Active Schools

What is the Active School 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 achieve the Active School Flag, the following criteria should be fulfilled:


Physical Activity is the promotion and engagement of exercise and movement in addition to the 60 minute per week timetabled curriculum subject of Physical Education. 

Conna National School actively promotes the message that children require 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day.

Conna N.S. participates in a wide variety of different programmes, ideas and initiatives, which inspire our pupils to become more active.  Our school incorporates physical activity into school calendar events, as we hold seasonal activities and events.

Active school COMMITTee

We set up our own ASF committee at the beginning of the ASF process. Children who were interested in joining the committee wrote letters of application explaining why they would like to be on the committee, an idea that they would like to introduce and what changes they would like to see at the end of the process. The committee members keep all classes up to date on ASF news and events, they help to plan events, brainstorm ideas and keep the ASF notice board up to date.

ASF Committee Jobs

  • Organise PE equipment
  • Help ASF co-ordinators to plan events
  • Keep all classes informed about the ASF
  • Helped in the selection process of the ASF slogan
  • Help to lead playground activities on the yard
  • Keep the noticeboard up to date

Our Active School slogan / poster competition

Our ASF committee organised a school wide competition to find our ASF slogan. Pupils created posters and slogans, which were then submitted to the committee. Well done to Karly McClements for best slogan.  A special mention to Anna Byrne for best poster.

The Active School Flag Slogan is:

Run Jump Play, Today is Your Day

Senior pupils from our Active Schools Committee conducted a ‘What Club Are You In?’ survey to find out about physical activity opportunities in the local community and this information is displayed on a bar chart on our ASF noticeboard.


St. Catherine’s G.A.A.41
St. Catherine’s CAMOGIE42
St. Catherine’s LADIES FOOTBALL30


All classes are taught 6 different PE strands each year: Athletics, Aquatics, Dance, Gymnastics. Games, Outdoor and Adventure.  Each class receives at least an hour per week of physical education. By taking part in the Active School Flag programme it has helped us to focus on an improved provision of Physical Education in the school.

Physical Education Strands


All classes  follow PDST lessons on Athletics.


The children from 2nd to 6th  class attended swimming lessons for ten weeks in the Aura Leisure Centre in Youghal, Co Cork. Each week the children learned and developed different swimming strokes and techniques. Aquatics consistently proves to be a weekly highlight for all children as they learn new skills and overcome fears.


We really enjoyed gymnastics this year. We practised all the basic movement actions of balancing, rolling, turning, twisting, stretching, climbing, transferring weight with a variety of rolls. 


The children enjoy the opportunity to practise new skills in games lessons. They develop new skills, create their own games and put their skills into practise during whole class games, group games, partner games and individual games. Our pupils also learned G.A.A. and Tennis skills.


We learned traditional Irish Dancing during the month of March.  Each class performed their dance in front of the school during our Saint Patrick’s Day concert.  We are also looking forward to Zumba classes during the last term!

Outdoor & Adventure:

We have set up an orienteering course around the school with our new Active School Walkway pack. The activities in this strand help to develop appreciation and enjoyment of the great outdoors. The activities are team-orientated and develop social skills. Some involve map-reading and problem-solving, coming to group decisions, developing leadership qualities and taking calculated risks.

There has been a flurry of activity , since we emerged from lockdown.  

Run Around ireland challenge

During March, the whole school participated in a ‘Run Around Ireland’  Challenge. The aim of this challenge was to get all the children of up and active at different times during the school day.

A course was set out for each class, with the younger classes having a smaller course and the older classes choosing to run around the whole school as their course, and each lap ran by each child counted as 1Km.

Look at what we achieved!!

