Gordon D'Arcy Murals


This is the shelter that Gordon Darcy added his mural - part of the Heritage in Schools Project.

Pheasants Grazing

Gordon reflected the flora and fauna of the Ardagh area.

Rabbits and Hares

Both rabbits and hares can be seen in the fields regularly

Forest View

This side panel (on the outside of the left wall of the shelter) shows a forest scene with deer, rabbits and pheasants.


There are deer in the woods nearby. They can sometimes be seen in the evening.


Mallard (male and female in the pic) can also be seen. Pic also has a heron and what looks like a stoat or weasel.


Swans populate the turloughs and ponds in the area. These are probably teenagers who have been pushed away by their parents.

General View

This is an overall view of the shelter mural.

Rare Species

These are some of the native species which can be seen in their native habitat, the school!

Our Active School Slogan

The Active Schools Committee decided that it was important for us in Ardagh N.S. to compose a slogan which adhered to the ethos of the Active Schools Programme. Every pupil had the opportunity to design a slogan which they thought would enable our school to achieve a physically educated and physically active school community. After careful deliberation we decided that the slogan that would make our school “More Active and More Often” was Emma from 4th Class:

                “Don’t be a Slouch Get off the Couch                

Don’t have a kip Just have a Skip.”


Runners Up-4th Class Students-Amy & Ella

“Run long

Run Strong

Run with Pride

With every stride!”

PE Equipment

Our PE equipment is stored in an outside shed. The equipment is stored in an orderly fashion but sometimes not left back that way!


An audit was carried out, damaged equipment discarded and new equipment purchased. Boxes were sorted and labelled and placed on shelves.

We wanted the shed to be easily accessible so that all strands of the PE curriculum could be completed.

Active Home Week

Due to the current circumstances with Covid 19, we are unable to keep up with Active Schools activities. Coming up to Mid-Term (Feb 15th-19th) we decided to organise an Active Home Week.

 Pupils designed their own Walkway around their house, gardens, driveways and even fields! Next videos were uploaded to our SEESAW app of pupils, past pupils, future pupils and parents skipping, hopping, squatting, lunging, etc at the various markers along the route.

Our art skills were now put to the test! Our future Van Goghs had to draw and design active and sporty posters which highlighted our slogan or were free to include their own catchphrase. We had a great response and some of our posters were displayed on our Active Schools Notice Board.

In case we were stiffening up after our art activity we invited our pupils to take part in the Jerusalema Dance Challenge.

The Jerusalema dance challenge took off in February 2020, as Covid-19 caused lockdowns in African countries like in most parts of the world. ... The song, in IsiZulu, one of South Africa's 11 national languages, is a prayer to God to take the singer to the holy city of Jerusalem. Guidelines were forwarded on the SEESAW app. Again we had some brilliant videos forwarded and little did we know that our parents had some great moves too!


Video Links for Home Workouts

Cosmic Yoga https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKa2LHYcln4&t=9s


P.E. with Joe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zGzJdPB-1A

Trolls ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhfkYzUwYFk

‘Wake Up Shake Up’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gUbdNbu6ak

Go Noddle https://www.gonoodle.com

Skipping Skills https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChv0GUoeif1tHONdgg_bthQ

Meditation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtYIQiXyrsE


Teacher              Mon                Tues                Wed                Thurs                Fri

Mrs McGarry                                                                11.30am-12.15pm 11.30am-12.15pm


Mrs Fox                               1.30pm-2.15pm    2.15pm-3.05pm


Mr Harte                                                                       1.15pm-2.00pm       1.15pm-2.00pm


Mrs Tighe                                                                     2.15pm-3.05pm       2.15pm-3.05pm


SEPT          OCT           NOV          DEC           JAN           FEB           MAR           APR           MAY       JUNE 

Athletics     Outdoor         Games      Aquatics        Home    Challenges       Gymnatics    Athletics          Games     Games 

                  Orienteering                    PAWS                                                  Dance



We encourage our students at Ardagh N.S. to get involved in activities outside of school. Research states that involvement in a local club is most likely to encourage lifelong participation in a sport or activity.

