Physical Education (PE)


Rochestown ETNS is an Active School. We focus on developing Fundamental Movement Skills and ensure that our pupils have opportunities to participate in a variety of physical activities.

As an example of the importance that we place in PE, our school chose this subject as an area for school improvement in 2019. Please see our School Improvement Plan:

Rochestown Educate Together School Improvement Plan PE

Active School Flag


Rochestown Educate Together National School is currently working towards our second Active School Flag!

What is the Active Flag?

Active School Flag (ASF) is a Department of Education and Skills initiative supported by Healthy Ireland, and part of the National Physical Activity Plan.

The ASF initiative provides schools with a framework to guide, support and incentivise them to work towards achieving a physically educated and physically active school community.

To learn more about the Active School Flag Initiative, visit their website:

Each of the four categories below shows how Rochestown Educate Together National School is an Active School!!

Physical Education

At Rochestown ETNS we ensure every child is provided with 60 minutes of PE a week. We are lucky to be able to use the sports hall next to our school for our PE lessons. We focus on all six of the strands every year. This plan shows how we split up the strands over the year.


Our teachers use both the PSSI lesson plans and also the ‘Move Well, Move Often’ resources to guide our delivery of the PE curriculum.

Every child has signed our commitment chart and wants to try and be more ACTIVE!



P.E. Equipment

We bought new PE equipment and also new storage boxes. We keep them locked to ensure they are safe and accessible to all. These are kept in our assembly hall. We have the equipment split up into three different boxes according to the strands. Our gymnastics equipment is kept in a spare room until we need it. When we are looking at the strand of gymnastics, the equipment is moved up into the sports hall for the few weeks we need it.

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This year we decided to focus on the strand of Gymnastics. We were incredibly lucky to get lots of new gymnastics equipment. We have loved being able to use them to practise our gymnastics skills. We are also very lucky as Rachael, one of our teachers, is also a gymnastics teacher. Rachael taught many of the classes gymnastics during their PE slots. Thank you Rachael! The PSSI lesson plans and the Move Well, Move Often resources helped us while we were teaching the strand of gymnastics. They gave us great ideas and a structured plan to follow over the weeks.

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Games: GAA

Pat is our GAA coach, and he comes into the school to teach the children new football and hurling skills. Pat started hurling with 3rd- 6th class this year and they are really enjoying it. We have been lucky enough to have been able to use the pitch next to our school for this and also the yard. The children have been learning lots of new skills in both football and hurling. This year not every class got the opportunity to play football with Pat due to Covid and the school closures, but hopefully next year everything will be back to normal.

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Every class has also been focusing on the strand of Games. We have been learning different playground games which have come in great to be able to play on the yard also. We have also been learning all about the game of basketball. Throwing and catching are very important and we have been working very hard on these skills during PE.


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We were focusing on the strand of Dance before the Winter Holidays. The children really loved to learn new dances and respond to music.

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During Seachtain naGaeilge, most classes in the school were learning different Irish Dances. We dressed up in green clothes for St Patrick’s day and were very lucky to get such lovely weather to be able to do our Irish Dancing out on the yard.

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We have been using the Active Walkway to practise our orienteering skills. The children had to try and find the letters in a specific order. Orienteering is great for both physical and intellectual development. The children really enjoyed being outdoors and loved working with their partners.


At Rochestown ETNS we are very fortunate to have Garryduff Woods just a 5 minute walk away. Most classes go down to the woods a few times every year. In third class, the children go to the woods once every fortnight. This really helps them to keep active while also learning lots of new things.

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6th class completed a Man Hunt down in the woods. They worked as a team and had to make lots of decisions. They had great fun and were exhausted after returning to school.

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1st class have been focusing on this strand since after the Spring Holidays and have been really enjoying it. They have learnt the importance of working as a team and how communication is key.

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2nd and 3rd class love going to the pool for swimming lessons. They go for a six week block each. They use the pool in Leisure World in Bishopstown.  They are very disappointed not to be able to attend this year due to the current circumstances. Every class from junior infants to 6th class have been using the Land PAWS Water Safety programme to learn all about water safety. The lessons have been very engaging and the children have enjoyed playing the games that match the lessons.

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Physical Education Homework

Every child at Rochestown Educate Together NS gets PE homework once a week on the day they have PE in school. We have ensured that the homework links in with the strand and the FMS we are focusing on at the time. We are using Google Classroom at the moment to assign our homework. We have been uploading the scoilnet FMS videos and different tasks from the PDST website.

The FMS we are focusing on are walking, running, hopping, skipping, dodging, side stepping, landing and balancing.






Side Stepping:



Physical Activity


At RETNS we have one big yard. We decided to split the yard into three different sections this year (2019-2020). Junior infants and Senior Infants in section 1, 1st and 2nd in section 2 and 3rd, 4th and 5th in section 3. In each section, the yard is broken into smaller sections. The children can play basketball, football, playground games or else there are skipping ropes for the children to use. Each activity happens in a different section of the yard.

