Active Flag


Active School Flag Information

What is the Active School Flag?

The Active School Flag (ASF) is a Department of Education and Skills initiative supported by Heathly Ireland. The Active School Flag is awarded to schools that strive to achieve a physically educated and physically active school community. The process aims to get more shcools, more active, more often.

Bunscoil Bhóthar na Naomh is currently working towards attaining our first Active School Flag. In order to achieve this, we will be running various active initiatives throughout the year.  The aim of this is to increase awareness of the importance of physical activity amongst young people. It is recommended that every child receives 60 minutes of physical activity a day.

For us to achive the ASF, we have to satisfy four criteria which are listed below:

A. Physical Activity
B. Physical Education
C. Partnerships
D. Active School Week
Please read on and find out below how we are doing!    

Physical Activity

Physical Activity is the promotion and engagement of exercise and movement in addition to the 60 minute per week timetabled curriculum subject of Physical Education. Bunscoil Bhóthar na Naomh actively promotes the message that children require 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activiity every day. In Bunscoil Bhóthar na Naomh we have been extremely busy as we have engaged in a wide variety of different programmes, ideas and initiatives which have inspired the children to become more active.

Bunscoil Bhóthar na Naomh promotes the full range of fundamental movement skills during break times and pupils are encouraged to run, play and to do your 'talking as you're walking'. We have two daily playground breaks and our school yard is zoned and marked to allow children to engage in a variety of different activities. Our school has playground leaders who set up activities and sports equipment during break times for others to use.

All pupils engage in an extended classroom based physical activity break on wet days and short physical activity breaks during the day (Go Noodle, running breaks, exercise breaks etc.)

Our school has agreed and Active School Flag slogan which is "We love fitness, yes we do. We love fitness, how about you?". Our school incorporates physical activity into school calendar events as we hold different seasonal activities and events which can be viewed in detail below.

Bunscoil Bhóthar na Naomh ASF Slogan

Our ASF committee organised a school wide competition to find our ASF slogan. Each child was asked to brainstorm a slogan and submit it to the committee. We done to Rose on a super entry.

We love fitness, yes we do. We love fitness, how about you?


Tour of Europe Challenge
During one school week in October, the whole school participated in a 'Tour of Europe' challenge. The aim of this challenge was to get all the children of Bunscoil Bhóthar na Naomh up and active at different times during the school day.
Each class in the school selected a different famous European landmark and the challenge was for the class to run to this landmark over the course of the week. A course was set out for each class, with the younger classes having a smaller course and the older classes choosing to run around the whole school as their course, and each lap ran by each child counted as 1Km. By Friday the challenge was to have ran the equivalent number of laps to the distance of the famous landmark of choice.
The landmarks selected were as follows:
JI = Big Ben
SI = Eiffel Tower
1st = Vienna and Prague Castle
2nd = Iceland
3rd = Denmark
4th Athens
4th/5th = Leaning Tower of Pisa
5th/6th = Poland
6th = Bulgaria
The 'Tour' was a huge success and every child put in a great effort into helping their class to reach their destination within the week. Every child left school each day feeling energised and healthy and we really pushed ourselves to improve our fitness. In total we ran 22,917Kms.
Climb the Heights Skipping Challenge
The Children took part in a climb the heights skipping challenge in January. They all had a pick mountains of their choosing from around Europe and skip as many mountains as they could in the month! 1 skip = 1 metre.
Active classroom breaks / rainy day breaks
Go Noodle: The children love working out to dance in the classroom. It helps with perception of space, gross motor skills and body movement.
Running breaks:
The children either go to the halla, outside or run on the spot if it is raining. Their aerobic conditoning has improved immensely.
Exercise breaks:
The children enjoy working out in the classroom. They pull a lollipop stick from the pot with the name of an exercise and the number of repetitions they need to complete.
Lunchtime activities
Lunch time is always very busy in Bunscoil Bhóthar na Naomh. Children can freely engage in multiple activities during the week. There is a choice between hurling, camogie, Gaelic football for boys and girls, volleyball, table tennis, dancing and choir. All pupils are encouraged to get involved and to be active!
Active Homework
Over the course of three weeks in November the whole school completed an active challenge for homework each night. Some challenges included jumping jacks, squats, quick feet, shooting hoops and air boxing. The children recorded how many they completed every night in their special active homework booklet. This was a very beneficial experience for the children in Bunscoil Bhóthar na Naomh and helped them and their families reach 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
Playground Leaders
We have super playground leaders from 3rd to 6th. We follow a rota for which leaders will be on the infant yard and which leader will be on the main yard. The children plan and organise the games, the equipment, ensure the area is safe for games etc every Friday lunchtime. They explain and demonstrate the games, motivate the pupils and organise the tidy up afterwards.
Active lines
All children took part in teh active lines challenge every Tuesday and Thursday over the month of December. Our active flag committee members led the children in 4 minutes of activity at break and lunch times and reported back that, whilst initially really nervous, they really loved the opportunity to take responsibility of the school's fitness and designing different workouts for the children to complete.
Cork City Marathon
Inspired by the success of the active school flag, teachers in the school have signed up to run legs of teh Cork City marathon 2019.
Active School Walkway
The children love 'doing their talking as they're walking' on the active school walkway. They can chat with friends, discuss the hot topics of the day and get fitter while they do it!