We are close to the Ballina, Knockmore and Crossmolina areas which means there are an abundant of clubs and facilities close by.

Pupils are always welcome to share victories and successes and sometimes more important defeats in school assemblies (pre-Covid19). Photographs of our pupils performing for local clubs are put up on our school website and posted onto our twitter feed.

The school are only too glad to pass on any literature and recruitment information from these clubs to our pupils at any time of the year.                                                                                         


Below is a list of some of our local clubs:


Ballina Dolphins Swimming Club

Kilmurry Football Club

Ballina Town Football Club

Moy Valley Athletic Club

Ballina Athletic Club

ArdMoy GAA Club

Crossmolina Badminton Club

Crossmolina Basketball Club

Ardagh/Crossmolina Boxing Club

Iceford and Stableford Horse Riding Clubs

Our school has formed lots of partnerships with local schools. An annual GAA Blitz takes place between Ardagh N.S., Knockanillo N.S., Rathnamagh N.S., Carn N.S. and Cooneal N.S.

Some of our Green Schools Committee taking part in "active weeding for ASW!"

Active School Flag Survey


Our 3rd Class boys (pod) took on the envious task of completing a survey on finding out what sporting clubs our pupils are members of.


They formulated a list of all clubs in the locality and then visited the classrooms. Pupils were asked which clubs they were part of, how long they were affiliated to the club and how often they trained/completed physical activities with their club.


The results were collected and displayed on a bar graph which can now be seen on our Active Schools Notice Board.

Research was also carried out on the drop-off rates from clubs as we felt we needed to know why some pupils ceased to continue a sport or physical activity. 




















Active Schools Walkway

We launched our Active School Walkway on Friday 26th of March 2021.

The committee selected a route that was safe & best suited to our school.

The markers were spaced evenly along the route & the blue active markers were spaced at regular intervals.

Members used the trundle wheel to measure the distance of the trail.

The basketball & handball courts and the Long Jump markings were included on the route to ensure different physical activities could take place.

The children were delighted to use the new walkway route as part of their Daily Mile challenge, Run around Ireland/Europe, Santa Dash and Book Character parade.

Walkway signs will also be used for orienteering activities. 

A big thank you to the Active School Committee for their help and support in designing the route and organising our launch day.

Look out for the green and blue signs around the school building and grounds and feel free to take a stroll in safer times!

Book Character Day

In Ardagh N.S. we partake in a “Book Character Day” on the day of the Halloween holidays.


Pupils are encouraged to dress as a character from their favourite book using as many home-designed costumes and props as possible. 

They take to the microphone and tell the audience the book character they are, why they chose the role and of course the book they have enjoyed reading.

Prizes are given out and a great day is had by everyone.

This year we coincided Book Character Day with our Active Schools Calendar.

Pupils paraded in their costumes on the yard in the form of a fashion show and were also given opportunities to play safe outdoor games with their classmates too.






Physical Education

Physical education provides children with learning opportunities through the medium of movement and contributes to their overall development by helping them to lead full, active and healthy lives.


The Physical Education curriculum allows for an hour of physical activity each week for each class. We teach all 6 strands each year: Athletics; Dance; Gymnastics; Games; Outdoor and adventure activities; and Aquatics.

The focus in the physical education curriculum is on the child's holistic development, stressing personal and social development, physical growth, and motor development. Goal-setting, within the curriculum, focuses on individual improvement and not on winning or being the best.








The Athletics strand was our focus strand for this school year. It was important to bear in mind the importance of following Covid19 Guidelines hence our decision to select Athletics. We felt developing the physically literate child through the lens of Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) was an important target we set.

The “Move Well Move Often” resource was paramount to helping our pupils explore the FMS of running, warm ups, sprinting, relays and planning.

