Tipperary Town school achieves health flag status

St. Michael's Girls NS

Health Flag

St. Michael's N.S. Sophie Byrnes and Megan Ryan preparing to raise the school's first Health Promotions Flag in the County

St. Michaels Girls N.S. held a special ceremony last week to raise their first Health Promotions Flag.

The Health Promotion programme has only been in existence a couple of years and St. Michaels Girls N.S. have also become the first school in the town to achieve the flag status.

Teacher and lead Coordinator Ms. Aishling O’Neil, led a Health Promotion committee through a packed programme of events throughout the school year.

'When we carried out our surveys back in October 2016 we felt that our pupils already had a great understanding of what physical health was all about and the importance of healthy eating, keeping active and fit. For the action plan the committee felt it was important to keep up this prior health education but also to focus on educating the pupils on other aspects of health including mental and social health.”

St Michael Health Flag

Above: Millie Green reading at the raising of the Health Promotions Flag celebrations with Caoimhe Gibson, Mary Delaney, Sophie Merrigan, Lucy Gibson

The main activities included cookery classes with Sonia Purcell, a ‘Food Dude Program, Inspirational quotes of the week, painting a variety of different games on the school playground, nature walks with Albert Nolan, planting trees and plants and Mindfulness classes. Another popular activity was ‘Positive pages’ where every child in the school had a positive journal that they wrote in on a daily basis. The school also welcomed guest speakers; Garda Shane Kiely who spoke to the children about social health problems such as cyber bullying and the importance of Internet safety and Sonia Purcell returned during Active Healthy week to speak about the importance of first impressions and good manners.

The Health Promotion Committee was made up of Staff, Parents and Pupils and Tracey Tobin from the H.S.E. gave advice and guidance throughout the year. The entire school embraced the activities with

many highlights during the Health Promotions programme. In particular, when the school playground was painted with a variety of different games-hopscotch, mini obstacle courses etc and every single child painted their handprint on to the wall.

For the ‘Inspirational quotes of the week’ the children painted a tree and added a new leaf each week to the tree with an inspirational quote written on the leaf. The children also enjoyed planting seeds and trees on the school grounds that were given by Tipperary County Council.

St Michael's health flag

Above: St. Michael's Girls N.S. Health Promotions Committee being presented with a certificate and holding the first Health Promotions Flag in the County:
Front: Tracy Tobin HSE and Teacher Ms. Aishling O Neill, Middle: Megan Ryan, Sarah Ryan (4th class) Niamh Lonergan Sarah Ryan (6th class) and Sophie Byrnes Back: Sharon Shiels, Kate O'Dwyer, Margaret O Halloran and Claire Davern Cooney 

“It is not by accident that we are all here today raising this Health Promoting Schools flag but rather because of dedication and diligence in staying on after school hours for meetings and the giving of time and ideas,” said Ms. Aishling O’Neil in her opening speech. “Thank you committee, I was privileged to have been asked to lead this initiative for St Michael's Girls N.S. but this achievement would not have been possible without the huge support and help from my principal Mrs. Íde Mooney, the wonderful team of staff here in St Michael's Girls school, the pupils, the parents, Tracey Tobin from the HSE and in particular the Health Promotion Committee.”

St. Michael’s Health Promotion committee wish to also thank

Sonia Purcell from the business, ‘Basically Useful’ for cookery and social etiquette classes, Garda Shane Kiely, guest speaker on internet safety, Albert Nolan for informative, interesting nature walks, Sinead Dunne for the most enjoyable tennis classes during healthy active week and throughout the school year and the Schools Completion Program for the endless help and support during the year.