PE Plan - Scoil Naomh Áine, Rathgarogue

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PE Plan

Subject Plans
Physical Education Plan

Introductory Statement and Rationale
(a) Introductory Statement
The PE plan for Scoil Naomh Áine was initially formulated in consultation with a PE cuiditheoir, staff, BOM and parents of Scoil Naomh Áine. The Curriculum Planning Template in conjunction with the Curriculum Planning Prompts for PE, as supplied by NCCA were used to devise the plan. The plan was reviewed and updated by all staff during a whole school summer course in July 2014 and again reviewed in December 2018.
(b) Rationale
Physical education provides children with learning opportunities through the medium of movement and contributes to their overall development by helping them to lead full, active and healthy lives. We aim to provide these learning opportunities to the children in our school to maximise active learning experiences and approaches to the benefit of each individual child.
Vision and Aims
(a) Vision
We seek to assist the children in our school in achieving their potential by the promotion of physical activity throughout the school. We intend to incorporate the messages of the curriculum in all our lessons.
Key Messages
●       the importance of enjoyment and play
●       maximum participation by all children
●       the development of skills and understanding
●       a balance between competitive and non-competitive activities
●       providing opportunities for achievement of each child
●       providing activities equally suitable for boys and girls
(b) Aims
We endorse the aims of the P.E. Curriculum;
●       To promote 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.
1.The Curriculum
●       The strands/strand units/content objectives for the relevant class levels are found in the curriculum documents on the following pages
-Infant Classes pg. 16-23
-First and Second Classes pg. 24-34
-Third and Fourth Classes pg. 38-46
-Fifth and Sixth Classes pg. 48-59
- Aquatics: Junior Infants-Sixth pg. 62-64
●       In our school we cater for children with various special needs. We support these children throughout our lessons and differentiate when required .
●       Teachers will choose a range of activities for all strands for each class. Where possible, children will have access to the six strands each year- Athletics, Dance, Gymnastics, Games, Outdoor and Adventure Activities and Aquatics.
   2. PE rich environment
●       We will endeavour to create a PE rich environment in the school. We are aware of the great outdoor space available for PE activities and will do our best to make use of this space to cover a wide range of games and activities such as gaelic skills, soccer, basketball and skipping. We do not have an indoor space suitable for whole class PE lessons. We have extensive activity based yard markings which provide the children with opportunities to play and devise their own playground games.
●       We will ensure there is continuity and progression from class to class by developing appropriate warm-up activities for indoor and outdoor work at each level – with strand specific mobility, strengthening and flexibility exercises appropriate to each class level.
●       We will record the content covered at each level which will briefly detail the level of engagement with each strand (Fortnightly plans and Cúntas Míosúil ) We will also plan for each strand in our Termly plans.
●       We will use the resource materials available in the school (see Inventory list in the appendix)
3. Approaches and Methodologies
The physical literacy resource ‘Move well, move often’ will be used as a guide.
We will also use a combination of the following approaches:
●       Direct teaching approach e.g. teaching a specific skill such as “chest pass” in basketball
●       Guided discovery approach e.g. children creating their own sequence in dance
●       Integration e.g. Geography, Maths and Outdoor and Adventure Activities –directional and spatial awareness.  
●       ICT: using ICT to show best practice or as a stimulus for a lesson
●       Peer tutoring: A group/individual demonstrating an activity to the rest of the class
We will use methods that encourage maximum participation by the child through group work:
●       Individual, pair, group and team play -younger children and special needs children will need more individual attention
●       Station teaching -groups moving around different stations and having one teaching station
●       Using a play area divided into grids- groups of children stay in grids and the activities within the grids are differentiated to suit the particular group of children
Structure of a PE lesson:
Teachers will refer to the ‘Move well, move often’ resource for ideas for each section of the lesson.
1.      Warm Up
2. Main Activity – running, jumping, throwing, rolling, striking an object, kicking, playing small sided games, orienteering, dancing etc
This main activity will take place at Individual, pair and small group levels.
Station teaching will be used to teach a specific skill and to enable the children experience a variety of activities in the PE lesson.
We will divide our indoor space/outside area into sections to allow for small group activity and yet all children will be involved.
