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As part of our Seachain na Gaeilge celebrations, all of the classes worked on learning some simple Irish set dances during PE time.
We finished the week with a céilí where the classes came together to dance ‘An Damhsa Mór’.
We have been running a Physical Literacy initiative in the school for the past 2 years. Two of our teachers attended PDST training and shared the knowledge and skills learned with the rest of the teaching staff. We all agreed that it should be a school priority to teach the pupils the full range of fundamental movement skills that they need to acquire. These skills include everyday skills such as running, jumping and throwing but they are skills that the children may not have acquired correctly or at all! They need to be taught explicitly so that they are done right. As such we launched an initiative where these skills are incorporated into our whole school PE policy, into our longterm and short-term planning and into our daily activities. All classes work at the same time on one fundamental movement skill (eg. throwing) and this skill is developed through PE lessons, warm-up games and class activities. We focus on one skill a month. The learning is supported further by resource manuals, posters and a display board in the PE hall. The display board is used to reinforce for the pupils the key points for each skill with visual cues and descriptions. Finally we have supported this skill development further through active homework and yard activities. The initiative has been a huge success and we have seen a marked improvement in the children’s skill levels.
Senior Infants working on throwing:
This year the whole school has been working on developing the ‘Outdoor and Adventure’ strand in PE. We’ve had all sorts of fun orienteering lessons as well as outdoor activities on our school walkway, lessons involving walking and outdoor running challenges. We’ve especially worked on linking PE with other subjects to provide lots of active learning opportunities in subjects such as maths, geography, history and science. We even had a few Easter Egg Hunts! It’s been a real team effort from all the teaching staff and the Active Committee with new resources and ideas and it’s been hugely involved by all.
Another successful year of working with Sandra from CiDS Gymnastics on developing gymnastic skills. Sandra works intensively with each class in the school on a range of gymnastic skills. The benefits of gymnastics are huge in terms of fitness, flexibility, balance and co-ordination and gymnastics can form a strong basis for any sport. Gymnastics is one of the strands in the PE curriculum and the school places great importance on all strands being given ample curricular time in order for the children to learn and develop. This is a wonderful experience for the children who progress so much each year. Recently our Junior Infant classes received their Level 1 certificates!