Health Promotion in Mercy Mounthawk
Health Promotion at Mercy Mounthawk is and will always be of highest priority and great importance on our agenda. Along with pastoral care, wellbeing, PE and SEN official systems running in the school, Mounthawk hosts two Health Promotion Weeks every academic year, offering a very diverse range of events to all students throughout the whole school. The ethos of the Health Promotion Committee is to enable students to participate in all events, encouraging focus on physical and mental health and emphasising how equally important every individual student in the school is. All events and activities are free, encouraging full participation.
The Health Promotion Committee includes approximately ten teachers of various subjects, management, students from Student Council, COSI (Centre of Social Innovation) and YSI (Young Social Innovators) and various outside agencies including Health and Leisure faculty Tralee IT, Kerry Life Education, Aware, Jigsaw etc. The Committee enjoys input from all areas and gives particular importance to student voice. Meetings are held regularly to communicate ideas clearly and organise activities which are requested by the students and equally are felt to be beneficial and supportive to student development.
During the past number of years, Health Promotion activities have included; Mounthawk 5km Run, Positive Palms Campaign, Wall of Gratitude, Student Welfare survey, School Choir performances in General Purpose Area (GP), Mounthawk Happy Video, Wheelchair basketball teachers vs students, spikeball tournaments with primary school students Active Leisure TY, 1st Year Olympics, Múinteoir Mania, TY soccer coaching, meditation/yoga for teachers, music/dance workshops, Ghost Challenge in aid of Arthritis Ireland, Intercultural Night, Serving Smiles, Staffroom Table Shuffle, Tralee IT students Health and Leisure course giving workshops to Mounthawk students on healthy living, Leaving Cert Applied films on health promotion in the school (available to see on school website), Welly Walk, First Year Sports day, Relay Race teachers vs students, Cha Cha Challenge, YSI Young Social Innovators , Live Life in Fullness, Donal Walsh film competition, Aware, Seamus Whitty (Kerry Life Education) Student training CPR, Anti Bullying talks, Food Nutrition talks, Internet Safety talks, Amber Flag activities, Dance off, ‘Fitting in’ 1st years, Photo Booth, Women in Sport, Plastic Bottle Launch, National Learning Network, Torthaí Thursday, Life Coaching 6th yrs, Sean Nós Dance workshop, FAI Soccer Skills, TY Mount Brandon & Torc Mountain, 1st yrs Cappanalea Outdoor Education, Volleyball, Colour Run, School Spins on the bike, Steps Challenge, Halloween 5km Run for your Life! Cycle Against Suicide 2015 and 2019, GAISCE walks TY, Jigaw – Mental Health Workshops, Road Safety Initiatives, Cookbook for students, Green School, Active Schools Flag, Random Acts of Kindness, Positive Psychology course for teachers, ‘Picture Perfect – Positive Body Image’, Anti-smoking Information Stand, Corrine Evans Wellbeing for Staff, Posture and Breathing exercise Bernadette Gilroy IT Tralee, lunchbox survey and more …………….. For further details please consult schedules within this file.
Both Health Promotion weeks are launched each year by an adult who is inspirational to the student body, weeks have been previously launched by; Shane Enright (Kerry Footballer), Jordan Lee (Paralympics High Jump), Astrid Longhurst (Body Confidence Coach) , Ian Costello (Paralympics Sailing) Shane Finn (Multi Marathon runner) Olivia Dineen, Louise Ni Mhuirtheartaigh, Amanda Brosnan (members of staff who play for Kerry Camogie (All Ireland Winner) and Football County teams ), Niall Hobart (Gym Instructor) , Jim Breen (Cycle Against Suicide), Dara O Hanlon (ACT All Change Together), Michelle Herbert (CPR) , Suzy Cox (Healthy Eating) Joe O’ Connor (Ireland’s Fittest Family)
Health Promotion Weeks in Mounthawk are enjoyed to the full by all students and staff, each year activities vary but students consistently participate, enjoy and volunteer new ideas for future events. The Committee enjoys very positive input and feedback, always welcoming new ideas and planning for the future.
Health Promotion 2018 – 2019
Mental Health Awareness Month: May 2019…Green ribbon month
The school has connected with the national movement to focus on Mental Health promotion and awareness in the month of May. The Health Promotions committee, the YSI group @live life’ and the Amber flag committee joined forces to develop a programme of activities and
awareness building events during the month.
