St Columba's Straw

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Physical Education

in St. Columba’s
  • In St. Columba’s we strongly believe that Physical Education and Movement (PE) has a fundamental role to play in the development of the whole child.  It provides the foundation for a healthy life style, promotes self-  esteem, reduces stress, improves concentration, fosters good behaviour and allows children to develop their understanding of co-operation, fairness and respect for  others through active participation.  By employing a wide range of teaching strategies to deliver a broad and balanced programme of physical education we strive to provide all our children; with activities designed to be enjoyable, dynamic, purposeful and regular.

    The range of physical activities is wide and includes athletics, dance, games, gymnastics, swimming and outdoor education. A high quality programme is designed to ensure the needs, abilities and interests of all individual children.  We believe it is important that children are given opportunities to participate in a range of enjoyable physical activities and good nutrition habits at an early age so they will be more likely to continue being physically active throughout the rest of their lives. 

    The early years are essential in laying the foundations of physical competency and positive attitudes towards physical activity. The Foundation Stage builds upon the child’s own experiences and understanding from home, pre-school and community.  The activities in the Foundation Stage aim to enhance the physical development of children, their understanding of themselves and their relationships with others.

    This will continue throughout Key Stage one and two and careful planning helps to ensure continuity, progression and achievement through a board and balanced Physical Education programme.  In St Columba’s pupils are provided with a wide variety of opportunities to progress from;

    • simple movement explorations and performances to developing increasing competence, control, co-ordination and spatial awareness in a range of physical movement skills and being able to refine, extend and perform the skills with improved accuracy and consistency;
    • exploring and using a wide range of large and small equipment to using equipment appropriately and with increasing confidence and control;
    • sharing and playing co-operatively in small groups to working co-operatively and in playing competitively in a variety of physical activity situations;
    • recognising and following rules and safety procedures to being able to apply the rules and safety procedures in the appropriate context;
    • responding to a range of stimuli to developing their responses in movement by exploring, creating and performing movement phrases in response to different stimuli;
    • being able to talk about movements of themselves and others to being able to make decisions, observe, appreciate, discuss and evaluate the movements of themselves and others and recognise what makes a good performance;
    • understanding the reasons for changing for Physical Education to understanding the need to wear appropriate clothing and footwear for different activities;
    • experiencing a variety of warm up and cool down activities to understanding the reasons for warming up and cooling down;
    • being aware of the effects of exercise on the body to developing an understanding of the relationship between physical activity, good health and well-being
    Sporting Enrichment

     In addition to our wonderful Physical Education Programme, we also have excellent opportunities for our children participate in additional enriching PE experiences. In St Columba’s we are very proud of our Irish culture, community and heritage our pupils have the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge of ceil dancing and the Gaelic Games.

    Our very skilled teaching staff who organise and plan our Gaelic games after school clubs, have played in their GAA codes at the highest standard and hold qualifications for “Caman Get a grip Camogie Foundation Course,” “Foundation, Level One and Two Youth and Adult Hurling and Football Courses”, We have strong links with Ballinascreen GAC and promote participation at club level. Furthermore, our school also funds the Derry Council Coaching officer, who coaches P1-P7 Gaelic Games.

    Our extensive extra-curricular programme also provides opportunities for all our children to extend and develop their knowledge, skills, understanding and interests acquired during and enjoyment of the Physical Education programme.  Part of the provision involves our pupils participating in non-competitive and competitive fixtures against other schools. We welcome and value such opportunities as it helps our children to develop and learn lifelong lessons about sportsmanship and enjoy the excitement of competition and in achieving success.  Our children understand the value of hard work, dedication, teamwork and the drive to continually improve and at the same time understanding it isn’t always about winning, but about participating, enjoyment, development and giving your best effort.

    Throughout the years St Columba’s has enjoyed a variety of individual success and team success, in the cross country, hurling, camogie and Gaelic football competitions.   This success is testament to the hard work that the pupils and coaches have put into developing their skills and talents.

    It is our aim that by providing positive and enriching experiences, a lifelong interest in physical activity is encouraged.