Initially we stressed the importance of warming up before we started any high-intensity activities. Our Walkway provided us with an excellent circuit to wake up our muscles.                                                                                

                                                  We then introduced:

Cone/Ladder Games                                            Number Runs

Chatty Runs                                                        Four Corners Partner Runs

Card Suits                                                           Light stretching of key muscles



We looked at Teaching Points for Running/Sprinting:

Hold the head up, stable and eyes looking forward

Elbows bent at 90 degrees

Lean slightly forward when accelerating and slightly backwards when slowing down

Drive arms backwards and forwards vigorously in opposition to the legs

High knee lift with the thigh almost parallel to the ground

The kick back should be close to the buttocks

Push off from the ball of the foot and land on the heel of the foot initially

When the run speed increase contact will be made predominately with the ball of the foot only


These techniques were practised in sprinting activities, reaction sprinting, sprint squares and pyramid sprinting.





Team work is very important when completing warm-up and running exercises and none more so when developing our relay skills.

We introduced out and back beanbag relays, pair relay, hula hoop relay and corner relay.

Developing the relay baton passing technique was next on the agenda. We explained the upsweep, downsweep and push pass procedures. Some of our pupils watched elite athletes demonstrating their expertise in relays races on European and World stages.





Cooling Down

Like warming up, our cool down is just as important. After running activities all pupils jog a lap of our Walkway and then walk a lap to relax our muscles. Light stretching takes place on muscles such as the neck, shoulders, arms, hamstrings, quads and calves..


For Seachtain na Gaeilge pupils performed a famous Irish dance “An Dreoilín” (The Wren) on our school yard. Teachers and pupils worked hard on the delightful dance moves and on March 16th took to the floor and executed brilliant versions of the iconic dance draped in as much green as possible for the upcoming St Patrick’s Day. 







We introduced two new sports in Ardagh N.S. over the last year. Hurling/Camogie and Tag Rugby were enjoyed by our pupils over the last few months. Covid19 guidelines were adhered to as skills and games sessions were practised and performed in a Bubble/Pod settings. Hopefully we can showcase our new skills in local blitzes when it is safe to do so as well as inviting in local coaches from James Stephens Hurling Club and Ballina Rugby Club.

























Gymnastics in physical education is concerned with the use of movement in a creative way in response to set tasks, both individually and with others. As part of our Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) some of our classes have worked on The Fun Gym Circuit. This circuit have 12 activities to help develop a variety of skills and muscle groups used in gymnastics.



























Outdoor and Adventure Activities

 In this strand unit the emphasis is on physical activity in the outdoors. We are providing opportunities for walking but more importantly giving walking a purpose. Outdoor Challenges are aimed at developing trust, cooperation, problem solving and team work in response to physical challenges. Coordinators appear on our Walk Way signs that can be used for orienteering activities and Treasure Hunts and not forgetting the adventures of our Junior Classroom on their annual Easter Hunt.























All pupils get the opportunity to attend the local pool in Ballina for 6 swimming lessons provided by fully-qualified swimming instructors. A bus transports the pupils to Ballina and all enjoy tuition, diving opportunities, pool lengths and of course fun and games at the end of the lesson.  

Pupils are also educated in Water Safety based on the PAWS Water Safety Resource. Our classes watched the presentation corresponding to their class level.

Our 1st/2nd classes worked on the PAWS lesson structure and learnt more about:

Baths                                        Paddling Pools                    Outside-Barrels, drains and ponds

Farms                                       Ice                                     Rivers

Swimming Pools                        Beach Safety                       River Safety

Activities based on cloze tests, completing sentences, floating/sinking and clicking on correct pictures/words were completed on the above lessons and all participants received a merit certificate after their excellent work.


Santa Dash  

As part of our Active Schools Calendar we organised our inaugural Santa Dash on the day of our Christmas holidays. 


We were all in a festive mood as we donned our Christmas jumpers and Santa hats (Mayo jerseys were also deemed suitable ahead of Mayo's big All Ireland Final). Each bubble and pod ran around a Santa-friendly course to Christmas Carols.


