Physical Education

Physical Education in St Patrick’s De La Salle

In St Patrick’s De La Salle BNS we deliver a broad and balanced P.E. curriculum that caters for the needs and interests of all our pupils. Our talented and dedicated teachers plan, organise and deliver a PE curriculum during timetabled lessons as well as through extra-curricular activities.

The key principles of Physical Education in St Patrick’s de la Salle BNS are:

  • To ensure that all pupils are provided with a minimum of 60 minutes of timetabled physical education each week across five different strands of the P.E. curriculum; athletics, games, dance, gymnastics and outdoor and adventure. The strand of Aquatics is covered by classes 2nd to 6th who avail of pool based aquatics (8 swimming lessons) in the Watershed Sports and Leisure Complex in Kilkenny City.
  • Each class level covers the Primary Aquatics Water Safety Programme (PAWS) annually, during the month of May.
  • All teachers work together to strengthen their delivery of a different P.E. Strand every year. Dance was our key focus last year and our whole staff received CPD (Continuous Professional Development) support from PDST (Professional Development Service for Teachers) in this strand in November 2021. We invited a PDST advisor who provided support in this strand through lesson modelling. All the teaching staff attended and found this very useful.
  • As a staff, we also explored the area of gymnastics. We invited a gymnastics instructor to teach this strand to our pupils for four weeks in January 2022. Class teachers monitored these lessons and were offered the opportunity to teach their own dance lessons for a further two weeks. Caoimhe returned for another session of lessons in April 2023.
  • A standardised PE timetable is organised at the beginning of each year to ensure a balanced programme of physical activity is received by all.
  • Sporting and exercise-related efforts and achievements in school and outside school are always acknowledged on the Active School Flag noticeboard, (Our Active School Zone), school intercom and on school social media.
  • Every child’s progress in P.E. is discussed with parents at Parent Teacher meetings and feedback is included in the annual end-of-year school report.
  • Each class committed to taking an Active Break every day over four weeks. The benefits of this for the pupils are improved concentration in class, improved fitness and improved long term health benefits. Classes tried out different activity breaks including running breaks, dance breaks and exercise breaks. ‘Go Noodle’ and ‘Bizzy Breaks’ proved popular and helped to energise the pupils and reduce the amount of sedentary time too.
  • Planning is crucial to make sure that PE is accessible for each and every child. Much of this planning centres around engagement with the following:

PE School Plan

Primary PE Curriculum, which includes the Seven Key Messages for P.E.

These are:

  1. Social and personal development.
  2. To experience enjoyment and achievement through movement.
  3. To interact and cooperate sensitively with others, regardless of cultural or social background or special needs.
  4. To develop qualities of self-esteem, self-awareness, confidence, initiative and leadership through movement.
  5. To develop an understanding of fair play and team spirit through participation and competition.
  6. To develop positive attitudes towards participation in movement activities.
  7. To experience adventure and challenge:
    • Primary PE Teacher Guidelines.
    • PSSI (Primary School Sports Initiative) Primary lesson plans.
    • PDST PE Support Service.
    • Move Well, Move Often resources.
    • Land PAWS (Primary Water Safety Programme).
    • Irish Primary PE Association (IPPEA).

Our school prides itself on our impressive physical educational facilities. We are very fortunate to have two indoor PE halls, four outdoor playground areas, a green area at the back of the school and access to a sports field down the lane from our school. Numerous sporting venues in our community are also vital to the physical development of our pupils where they partake in physical activities outside of school notably James Stephens GAA grounds, Evergreen Soccer Club, Freebooters Soccer Club, Kilkenny Lawn Tennis Club, Marble City Boxing, Watershed Sports and Leisure Complex, O’ Loughlin Gaels Handball Club and many more.

We pride ourselves on the vast quantity and quality of PE equipment that we have available to use. We have a plentiful supply of resources for all strands of the curriculum. Since 2021 we have invested in 20 Gym mats, outdoor goal posts, a Bluetooth speaker and free standing basketball nets and table tennis sets. We are continuously investing in skipping ropes, basketballs, tennis balls, badminton rackets and shuttlecocks. Our pupils ask and we deliver! An audit of all PE equipment is completed every year and documented.

Most materials are kept in the PE storage room within the main PE hall and the surplus is kept in the ASD storage area. They are all clearly labelled, well organised and easily accessible.

In the ASD wing, we have another P.E. hall fully equipped with a mini trampoline, scooters, tunnels, a ramp, balance beams, gym mats, a swing and hop balls. This is an invaluable resource with many children from mainstream classes benefiting from these resources for movement breaks. We also have a soft play room which provides our pupils with an exciting, safe place for tumbling, rolling, bouncing, letting off steam and having fun!
In January 2022 our school won a free standing basketball stand for our impressive video for ‘Climbing the Heights’ Skipping Challenge. Every class skipped or did Jumping Jacks and the total was converted to metres. The total metres by the class brought them to the summit of many of the mountain peaks around Europe. Well done all!
Ms Herity and Ms O’ Shea have won hoola hoops and pool noodles for the school through the Active School webinars which they both attended.

We have two notice boards dedicated to PE. The noticeboard in the main PE hall displays the PE strands to be covered during that time frame and also the FMS (Fundamental Movement Skills) to be covered too. Each PE strand is covered for 6 weeks. The children’s progress within each strand is closely monitored by their teachers and recorded whether they are exploring, developing or mastering the skill.

The second noticeboard is ‘Our Active School Zone’. This noticeboard is situated in the Senior end of the school and photos of the Active School Committee can be seen here.

Boys from different classes offer to write about their physical activities and school events and these are displayed here too. There are also photos of pupil’s achievements outside of school on show. Any timetables, PE news or information from is also available here.

Our staff are dedicated to upskilling in the area of PE and have attended Continuous Professional Development on Physical Literacy, Cooperative learning, Shuttle time Badminton Courses and Futsal.

For many years Brian Cody had been a teacher in our school and later became the principal. During his time here he brought great excitement to our school as we followed his exploits with the Kilkenny Hurling Team. He always supported sports of any nature and physical activity. He often said that everyone needs to find something that they like and work at it. In November 2022 we celebrated his contribution to the school and sport when he unveiled a beautiful piece of artwork honouring his achievements in the school and as Kilkenny Manager.

Skipping Video