Sport in St. Mary's
The Primary PE curriculum is made up of six strands as follows
• Outdoor & Adventure
At St. Mary’s S.N.S. we ensure that all classes get their allocated PE time each week and that each of the strands of the curriculum is covered in some way, throughout the year.
Each year pupils from St Mary’s take part in cross country athletics events in both St Joseph’s Ns Valleymount (Oct) and Avondale House (Nov). The trials for these events took place in the school grounds at the end of September. These were open to all pupils and are always very popular, with well over half the school taking part. Once the trials had taken place 32 pupils, 4 boys and 4 girls from each year group, were then selected to represent the school at the events mentioned above. We had a very successful day in Valleymount with some fantastic individual performances. We also had great success in our team performances with 5th class girls placing third, 5th class boys came second and finally 6th class boys came third in their category.
Later in the year the school also takes part in the Greystones track and field event (May). This involves activities such as sprints, distance running, relay, long jump (3rd &4th), high jump (5th& 6th), javelin, turbo javelin and tug of war. The trials for these events take place during our Active school’s week. Again these are open to all and are very popular with our pupils. After the trials 176 pupils are chosen to represent the school at the event. This year’s event has since been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
We are very lucky in St Mary’s S.N.S. to have Mick Cahill, Leinster club and community rugby officer work with our 4th classes each year. Mick worked with each class for a six-week block, from January to February midterm, teaching the children basic tag rugby skills. Each session involved warm ups with chasing and evading games which the children loved. He worked with the children on skills such as ball handling, passing, running with the ball, receiving a pass, tagging and scoring a try. The children really enjoyed these sessions and benefitted so much from Mick’s expertise.
Pupils from 3rd class took part in the Futsal soccer event in the school on the 7th November. Six teams in total represented St Mary’s SNS on the day, one boys and girls’ team from each class. They competed against teams from Gael scoil na Lochanna and Blessington Educate together. It was a great opportunity for all the children who play soccer to display their skills and introduce others to the game. A fantastic day was had by all.
On the 12th of March boys and girls from both 5th & 6th classes took part in The Spar FAI primary schools 5’s programme. The event took place in the Blessington FC grounds in Crosschapel. Again it was a great opportunity for the children who play soccer to display their skills and introduce some potential converts to the game. There were some great team performances by the pupils of St Mary’s on the day. Unfortunately, the event had to be cut short due to the Covid-19 school closures. We look forward to more events like this in the future.
Indoor soccer league
During the school year Ms Morris, Mr Forde and Ms Hogan organised an indoor soccer league within the school. This was open to all pupils and each class could enter a number of teams. The teams had to be mixed boys and girls with 7 players per team. The matches were to take place after school on Thursday’s each week from January to June. The league was split into two parts with teams from 3rd & 4th classes competed against each other and 5th & 6th competing. The competition involved knock out games with the winning teams progressing to the next stage. Initially there nearly 150 pupils taking part, making up 22 teams. There were some very exciting and nail biting games in Round 1. Two of which had to be decided by penalty shoot-out. Unfortunately, this competition has had to be stopped due to the recent school closures.
Every year our pupils take part in the Lakeside area Community games competition. In January this year Ms Nelson, Ms Fleming & Ms Power held trials in school over the course of two weeks. Following these trials thirty pupils in total were chosen to make up 3 teams. The teams were U13 girls, U13 boys and an U11’s mixed boys and girls team. Once the teams were selected they trained at break times in order to prepare for the competition. The school had great success in the preliminary rounds. If successful in these rounds, the teams would then take part in the County and Leinster finals. Unfortunately, all competitions have been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the school year Ms Morris and Mr Forde organised a GAA league within the school. This was open to all pupils and each class could enter a number of teams. The matches took place at lunchtimes each week from October to February. The league was split into two parts with teams from 3rd & 4th classes competing against each other and 5th & 6th competing. The competition involved knock out matches with the winning teams progressing to the next stage. This culminated in two really exciting finals. The 3rd & 4th class league winners were Monstrous Monkeys and St Mary’s Kingpins won the 5th & 6th class league. The children loved taking part in the league and it encouraged more children to get involved with the sport.
Both Ms Morris and Mr Forde had hoped to organise a hurling league within the school but unfortunately this has not been possible due to the current school closures.
GAA 5 Star Initiative
Ms Morris & Mr Forde registered the school to take part in the GAA 5 Star initiative. This aims to support and recognise Primary schools that provide 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous Gaelic games to pupils every week. Schools that deliver a programme that is age appropriate and meets the developmental needs of the children will be recognised as “GAA 5 Star centres”. They must also undertake to deliver the following activities throughout the school year
• Have a ball
• Fun & Run
• Catch & Kick
• Strike it
• Go Games
• Go games skills challenge
A number of staff members took part in a GAA workshop with development officer Paul Garrigan, in December 21019, as part of this initiative. Along with the hurling and football leagues, both Ms Morris & Mr Forde had hoped to organise a series of blitzes for the student in the Spring and Summer teams. This has not been possible due to the Covid-19 school closures.
Every year the school competes in the Dublin league of the Olympic handball competition. Trials and training take place for these teams after school every week from October to December. Ms Nugent and Ms Hogan then select 2 teams of 12 players, one boys U13 and one girls U13 team to represent the school in this league. The matches are usually held over two days in Blanchardstown IT and Gormanston college sports centre. This year our teams took part in the Gormanston event in February. Both the boys and girls’ teams played exceptionally well on the day, with the boys’ team coming 3rd in their group.