This school year (2020-2021) has been quite different and we have had to change the layout of our yard. We are using cones and chains to mark out five different sections for each class on the yard. We now have three different breaks for small lunch and three for big lunch. This is how we have split up the yard.

Small Yard

10.15-10.35: Junior Infants/Senior Infants

10.40-11.00: 1st/2nd/one 3rd

11.05-11.25: One 3rd/4th/5th/6th

Big Yard

11.40-12.00: Junior Infants/Senior Infants

12.05-12.25: 1st/2nd/one 3rd

12.30-12.50: One 3rd/4th/5th/6th



Active Break Every Day

In November 2019 and 2020 we completed the Active Break Every Day challenge. We loved ticking off our active breaks and it showed us how active we really are every day. We used the yard to go on running breaks and in the class we did Go Noodle, Just Dance, 10 @10 and lots of other active exercises too. Cosmic Yoga is also a great way for us to have a break but also keep active at the same time. We really enjoy it!

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In October we participated with the YOUR-tober Challenge which was a challenge set by School Fitness Ireland. Every day we looked at the challenge and completed it either in the classroom or on the yard. This really helped us to keep fit and to stay active.

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Maths Week

At Rochestown ETNS we try to stay as active as possible every week. We love to do active challenges during Maths Week also. The teachers make up maths games and make the most of the outdoors. Maths trails around the school are a great way to keep active and also experience maths in the real world.

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Engineer’s Week

During Engineer’s Week, Clare’s 1st class constructed their own planes. They really enjoyed bring them out to the yard and running around trying to make them fly.

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Garryduff Woods

With Garryduff Woods being so close, we are very lucky to be able to use this local area. Mindfulness walks through the woods are a lovely way for the children to keep active but also to keep their minds active. We use the woods whenever we can and the children love it. We can also use the woods in a cross curricular way and do maths, science, geography and other subjects while keeping active.

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Active Walkway

On the 1st of March, Rochestown ETNS launched the Active Walkway for our school. This Active Walkway promotes physical activity and also cross curricular learning.

1st Class helped Niamh to measure out the yard and evenly distribute the walkway signs. We measured the yard with a trundle wheel. One lap of the yard is 200m. John, our caretaker then helped to drill the signs into the prefabs.

We printed and laminated the walkway activities and put them into boxes. We did two copies of them, one for the junior hall and one for the senior hall. In each box we made dividers with name tags on the top to make sure each activity is labeled and easily accessible by everyone in the school. We also made sure to put in white board markers, spray and tissues so every sheet can be wiped down after use.

Here is a map of our Active School Walkway.


Feel Good Friday

#FeelGoodFriday took place on the 26th of March in our school. We used this day to launch our walkway and some of the children made posters. They loved the walkway and can’t wait to use it again soon.

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Rainy Day Breaks

On rainy days in RETNS we ensure the children still receive a break even when they can’t go out to the yard. We use Go Noodle, Just Dance, active exercises in the classroom, Cosmic Yoga etc. The children really benefit from this as it re energises their brains and bodies before they begin their work again.

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Sedentary Time

Every class has decided on three actions to help decrease sedentary time. Each class has a sign in their classroom and they use them as a reminder throughout the day of different ways to keep active. Some of these actions include, fun run, dancing to music, Just Dance, Go Noodle, chalk on the yard, playground games, push ups, squats, jumping jacks, running on the spot.

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Run Around Ireland

Our school started the Run Around Ireland Challenge on the 12th of April. This will last for 4 weeks. Every class from junior infants up to 6th class are running every day. Each class got 2 laminated sheets. One being the challenge chart and the other being all the different places we have run to. Every class figured out how far all the different places in Ireland are from our school. Every class has decided to pick a place they would like to run to over the four weeks and tick them off when they have reached the destination. We have also really enjoyed learning about all the different places we are running to.

We brought lollipop sticks and a bucket out with us when we went running. Every lap of the yard we ran, we dropped a lollipop stick into the bucket. This helped us to count all the laps we were running

The four weeks of running is now over and the boys and girls in Rochestown Educate Together have agreed that they are feeling much fitter after all the running. We are going to keep this running up as much as we can every week. It is great for our bodies and also for our minds. Here are some of the places we have ran.


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Meet our Active School Committee

Our ASF Committee is made up of children from 3rd-5th class. We had lots of children who were really interested to be on the committee. Children from these classes were elected and excited to be part of our ASF committee.

Teacher: Niamh O’Donovan

3rd: Darcy Finn, Andy Heaphy, Belle Tiptaft, Avyukt Vikram, Adam

4th: Harry Seaman, Emma O’Callaghan

5th: Siofra Murphy, Clara Kriwan

These children are now in 4th-6th class for the school year 2020-2021.



