Active Schools Flag

This year, we are working towards getting an Active Schools Flag for our school. The aim of the Active Schools Flag is to encourage schools to be more active, more often. It links in with all of the work we are doing throughout the year on Healthy Living – being active, getting exercise, taking care of our minds and bodies.  For more information on the Active Schools Initiative, see here.
You will find all the latest Active Flag news below.

We will be launching Active Schools in BETNS in December 2017, but we have a little bit of work to do before then! Take a look.

September Update:

Well done to our very Active and supportive parents and Conor, who took part in the Hell and Back challenge with High Definition Gym. Our superstar 4th class pupil Hannah took part in the Kids Hell and Back race too. High Definition kindly topped up our donations and we are spending a fantastic €1000 on new P.E Equipment! What a great start to our Active School Flag journey.

October Update:

The Active School Committee is now formed and have started to make some major changes around BETNS. It is their job to spread the Active word around their classrooms and encourage other pupils to take part in our activities throughout the year. We made a plan for the year ahead, designating a specific challenge for each month of the school year. We have a busy few months ahead!

Did you know that children should be active for 60 minutes every day? Physically active kids have better concentration and focus and perform better academically, Finding ways to energise the school day is therefore of benefit, not only for the health of children, but also to enhance the teaching and learning environment. Through busy breaks, PE lessons and yard time children are very active during the school day but there’s still a need for activity after school. See the following link for ideas on how to increase children’s activity levels throughout the day

We kicked off our after school activities with Yoga classes. The children are really enjoying these classes and are doing them weekly throughout the year, well done!


November Update:

The School has purchased a badminton and spike ball net, a volleyball, rugby balls, basket balls and a range of new equipment to keep us going on our Active Flag journey.

We have entered our Senior Room into the Volleyball Association of Ireland’s Provincial Spikeball Tournament for 2018 and we are very busy practicing!

What is Spikeball?

Spikeball is an initiative developed by the Volleyball Association of Ireland to aid School Teachers in introducing Junior Volleyball to their students. Volleyball has traditionally been viewed as a difficult sport to introduce to young children, but it doesn’t have to be. SPIKEBALL is an adapted 4-player v 4-player volleyball game that was introduced to Ireland in the last 3 years and has seen participation levels increase by over 300%.

With the simple modifications that Spikeball Volleyball offers, we teachers can easily provide their children with a fun and rewarding Volleyball experience. It is aimed specifically at children of Primary School age and those at 1st/2nd Year in Post-Primary School. The objective of these adaptations is to encourage learning, promote physical activity, and increase the fun for the participants.

VAI, 2017

To find out more information about Spikeball and the Volleyball Association of Ireland, click  here.

We will keep you updated on our progress for the first round Dublin/Wicklow tournament in February 2018.


 December Update:

The Active Flag Schools project has officially launched in BETNS! To celebrate the launch, the AS committee have organised an Active Advent Calendar! They made a calendar for each classroom, with a different active activity for each day on the run up to our Christmas holidays. We aimed to do these activities for 10 minutes each day at 10am. This was our twist on the 10@10 challenge as recommended by RTE’s Operation Transformation in 2017.

We counted squats, completed plank challenges, played mini basketball games and football matches, ran laps of our field and danced away in our classrooms each day to name but a few activities.


January Update:

This month the AS committee decided to take on a huge challenge to start off 2018  with a bang! Teachers and pupils alike worked hard to achieve an excess of 10,000 steps a day. Two of our amazing children took a whopping 19,000 steps in just one day!

We smashed our 1 million steps goal! Thank you to Wicklow Local Sports Partnership who kindly allowed us to borrow their pedometers for the challenge. Well done to all of the children who took part! We are 1,256700 steps closer to achieving our Active Flag 🏆#ActiveWicklow #OneMillionStepsChallenge

The BETNS staff came together to organise our P.E equipment and to make a plan for our P.E lessons for the rest of the school year. We decided to keep our 10@10 activities, to offer a brain break to our pupils, we have entered the school into a local soccer tournament (more information to follow), we are awaiting a visit from an IRFU coach to train teachers and children in Tag Rugby and we have reminded ourselves of the P.E Curriculum, to make sure our learning objectives are fair, measurable and achievable for our pupils. We reflected on what works for us and what we need to improve on, all for a more active future for the children.

The P.E Curriculum:

There are 6 strands in the P.E. curriculum:

  • Athletics
  • Dance
  • Games
  • Gymnastics
  • Outdoor and Adventure
  • Aquatics

5 out of the 6 strands are covered each year, with Aquatics being taught both in the classroom (water safety) and in the swimming pool. Physical Education is allocated 1 hour per week of overall teaching time, however with Active Schools we hope to increase this through our day-to-day school activities.

If you wish to take a look at the curriculum, it can be found on the NCCA website.


February Update:

We welcomed World Kickboxing Champion Caragh O’Donovan to our school this month. Caragh talked to us about her kickboxing career and achievements to date. She is aiming to go to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo to represent Ireland! She was a huge inspiration to us and our own mini kickboxers in BETNS.

Caragh joined us part of the Sports for Schools Partnership. On the day, we held a fundraiser for both our school and the athletes. We had to work really hard for an hour, completing a circuit and cheering on our schoolmates. Have a look at this  video and see can you spot our budding female Rocky in the making!



Here is our Active School Committee with the World Kickboxing Champion Caragh O’ Donovan




We held a healthy lunch day to recover from our energetics with Caragh. The PTA bought fresh fruit for us to enjoy and eat together as a school. Lynn chose strawberries, bananas, mangos, apples and oranges for us to eat. We had a fantastic afternoon and completed a healthy eating quiz. Eating balanced and healthy foods is just as important as staying active!

To finish off a very busy month, we have very exciting news… we have to congratulate the Senior Spikeball Regional CHAMPIONS… BETNS!!! After months of hard work, sore arms and determination, our amazing team won 5 out of their 6 matches to top the leaderboard against Wicklow and Dublin Schools on the 6th February 2018. We are so proud of their achievement. We will go on to play in the Leinster Finals on 26th February. Come along to support us, ask Claire for details. GO TEAM!


March Update:

We began the month with lots of outdoor play as the Beast from the East hit our school.

When things settled down again we got back to our Active School duties with a new school initiative. The BETNS Running Club began and is a very popular choice at lunchtime. The club currently has 65% of the school population involved. Have a look at our training routine:

Junior Room: 2 laps of the field

Middle Room: 3 laps of the field

Senior Room: 5 laps of the field

Best of luck to our new BETNS 5-a-side Soccer team, who are taking part in the FAI Primary 5s Tournament this month. The boys and Conor are training hard and will attend their first tournament on April 11th.




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