Physical Education in Willow Park First Year

The Blackrock College sprint track


Physical activity and sport are regarded as very important aspects of education in Willow Park School.  All students are encouraged to participate in any of the wide variety of sporting activities in the school.  While physical education incorporates sport, it is important to note that it is a discrete area, and encompasses more than competitive sport.  Through the PE course, pupils will be involved in both cooperative and competitive games and activities in order to expose them to the full spectrum of physical activities available to them.

The main objective of physical education is to encourage children in a lifelong love of sport, to gain physical well-being and enjoyment from sport and to achieve an attitude of good sportsmanship, on and off the field.  All pupils, regardless of their ability level, are encouraged to participate in physical activity, and PE classes are designed to ensure that all pupils are able to develop their skills by participating in activities and tasks at an appropriate and individualised level of challenge.

PE kit/uniform

Boys must ensure that they have the correct PE kit in  for class.

For the two blocks of swimming the boys will need togs, hat, goggles and a towel.

For all other PE classes (althletics, games etc.) the boys wear:

– white t-shirt/Willow Park rugby jersey

– white shorts/navy tracksuit bottoms

– Willow Park warm-up top

– runners & football boots

In cold weather boys may also wear baselayers, jackets, hats etc.

The P.E. Programme is divided into five blocks.  Activities are clearly structured to ensure a balanced approach to the Junior Cert PE curriculum.

Athletics: September to Halloween

Throwing events: javelin, discus & shot put.

Track Events: hurdles, sprints & relays
Jumps: long jump, triple jump & high jump

In all events pupils’ best throws, jumps or times are measured and recorded, with the boys learning how to judge and measure their own scores, and to recognise and call fouls.  Pupils are encouraged to try to beat their own personal bests.

Health Related Activity is also taught in an integrated fashion through athletics.  In first year pupils learn about the effect of exercise on their heart and breathing rates, names and functions of the major skeletal muscles, as well as how and why we stretch in a PE/sport setting.  All pupils warm up fully at the start of each class to prevent injuries.

Swimming: November – Christmas & Febraury – Easter


The Willow Park PE swimming programme is designed to cater for pupils of all abilities, from those who cannot swim to those pupils who swim competitively for the school or for clubs.  The swimming module consists of three main elements, water safety and confidence; stroke work, and the health and fitness benefits of swimming.  Each of these three elements is present in every lesson, with a balance between formal instruction and informal discovery learning through games and occasional free play.  This second swimming block consists of a continuation and progression of the classes from before Christmas.  This term also includes the Willow Park School Swimming Gala, in which all the boys participate.

Games: January – February & Easter – Summer

These blocks of Physical Education focuses on developing the pupils’ basic skills and tactical awareness in a variety of games, including invasion games and striking and fielding games.  The intention is not to focus on any one game, but to develop their overall sporting abilities to enable them to participate in sport throughout their lives at whatever level they choose.  Small sided games are played in class to maximise the boys’ participation and ball contacts, to ensure that they have the best opportunity to enjoy themselves and develop as players.