Active School Week ran from 20th to 24th April. We are currently working towards getting our Active School flag and so for the last few weeks the children have been doing exercises twice a week in the morning and then once a week they do a 1km run or walk around the school. Active School week though was a chance to concentrate and focus on promoting a healthy lifestyle and the benefit of exercise while having fun and doing activities that were new to many of them.
On Monday all the classes did Orienteering around the school. Even the Junior Infants had a trail to follow. First class had to follow a plan with colours. Each colour on their plan was represented by a cone on the ground. When a colour was called they had to run to the correct cone that matched the colour on their chart. At the senior end of the school there was a map for every child and a course was laid out around the school. they had to use the map to find their way to the marked spot and they had a question to asnwer. They throroughly enjoyed the day as it was a whole new experience for all of them.
On Tuesday there was a Skip and Rope workshop given by Mark McCabe. He taught every class how to skip correctly, when to jump and where to hold their hands. As the classes got older he taught them more difficult steps they could do when skipping. Some of the children were able to skip backwards. He even had them skipping two at a time and turning around in the rope. In 6th class they were able to keep skipping continuously making a figure 8 while two people turned the rope but Mark pointed out that most of the children no matter what age they were should be able to do this. At the end of the day every class had a volunteer to demonstrate what they had learned and it was a fun filled day for the children. Mark rounded off the demonstration showing the children his skills. He was even able to turn a rope three times in one jump. He was awe inspiring and truely amazing.
On Wednesday Nicola from Stretch 'n' Grow came to the school to show the Junior Infants up to 2nd class how to stretch out their muscles and limbs correctly. Their Mission is 'To teach as many children as possible the benefits of proper exercise, nutrition and other health related issues!' Stretching is a very important for our limbs and as a warm up to exercise. The Stretch 'n' Grow Website points out it helps with Learning fundamental motor skills, Cardio Endurance, Brain Development, Flexibility, Balance and Coordination, Muscular Strength, Manipulation and Weight Manoeuvring and Body Awareness.
In the afternoon the senior classes took part in a fun fitness circuit. They had to rotate around fun activites spending only a few minutes at each. They used hoops, hoppers, bats and balls etc. and they had great variety to keep them busy, active and entertained while they exercised.
On Thursday four girls From Transition Year in St. Mary's Secondary School, New Ross came to the school to teach the children Irish Dancing. They were Aébfhinn Furlong, Sophie O Neill, Grace McDonald and Chloe Bokle. They taught all the classes how to do Irish dancing to varying degress. In the Junior classes they taught the basics of 1,2,3 and the side step 1,2,3,4,5,6,7. As they classes got older they taught them full dances so that they could have their own Ceili. They girls were brillant and great with the children. Natural teachers.
Our GAA trainers led by Kevin Lyng also did hurling skills with the children as they normally do on a Thursday. This is an activity that the children really enjoy and rounded off the day nicely for them.