Our school P.E. programme allocates a balanced amount of teaching time to each of the different P.E. strands. All classes are taught 6 different PE strands each year: Athletics, Aquatics, Gymnastics, Games, Dance and Outdoor and Adventure.
This year we are focusing on the Athletics Strand.
In Howth Road N.S. each class receives at least 60 minutes per week of physical education. Our school ensures that all P.E. activities are planned so that they are accessible by all pupils. Every child’s progress in P.E. is discussed with parents at PT meetings and feedback is included in the annual school report. Both pupil and parent surveys were conducted. These also assisted us in our planning.
By taking part in the Active School Flag programme it has helped us to focus on an improved provision of Physical Education in the school. Teachers use the Primary Schools’ Sport Initiate, as well as the PDST ‘Move Well, Move Often’ programme to help when delivering the different strands We also teach the Land PAWS Water Safety Programme. This year, as part of the ASF initiative, it was decided by the staff to select Athletics as the strand for development.
This is what is covered in each strand:
The strand units of the Aquatics curriculum include
- Water safety
- Entry and exit from the water
- Buoyancy and propulsion
- Stroke development
- Water-based ball games
- Understanding and appreciation of aquatics
In October and November each year 1 st and 2nd class go to swimming lessons very Friday in Westwood Gym, Clontarf. Each week the children learn and develop different strokes and techniques. Aquatics proves to be a weekly highlight for all children. Water safety is also taught using the Land PAWS Water Safety Programme.
The strand units of the Dance curriculum include:
- Exploration, creation and performance of dance
- Understanding and appreciation of dance
This strand was also supported by local visiting coaches
The strand units of the Gymnastics curriculum include:
- Understanding and appreciation of gymnastics
We practice all the basic movement actions of balancing, rolling, turning, twisting, stretching, climbing and transferring weight with a variety of rolls. When doing gymnastics we also travel on apparatus. We follow a devised individual, pair and group sequence and we practice take-off and landing skill. Gymnastic helps us with our posture and to develop good body tension. It was also really beneficial to observe and describe movement of peers as this helped with the understanding and appreciation of Gymnastics.
The strand units of the Games curriculum include:
- Sending, receiving and travelling
- Creating and playing games
- Understanding and appreciation of games
During Games lessons children are provided with opportunities to develop skills, create and play games, as well as learning to understand and appreciate new and familiar games. The children have opportunities to develop skills and understanding through enjoyable individual, small group and team activities
Children experienced a balance of skills and games in a number of categories: Invasion Games, Net Games, Fielding/Striking and Target Games. This strand was also supported by local visiting coaches.
Outdoor and Adventure
The strand units of the Outdoor and Adventure curriculum include:
- Outdoor Challenges
- Understanding and appreciation of outdoor and adventure activities
We have set up an orienteering course around the school with our new Active School Walkway pack. The activities in this stand help to develop appreciation and enjoyment of the great outdoors. The activities are team-orientated and develop social skills. Some involve map-reading and problem-solving, coming to group decisions, developing leadership qualities and taking calculated risks.