Pupils, sorry Santas, clocked up the laps as they sung to their hearts content, everything from “Jingle Bells” to “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.























Active Schools Week








National Dates: April 26th – April 30th, 2021

This week is the highlight of our year. The Active Schools website provided us with some fun but challenging activities.

Our Run Around Ireland Challenge-Our virtual journey over our great country was completed on Thursday 29th of April.

The good news was that all classrooms completed their whistle stop tour of our country and learnt so many facts about each historical and tourist site.

Pupils shared their own experiences on the times they visited these locations. The challenge drove us on to complete as many laps together as a team.







Walkway Activities-We were thrilled to launch our Walkway on Friday 26th of March 2021.

Our intention was to make as much use of our trail around the school yard.

Our 10 green signs and 4 blue signs provided us with many opportunities to link together our learning and physical activities.



Some of the active learning/physical activities we promoted were:

Before-school walks


Meetings on the Move


Walkway Playlists



Map Work                                            



Alphabetical Organisation  






Dictionary Work


Active Breaks-For our Active School Week we encouraged our staff and pupils to engage in as many active break as possible. We signed up to the Bizzy Break programme in conjunction with the Irish Heart Foundation.  

Bizzy Breaks is a collection of activities for primary school pupils designed to support children to move throughout the day.

We spun the Funky Fruit Wheel in class. The Dice Dance and Alphabet Actions broke a sweat for us while the Animal Moves and Movement Dice got our hearts racing and our cheeks red.






Home challenges-Active Homework was organised for pupils and not to forget parents and guardians. Ideas worksheets, balloon and beanbags activities and creative challenges were all tackled at home and from feedback collected most if not all were overcome.















Teacher Challenges-Our school organised Teacher Challenges as part of Active School Week 2021. 2 years ago the Staff and pupils enjoyed a “BasketBall Shoot-out” and an Obstacle Course. Of course the teachers won at a canter!!

This time around was an Obstacle Course with cups of water involved. A bad combination you say! What the teachers laced in pace they certainly made up for in steadiness and expertise as they were declared the winners after all the water was measured up!

We were thrilled when Active Schools notified Mr Harte that we had won an electric pump thanks to the success of our teachers v pupils challenge.













Local Hero Challenge-On Friday 30th of April we invited a Local Hero to set a physical challenge for pupils and staff. After careful deliberation we decided to ask   Fr. Munnelly from our local community to decide our fate.  


































Olympics Challenge-We are all looking forward to the Summer Olympics, albeit a year later than scheduled, in July 2021. We recognise all the top athletes and sports people but sometimes we overlook our own national heroes. As part of our Active Schools Week we found out about Irish Hockey Star Anna O’Flanagan and Hurdler Sarah Lavin. We took up the water challenge and cone challenge provided to us by ex-olympian and silver medal winner Kenny Egan..

5th/6th Class completed "Run Around Europe Challenge."


20/21   Athletics

21/22   Games

22/23    Outdoor and Adventure Activities

23/24    Dance

24/25     Gymnastics

25/26     Aquatics



Our ASF playground leaders measured out a safe route using cones around the school yard.The course was measured out as a 200metre loop.5 laps would ensure a "Daily KM" while running 8 laps would clock up a "Daily Mile".The Junior's target was to complete 5 laps while the Seniors were gearing for 8 laps.On occasions music was provided for motivation while on other days pupils were encouraged to listen out for resident bird sounds and nearby farm animals.The route was also used for our Santa Dash.

Run a Daily KM/MILE

Run Around Ireland Challenge


The whole school participated in the Run around Ireland Challenge commencing on March 22nd until April 30th.

A map of our Emerald Isle and a chart identifying the various stop off points were given to all classroom.

Our first port of call on leaving Ardagh N.S. was the Aran Islands.                      We measured the distance using the scale on our maps.

Some of our pupils visited the islands for Summer holidays and informed the rest of their class mates of their beauty and uniqueness. We are looking forward to kissing the Blarney Stone and visiting the Giant’s Causeway.