The Health Promoting Schools Committee of Dripsey NS has grown in its fifteen years. An initial focus on healthy eating broadened to include working on keeping a healthy body and keeping active, and now also includes minding our mental health. This is all as recommended by the HSE. All of the staff members and children help out, but it couldn’t be done without the help of the parents on the committee and the student volunteers. We thank all our parents for their help with events run as part of the HPS.

The members of the HPS committee are:

Veronica Finn and Geraldine O’ Halloran (parents); Liam Cotter, Rebecca O’ Sullivan, Rowen O’ Leary, Tomás Ryan, Mia Hubbard and Fionn Geaney (students); Ms. O’ Regan (staff).

If any parent is interested and willing, we meet a couple of times each year and usually organise one event to take place in the school requiring help from outside: just call the school!

Here are some examples of what falls under the Health Promoting Schools Committee:

Super Troopers: Every September the children get a journal to use at home for ‘Healthy Homework’ ideas. They document what they do each day and week, and give feedback to their teacher on how things are going. Super Troopers is a Healthy Ireland initiative, for more information see www.supertroopers.ie.

Feet First Friday: On Fridays we walk! Or run. Before the academia begins on Friday mornings the children and their teachers all meet outside and do laps of either the basketball court or the lower yard/carpark. It gets the blood flowing and the brains ready for the day. When the weather is too wet, teachers put on exercise or dance videos for the children to follow in their classrooms. Try them at home on YouTube or on www.gonoodle.com for more ideas.

Mindful Monday: This is a wonderful way to introduce some quiet headspace and breathing activities into the children’s lives, that you can replicate at home if you wish. Try a body scan or guided meditation. For more ideas again you can go to Youtube or GoNoodle.

Healthy Eating: Each year we hold a healthy eating morning in the school, which wouldn’t be possible only for the helping hands of the parents and the generous sponsorship of Quish’s SuperValu. The children love it every time and they get great ideas for healthy snacks, lunches and drinks. In class, we encourage children to eat fruit and/or veg as part of their lunches each day and we discourage treats except for Fridays when children can bring one small/funsize treat. We also encourage the drinking of water and milk in school.

Monthly HPS Theme: The committee disperses a theme throughout the school each month in the form of a calendar. Each day represents a different task or suggestion which may be of benefit to mind, body or both. Some examples are ‘Joyful January,’ ‘Friendly February’ and ‘Mindful March.’ See www.actionforhappiness.org for more on these.