‘RUN Around IRELAND’ Challenge

Active School Flag and Healthy Ireland encourage all schools to take part in the ‘RUN Around IRELAND’ challenge, combining running with learning. Where will YOUR school visit?

Challenge Dates:

March 23rd – April 3rd
(Easter Holidays)
April 20th – May 1st

What is an Active School?

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 schools, more active, more often.

Schools wishing to achieve the ASF begin the process by self-evaluating their current provision across 3 areas: Physical Education, Physical Activity and Partnerships. Schools must also organise an Active School Week programme and commit to having it as part of their annual school calendar. Schools that can say ‘yes’ to all of the ASF success criteria will be awarded with the active flag. The flag remains valid for a period of 3 years after which time schools will be invited to re-apply.

ASF is a Department of Education and Skills initiative supported by Healthy Ireland.

What Schools Think……



ASF Coordinators

Case Study Schools

Bunscoil McAuley Rice, Callan, Co. KILKENNY

“We really enjoyed the ASF progress and we felt that both the teachers and children really engaged with it brilliantly. It was a great opportunity to recognise all the strengths the school had in terms of physical activity, equally, it was great to pinpoint the areas that needed to be improved and there was so many examples on the website, the improvements were made with great ease!”

St Francis NS, Dundalk, Co. LOUTH

“This has been an amazing year for our school! We have loved every step of the journey through our Active School accreditation. Our pupils have grown in fitness and in appreciation for being active in general, and our staff are both fitter and more committed than ever to the message of the importance of keeping children (and adults) active!”

St Aidan’s NS, Kilmanagh, Co. KILKENNY

“It’s been so positive for children to see the teachers in the classroom joining in with activities such as on GoNoodle and DEAD time. Concentration levels after an active break are increased for the following lesson.”

Kilrossanty Ns, Kilmathomas, Co. WATERFORD

“The formation of the ASF committee was a great way of ensuring that a broad range of the pupils voices were heard and the ideas they came up with were so imaginative and at times amazed the staff!

There was definitely a change in attitude amongst the children that would normally have shied away or been reluctant to engage in PE activities. Teachers have also noted that their pupils fitness levels have improved over the last few months as many can run further and for longer on the track.

At the beginning of the process some of staff were anxious that the amount of extra time being given to physical activity would be detrimental to the other curricular subjects. However, they overwhelmingly found this not to be the case as the extra activities on a daily basis made the children more focused when they were working in class.”

Coomhola NS, Ballylickey, Co. CORK

“Bringing people together, that is the overwhelming positive element of the Active Flag application process in this school.

Giving a voice, and handing some control and responsibility to the children – not something that comes easy to us as teachers.

Seeing the children change and develop as they grow in confidence in their movement and physical literacy.”

Scoil Mhuire Lourdes, Castlerea, Co. ROSCOMMON

“Benefits of concentration evident in classrooms after participating in active activities, especially when used as transitions into next lesson.

An enjoyable project that the children really enjoy engaging in. Helped develop skills in all pupils not just the ‘sporty’ children. Very worthwhile all in all.”

Scoil Mhuire, Ballyboden, DUBLIN 16

“We love the active school flag process in our school. Although it is very tricky to fit it into every school day we are finding that the benefits prove that it is certainly worth the hard work.

The children love being part of the process and helping the teachers organise events and active school week.

We have found that active assembly works really well and small changes to yard time have made a massive improvement.”

Herbertstown NS, Co. LIMERICK

“Having completed the ASF process it is safe to say that engaging in the review areas is a great way of establishing ‘where you are’ as a school in terms of PE/sport.

Coming to terms with where you are and planning and implementing improvements offers an excellent opportunity for pupils, staff and the local community to work together towards a fantastic goal.

The school definitely grows through the process!”

‘The World is a Happier Place: Celebration in a Whole of School Physical Activity Initiative’

Déirdre Ní Chroínín, Jamie Mc Mullen

Journal: European Physical Activity Review (June 2019)

Attaining the Active School Flag: How physical activity provision can be enhanced in Irish primary schools

Richard Bowles, Déirdre Ní Chróinín & Elaine Murtagh

Journal: European Physical Education Review (2017)

Flying the ‘Active School Flag’: physical activity promotion through self-evaluation in primary schools in Ireland

Déirdre Ní Chróinín, Elaine Murtagh & Richard Bowles

Journal: Irish Educational Studies

International Approaches to Whole-of-School Physical Activity Promotion

Jaimie McMullen, Déirdre Ní Chróinín, Tuija Tammelin, Małgorzata Pogorzelska, Hans van der Mars

Journal: Quest