Scoil Cholmcille Whole School Plan – PE

Introductory Statement and Rationale:

(a) Introductory Statement
The PE plan for Kilmacrennan NS was formulated in consultation with the teachers, BOM and parents.

(b) Rationale
Physical education provides children with learning opportunities through the medium of movement and contributes to their overall development by helping them to lead full, active and healthy lives. We aim to provide these learning opportunities to the children in our school to maximise active learning experiences and approaches to the benefit of each individual child.

Vision and Aims

(a) Vision
We seek to assist the children in our school in achieving their potential through the opportunities they receive to physically educate themselves through the strands of the PE curriculum and to promote physical activity throughout the school.

(b) Aims
We endorse the aims of the Primary School Curriculum for PE
-To promote the physical, social, emotional and intellectual development of the child
-To develop positive personal qualities
-To help in the acquisition of an appropriate range of movement skills in a variety of contexts
-To promote understanding and knowledge of the various aspects of movement
-To develop an appreciation of movement and the use of the body as an instrument of expression and creativity
-To promote enjoyment of, and positive attitudes towards, physical activity and its contribution to lifelong health-related fitness, thus preparing the child for the active and purposeful use of leisure time.

Curriculum Planning

1. Strands and Strand Units
The strands/strand units/content objectives for the relevant class level(s) are found on the following pages:
Refer to Curriculum (also available on )
-Infant classes pp. 16-23
-First and Second classes pp. 24-34
-Third and Fourth classes pp. 38-46
-Fifth and Sixth classes pp. 48-59

Aquatics: Junior Infants-Sixth pp.62-64
The school will also use the PE lesson plans prepared by the Primary School Sports Initiative and ‘Move well, move often’.
Teachers will choose a range of activities for all strands for each class. Where possible, children will have access to the following five strands each year – Athletics, Dance, Gymnastics, Games, Outdoor and Adventure Activities
We will endeavour to create a PE rich environment in the school:
Suitable Websites
Posters/Photographs/Newspaper cuttings
We will ensure there is continuity and progression from class to class by:
Developing appropriate warm-up activities for indoor and outdoor work at each level – with strand specific mobility, strengthening and flexibility exercises appropriate to each class level.
We will record the content covered at each level which will briefly detail the level of engagement with each strand (Cúntas Miosúil)

2. Approaches and Methodologies:
We will use a combination of the following approaches:
-Direct teaching approach
-Guided discovery approach

We will use methods that encourage maximum participation by the child through:
-Individual, pair, group and team play
-Station teaching
-Using a play area divided into grids

Structure of a PE lesson:

Warm Up

Main Activity – running, jumping, throwing, rolling, striking an object, kicking, playing small sided games, orienteering, dancing etc

This main activity will take place at Individual, pair and small group levels

Station teaching will be used to teach a specific skill and to enable the children experience a variety of activities in the PE lesson

We will divide our hall/play area into Grids to allow for small group activity and yet all children will be involved

Cool Down

3. Assessment and Record Keeping
The teachers in the school constantly assess in the PE lessons delivered as we identify progress and difficulties.
We will assess
Willingness to participate in activities
Readiness to engage with a certain activity
The level of competence of a child in carrying out an activity
Interest in and attitude to activity
Willingness to cooperate in individual, pair and group activities

Our assessment tools are:
-Teacher observation
-Teacher-designed tasks

Curriculum profiles in physical education – these will be developed by the school at a later stage. We are concentrating on the introduction of the Strands at the moment.

The School’s Assessment & Record Keeping Policies are available in PE reviews of assessment is used to provide information on individual children, assist the teacher in planning a programme and facilitates communication with other teachers, parents and other professionals.
Assessment for learning to provide feedback to children, improve learning and inform practice
Assessment of learning which helps to identify the milestones children reach and the progress they make to report to parents, other teachers and the children themselves.
Assessment as learning involves teaching the children how to self assess and peer assess.
The assessment criteria used for each activity forms part of class and school planning.
Our school policy on record-keeping (in Plean Scoile) informs practice on:
What is recorded, the maintenance of school records and access to same.
The practice of sharing information with children/parents/colleagues

4. Children with Different Needs
Teachers will endeavour to support and ensure the participation of children with special needs by planning to include all children in PE activities. This will mean we have to focus on the abilities of each child. We will refer to the Draft Guidelines for Teachers of Students with General Learning Difficulties produced by the NCCA.

