time to go through to the All-Ireland school swim in Dublin on 5th Dec. in the U.10 Breast Stroke. Tara was in the under 11's and just missed qualifying by three seconds. Well done girls!


Elizabeth, Katie, Avril and Caoimhe whose skills in camogie were recognised when they won a Cumann na mBunscoil Award for Scoil Mhuire 2009. Well done girls!