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St Francis Special School, Whitefield, Beaufort, Co. Kerry

Physical Education


Martin Stack is a specialist P.E. teacher who teaches 2 days a week in SFSS.  The school has a well equipped P.E. hall, fitness room,playground and playing field and has access to the extensive grounds and hydrotherapy pool on the campus. Every student has at least one formal P.E.session and one formal aquatics session each week. The aquatics programme follows a combination of the Halliwick swimming programme and The Irish Water Safety swimming awards and on graduation students are presented with I.W.S.A. Swimming certificates at the various levels achieved. For students who are more challenged physically pool sessions involve flexibility programmes, social, fun and relaxation activities.The P.E.programme in the early years focuses on improving students agility,balance and coordination and acquiring the gross motor skills necessary for participation in a broad range of physical activities.Music, action and body awareness songs, dance and sensory integration activities play a large part in P,E. class.As students movement and physical abilities improve then walking, cycling, yoga and gym programmes are introduced in P. E. class and once these skills are acquired they engage in the activities regularly each week. The general aim is to equip students physically,to the best of their abilities, thus enabling them to partake in a variety of recreational activities with their families which includes cycling, walking, swimming, yoga and gym activities. Each year trips to the ice rink, the Aquadome and cycling and walking trips to Killarney National Park are organised to allow students to transfer the skills learned in the P.E. Programme to the outside world.The P.E. programme is adapted for students who are more physically challenged to include flexibility and mobility programmes, wheelchair games,massage and body awareness activities to music.The highlight of the P.E. programme is the annual Sports and Recreation day and medals are presented for participation to all students.