The landmarks/locations reached were as follows:

Junior Infants:  Doneraile Park, Croke Park, Fota Island, Galway

Senior Infants: Doneraile Park, Fota Island, Galway, Killorglin

First Class: Carrowkeel Passage Tomb, Connemara, Brownshill Portal Tomb, Doon Fort

Second Class: National Stud, Kildare, Lough Key Forest Park

Third Class: Opera Festival, Wexford, Rossmore Forest Park, Cape Clear

4th/5th Class: Donaghmore Workhouse, Laois, Lough Key Forest Park, Titanic Museum , Belfast

5th and 6th  Class decided they wanted to reach Beijing; hosts of the Winter Olympics.

Well done on achieving these goals!


Conna N.S. has two playground breaks.  The school yard is zoned and marked to allow children to engage in a variety of different activities.  

Lunchtime Activities

Children can play soccer on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  There are zoned areas for children who do not participate in soccer on these days and an area for skipping.  Playground equipment is available for children on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.   

Active Classroom/Rainy Day Breaks

All pupils engage in an extended classroom based physical activity break on wet days and short physical activity breaks during the day (Go Noodle, running breaks, exercise breaks etc.)

Go Noodle/Zumba: The children love working out to dance in the classroom. It helps with perception of space, gross motor skills and body movement.

Playground Leaders

We have super playground leaders from 4th to 6th. We follow a rota for which leaders will be on the infant yard and which leader will be on the main yard. The children plan and organise the games, the equipment, ensure the area is safe for games etc. every Friday lunchtime. They explain and demonstrate the games, motivate the pupils and organise the tidy up afterwards.

Active Line Challenge

All children take part in the active lines challenge every Tuesday and Thursday during the month of May.  Our active flag committee members lead the children in 3 minutes nonstop movement activities at break, practising our fundamental movement skills.


We had Frank visit our school last Friday for our very first Zumba lesson!! All the children were fantastic dancers and we can’t wait to see them perform in a few weeks!


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4th to 6th class started back after school training today in Conna pitch. We had 28 students along with Mr. Clancy and Ms. Nagle. It was a fantastic evening in the sunshine. We hope to see everyone back again next Monday.

A special thank you to Seanie O’Farrell who coaches our pupils from Senior Infants to 6th in hurling and Gaelic Football.

MAtches, Matches and more matches

Our hurling and camogie teams have had a very busy few weeks playing all of their Sciath na Scol games. We had a great day out in Ballynoe and enjoyed our trip to Clonpriest down in Gortoe GAA grounds. Well done everyone.

Sciath na scol

Today 35 pupils headed off the Midleton GAA pitch to play our first round of the Sciath na Scol. We played Ballintotas in two 30 minute camogie and hurling matches. It was a fantastic few hours and the children really enjoyed the day out. Our boys hurling team put on a fantastic display but unfortunately it wasn’t their day. Our girls camogie team worked tirelessly for 30 minutes to secure a victory! Well done to everyone who joined us today! We will be training again on Monday and will hopefully have another game next week!

3rd / 4th Class Blitz

Well done to all the girls from 3rd and 4th class who travelled to Lisgoold on Thursday 02.06.22. The girls played 3 great games against Ballincurrig, Leamlara and Ballynoe. This was the girls first football blitz and they did their school very proud. 

Ag damhsa

Look at our dancing skills from our Céilí on Wednesday!

Irish dancing is another excellent way to keep fit!


Every Friday 1st to 6th class walk down to the community hall for their tennis lessons. Everyone is really starting to perfect their skills this week.

Active walk way

We are so lucky to have an Active Walk way in our school. By following all 14 signs we walk 0.4km.


Everyone is enjoying the extra swimming lessons in Youghal!


We believe partnerships are a key aspect of the Active School Flag. When a school participates in the Active School Flag Programme, it is vital to interact and engage with other organisations and clubs. It helps to spread the message of the importance of activity.

Our school invites different sports clubs/physical activity providers from the local community to visit our school during the year, to give information and taster sessions of their activity.

Walk to Beijing

We recently put up a new Active Walkway in our school over the midterm break. Today 3rd to 6th classes completed 4 laps of this walkway to complete 1km as part of the walk to Beijing innovative.