The six strands of P.E. are: Athletics, Aquatics, Dance, Games, Gymnastic and Outdoor and Adventure. In our school all of the classes are taught five of the six strands every year. The P.E. curriculum allocates one hour a week. Discretionary time is also used for P.E. We have a whole school P.E. timetable so that all classes are taught the same strand at the same time of the year (see below). Our school partnerships with Maynooth G.A.A. and North Kildare Rugby are reflected in the timetable. We are currently in negotiations to implement the Aquatics strand.
Games is a particularly important strand in our school. We focus on teaching the essentials skills for games and classes participate in a wide variety of games during P.E. lessons. These include Gaeilic Football, Hurling, Soccer, Hockey, Olympic Handball, Basketball, Benchball, Rounders and Dodgeball. Many of these games are also played during yard games at break times. The skills developed in P.E. have been clearly evident in some of our winning sports teams over the past few years.
Athletics focuses on the strands of Running, Jumping, Throwing and Understanding and Appreciation of Athletics. The all-weather pitch and schoolyard are utilised to teach this strand and the children particularly enjoy participating in a variety of Athletics activities.
Gymnastics is taught in December and January in the school hall. We make the most of our P.E. equipment and gymnastic mats to teach the strands of Movement and Understanding and Appreciation of Gymnastics.
We implement the Dance strand in February and March to integrate with Seachtain na Gaeilge and our Ceili Mor. Dance has been prioritised as the strand we wish to develop this year. In April, every class had an opportunity to participate in a dance workshop with Kevin Murphy which they thoroughly enjoyed. Kevin also provided training for the teachers. We came away with a lot of useful ideas and more confidence to teach dance. He also provided notes on all the activities which are now stored with the teachers resources for dance.
Outdoor and Adventure is scheduled for June. It is also incorporated at different times during the school year e.g. Maths Trails, Easter Egg Hunt. We focus on Orienteering, Outdoor Challenges, Walking and Understanding and Appreciation of Outdoor and Adventure activities. The children love participating in these activities.
Our school hopes to re-engage with the aquatics strand in the near future. This year, our school participated in the PAWS water safety programme. Oisin from Water Safety Ireland visited our school this year. He gave us three water safety rules to follw; 1. Never go swimming alone! 2. Stay in your depth! 3. Never go into the water to save someone! He discussed lots of different situations where we should be water safety aware e.g. at the beach, near rivers, lakes, canals and even on the farm!
P.E. Equipment and Resources
We are lucky to have great supply of equipment and resources to aid the teaching of P.E. The Parents association have been very kind in purchasing equipment for all class levels in the school. Our equipment is kept in the school hall. The AS committee assist in monitoring the equipment and ensuring it is stored correctly. Hard copies of P.E. resources are kept in the P.E Hall and the Active Schools notice board is a helpful reminder to keep us on track, All of the PSSI lesson plans are available to every teacher on the school network and are a valuable resource.
All teachers have access to the PSSI lesson plans and other P.E. resources for every class on the school network. Hardcopies of the resources are kept in the P.E. Hall with our P.E. equipment.