Our Lady of Good Counsel GNS

Ferrybank, Waterford

A Primary School child’s response to ‘John Greene: Running every day can deliver huge benefits for our young at little to no cost to schools or parents’ (Sunday Independent 29th April 2018)

By Annabelle Walsh
2nd May 2018
As I read John Greene’s article, I just couldn’t help agreeing with it the more I read. He wrote about the well-known story about Elaine Wylie, a primary school teacher from Scotland who got her class to run a mile a day in school. The results were remarkable, showing a great increase in not only the children’s physical health but also their social, emotional and mental health.
Soon schools all over Scotland were running a mile in school. England is also taking up running their daily mile and finally we are slowly following the trend. It’s definitely a good thing Ireland is now starting to run the daily mile, because I believe that there is definitely more we can be doing for physical education in schools.
Even though there is more we could be doing, this last year our school has been especially active, as we started working on our Active School flag. I am on the Active School Committee, along with seven other students from 3rd to 6th class. We organise games for all the girls in our school to join in at lunch time. We have Active School meetings nearly every Monday. We have done hockey, soccer, athletics and camogie for all the classes.
Last week was a special week for Active Schools, because it was Active School Week, where we did loads of active activities. We walked to Prague, walking as a school around our Active School Walkway. Each lap each girl walked was counted as 1km. We ended up walking 1802km as a school. We did camogie in the GAA pitch. 3rd class got to do musical bums. All the classes did our normal Irish dancing lessons. 3rd to 6th class did dodgeball while Junior Infants to 2nd class did mini games. 6th, 5th and 1st class did African slap dancing.
All in all, our school is a very active school, but there will always be more we can do, like maybe running the daily mile in the future. As a child from Kerry said, “The daily mile makes you more smiley.”

Congratulations to Stephanie in Fifth class who designed the winning poster for our Active School Competition.

Active Schools Week

This week is Active Schools Week and the girls have been active all week. Every morning this week parents students and teachers have been walking around our new active walkway. We counted over 351 people each day which participated in our walk. We are completing the Walk Around Europe Challenge for active schools week and we hope to reach Prague today. We were all so excited to go up to Ferrybank GAA pitch to play Hurling and Gaelic football this week. Fourth class played volleyball and football up in Abbey Community Colleges hall. We completed active homework all week which was so much fun. Yesterday Aoife Slattery who is an Irish international soccer player came to talk to us about her soccer journey. She encouraged us all to join Ferrybank Soccer club and to believe you can achieve anything . Aoife has played soccer all over the world and has received an Irish Cap. Billy from Ferrybank Soccer Club also spoke about the benefits of playing sports and said it is good to try a new sport. We would like to thank Ms Anderson for organising such a an amazing week of active activities. We all had a really enjoyable week. Ms Irish and the Active School Bloggers Sophie and Emily in Fourth Class.

Active School Certificates

Huge congratulations to the following students on receiving their Active School Certificates: Second class, Senior Infants, Niamh, Mia, Anna-Maria, Nia k, Kriya, Ella, Ciara, Amelia, Aoibhínn, Emily-Rose, Connie, Judita, Favour, Debbie and Hayley. Well done and keep up the good work girls . We are all looking forward to Active School Week next week.

This week Junior and Senior Infants took part in athletics. Great excitement was seen as the classes completed an obstacle course. We jumped over hurdles and through hula hoops. We would like to thank the active school committee members and the playground leaders who were so encouraging throughout the week. It is great to see everyone working together to ensure we have the most fun at break time. We would like to wish everyone a happy Easter and we are looking forward to more fun filled active lunch breaks in term three. Here is a throwback of the infants playing soccer recently. Emily and Sophie fourth class.

February’s lunch time activity is soccer! Each class is assigned a day and the committee organises soccer activities for them. Some classes play matches, some class take shots on the goal and some of the younger classes practice kicking the ball. The committee were delighted with the enthusiasm from each class this month.

After today’s meeting, the Active School Committee have decided that next month’s lunch time activity will be athletics. With our new Active Rewards Pyramid in each class, the whole school has had lots of practice running.