Potential area of difficulty
Implications for learning
Possible strategies

Fitness levels

It may be necessary to set targets to improve fitness. Include active warm ups and drills for skills practice. Vary activities in the lesson to include the use of gross motor skills; regular short periods of exercise daily; cooling down exercises and consultation with parents/guardians.

Listening and Responding

The student may have difficulty with short–term memory and concentration span.

Keep instruction simple and clear. Students repeat instruction.
demonstration(s) of task; verbal analysis of task; student performs task; teacher affirms task
move to new instruction regularly

Co-ordination and balance:

The student may have difficulties in fine and
Gross motor skills in all strand areas.

Teach suitable gait for skill, for example, throwing and catching a ball, jumping and landing, balancing.
-give good visual demonstrations
-reaffirm good examples and practices
-use additional equipment to suit the needs of the student, for example softer balls, larger target
-provide physical support to student in performing skill, for example, jumping

*Spatial and body awareness

There may be safety issues for students engaging in movement exercises.

provide suitable group arrangements; restrict area of movement; plan for the student to engage in follow the leader, and copying and contrasting exercises
use specific body parts in exercises e.g. make a shape with the upper part of the body

* Left–right orientation

It may be necessary to include regular exercises with these movements.

Include warm-up exercises/stretches. Students mirror actions of peers or teacher: O’Grady says; Follow the leader
include exercises with equipment using both sides of the body

* Behaviour

This will necessitate the smooth
Progression of lesson structure with clear instructions.

establish routine format for class and the expectations of desired behaviours
ensure that the student is suitably placed in the class for optimum learning
check that the student is attending by reinforcing and questioning
involve the student where possible in demonstration
encourage the student and assign tasks opportunities for success

* Social integration.

Keep appropriate balance between cooperative and competitive activities. Foster enjoyment of activities with others. Encourage individual student’s interest in particular aspects of the strands.
group student(s) appropriately
use co-operative fun activities regularly
give encouragement and acknowledge good effort
set appropriate skill development level commensurate with students’ ability level
Set reasonable targets for co-operative activities (individual and group).

We will plan to include children who may have physical disabilities by planning to include them in all PE activities and by adapting the activities as necessary.

General Adaptation Suggestions
Larger/lighter bat
Use of velcro
Larger goal/target
Mark positions on playing field
Lower goal/target
Scoops for catching
Vary balls (size, weight, color, texture)
Rules Prompts, Cues:
Demonstrate/model activity
Partner assisted
Disregard time limits
Oral prompt
More space between students
Eliminate outs
Allow ball to remain stationary

Boundary/Playing Field:
Decrease distance
Use well-defined boundaries
Simplify patterns
Adapt playing area (smaller, obstacles removed)
Change locomotor patterns
Modify grasps
Modify body positions
Reduce number of actions
Use different body parts

Vary the tempo
Slow the activity pace
Lengthen the time
Shorten the time
Provide frequent rest periods

Use various size balls (size, weight, texture, color)
Allow travelling
Allow two hand dribble
Use larger/lower basket
Slow the pace, especially when first learning
If student uses wheelchair, allow him to hold ball on his lap while pushing wheelchair
Use beeper ball, radio under basket for individual with visual impairment

Use walking instead of running
Have well defined boundaries
Reduce playing area
If student uses a wheelchair, allow him to hold ball on his lap while pushing the wheelchair
Use a deflated ball, beeper ball, brightly colored ball
Use a target that makes noise when hit

Use larger, lighter, softer, bright colored balls
Allow players to catch ball instead of volleying
Allow student to self toss and set ball
Lower the net
Reduce the playing court
Stand closer to net on serve
Allow ball to bounce first
Hold ball and have student hit it