3. Cool Down
4. Assessment and record keeping
The School’s Assessment & Record Keeping Policies are available at We will also use the PE Curriculum pp. 68-74, Teacher Guidelines pp. 98-100 and the sample assessments in the ‘Move well, move often’ website available at
The teachers in the school constantly assess in the PE lessons delivered as we identify progress and difficulties.
●       We will assess
o   Willingness to participate in activities
o   Readiness to engage with a certain activity
o   The level of competence of a child in carrying out an activity
o   Interest in and attitude to activity
o   Willingness to cooperate in individual, pair and group activities
●       Our assessment tools are:
o   Teacher observation and Teacher-designed tasks
o   Self Assessment
o   Mind mapping
o   Checklist
o   Rubric
5. Children with Different Needs
We will endeavour to support and ensure the participation of children with special needs by planning to include all children in P.E. activities. This will mean we have to focus on the abilities of each child and make special provision where appropriate. We will refer to the Guidelines for Teachers of Students with General Learning Difficulties produced by the NCCA.
Children with exceptional ability/talent for P.E. will be encouraged and supported by acknowledging their talents and creating additional challenges for these children.
All children will be encouraged to participate in all .P.E. activities through the use of co-operative fun activities. We will also give encouragement and acknowledge good effort where possible.
6. Equality of participation and access
In planning for PE we are going to pay attention to the following areas in order to promote gender equality throughout the physical education curriculum.
●       All children from infants to sixth class will partake in all six strands of the curriculum.
●       We will provide equal access for all children to physical education equipment and facilities and the use of the playground during breaks will be incorporated as an integral part of the school’s programme
●       When grouping children for physical education the school will endeavour not to group children solely on the basis of gender whenever possible.
●       Teachers must allow for the needs of all pupils including those with physical or intellectual needs. This may involve adjusting particular tasks so that every child can participate in PE class. The PE lesson is an opportunity for the teacher to identify pupils with learning difficulties especially in the area of coordination, balance and motor skills. Following on from this, the class teacher in consultation with the special education teacher may draw up a programme focusing on particular skills.
7. Linkage and integration
Our teachers have discussed the great potential for integration of PE with
many other curriculum areas and have agreed to plan their work accordingly.
Each teacher plans and organises to integrate other subjects into their own
class preparation.
The areas identified for integration include:  
●       Gaeilge: cuid de na treoracha as Gaeilge, ceisteanna a chur, foclóir a bhaineann le cluichí éagsúla agus lúthchleasaíocht a úsáid.  
●       English: interpretation of directions, descriptions of movements, discussion of rules, talking about their own and others’ performance in PE, writing and telling of experiences in sport and outdoor activities, procedural writing, exposition,  poetry, rhymes and literature to be used as stimuli for dance--such activities enable children to develop a vocabulary for discussing and critiquing PE activities.
●       Mathematics: appreciation of shape and balance; opportunities to estimate, measure, and compare; recording results,  exploring angles, examining league tables, early maths activities, understanding directions,  counting on and back; shape and space—spatial awareness.  
●       SESE: Development of geographical skills such as using maps, study of the environment, origin of dance music, history of games and sports. Science: movement of the body—joints, muscles, bones, etc.
●       Drama:  exploration, creation, and performance of dance.
●       Music: listening and responding to music, performing—song-singing with actions.
●       SPHE:  
-Promoting enjoyment of and positive attitudes towards physical activity and its lifelong contribution to health
- Complements the strand unit ‘Taking care of my body’
-Engaging in outdoor activities
-links with strand  unit ‘Environmental awareness and care’
-Games and athletics provide opportunities for the  child to learn to accept decisions and rules and to develop the concept of fair play
-personal safety
-Connecting with the strand unit ‘Relating to others’;  
-Water safety and other aquatic activities to promote safety considerations developed in the strand unit ‘Safety and protection’.
●       Visual Arts: Art-work may be used as a stimulus for dance.
8. Organisational Planning: Timetable
All classes will have 1hour of PE per week. The arrangement of the strands in a given year will vary as a result of various factors e.g. the availability of external coaches, integration within the teacher’s termly plans, preparation for external events etc.
