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Monday 22 July 2019

Active School Flag for St Edward's

St. Edward's NS, Ballytivnan was presented with the Healthy Ireland 'Health Promoting Schools' Flag' and the 'Active School Flag' at their annual Failte Festival recently.

The Healthy Ireland Health Promoting Schools (HPS) Flag was presented by the HSE to the school as an acknowledgement of all their work in improving the health of their school community.

To achieve this accolade, schools follow a process whereby the whole school community (parents, staff and students) are consulted to identify priority health areas. Schools are guided to address their priority area under the following evidence based categories: environment (social and physical) curriculum, policies and partnerships.

The Active School Flag (ASF) is awarded to schools that strive to achieve a physically educated and physically active school community. The process aims to get more school, more active, more often.

European research has shown many benefits of the HPS and the ASF whole school approach to health. Chief among these benefits are; improved Lifestyle behaviours, increased self-esteem, safer and cleaner school environments, lowered incidences of bullying, a positive approach to health issues, increased parent involvement and better student/teacher relationships to name a few.

Over a period of 4 years, the school developed an action plan to address the health areas identified. The school HPS Coordinator, Elaine Kivlehan along with the school principal, Jean McGowan, lead the HPS team to plan, co-ordinate and deliver the work. The main focus and theme of the work included the promotion of being active and staying fit and healthy.

"The health and well-being of our schools is of key significance at this time more than ever," said the HPS Coordinator Elaine Kivlehan. "The health of our children is a priority and a health promoting school promotes the health of all those linked with the school including school staff, parents and the wider school community.."

Past pupils Dean Clancy, Aaron Gethins and Kailin Barlow returned to the school to raise the two flags. Each of them have already achieved great success in their chosen sporting fields and are proving to be excellent role models for the children of St. Edward's. Dean Clancy represented Ireland at the Youth Olympics in Argentina last year. Aaron Gethins has recently turned professional as a boxer and Kailin Barlow has played soccer for Ireland.

The award ceremony concluded with a BBQ and fun games for children and parents of the school community.

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