THE 25 teacher Presentation Primary School in Portarlington has been working towards attaining an Active School Flag for the past number of years. The process involved reviewing the school’s performances in 15 key areas, and targeting improvements in all of them. It involved establishing links and working closely with all the local sporting associations.
In June the school held its Active School Week, when all classes had a variety of activities, including a Demonstration Day, Sports Days, and Play Buddy Day. Over May and June the senior classes had an eight week ‘Run a Lap Challenge’ where pupils were given five minutes per day to run around a circuit and they recorded the distance run each day.
There were weekly prizes for those showing most improvement, and each child received a certificate at the end of the challenge recording her achievement. When the application was finally submitted, an accreditor visited the school and commended the school on its excellent work. The school became one of only two schools in Laois to have achieved this award.
On Tuesday June 26, 6th Class pupil Kathleen Mullally joined with past-pupil, Portarlington’s own former International athlete and Manager of the Irish 2010 Winter Olympics Bobsleigh team Siobháin Hoey to raise the Active School Flag in front of the school population.
In Presentation Primary School Portarlington the children are provided with the opportunity to access physical activity in a way that is fun and encouraging for all taking part. The aim is to encourage children to develop an understanding of the importance of physical activity for a healthy development. It has also provided a huge opportunity for the children to develop social skills, developing team work and co-operation across the board.
The school engages with all the strands of the PE Curriculum. All children from 1st to 6th enjoy swimming lessons, all classes have gymnastics and dance lessons, and this year the school worked with local John Bolton who set up an orienteering course in Corrig Wood.