Children with exceptional ability/talent for PE will be encouraged and supported by acknowledging their talents and creating additional challenges for these children in the strands of the PE curriculum they excel in. These challenges will be based on the activity being pursued by the rest of the class. In addition, the children will be encouraged to maximise their talent by forging links with local clubs (if links have not been established already) so the child(ren) can bring their talent to a higher level. The children with exceptional ability will, on occasion, be encouraged to assist their classmates in achieving proficiency in the activities they are undertaking.
All children will be encouraged to participate in all PE activities through the use of co-operative fun activities. We will also give encouragement and acknowledge good effort wherever possible. Our main aim is to set activities close to each child’s ability level but at the same time challenging them to improve their performance. Reasonable targets will be set for all children at individual, pair and small group levels.

5. Equality of Participation and Access
In planning for PE we are going to pay attention to the following areas in order to promote gender equity throughout the physical education curriculum. All children from infants to sixth class will partake in all six strands of the curriculum.
We will provide equal access for all children to physical education equipment and facilities and the use of the playground during breaks will be incorporated as an integral part of the school’s programme i.e. one particular group or class will not be allowed unlimited access to larger yard areas.

When grouping children for physical education the school will endeavour not to group children solely on the basis of gender whenever possible.
As a staff we will help children to build positive attitudes towards all activities. We will take into account the needs of girls and boys when promoting the health related fitness of children.
We will enter both boys and girls teams in inter-school competitions and where necessary (if we have insufficient numbers) we will take the opportunity to enter mixed teams.
Due to the increased enrolment of children from other countries in Irish schools, it is vital to help these children integrate. P.E. provides great opportunities for this integration
The Dance strand of the curriculum will be used to introduce dances from other cultures in the area of folk dance. The children from other countries will also appreciate the folk dances that are an integral part of our Irish culture.
Large sporting events such as the Olympics, World Cup, and the Special Olympics etc will be used to look at the customs and sporting culture of some of the participating countries.
Introduction of games from different countries i.e. boules, lacrosse to children in the school, yet at the same time acknowledging the special place that Gaelic Games hold in our culture. Gaelic Games should be given particular consideration as part of the Games programme.
Identify provision required, as and where necessary, for inclusion of the following
Children experiencing any form of disadvantage
Every child will have access to all PE activities provided by the school and lack of financial resources on behalf of the child will not hinder their participation.
“In line with Department of Education and Science recommendations, it is the policy of S.N. Cill Mhic nÉanáin not to charge for in-school curricular activities.” However, when organising the aquatics strand, this school is unable to meet the cost of running an adequate aquatics programme. As a result, the B.O.M. has given permission to charge a nominal fee to each child. No child will be denied access to swimming lessons due to lack of financial resources and the School has made provision for such children to attend classes.

6. Linkage and Integration
Linkage and integration:
Linkage can take place within physical education in that many activities transcend strands and are of benefit to the child irrespective of the strands or subjects being covered. Within the content of the curriculum, footnotes below the strand units suggest where linkage and integration might take place in the PE class.
Theme based activities will be used to support integration especially in the gymnastics strand where the language of movement can be developed in tandem with the practical activities under the theme of travelling. Further language development can take place under the theme of balance. Mathematical concepts in fifth and sixth class can be developed with the theme of symmetry and asymmetry in the PE class. Bíonn úsáid na Gaeilge i gCorpoideachas sna treoracha agus gniomhachtaí.

The effective use of ICT will create opportunities for pupils to discuss and talk about their own and others’ performance in PE.
For example, in the Gymnastics strand, peer use of a digital camera will show children what they look like when holding a balance. This will enhance the possibility of the child achieving better quality movement in the future as they have a better image of what they need to do.

The effective use of questioning from the teacher will develop the vocabulary associated with PE. Allowing the children to analyse their own performance will allow them understand and appreciate the activities of PE better and thus physically educate themselves in a more meaningful way – as opposed to something that just happens with time.

