At the outset, it is important for primary schools to:
All members of staff are asked to work together to reflect upon, discuss and complete a three-part ASF Self-Evaluation tool:
Completing the questionnaire will help schools to identify areas of strength and areas that require further attention. The ASF process of self-evaluation is aligned with the School Self-Evaluation (SSE) process and both processes to be undertaken at the same time.
Opportunities are provided throughout the school year where pupils and parents are actively encouraged to give their feedback, and forward their suggestions, through the ASF team, questionnaires, suggestion boxes, newsletters etc.
ASF provides schools with Criteria, across four areas, designed to guide schools through the implementation process.
The criteria include three key participation events:
Schools wishing to achieve ASF must be able to confirm, and provide evidence, that they are fulfilling all of these criteria. Additional criteria apply for renewal schools and exemptions apply for special schools.
ASF provides schools with a flexible, tailored timeframe to allow schools progress at the rate that best suits their circumstances.
Schools wishing to achieve the flag are asked to create a dedicated ASF section on their school website to showcase their events, challenges and initiatives. This forms an important part of the application process as it provides evidence that the ASF criteria have been implemented. It also ensures that the whole school community are kept up to date with progress.
ASF organises two support workshops every year for schools working towards ASF. These are important networking events, which allow coordinators to meet teachers from other schools working towards ASF, and to learn from schools that have previously engaged with the process.
ASF encourages schools to share their activities*, with ASF and with other participating schools, through Twitter.
*Please note: Any usage of digital learning technology (DLT), or postings on the school website or social media to promote ASF should be in line with the school’s own Acceptable Usage Policy (AUP). The AUP should be updated/reviewed to align with the school’s engagement with the ASF.
ASF is an ever-evolving process. Its’ development is guided by the feedback and suggestions submitted by teachers. At the point in time when schools submit their application they are also asked to reflect upon their engagement with the process, and to provide feedback in relation to:
All ASF applications, and website showcases, are reviewed by the ASF screening committee prior to scheduling an ASF accreditation visit. Feedback and guidance will be given to schools that require extra support to complete the process.
The purpose of the accreditation visit is to verify that the ASF criteria are being met, to acknowledge the efforts of everyone that contributed to the process, and to offer suggestions for future development.
Successful NEW applicant schools will:
Once awarded the ASF flag remains valid for a period of 3 years. After this time schools will be invited to re-engage with the process to renew their ASF status
Successful RENEWAL schools will:
Renewal schools that attend both the ‘Getting Started’ and the ‘Nearly There’ workshops will, in addition to the flag, also receive an outdoor banner for their school.
It is important that schools maintain their ASF activities in the interim period between flags.
Schools with ASF status are asked to:
Schools within the ASF network (working towards/current schools) can access additional resources via the ASF Network area of the website. New challenges and resource materials are added on an ongoing basis.
A new Active School Flag process for the post primary sector is under development (ASFPP).