What do we do?

We have been working very hard and meeting with Niamh once every two weeks (before Covid 19).

-Slogan Competition

The first thing we had to do was judge the poster competition to come up with an active slogan for our school. There was a poster from each class selected and then we had to pick the overall winner. This was very hard as we really loved them all. A huge congratulations to Giacamo from 1st class who won the competition. His slogan was really catchy and we also thought his drawings were great. Our ASF slogan is: Be Wise and Exercise!

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-Playground Leaders

We have also been very busy helping the infants in the yard. We have been taking it in turns to be the playground leaders (pre Covid 19). The leaders modelled how toplay different playground games to the junior and senior infants. Some of the games they taught were duck duck goose, farmer farmer and flush the toilet. They have really enjoyed this!

-Prepping Materials

We also prepared all the materials needed for the Active Break Every Day challenge. We had to go around to all the classes, give them the posters and also explain what was involved in the challenge.

-PE Equipment Audit

The ASF committee also carried out an equipment audit which helped us to see what we had and what new equipment we needed to buy. Some of the equipment was old and broken so we needed to dispose of this.

 Active School Notice Board

We have an Active School Flag notice board in the assembly hall. We put up the posters to match the FMS we are working on at the time. You can see all the other things on our notice board in the photo below.




Golf Lessons

We applied to Cork Sports Partnership and were successful in getting a visit from a golf instructor to our school. The children were so excited to participate with this activity. We were very lucky to have been given this opportunity.

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Sporting Achievements/Red Day

At Rochestown Educate Together we like to support and celebrate sports achievements of both the children in our school and also local sports teams. Each month we have an assembly and we acknowledge the sporting stars in our school.

We celebrated Red Day in support of the Cork Football team. Commiserations to the Cork Ladies on their defeat to Dublin. It was a game that hung in the balance right to the very end and it could have gone either way. We are very proud of the team.

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 Active School Week 

Active Home Week 2020

Unfortunately, Active School Week 2020 had to take place in a different manner this year. We were all competing active week at home due to the school closure. We decided we would still give the children the opportunity to complete their own ‘Active Home Week’. We got lots of very positive feedback and the children loved staying as active as possible throughout the week. Many children filled in the ‘Active Home Week’ charts ,which we sent home on Google Classroom.

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We were very grateful that Aoife, a teacher in our school, put together a video for all the children in our school. There were many local heroes in the video and they were sharing their well wishes with us during Active Home Week. The children loved this video and it went down a treat. Click on the link below to watch.

Active Home Week Video

Active School Week 2021

Active School Week was a great week in ETNS. We made the most of the dry weather and got out into the fresh air every day. We ensured to include the children and let them have an input while planning #ASW. On a normal school year we would have had local sports teams/clubs in to share their expertise and also many of our fantastic parents would have offered up their skills during #ASW. We tried our very best to plan an excellent active week this year with all the different restrictions in place.

Active Walkway

We set up a timetable to ensure every class got a chance to use the walkway during ASW. The children loved trying out the different activities and can’t wait to go out and complete the walkway again over the next few weeks. Some of the activities the different classes completed were Walkway Orienteering, Addition, Multiplication, Sentences, Alphabetical Organisation and Mindfulness.


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Active Yard

At the end of every yard break, the teachers set the children different active challenges. They were very motivated  as they were able to see all their peers doing the same challenges.

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Active Week Challenges

Active Challenges were a big part of our Active Week this year. We had many teachers who took part and also Douglas GAA/ Douglas Gymnastics club joined in on the fun. These videos were shared with the children on Google Classroom for them to complete at home. The challenges really motivated them! They were able to record the challenges they completed on the Daily Chart which was also uploaded to Google Classroom. Some classes also tried the challenges in school during the week.

Here is a link to access the drive where all active challenges can be seen:

Active Week Challenges

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Dance Dance Dance

1st Class went out to enjoy the weather and had a disco out on the grass. They had so much fun and were asking could this activity happen every week. Senior Infants also enjoyed dancing in the sun.

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Outdoor Active Learning

Most classes spent time completing different lessons outside in an active way during the week. Active maths games were enjoyed by all. We will definitely be continuing with this over the next few weeks.

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All Weather Pitch

We are extremely lucky to have an all weather pitch so close to our school. We all made use of this during #ASW. A timetable was sent out and every class could avail of an extra 2 hours to go up and use the pitch. The children loved being able to use this pitch and really enjoyed all the different activities.

On Wednesday, 5th and 6th class went up to the pitch and did lots of different activities like soccer, tennis, hockey and even gymnastics.

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6th Class even decided to complete a 5km run around the pitch. Well done everyone!!

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4th Class

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1st Class

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Junior Infants


September 2021
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