Organisational Planning
7. Timetable
In this school some classes have two half hour sessions of PE weekly; whilst others have a one hour slot. Second and Fifth Classes will attend swimming lessons from Halloween until Christmas.
Below is an example of the grid used for all classes.
The Games, Outdoor and Adventure activities and Athletics strands are done at a time when it is hoped the weather will be fine and will allow the PE lessons to be based outside.

  1. Games
  2. Athletics
  3. Dance
  4. Gymnastics
  5. Outdoor & Adventure

Discretionary curriculum time affords the teacher and the school the flexibility to accommodate different school needs and circumstances and to provide for the differing aptitudes and abilities of the children it serves. It can be allocated, at the teacher’s and at the school’s discretion, to any of the six curriculum areas – PE being one of the curricular areas.

This school will use its discretionary time for the 6 weeks of the pool-based activities undertaken to facilitate the Aquatics programme in the school – in order to cover the time travelling to and from the pool.

The school will facilitate an “Active School Week” whereby the discretionary curriculum time for the period in question is used to promote physical activity for all children in the school encompassing as many of the strands of the PE curriculum as possible.

8. Code of Ethics
(Refer to school’s Child Protection Policy based on the Department of Education and Science guidelines accompanying the ‘Children First’ guidelines.
Also refer to SPHE plan; Code of Ethics, Good Practice for Children’s Sport)
If coaches from a local or a national sporting organisation are invited into the school to work with the children as part of their PE class, they will be used to support the class teacher in the implementation of some of the PE curriculum strands in the school. They will not replace the class teacher and ultimate responsibility for the class lies with the class teacher. The class teacher will in turn support the coach on certain occasions when this will lead to maximum benefit for the children in the class.
Any coaches working in the school context will be expected to adhere to the Code of Ethics of Irish Sport, produced by the Irish Sports Council. ‘Adults interacting with children in sport (referred to as Sports Leaders in this Code) are in a position of trust and influence. They should always ensure that they treat children with integrity and respect and that the self-esteem of children is enhanced. All adult actions in sport should be guided by what is best for the child and carried out in the context of respectful and open relationships. Verbal, physical, emotional or sexual abuse of any kind or threat of such abuse is totally unacceptable within sport, as in society in general.
If there is a suspected case of child abuse in the class (even if it becomes apparent in the context of a PE class), all teachers will adhere to the Department of Education and Science Child Protection Guidelines to be used with the ‘Children First Guidelines’ produced for all personnel working with children.

9. Other School Activities
Other school activities will be organised by the school. All children of relevant age to the activities being offered will be invited to attend. These activities will adhere to the general principles of the PE curriculum of the school as follows:
The importance of enjoyment and play
Maximum participation by all children
The development of skills and understanding
A balance between competitive and non-competitive activities
A balance between contact and non-contact activities
Providing opportunities for achievement for each child
Providing activities equally suitable for boys and girls.

List the Competitions/Leagues/Games the school will enter:
GAA: (Cumann na mBunscol competitions in football & rounders)
Soccer: ( FAI competitions; Finn Harps competitions)
Athletics: (Finn Valley Track and Field; Cross Country & Sportshall)

The school will organise a sports day where parents/community/others can be invited to view children’s PE activities and encourage them to participate.
Note: The extra-curricular programme that involves competitive activities should always reflect the aims and objectives of the PE curriculum.