Physical Education

All classes are taught 6 different PE strands each year: Athletics, Aquatics, Dance, Gymnastics. Games, Outdoor and Adventure. In Bunscoil Bhóthar na Naomh each class receives at least an hour per week of physical education. 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. We have focused on streamlining the delivery of the Physical Education across the school following guidelines from the PDST Move Well Move Often programme. Below is a small sample of areas that we are covering in the school.

We decided to prioritise athletics as out strand for development this year. All classes used the Move Well, Move Often framework to plan and deliver lessons so there is a clear progression of fundamental movement skills across the school.
The children from 2nd & 4th classes attend weekly swimming lessons in the Aura Leisure Centre in Youghal, Co Cork. Each week the children learnt and developed different swimming strokes and techniques. Aquatics consistently proves to be a weekly highlight for all children as they learn new skills and overcome fears.
We really enjoyed gymnastics this year. We practised all the basic movement actions of balancing, rolling, turning, twisting, stretching, climbing, transferring weight with a variety of rolls. We followed and devised individual, pair and group sequence and we practised take-off and landing skills. Gymnastics helped us with our posture and good body tension. It was also beneficial to observe and describe movement of peers as this helped with the understanding and appreciation of gymnastics.
The children enjoy the opportunity to practise new skills in games lessons. They develop new skills, create their own games and put their Fundamental Movement Skills into practise during whole class games, group games, partner games and individual games. The Hula Hoop game & Never Ending Tag has proved to be huge hits!
Mrs. Margaret Fitzgerald is teaching dance to pupils from First to Sixth class every Wednesday in the drama room. She teaches modern and ballroom dances. This is a great opportunity for all pupils.
Outdoor & adventure
We have set up an orienteering course around the school with our new Active School Walkway pack. The activities in this strand 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.


We believe partnerships are a key aspect of the Active School Flag. When a school participates in the Active School Flag Programme it is vital to interact and engage with other organisations and clubs. It helps to spread the message of the importance of activity.

We set up our own ASF committee at the beginning of the ASF process. Children who were interested in joining the committe wrote letters of application explaining why they would like to be on the committe, an idea that they would like to introduce and what changes they would like to see at the end of the process. The committe members keep all classes up to date on ASF news and events, they help to plan events, brainstorm ideas and keep the ASF notice board up to date. Senior pupils from our Active Schools Committee conducted a 'What Club Are You In?' survey to find out about physical activity opportunities in the local community and the information is displayed in a bar chart on our ASF noticeboard.

Our school invited different sports clubs/physical activity providers from the local community to visit our school for Active School Week in April and at other times during the year, to give taster sessions of their activity.

Active School Flag Committee

Children who were interested in joining the ASG committee wrote letters of application outlining why they felf they should be chosen. They have worked extremely well as a team and really drove the entire process forward.

ASF committee jobs

  • Organise PE equipment
  • Help ASF coordinators to plan events
  • Keep all classes informed about the ASF
  • Helped in the selection process of teh ASF slogan
  • Help to lead playground activities on the yard
  • Keep the noticeboard up to date

Waterford GAA

Taylor Murray visited Waterford GAA and coached the JI-2nd in the skills of Gaeilc football.  Barry Dunne visited from Waterford GAA and coached the children from 3rd - 6th in the skills of hurling.


