Last year, a number of classes in RETNS took part in the Irish Health Behaviour in School-aged Children 2014 (HBSC) survey.
The Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Study tells us what young people think about health and personal behaviours; how they perceive harm and threats to their health and wellbeing; and how these perceptions influence their decision making and choices.
The report of the survey, issued recently, highlights a number of positive trends in lifestyle and behaviour, such as a slight reduction in smoking levels among young people, a reduction in the consumption of soft drinks and an increase in fruit and vegetable consumption. However, there are still some concerns such as the number of children exposed to smoking at home or in the car and the fact that 20% of children do not wear seatbelts. Also of concern is the high number of children who consume sugary drinks on a daily basis.
An interesting statistic is that the number of children who reported being bullied has remained stable since 2010, yet 15% of children reported being bullied online, a statistic that is still far too high.
The report is available to download from
March 15th 2016 has been designated ‘Proclamation Day’ for schools in Ireland. A major focus on Proclamation Day will be the unveiling and reading of each school’s own ‘Proclamation for a New Generation’. Using the 1916 Proclamation schools are invited to write a new Proclamation for 2016, outlining the children’s vison for a modern Ireland, an Ireland which welcomes and embraces people from many nations and cultures and celebrates diversity.
Our school Proclamation will be a collaboration, an amalgamation of the thoughts and visions of all the children in the school today. It will reflect their learning in an Educate Together ethos and will be a true reflection of the type of country in which the current pupils of RETNS would like to live. The reading of the Proclamation for a New Generation will be the cornerstone of Proclamation Day, but it will also give an opportunity to showcase other activities that children have been engaging in to commemorate 1916 and to look forward to the future.
The Department of Education and Skills has provided time for schools ‘to commemorate and reflect upon the events of 100 years ago’. An outline of possible activities has been given to schools, but schools are asked to reflect carefully on the amount of tuition time they wish to allocate to Proclamation Day events. Our work will be cross-curricular, age appropriate and reflective of our ethos and will involve aspects of History, Geography, Literacy, Gaeilge and Arts as well as our Learn Together and Green School work. Our vision for an Ireland of the future will have a strong inter-cultural and inclusive theme. Parents and guardians will be invited to visit the school and view the work done by pupils up to and including Proclamation Day. All proclamations will also be available to view online. As Proclamation Day falls within Seachtain na Gaeilge we will also celebrate our Irish culture and language with a range of class, inter-class and whole-school activities and events.
By the time Proclamation Day arrives children will have some sense of where we have come from in our country’s journey, where we are as a nation in 2016 and will have outlined their own vision for the Ireland of the future.
Wellbeing for teaching and learning , written by Tomás Ó Ruairc
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