10. PE Equipment and ICT
We have a fantastic school gym in our building and an Astroturf pitch, running track and long jump facilities. Our school has a detailed inventory of equipment and resources available for PE. This list is compiled by the post holder for PE and is checked and updated at the beginning of each school year.
It is stored in a store in the school gym. Each teacher has access to the store room and it is the responsibility of each class teacher to ensure that all equipment is returned to the room after each lesson. Any breakages have to be reported to the post holder as soon as possible. The post holder will inspect the room once a week. Each teacher will be given a copy of the equipment list and will be informed of any changes to it throughout the year.
The post holder in consultation with the Principal and the staff will have the responsibility to purchase the PE equipment for the school and to apply for equipment from different organisations.
The BOM, on the recommendation of the Principal, will sanction a budget for updating of PE equipment annually – subject to funds being available. At present, there is no dedicated PE grant. The Principal may on occasions also request additional funds from the Parents Association.
In order to ensure a PE rich environment, the school will have a dedicated PE information board where school and local events will be advertised. The use of the school’s digital camera will be vital in recording PE activities. The display of these pictures on the notice board will give an opportunity to children to see themselves and others in action.
The use of the digital camera as a diagnostic tool for teacher is extremely valuable as children can view their own performances while still involved in a PE lesson. They can make immediate changes to the quality of their movements which in turn will enable them assess themselves in a more meaningful way. For example, this is particularly true when investigating the theme of balance in the gymnastics strand. Use will also be made of a digital video camera from time to time to enable children view their performance of certain activities in the PE classroom. The teachers will initiate discussion of this with the pupils and field any questions the child may have as to how the quality of their performance could be enhanced.
Microsoft Office, Digital Camera software, Publishing Software will be necessary in the school and most of the software is loaded on the school computers.
All internet usage follows the strict guidelines laid down by the school in our Internet Usage Policy. This covers the use of appropriate software and the access to safe websites. Teachers will visit websites prior to children being referred to them and much of the websites will be visited by the teacher and shown to the children through a data projector.

11. Health and Safety
Issues identified as being health and safety issues in a PE context include warm-up at the start of all physical activity, practising in confined spaces, use of equipment, accidents, supervision, activities involving the whole school yard, procedures for dealing with accidents …etc
It is important to acknowledge from the beginning that while the following procedures will eliminate unnecessary hazards they cannot remove all risks due to the physical nature of the subject. When engaging children in PE all members of staff will ensure that the following safety aspects will be taken into consideration
All children have to wear suitable footwear and clothing during a PE lesson. Children will not be allowed wear any jewellery during a PE lesson.
The equipment used will be suitable in size, weight and design to the age, strength and ability of the child and be of good quality and in good repair. Children will be taught how to lift and carry all PE equipment safely.
In all PE lessons, children will warm up and cool down. This develops good practice and the children will return to class relaxed after activity.
Should an accident occur in the PE lesson we will follow the procedures outlined for other accidents in our Health and Safety policy.
Running activities will not finish at a wall or pole.
Best practice is safe practice and the teacher should ensure that the children understand that the rules and procedures are there for their safety.
We will endeavour to have an appropriate surface for the activities in the PE lesson
Children will not be forced to do activities they are not physically or mentally ready for.

The staff in the school regularly undertake First Aid courses and the BOM fund the course fees. The First Aid Kit is kept in the hall and is restocked regularly with items only recommended by First Aid personnel. A second portable kit is also available when children are participating in PE outside the school grounds. The medical conditions of all children are detailed by their parents/guardians on the school enrolment form. These are then transferred to a central file and any cases teachers need to be vigilant of are also kept in a separate book in the staffroom in order that the teachers have immediate access to information on the conditions and resulting procedures to be followed. Their parents/guardians will be contacted and if necessary, their family doctor as outlined on the aforementioned enrolment form. Detailed leaflets are made available to all staff on specific conditions such as asthma, diabetes and allergic reactions etc.

12. Individual Teachers’ Planning and Reporting
The whole school plan and the curriculum documents for PE will lay out the structure and format that teachers will follow in addition to the aims and objectives of the primary school curriculum. While these documents are vital for planning, it is important that teachers do not rely on them exclusively as it is necessary to adapt the PE plan to your own class level and experience. It is vital that all teachers plan individually while at the same time ensuring that their class plans co-ordinate and feed into the overall school plan.
For now, teachers will plan based on the strands as outlined on the yearly timetable in Section 8 and can explore the use of themes in their planning especially in Gymnastics where themes such as balance and travel can provide a great stimulus for lessons (Refer to pp. 34-35 Teacher Guidelines)
The Cuntas Miosúil will be very relevant in reviewing and developing the school plan for the following years. Once the individual Cuntas Miosúil have been evaluated it should be obvious to the staff which elements of the curriculum were being implemented.