Parents Council funded balance bicycles:

The pupils from junior and senior infants had great fun learning how to balance on the special bikes. These bikse were purchased by the Parents' Council two years ago. Over a period of six weeks, the children were brought out to the front yard by their class teachers. Here they followed a route around the yard. They had fun and enjoyed great success over a couple of weeks.


Cumann na mBunscoil

We competed in the football competition in Term 1. The boys and girls trained extremely hard every lunchtime to prepare. We won the boys competiton for the west and were unluckly to lose out in the county final. Our girls played extremely well and were pipped by a few points in the western final. Well done all!

Green Schools Walk

The children, parents and teachers took part in the walk to school challenge in February. Feedback was great and all participants really enjoyed the fresh air in the morning.

Gymnastics with Kenny and Mikey

All the children were fortunate to experience an 8-week block of gymnastics with kenny and Mikey. The children have great fun learning to do rock and rolls, donkey kicks, tumbles, handstands and they even get the opportunity to put together a short gymnastics routine which they demonstrated to other children.



Dungarvan College

Transition year students from Dungarvan College took a six-week block of PE lessons with a mixture of classes. It was great for the children to hear some new voices with new ideas for lessons as well.

Safe Cycling Programme

This initiative was funded jointly by Waterford city and County Council and our own Parents' Council. Fifth class received instructions from Dermot and Neil of Tramore Bike Tours. This was a five-week course. Dermot provided the bicycles and helmets. They laid out the two front yards with roadways, ramps, roundabouts and parking areas. Each lesson had a specific objective and the children monitored each other's progress. They had great fun while learning valuable lessons. On the last day, the children had gained so much knowledge and skill that they cycled on the public road. The emphasis was on skill, safety and enjoyment, hopefully leading to a more active childhood.


Orienteering Ireland

Orienteering Ireland mapped our school with funds provided by Waterford Sports Partnership. The children are learning to read maps & symbols, find markers and work together as a team to complete orienteering challenges. Waterford Sports Partnership also mapped out the Millennium Park in Lismore. We hope to use it for orienteering in the summer term.

Lismore GAA

Parents took part in a couch to 5K with Lismore GAA club led by Mr Prendergast. They completed 10 weeks of circuit & cardio training before completing a 5K road race run on St Patrick's Day. Well done all!

Food Dudes

The school took part in the Food Dude challenge this year. They ate lots of fruit and vegetables every day for two weeks, all provided by the Food Dudes programme. Many of the children continued to bring their own fruit and veg to school after the completion of the programme.


JI & SI were lucky enough to partake in trial Zumba lessons in March. They had a great time moving to the beat!



Active Schools Week

Day 1:

We launched our Active School Walkway on a sun splashed morning to the delight of the children. 'Do your talking as you're walking' is the mantra and one that the kids will certainly live up to.

All children from 1st - 6th got a chance to take part in orienteering today. 1st - 3rd played some orienteering games in the halla whilst 4th - 6th were given the opportunity to put their skills to the test outside on the school grounds. Everybody had a great time and the children certainly got a workout trying to work out the map and find the correct ones.

Day 2:

Unfortunately, many of our plans for today got rained off. We cancelled out whole school walk and tag rugby tournament. We hope to complete these in July. We did however get to complete the skipathon in the halla.

Every class had 25 minutes to skip!


Day 3:

Superstars Day! The children were hugely excited about today's activities. Children from JI to 2nd class were split into different groups and partook in lots of exciting activities including hoola hooping, leapfrogging, hurdle hopping, ladder stepping, bean bags throws and many more.


3rd - 6th class held their Superstars Day outside in the fresh air and sunshine. We had 15 stations - each group had a great time trying out some new skills and activities such as football keepy ups, basketball shots, blindfolded walks, tennis balls throws, pencil rolls and much more.

Day 4:

The whole school certainly got a sweat up on Fit Friday. They enjoyed pushing their physical limits as much as they possibly could - many students proclaimed they felt refreshed and ready for the day after their workout. The children spent the day exercising and feeling the benefits of it. Stations included bear crawls, duck walks, commando crawls, crab crawls, squats, burpees, sprints, leg flutters etc.


Lunchtime activities:

The active school flag committee and playground leaders organised lots of fun active lines and playground games over active school week.


Daily Mile

All children ran the daily mile every day this week as part of our whole school running initiative.



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