The committee are putting the final touches on the equipment room. A big thank you to Mark who has built us a new set of shelves and who has helped us massively with organising the P.E. equipment. We’re very lucky to have him on the staff!

This Friday as assembly, the girls will announce an upcoming school-wide competition. Everyone is invited to create an Active Slogan for the school. They can put their slogan on an A4 page and illustrate it. The girl with the winning slogan will create a large poster of her design and it will become our new Active School Slogan!

The Active School Committee (ASC) are delighted to back up and running this New Year!

1. We’ve started January off with two weeks of hockey! Every class in the school will have a chance to play hockey at break time. The Active School Committee will prepare and organise the games for each class. We really are lucky to have such reliable and enthusiastic girls on our committee.

2. A new school-wide activity has been set for spring. Each class received an Active Treats Pyramid chart. For every lap run by the class, they can colour one triangle on their pyramid. Who will be the first class to complete their pyramid?

3. Of course, the winners of the Active Homework prize were Second Class! Congratulations! You have really been working hard. The prize for this class is an extra-long lunch break on a day chosen by their teacher during which they can play with the P.E. equipment they vote on as a class! What a wonderful prize thought up by the Active School Committee. Congratulations Second Class!

A recap of December’s achievements:

1. Circuit training! Every class in the school took part in circuit training with the ASC. Some circuits the girls chose were hula hooping, burpees, star jumps and skipping. Congratulations to Sixth Class who won the certificate of excellence for this task. They really worked hard and were so enthusiastic. What a great example for the younger girls.

2. A whopping sixteen girls from Junior Infants to Sixth Class were presented with certificates in December. The ASC nominated these girls for there energy, enthusiasm and great attitude during all the lunch time activities organised so far. Well done, girls!

3. The music and dancing organised and led by the ASC at lunch time was a real hit! The committee have decided to continue to use this activity at lunch time intermittently throughout the year.

4. One focus for the committee at the moment is to make sure that the girls are using the sports equipment available to them as often as possible. To begin with, the committee have been sharing the skipping ropes during break times. They have also been coaching the younger children on how to skip.

5. Thanks to the help of the teachers, the Active Homework is up and running in every class in the school. The prize for the most Active Homework completed before Christmas will be announced shortly. Stay tuned!

“11th December 2017
The Active School Committee ran a Circuit Training session with the girls in Fifth Class last week. This was a practice run for the January active lunch-time activity. The girls did an excellent job and hope to have another practice run this Wednesday. Which lucky class will be chosen this week!?

As the weather has been terribly cold, the committee used its initiative and put plans in place to make sure everyone is still moving in the yard. The skipping ropes and hula hoops were shared among the children and the girls co-ordinated individual and group skipping activities. You can see them in action below. Can you spot any committee members in their hi-vis vests?

4th December 2017
Our committee members had a busy meeting this week.

Some items on the agenda included starting an audit of the school’s P.E. equipment, re-organising the equipment room, planning circuits that are suitable for all classes and, of course, receiving their new Active School Committee badges and whistles!

The girls are the first to wear Active School Committee badges in this school and I hope they will wear them with pride!

24th November 2017

A big bualadh bos for the Active School Committee who organised and hosted two lunch time dance parties this week! The brave girls stood as dance leaders and the school followed along to their moves. We can’t wait until next week when the committee will organise two more surprise dance parties outside!

We are pleased to introduce the members of our first ever Active School Committee: Annabelle, Jessica, Olivia, Aoife, Sophiat, Lily, Tara and Saoirse!

The committee members are enthusiastic, active girls who have made an excellent start at making Good Counsel School a more active school.

The first job for the committee was to introduce Active Homework to the school. The girls brainstormed appropriate activities for each class that everyone could take part in. Posters were made for each class and the exercises were demonstrated at Assembly. The committee explained that if, for example, a class chose star jumps as the exercise for one night’s homework, every girl is encouraged to do at least ten star jumps at home.

Each class must complete active homework at least one night per week. The class that fills its Active Homework chart first will win a prize. We hope the whole school enjoys our first Active School Challenge. Ready. Set. GO!