New Physical Activity in Teaching and Learning Pilot Programme Announced

Minister for Sport and Physical Education, Thomas Byrne TD, has invited schools across the country to apply for up to €10,000 in funding through a new Physical Activity in Teaching and Learning Pilot Programme.

This new Pilot Programme is designed to encourage teachers and school leaders, in consultation with their students, to consider how a subject can be taught through physical activity.

Total funding of €200,000 has been made available to support teachers and school leaders in the integration of physical activity into teaching and learning.

The Pilot Programme is open to all schools, primary, post-primary and special schools. The application process is open from 22 February 2024 until 22 March 2024.

Minister Byrne said: “I am delighted to launch a new Pilot Programme focused on the promotion of Physical Activity in Teaching and Learning. All of us have an appreciation for the benefits of physical activity when it comes to our health and wellbeing. The Pilot Programme recognises the importance of physical activity in teaching and learning and it acknowledges the role of physical activity, as a tool for schools, to deliver a school environment that supports the wellbeing of learners.

“I encourage all schools to consider making an application for funding through this new, and exciting, initiative.”

Further details in relation to the Pilot Programme are available on the Department of Education website.

Guidelines for applications are available here .

Please find link to application form here .

Application Process

Schools must apply using the online Physical Activity in Teaching and Learning – Pilot Programme 2024 Application Form .

As part of the application process, the following should be taken into consideration:

• School leaders should inform the school community about the pilot programme and provide opportunities to brainstorm ideas

• Parents should be informed and may be invited to submit ideas. Learners should play a central role in developing and implementing the project.

• School leaders and teachers must identify the curricular or cross-curricular subject(s) and the physical activity

• School leaders and teachers should identify the resources they require to facilitate the project, outline how much funding they require and how it will be spent

• Participating teachers plan collaboratively to create the project unit of learning, to include clear intended learning, learning experiences, assessment tasks and reporting/feedback mechanisms on learning

• School leaders will need to appoint a teacher as a dedicated project lead to manage and oversee the pilot programme within their school

• School leaders must determine which class group or groups will participate in the pilot programme

• Schools participating in the Active School Flag Programme are also encouraged to apply

• All applications must be submitted online

Selection criteria for consideration

The Department of Education will establish a panel to evaluate applications.

The following applications will be considered:

• Only applications received before the agreed deadline for submission

• Only online applications will be accepted

• Applications will be considered from any recognised primary, post-primary or special school within the free education scheme. Schools outside the Free Education Scheme are not eligible to apply.

Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:

• How the project will support the school in integrating physical activity in teaching and learning in the chosen curricular or cross-curricular area (20 marks)

• The benefits the school hopes to gain from participation in the Pilot Programme and how senior leaders in the school will support the project (10 marks)

• How the teachers and school leaders will ensure that learners will play a central role in developing and implementing the project (10 marks)

• The extent to which the project will sustain a long term cultural change in physical activity in teaching and learning in the school (10 marks)

The selection process will also be informed by:

• Geographic national spread

• Urban/rural locations

• Innovation and creativity

• Range of physical activities proposed as part of the application process

• Range of school types (e.g. primary/post-primary, urban/rural, large/small, DEIS/non-DEIS, special/mainstream schools, single sex/co-ed, patron body, etc.)

• Inclusion and diversity

• Impact on learning and physical activity levels


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