A host of local sports stars, including Tokyo Olympic Games swimmer Darragh Greene, Longford Town midfield general Aodh Dervin and Longford Athletics Club’s rising talent Cian McPhillips, gave their support to and helped inspire the pupils of St Teresa’s National School, Killoe to get active during what was a testing pandemic school year.
Over the last year and a half, St Teresa’s NS engaged in the Active School Flag process in order to work towards earning their second Active Flag which was formally raised during a ceremony last Friday morning by Donal Mulligan, representing Longford Sports Partnership.
Active School Flag is a Department of Education and Skills initiative supported by Healthy Ireland and it is part of the National Physical Activity Plan. The Active School Flag initiative provides schools with a framework to guide schools to work towards achieving a physically educated and physically active school community.
St Teresa’s NS, led by a students’ Active Committee with representatives from all classes and a staff Active Committee organised many different events throughout the year such as European School Sport Day in September, GOAL Jersey Day in October, Active Break Challenges during the months of November and December, Run Around Ireland Challenge in April and Feel-Good Friday events throughout the year.
An Active Walkway was launched at the start of Active School Week where classes are able to get outside for some walking and running breaks. The Active Walkway has also been used for orienteering activities and literacy and numeracy trails. Over 7,000 kilometres was covered by everyone during the Run Around Ireland Challenge.
This year’s Active School Week included events such as a Spinathon for 5th and 6th class pupils, tag rugby, outdoor dance sessions and basketball.
Brendan and Madeline Doyle from Longford Sports Partnership gave up their time to do Balance / Mobility Bike Sessions with children from the Sonas classes. Longford Sports Partnership organised Park Our to be with the school for all of Active Week and this proved to be a huge success.
Over the course of Active Week, the whole school community had Daily Challenges to complete, set by different people including the staff, past pupils and local sporting heroes including Darragh Greene, Aodh Dervin, Cian McPhillips, Marie Carrigy and Nelvin Appiah.
An art competition was completed during Active Week to find a school active Slogan. There were winners from every class with the overall winner being Nathaniel Flood from 5th class with the slogan: “Let’s go, go, go and have some fun, let’s get active everyone!”
Over the course of this process, the school identified Fundamental Movement Skills as a priority and focused on different aspects of this every month to six weeks. The staff of St Teresa’s also engaged in Professional Development on the Strand of Games in order to teach each class new games to play during their free time. St Teresa’s Active School Coordinator Mr Emmet Toher remarked, “It has been very rewarding to finally receive our second Active Flag. We would like to especially thank Donal Mulligan and all in Longford Sports Partnership for their help and support over the last couple of months. We look forward to continuing the level of activity in St Teresa’s NS.”
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