Our Health Promotions Month opened this year with the hosting of the Cycle Against Suicide in the school on 1st May. There was a tremendous whole school welcome for the cyclists and the energy in the gym for the main event was uplifting. The message of the cycle was clearly heard: ‘It’s OK not to feel OK and its absolutely OK to ask for help’. The energy and message of the day was captured so well in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-W_LqKx3rDQ
The theme of living life to the fullest was taken up by a the YSI group who developed a striking mural for the GP areas of the school for the month of May:
The school Choir traveled to Knock to provide the music for the Donal Walsh ‘Live Life’ national gathering on Thursday 9th May. They had a great day at the event. The video here was entered by the school in the national competition.
Health Promotion Week April 2018
All Change Together ( A.C.T.)
1st, 2nd and 5th year classes were given a session on wellbeing by students from the Health and Leisure degree course IT Tralee. The idea is to encourage students who do little or no physical activity to start slowly and do indoor activities, without the need to go to great effort to tog out, go jogging etc. The hope is that they would then move on to outdoor activities and even enjoy them.
We had a visit from two past pupils: Darragh O Hanlon and Partick McCarthy of A.C.T. (All Change Together). A.C.T aim to help people bring about Lifestyle change by focussing on Diet and exercise in a fun and dynamic way. Darragh and Patrick bring oodles of energy, rapport, good humour and fun to their work, classroom sessions and seminars. They brought along crates of Lee Strand protein milk for our students to enjoy, which of course, were snapped up by eager students within seconds. A.C.T went down a treat with our students and we look forward to having them back next year.
Health Promotion Weeks 2017 – 2018
Healthy Body + Healthy Mind = Healthy Life
Our Health promotion week in October this year focused on food , diet and nutrition.On Tuesday the week was launched by Shane Finn the Ultra Marathon runner from Dingle.On Wednesday our 2nd years participated in a “Sugar Demo” where they were encouraged to taste sugar water reflecting the amount of sugar in soft drinks commonly available.We also had a lunch audit of what the 3rd 6th years brought for lunch that day. There will be a follow up survey in April to note any improvement in eating habits.Torthaí Thursday involved fruit cups distributed to our 1st years and on Friday there was a Family Five K fun run for 1st, 2nd , Transition and 5th Years.
The Fitness Campaign
Mounthawk on the move!
Mercy Mounthawk was delighted to promote its inaugural 5k challenge Tuesday 8th May. Almost 700 pupils, staff and parents completed the 5k. Participants could run, jog or walk the distance and the glorious weather on the day ensured that numbers were high.
Members of an Garda Síochána cordoned off some of the route to ensure safe passage and the help of parents and staff alike ensured everybody remained safe on our roads.
Emphasis on the event was on participation and organisers were keen to express that this was not a race. This event was aimed more at the sedentary pupils who may not have enough exercise in their daily lives. It is hoped that by completing 5k and experiencing the pleasures of walking or jogging, many of these pupils may make lifestyle changes to become more fit.
Training took place in the school twice a week in the buildup to the event to help pupils ready themselves. It is envisaged that “Mounthawk on the Move” will become an annual event and the aim for next year is to increase the numbers taking part to 1000. See the slide show…
The Student Guide to Keeping Fit and Healthy
A group of our students on the Health Promotion Committee got together to write a short guide to keeping fit and healthy. Read more…
An Earlier Health Promotion Campaign
Learning to Learn – the emotional component.
This year our Health promotion will focus on the agenda of emotional intelligence as part of core skills that each students needs in Learning how to Learn. For many people difficulties experiences in application to study or work have little to do with ones intellectual ability, but instead are very often related to emotional issues such as coping with anxiety, not feeling motivated just now, keeping up interesting in something, getting over a disappointing result or feedback. Issues such as these are very often at the root of a poor productivity and application. And so it is that learning how to manage ones own emotional self is a central plank of study skill development.
Our 1st health promotion week this year will focus on the issue of motivation in 2nd and 5th year students. It is often in these ‘non-exam’ years that students find it most challenging to maintain motivation. During this week in late November, we will have workshops for students and parents on motivation and the formation of good study habits.