Newtown NS marked a special occasion when they raised their Active School Flag on Tuesday January 28. The Active Schools Flag is an initiative which highlights the importance of physical activity and sport in schools and communities.
Schools are encouraged to evaluate their PE classes and after-school sports. It also looks at creating community based activities for the children, and increasing parents’ awareness of facilities, teams and clubs in the community.
An ‘Active Schools Flag Committee’ was set up with representatives from 1st to 6th class. They were Ava Delaney, Richard O’Reilly, Brian Brennan, Cormac Lindsey, Dorian N and Rachel O’Neill.
These pupils work with the Active Schools Flag co-ordinator, Ms Walshe, the school staff and parents. Their aim is to provide a wide and varied physical health programme in Newtown NS, and raise awareness Leinster Expressof the benefits of a happy, healthy lifestyle.
The children did lots of activities in order to gain the flag. They took part in various sports such as football, soccer, swimming, handball and athletics. They made use of local amenities such as St Abban’s Athletics Club and the local handball alley. They also completed a gymnastics workshop.
New playground equipment was installed for the infants. They now have a super sandbox, daisy table and chairs and a spring horse for fun in the yard.
One of the committee members, Richard, came up with the idea of ‘Newtown Noisy Time’. The children have free dance, play traffic light games and have balance time for five minutes every day. This keeps them active in the classroom.
Christmas 2012 was a very sad time for Newtown NS when one of our students, Gary Lawlor Hearns, passed away. The school celebrated the life of Gary with a fun run in June to raise money for Epilepsy Ireland. It was a great success. Gary enjoyed gardening with his teacher. Thus a memorial garden was created on the school grounds. The children plant vegetables in their specific beds each year.
The raising of the flag on January 28 was a great day. Every class performed songs and poems. There was many guest speakers, including Majella Fennelly from Laois Sports Partnership, Martin Patterson, Chairman of Crettyard GAA, Handball coach Terry Corry and Anne Brennan, the parents’ representative on the Active Schools Flag Committee. The pupils on the committee also spoke about the sports that they enjoy the most.
The highlight of the day was the visit from the President of the GAA, Liam O’Neill. The principal, Ms Campion, thanked Liam for making the occasion even more special. Liam had a question and answer session with the children. Then the committee, along with Mr O’Neill, raised the Active School Flag.
The school are very proud of all their students, and for all their hard work, participation and dedication in sport.
The school would like to thank all its staff, students, parents, and people from the local community, guest speakers and the president of the GAA, Liam O’Neill, for attending such a special occasion.