St. John's SNS Arklow

Active School Flag

Active School Flag

St.John’s S.N.S are currently working towards attaining our first Active School Flag.

What is the Active School Flag?

Active School Flag is a Department of Education and Skills initiative supported by Healthy 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 schools, more active, more often.

Over the last year we have been very busy in St.John’s S.N.S. working on the following areas: Physical Education, Physical Activity and Partnerships. We have also organised an Active School Week in June.

The process aims to get more schools, more active, more often. St John’s is already a very active and energetic school; we hope to continue to grow in this important area of school so that we can receive the ASF. Some ideas the committee have come up with include playground leaders, PE Equipment monitors, Active line leaders, active homework, ASF suggestions box , run a marathon challenge, Gonoodle classroom breaks, walk a mile with a smile, drop everything and dance, numeracy trails and much more. We hope to pick one or two ideas a month to focus on. We will also arrange an Active schools week where the school will organise different events throughout the week so that it is a whole school effort to be more physically active on those days.

Meet our Active School Committee 2020/2021


Children who were interested in joining the committee wrote letters of application explaining why they would like to be on the committee, how hard they would work and how passionate they were about encouraging others to get active.

Our committee is made up of pupils from 3rd to Sixth Class.

The Active School Committee have very important jobs:

  • They motivate us to get active.
  • They organise P.E and playground equipment.
  • They keep the P.E storeroom tidy.
  • They lead playground activities on the yard.
  • They helped in the selection process of our ASF slogan.
  • They have committee meetings to plan and organise ASF events.
  • They keep all classes up to date on ASF news and events.
  • They keep the ASF noticeboard up to date.

Active School Flag Notice Board

We now have our ASF noticeboard set up in our school hall. Here you can find each month’s action plan and anything else active schools have organised on the board.


Active School Slogan

The Active Flag Committee would like to congratulate Jamie Rowlands on winning our slogan competition for the year 2019/2020. Our slogan for this year will be ‘Active Here, Active There, We can be Active Anywhere’.


Active school committee survey

The active school's committee conducted a survey on what sports clubs the students of our school members of.

411 students were present on the day of the survey. They found over half the children in our school were members of local sports clubs. Football(soccer) was the most popular. Other sports included GAA, swimming, golf, boxing, athletics, dance, gymnastics, bocce, tennis and more.

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Physical Education in our school
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 (lessons begin in 3rd/4thclass).

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

Physical Education is allocated 1 hour per week of overall teaching time.


St. John's works with many of the local sports clubs in order to promote physical activity both in and outside of school. Classes are lucky to get coaching from the local rugby, soccor and GAA clubs each year. These coaches come in and work with different class levels for 6-8 weeks at a time. Children have the opportunuity to try a new sport or improve in a sport. Children also have the opportunity to gain an interest and the confidence to join some of the local sports teams in the community. We are very greatful that these coaches then join us on our annunal sports days and help set up some of the differnt activites for the children on the day.

Physical Activity in our school

Since forming and Active School's commitee here in St. John's we have made it our mission to come up with new, fun and inclusive ways of encouraging as much physical activity throughout the school. Take a look below at all the wonderful ways we have promoted getting more active in our school!

Run a Marathon Challenge

This term the Active Schools committee have been very busy implementing our action plan across the school. We started our ‘Run a Marathon’ challenge after the mid-term and every class has been getting fit trying to complete it. The goal is that each student runs 3 laps of their yard every day for 7 weeks.


Active Breaks

The ASF committee have also introduced ‘Active Breaks’ into the classrooms of St.John’s. Each class is encouraged to take one short active break a day as it is proven to improve school work. Classes have been taking dance breaks, workout breaks and running breaks. Each class received an Active Break sheet to mark that they’ve completed their active break each day.


Playground Leaders

‘Playground Leaders’ has been introduced into the yard. ASF committee members have created a rota so they each get a day to be a playground leader. These leaders collect equipment and set it up on the yard for the designated class to play with . Every few weeks the playground leaders change the equipment and games . So far each class has got to play with skipping ropes, hula hoops, basketballs and gaelic footballs. The playground leaders set up different games with this equipment for each class to enjoy!


Active Homework

3rd and 4th classes have taken part in the super trooper programme so that they are not only being active in school but at home also. Super Troopers with Laya Healthcare is a programme which encourages children and their families to live happier and more active lifestyles. Through short bursts, fun daily activities around physical activity, wellbeing and nutrition, this programme helps to promote healthy minds and bodies. Each child in 3rd and 4th class received a Health Homework Journal, which includes activities taking 10 to 15 minutes to do as part of their homework each evening.


