Health Promoting school


In October 2016, St. John of God P.S., in partnership with the H.S.E., adopted a new programme called Health Promoting Schools (HPS), which focuses on health and wellbeing and involves all members of the school community.

We feel this programme is particularly relevant today. Poor diet and lack of proper exercise has resulted in a quarter of Irish children being overweight or obese. Our school hopes to go some way to addressing this, particularly with the support of our parent body.


The first step in introducing the HPS programme was to form a Committee and the following are its members:

Co-ordinator:     Ms. Eileen Costigan.

Teachers:            Ms. Joan Paybody, Ms. Caitriona Knox.

Pupils:                   Ruby Timmons, Aoibheann McGuire, Ciara Walsh, Paulina Povemska, Sienna Redmond, Erika Bourke, Iris Kavanagh, Aoibheann Keyes , Lucy Drennan and Emily Lauhoff.

Parents:               Ms. Ciara Walsh, Ms. Siobhan Priestley.

After consultation through the use of surveys, with children, parents and staff, the following were highlighted as some of the key areas that could be enhanced and the actions outlined have been put in place as a result.

Responses from surveys Action Taken
9% of parents would like more communication from the school. Website updated and will be live from 17th Feb 2017;

Increase in texts to parents;

Facebook presence established.

10% of children would like healthier lunches and 6% of parents expressed uncertainty regarding ‘healthy’ lunches. Each class surveyed on type of lunch eaten

Healthy Lunch policy updated and suggestion sheet distributed (Mar. 2017)

‘Healthy Eating’ Awareness Week held in Feb. 2017 and Feb. 2018 – taster plates of fruit and veg. distributed to all classes

SPHE lessons on healthy eating

Healthy Eating Art Competition organised for whole class entries in 2017.

Individual entries for  slogan competitions held in 2018. Winning entries for junior and senior competitions are displayed in several areas of school building.

20% of children wanted improvements to playground. Work was completed for September 2017. This included a new activity trail, a play bus, new painted games on tarmac, wall games, horizontal climbing wall and a fairy village was added to the garden in Jan. 2018.


Children given complete access to garden at breaktimes


Different toilet area allocated for use during break times.

13% of children want more exercise in school. ‘Fit-Feb’ event organised by Georgina and Mr. Gorey. (Term 2 and 3 2017)

‘Climb a Mountain Challenge’ – Term 3 2017

Medieval Mile Walk for Yulefest Dec 2017 with KRSP.

Cycling lessons for senior classes in conjunction with Kilkenny Cycling Tours.

WOW (Walk-on-Wednesdays) continued

‘Fit-Fridays’ led by Ms. Knox Term 1 2017

10 @10 – Operation Transformation – Term 2 2017 and 2018

‘Skipathon Week’ organised in April 2018

School policy on P.E. updated.

9% of pupils expressed the wish that their peers would be kinder at times Participation in ‘Kindness Week’  Feb. 2017

‘Happy Hearts’ display of inclusion to acknowledge all members of the school.

‘Gratitude Wall’ display on yard .. participation from each class – Mar. 2018

Mindfulness classes provided Ms. Ciara Walsh – April/May 2018

Mindfulness interactive leaf display in foyer area.

‘Mood cards’ for 5th/6th class pupils and for staff to indentify and deal with our emotions.

‘Positive reinforcement’ phrases for staff members.

Introduction of ‘Strike 3’ at break-times.

Survey of Lunches Feb. 2017

Number of children who have brought fruit as a snack 71%
Number of children who have vegetables as a snack 12%
Number of children who have items not on recommended healthy lunch list; e.g. bars, winders, sweets,  etc. 26%