13. Staff Development
Current research, reference books, resource materials and websites dealing with PE. and have definite links to the curriculum and PE in Ireland. The school has a library of relevant resource material that will aid the teachers in their development and implementation of the PE curriculum and we endeavour to build it. An inventory of organisations will be drawn up where free resources will be available.

If the need arises, we will ask our local Education Centre if they can organise a course on a particular area of PE we think we need more training on. The staff members attending extra courses will be encouraged to share their new ideas with the rest of the staff. Like all other areas of the curriculum, time is allocated at each staff meeting for regular updates to all staff on the different areas and initiatives that are taking place inside and outside school
Teachers can benefit from their interaction with the local sports coaches e.g. G.A.A. who provide coaching in the locality. Any coaches invited into the school will be there to support the teacher with a view to promoting good practice.

14. Parental Involvement
We will ask all parents to support their children to participate in all strands of the PE curriculum. We will ask parents with recognised areas of expertise in the area of PE and/or Sport to support us in our efforts if their talents will be of benefit. We will outline the benefits of the PE curriculum at an information session for parents and stress the difference between PE and sport and encourage them to become involved in our Active School Week or any initiative we will organise. We will encourage sporting endeavour at all times. This is a hugely popular week in the school and has been since we received the Active School Flag in 2009 and more recently 2022. We have achieved the flag on three different occasions.

15. Community Links
We are very much aware of the school’s role in the community and we are also conscious of the fact that the expertise of people in the community is an invaluable resource to any school.
Local clubs and sporting organisations are invited to provide information on the services that they provide. Termon GAA club also avail of our facilities on an annual basis to promote gaelic games in the area. We currently have an outside GAA coach  who visits the school every year and develops the kids skills in  gaelic football. We work very closely with the following clubs:

Ag Súgradh le Chéile

Kilmacrennan FC

Termon GAA

Local athletic clubs

Finn Harps Schools Programme

Cumann na mBunscol

Citadel Gymnastics


Aura Leisure Centre

If a local team or individual has had a notable victory, they will be invited in to the school to share the victory with the local children.
The community has also been involved in fundraising for PE facilities and equipment for the school.

Success Criteria
The importance of enjoyment and play
Maximum participation by all children
The development of skills and understanding
A balance between competitive and non-competitive activities
A balance between contact and non-contact activities
Providing opportunities for achievement for each child
Providing activities equally suitable for boys and girls.

Means of assessing the outcomes of the plan include
Teacher/parent/community feedback
Children’s feedback regarding the activity level, enjoyment and skill development of the classes
Inspectors’ suggestions/report
Second level feedback

We promote physical activity through:
PE activities every week with minimum of 1 hour PE time

Cross country training held in Term 1

Annual Sports day held in June

Sponsored school walk held annually

Active Schools Week held in June annually

Donegal GAA schools coaching programme

Inters-school competitions in GAA, soccer, rounders and athletics

In – House soccer/basketball/GAA leagues

SPHE – promote healthy eating policy throughout the school

Swimming in the Aura Leisure Centre for R1 and R5 annually

Gymnastics program in 2nd term annually

PAWS program on the dangers of water to be taught in all classes

Annual 5km road race as fundraiser for the school in May

Súgradh le Chéile

Play activities at break


(a) Roles and Responsibilities
The PE post holder will co-ordinate the progress of the plan, encourage and accept feedback on its implementation and report to staff on findings

The plan be monitored and evaluated every May as the school year nears an end and we can reflect meaningfully on how well the PE programme has been taught and received in the school. The following will be consulted in appraising the PE plan

Post holders


(a) Roles and Responsibilities

(b) Timeframe

Ratification and Communication
This PE plan was implemented in 2011. It was reviewed in 2017-18 school year and was last reviewed in January 2023.

  • School Holidays

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      Use the first link for Applications to our Mainstream Junior Infant class & for applications to other Mainstream Classes

      Enrolment Application Form  school year

      Please attach a copy of the child's Birth Certificate with the application.

      Closing Date  31 January 2023.


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      Forms for Special Class Applications are listed below.

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      The school will close for pupils on Monday 5 June 2023.
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