As a whole school, we have devised a yearly plan for the allocation of time to each PE Strand
o   Games & Athletics            September, October and Nov.                     12 weeks
o   Gymnastics & Dance       Dec., Jan., Feb., March                                  13 Weeks
o   Games /Aquatic                March & April (May)                                       4 Weeks
o   Outdoor and Adventure / Athletics         May & June                            8 Weeks
37 weeks in total – Each strand should have equal emphasis placed on it and should be taught for 6 weeks. (Depending on class group, Aquatics will not take 6 weeks if not attending lessons).
Each year the school takes part in Active Schools week and a whole school timetable of activities is organised. This usually takes place in April of each year.
All pupils will participate in Water Safety Lessons as part of the Aquatics strand. 3rd and 4th class will attend swimming lessons for 6 weeks between April and June. All other teachers should teach the PAWS water safety programme to their class.
All children are encouraged to play and enjoy their break times. We encourage a variety of games at break times including skipping, hula hoops, dancing, beanbags, soccer, gaelic, playground games and sandbox activities. Our SNAs encourage play opportunities of our special needs children and ensure that these children are fully integrated into school playtimes.
10. Code of Ethics
If external coaches are invited into the school to work with the children as part of their P.E. class, they will be used to support the class teacher in the implementation of some of the P.E. curriculum strands in the school.  They will not replace the class teacher and responsibility for the class lies with the class teacher.
Coaches working in school will adhere to the Code of Ethics of Irish Sport and be Garda vetted by the school in advance of any coaching work at the school.  
All teachers will adhere to the school’s Child Protection Policy and the Children First guidelines.
11.  After school activities
After school activities may be organised at the discretion of the school.  We encourage all 5th and 6th class, and depending on numbers and ability possibly 4th class children, to become involved with the Rackard League/FAI soccer competitions. These competitions are played in a competitive spirit. Mentors aim to give game time to all players, however on occasion it may be necessary to line out the best team available in order to progress in the competition.
These activities will adhere to the general principles of the PE curriculum of the school as follows:
Key messages of the curriculum
●       The importance of enjoyment and play
●       Maximum participation by all children
●       The development of skills and understanding
●       A balance between competitive and non-competitive activities
●       A balance between contact and non-contact activities
●       Providing opportunities for achievement for each child
●       Providing activities equally suitable for boys and girls.
We encourage the children to take part in local sports activities and clubs and will always pass on information. We hope to pass on to the children that sport is for all and that there are many activities in which the children can take part  locally eg swimming, dance, athletics, soccer, gaelic, rugby, chess, draughts, hurling, camogie and horse riding.
School Sports Day
The school organises an annual fun-based sports day in June and encourages all to participate.
12. Health and safety
We have a school Health and Safety Policy which will be adhered to at all times in PE activities. Issues identified as being health and safety concerns in a PE context include lack of warm-up at the start of all physical activity, practising in confined spaces, incorrect use of equipment, accidents, insufficient supervision, procedures for dealing with accidents...etc It is important to acknowledge from the beginning that while the following procedures will eliminate unnecessary hazards they cannot remove all risks due to the physical nature of the subject. When engaging children in PE all members of staff will ensure that the following safety aspects will be taken into consideration
●       All children should wear suitable footwear and clothing during a PE lesson. Children will not be allowed wear any jewellery (with the exception of stud earrings and a watch) during a PE lesson.
●       The equipment used will be suitable in size, weight and design to the age, strength and ability of the child and be of good quality and in good repair.
●       Children will be taught how to lift and carry all PE  equipment safely
●       In all PE lessons, children will warm up and cool down. This develops good practice and the children will return to class relaxed after activity.
●       Should an accident occur in the PE lesson we will follow the procedures outlined for other accidents in our Health and Safety policy.
●       Best practice is safe practice and the teacher should ensure that the children understand that the rules and procedures are there for their safety.
●       We will endeavour to have an appropriate surface for the activities in all  PE lessons
A central First Aid Kit is available in the office at all times.
13. Individual Teachers’ Planning and Reporting
This whole-school plan and the curriculum documents for PE provide
information and guidance to individual teachers for their long and short-term
planning. Teachers plan using the strands and strand units, with thematic
approach at certain times of the year. Integration with other subject areas will be taken into account while planning.