We decided to extend our active homework initiative across the whole school for the end of the year. We decided that active homework would replace written homework for our active school’s fortnight and the remainder of June. We decided to make the month of June as active as possible by replacing all written homework with active homework for the whole month. Each student will receive an active homework sheet with different activities for homework every night.


Skipping with Skip N Rope

Mark from Skip n Rope came to our school in March for a one day workshop. Pupils learned different footwork skills, beginner to intermediate skipping tricks, long rope games and partner skipping. We were challenged with new routines, tricks, along with developing teamwork skills like partner skipping, long rope and team games. It had a really positive impact on the whole school as skipping became a popular activity on yard at breaks.

1 Million Step Challenge

Thanks to Wicklow Local Sports Partnership the whole school had a chance to take part in the One Million Step Challenge. Our school was supplied with step counters for 4 weeks and each class level was challenged to reach one million steps between them each week. We are delighted to say that every class group reached 1 million steps in under a week! 3rd class had a total of 1.1 million steps, 4th class had a total of 1.3 million steps, 5th class had a total of 1.5 million steps and 6th class had a total of 1.3 million steps. Well done to all the classes for getting over 5 million steps in just one month!


Seachtain Na Gaeilge

For Seachtain Na Gaeilge each class level learned an Irish dance and performed them at a céili dance and ceolchoirm organised by the school’s Gaeilge committee. A pop up Gaelteacht was set up where each class made a stall for a cluiche in the hall. Children were invited to the hall to play all the different games.

Halloween dress up walk

On the last friday before Halloween , the children were asked to dress up in the spooky costumes and parade around the school yard. take a look at some of the excellent costumes in the school!

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Santa Dash

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Active schools week 2019

Active School’s Week in St.John’s was from the 10th - 21st of June. We decided that we would do a fortnight of Active Schools Week as we had so many ideas. The committee worked so hard to plan all the different activities and events that took place . Below are some of the different activities implemented.

  • Wednesday Walking Club.
  • Morning circuits
  • Sports day
  • 10 @ 10
  • Maths trail
  • Funky Friday on the 3rd class yard
  • ‘Climb the Heights’ Skipping Challenge
  • 3 laps of the ASF walkway a day
  • Rowing Challenge
  • Active school’s poster competition
  • Walk 4 Johns


Active school’s week was a great success. From half past 8 every morning the school was active and taking part in all the new activities planned. Children came in early for morning circuits, took part in 10@10, completed the skipping challenge, took part in the Mile a day challenge and much more. We planned our sports day to coincide with Active schools week. Due to the size of our school we had two sports days- one on each week of our active school’s fortnight. One of the most exciting events planned by the committee was the ‘Rowing Challenge’. Thanks to Ms.O’Gorman we were able to set up rowing machines in our school hall and the active schools committee worked with each class on perfecting their rowing techniques. Each child then had a chance to row as far as they could in 2 minutes. We set out to see how kilometres St.John’s could row. Together the school rowed an amazing 57km!





Sports Day

All Senior Members of the Active School’s committee took part in helping out at Sports day. Activities planned for sports day including partnering up with the Local GAA and soccer clubs to organise Gaelic football and soccer games. We also partnered up with the Wicklow local sports partnership and had an obstacle course set up by Graham. A number of running races and fun races were also set up. Children on the Active School’s committee assisted all coaches and teachers in setting up games.


Walk 4 Johns

On the 23rd of June 2019 our school organised a family fun walk to raise funds to go towards a new school hall or better known as our ‘Space to Play’ campaign. The walk was a great success with many children and their families coming out to take part. A number of different activities were organised for after the walk including face painting, outdoor games, refreshments, sponge throw, drama classes, raffles and much more. We raised an amazing 12,700 euro from all our fundraising efforts this year!Check out our Facebook page to see some of the videos classes made to promote the walk!






Active Schools week 2020

Due to school closure our school couldn't have the Active school week that we had planned. Instead we took part in Active Home Week. We asked families to participate in 60 minutes of activity each day. We broke this up into four 15 minutes slots or slots of 30 minutes. Each day we posted that day's activities on St.John' Facebook page. We also sent out these activites in the Physical Education section of homework
provided by class teachers. To make things more fun, we decided to have a daily challenge as one of the activities. Each day a teacher attempt one of the activties and post their video to the school facebook page. Children were then able to see if they could beat the teacher's score, or even challenge a family member or others to try and beat their own score. We asked families to share how your family has got on with these activities through the school facebook page. We had a great response with so many children sending in their wonderful videos and attempt of the chllanges. Check out our school facebook page to see some of the videos!

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Coolgreaney Rd, Yardland, Arklow, Co. Wicklow, Ireland
0402 32545
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