Active School


Darrara National School is an Active School. Being active is part of our daily school routine. This is a whole school initiative lead by our Active School Committee.

The hard working committee members are: Luke, Aoibhinn, Ben, Matthew, Rebecca, Arthur and Sonny.

The Active School Flag Initiative is a Department of Education and Skills initiative aiming to encourage schools to be more active. For more information check out the active school flag website
The six strands in the PE curriculum are:

  • Games
  • Aquatics
  • Gymnastics
  • Dance
  • Athletics
  • Outdoor and Adventure

As a whole school we also incorporate the Fundamental Movement skills and focus on at least four skills each year. The Fundament Movement skills are as follows:

In 2022/23 school year we are focusing on:

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Hopping
  • Skipping
  • Balancing


PE Policy

The PE policy was reviewed by staff, parents and the Board of Management in February 2023.


PE Equipment

Our PE equipment was restocked in September, taking teachers suggestions and pupil interests into consideration. The equipment is stored in the shed and is accessible to teachers for PE lessons and pupils at break times.


Lunch Time

In Darrara National School we have ball and non-ball days at break time which encourage children to play a variety of games and activities during their lunch break.

From 1-1.10pm every day, the Active Flag Committee lead an Active Game or challenge which all pupils take part in, such as Run Around Ireland, playground games, Skip the Heights and musical chairs.

Active Breaks

Throughout the school day, pupils do active breaks. They generally take place at 10 o’ clock, 12 o’ clock and 2 o’clock. The pupils dance, gardening activities, run or do circuits exercises.

Active Homework

During the RUN AROUND IRELAND CHALLENGE the pupils had laps to do for homework. They were encouraged to get their family or friends to do the laps at home as well. Each pupil had a tracker sheet and the Active Flag Committee added the totals together.

For the month of March, Active Flag Committee decided the pupils would do active homework to encourage pupils to be active at home as well as at school and to increase active time.


During PE lessons and the active flag Active 10, the pupils of Darrara National School take part in a variety of structured games. They do GAA, Rugby, What’s the Time Mr. Wolf?, Rock Paper Scissors chase, basketball, dodgeball, rounders, tunnel games, tag games, relay races and more. Teachers use the Move Well Move Often resources in their PE lessons. 


First class to sixth class take part in swimming lessons in Clonakilty Park Hotel for a total of six to eight weeks every year. The children also learn about water safety and the school welcomes Courtmacsherry RNLI to visit every year to discuss water safety. The children also take part in the PAWS lessons which outlines essential lifesaving guidelines. 



All pupils took part in cycling lessons which focused the children on balancing as well as cycling skills. The children participate in National Bike Week. As part of the FMS hopping, the children did activities and played games which incorporated movement, balancing and landing. Pupils take part in gymnastics activities on the gym mats in the hall. They also did six weeks of yoga which improved their balance and co-ordination, as well as core strength. During our PE lessons we have been practising our movement in different ways and shapes, balancing skills and creating a balance on our own or with a partner, and rolling on the mats. We will continue to develop these skills. The children play gymnastics games(see pictures of hungry crabs and French hopscotch) to practise their gymnastics in a fun and inclusive way. This year we focused on the fundamental movement skill of balancing. 


As part of a focus on the Fundamental Movement Skill running, the Active Flag Committee have challenged the school to collaboratively ‘Run Around Ireland’. For this challenge, pupils are running laps of the yard every day and recording their daily totals. Parents and family are encouraged to get involved at home by completing laps of the garden/outdoor space. Pupils will get the lap count for any family member that does laps with them at home.

Darrara National School pupils take part in Cork City Sports every year, as well as the local Parish Athletics Day in Ahamilla. We also have our own sports day which incorporates fun races, teamwork and collaboration between the Junior Room and Senior Room. 

 Outdoor and Adventure

Pupils take part in outdoor and adventure activities in the summer term. They are tasked with reading a map of the school grounds/location and finding different pictures or letters and marking them on their recording sheet. Pupils also play simple outdoor games during PE lessons.

For the first time this school year, 2022/23, pupils from 1st to 6th class took part in orienteering in Inchydoney. It was a very successful day. The pupils learned how to read a map, find points on the map and mark their card. The pupils worked collaboratively and demonstrated great team work.

Pupils complete dance activities as part of the PE curriculum. Pupils respond to music through dance and work individually or as a whole group to complete a dance routine. Active Dance breaks are done in the classroom on a regular basis using Just Dance or GoNoodle.
​Dance also forms part of our Seachtain na Gaeilge events and our Christmas concerts would often involve dance and movement to music.


Darrara National School is very proud to work in partnership with other agencies promoting active and healthy bodies. We welcome parents/guardians, family and friends to our school sports day and to participate in the Active Initiatives organised throughout the school year such as Run Around Ireland, Step Into Spring and Active Homework. We organise active school tours and trips for the pupils. Here are some of the agencies/organisations we work with locally or in the wider community:

  • Health Promoting School
  • Cork Sports Partnership
  • FAI Soccer 5-a-side
  • Sciath na Scol
  • Clonakilty GAA
  • Clonakilty Rugby Club
  • Cycle Sense
  • Cork City Sports
  • Ring Rowing Club
  • Picker Pals
  • Clonakilty Parish Sports Day
  • Family Fete Day

Active Schools Week 2023

Active Schools Week took place from April 24th to April 28th. The Active School Committee planned and organised a variety of activities for the whole school. The Junior Room and Senior Room were involved in all the activities. Even the teachers took part! The tug of war and the table tennis takeover were two highlights of the week. Pupils were delighted to only have Active Homework for the week.

Darrara Preschool also took part in our Active Week and joined us in playing some playground games such as freeze and they did the obstacle course with us.

Active Week Timetable:

Here is a selection of photos from the week. More photos can be found on our Facebook page.

What Club are you in?

The Active Flag Committee surveyed the children asking what clubs they are in. Here are the results.