Teachers will share with parent’s information regarding their child’s achievements—skill development combined with willingness to co-operate, etc.—at parent/teacher meetings, in school reports and other suitable times, as arranged.
14. P.E. Equipment and Resources
P.E. equipment is stored in the store room in the P.E. hall. It is the responsibility of each teacher to ensure P.E. equipment is returned to the store after each lesson and tidily stored. Breakages/damaged equipment should be reported as soon as possible. See appendices for an inventory of equipment.
15. I.C.T.
Children’s participation in events will be recorded using the digital resources available in the school, wherever possible. Displays of these photos will give an opportunity to the children to see themselves and others in action.  Also the use of digital resources will provide the children with opportunities to view and assess their own performances in P.E.
ICT is used to supplement and research specific areas within the PE
curriculum as children complete units of work. C D roms with PE themes are included in our school resources (see Appendix). The internet contains a wealth of knowledge and information on many aspects of sport. The history of sports, pictures of sports personalities and venues, and results of sports events are obtained on-line. The GAA web-site is used to supply information on the history of Gaelic games and national games activities. The ‘move well, move often’ website is a resource to support the teachers in teaching physical literacy. Our school has a Code of Practice to ensure safe Internet usage (see our Internet Usage Policy).
Teachers familiarise themselves with material on websites prior to use by children, and there is ongoing monitoring of these sites.
16. Staff Development
Staff will be encouraged to attend extra courses arranged by the local Education Centre and other agencies and to share their new ideas with the other teachers. Like other subjects in the curriculum, time will be allocated at staff meetings for regular updates and initiatives that are taking place.
Any coaches invited into the school will be there to support the teacher with a view to promoting good practice.
There are opportunities for Team-Teaching through the use of outside coaches and support from available school personnel.
17. Parental Involvement and Community links: (Involvement in Community Games)  
Teachers recognise that parents have a pivotal role to play in the attitude of their children to PE. We will ask all parents to support their children to participate in all strands of the P.E. curriculum. We will ask any parents with recognised areas of expertise in any area of P.E., to support us in our efforts if their talents will be of benefit.
Local clubs and sporting organisations are invited to provide information on the services that they provide. We are very much aware of the school’s role in the community and we are also conscious of the fact that the expertise of people in the community is an invaluable resource to any school. The local GAA club provide support to the school on an annual basis taking a variety of forms such as lunchtime hurling league, in-school coaching, GPO involvement etc.
18. How will we know that the plan has been implemented?
Teachers’ preparation will be based on this plan and the planning of individual teachers will feed into the overall school plan. Therefore, the school plan needs to be reviewed on a regular basis. Teachers will also be acquainted with the content and methodologies outlined in this plan. There should be clear progression as children move from class to class.
Success criteria
The criteria for evaluating the success of this policy will be recognising:
●       The importance of enjoyment and play
●       Maximum participation by all children
●       The development of skills and understanding
●       A balance between competitive and non-competitive activities
●       A balance between contact and non-contact activities
●       Providing opportunities for achievement for each child
●       Providing activities equally suitable for all children
 The means of assessing the outcomes of the plan include:
●       Teacher/parent/community feedback
●       Children’s feedback regarding the activity level, enjoyment and skill development of the classes
●       Inspectors’ suggestions/report
●       Second level feedback
●       Self assessment
Roles and Responsibilities
         ●          The Principal and P.E. post holder will co-ordinate the progress of the plan, encourage and accept feedback on its implementation and report to staff on findings.
         ●          Each teacher is responsible for implementing this policy with his/her own class.
The plan will be reviewed in 2021/2022 and we can reflect meaningfully on how well the PE programme has been taught and received in the school. The following will be consulted in appraising the PE plan:
o   Teachers
o   Pupils
o   Parents
o   Post holders
o   BOM/DES Inspectorate
Ratification and Communication
Ratification by Board of Management
Fr. Seán Devereux (Chairperson)
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Health Promoting School  Flag, Active School's Flag
Digital Schools of Distinction Award
Green flag for Waste, Green flag for Water, Green flag for Energy, Green flag for Marine Conservation
5 Star GAA Flag
Discovery Primary Science and Maths award of Excellence
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