Borrisokane Community College first School in the County to receive Health Promoting School status.
On February 12th 2016, Ms. Elaine Dunne and the Health Promoting School (HPS) committee of Borrisokane Community College in Co Tipperary saw all their hard work since 2013 being recognised when they became the first School in the County to receive Health Promoting School status. Their Health Promoting School flag was raised by Mairead Kelly of the Health Service Executive (HSE).
The flag flies proudly outside the School representing that Borrisokane Community College is a School that promotes positive health. As soon as the flag was raised, a short ceremony took place in the Autism centre at the School. Ms. Elaine Dunne, MC, praised all the hard work of the students and the teachers on the HPS committee and the support of School Management. She welcomed all the guests present including the Tipperary ETB Chief Executive, Ms. Fionuala Mc Geever.
The School Principal, Mr. Matthew Carr then spoke of some of the highlights of the health promotion events including their part in the ‘Cycle against Suicide’. This was a great day with Bressie speaking to the students and The Heathers performing live. He also spoke of all the activities organised in the school to promote positive health i.e. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) which is taking place twice a week since Christmas. The HPS committee are currently working towards the healthy eating award by providing a range of healthy options for students in the canteen on a daily basis. The Healthy Options menus were discussed and worked on with the Irish Heart Foundation. The various other achievements by the HPS committee to achieve the flag status include; Cairde, Friends for life, Declan Coyle in-service with staff, Breathe programme, Let’s learn about Drugs and Alcohol (parents & students), guest speakers from Aware and the Samaritans, Rainbows, Friendship week, Dr Fergus Heffernan talk and Active Schools week. The Take 5 for your mental health was taught to students by members of the committee. Everyone wrote a message which was displayed on a well-being tree which stood in the main foyer of the school.
Three students spoke of the importance of creating an awareness of mental health issues in the school, encouraging students to seek help when faced with challenging emotional difficulties.
Cian Darcy spoke about the great success of the SOAR workshop which took place earlier in the year. He spoke positively of the experience and how students felt comfortable to talk openly about any issues. He reflected on how important it is particularly for boys to speak out and talk more and he spoke of the importance of regular exercise which he appreciates himself being a member of the Tipperary Hurling minor team.
Leontien Friel spoke about the importance of raising awareness of positive health. The importance of seeking help from the relevant people and organisations when needed.
Hazel Younge, a 1st year, who earlier in the year created a brilliant presentation on positive mental health, spoke on how she has enjoyed being a member of the committee and organising the various events. She has learned greatly and become far more aware in her few months since starting in the school.
Pauric O’ Meara who is currently competing in the ‘Voice of Ireland’ sang two songs at the event. He reflected on his extremely positive experience when he was a student in the school. He encouraged students to always be true to themselves, not to succumb to peer pressure and be proud to be unique. The audience sang along with him to the Heather’s hit, ‘ It’s alright not to feel OK’ .
The atmosphere was extremely positive and a great day was had by all. Afterwards food and refreshments were provided and many relaxed and chatted freely celebrating a great day for the school.
Pictured at the raising of the “Health Promoting School” flag in Borrisokane Community College were as follows: !Denise Lally (Teacher & Assistant HPS Coordinator), Eimear McGrath (Teacher), Marianne Bergin ( Teacher), Catriona Maher (Teacher), Niamh O’ Sullivan (Teacher), Leontien Friel (Student), Cait Ryan (Teacher), Mairead Kelly (Health Promoting School’s Officer with with the HSE), Suzanne O’ Brien (Parent), Eileen Kenny (Teacher and Coordinator of the Healthy Eating and Living Committee, Josh Geoghean (Student), Paul McMahon (Chairperson of the Parents Association & Parent), Joe Murphy (Chairperson of the Board of Management), Christopher Younge (Parent & BOM), Suzanne McMahon (Deputy Principal, Borrioskane Community College), Dympna Fogarty (Parent), Dylan Slevin (Student), Fionnuala McGeever (Chief Executive of Tipperary ETB), Hazel Younge (Student), Matthew Carr (Principal, Borrisokane Community College), Yothin Phanpitak (student), Geraldine Egan (Parent), Elaine Shanahan Dunne (Teacher & HPS Coordinator) and Cian Darcy (Student).