Bizzy Breaks launched as Gaeilge

By June Shannon Policy News   |   15th Nov 2021

The Irish Heart Foundation in partnership with Gael Linn, is delighted to launch Bizzy Breaks or Sosanna Spleodracha, as Gaeilge.

Thousands of primary school children can now boost their exercise levels and improve their Irish at the same time through a free national programme by the Irish Heart Foundation.

Bizzy Breaks, a programme of movement and mindfulness which was developed by the Irish Heart Foundation and rolled out to schools across the country is now available as Gaeilge in partnership with the Gaelbhratach team in Gael Linn. A leading organisation in the promotion of the Irish language, Gael Linn focuses on creating opportunities for its use outside of the classroom.

The Bizzy Breaks programme was developed in response to research showing that just 13 per cent of children meet National Physical Activity Guidelines of at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise daily.

Studies have shown that sedentary behaviour is a significant risk factor in cardiovascular disease and Bizzy Breaks is designed to encourage children to be active throughout the day to help them to reach the recommended guidelines.

Thousands of primary school children can now boost their exercise levels and improve their Irish at the same time

.

The Irish version, Sosanna Spleodracha was launched by Dr Lisa Cunningham, Consultant in Emergency Medicine and prehospital doctor and is aimed at teachers in primary schools. Sosanna Spleodracha will allow children to hear, and use new vocabulary and experience spoken Irish in an active and positive way.

The programme includes a booklet of 24 movement and mindfulness activities, a handbook for teachers with all vocabulary, a poster of movements for a wall or whiteboard, interactive activities and ten 10-minute follow-along videos as Gaeilge, presented by broadcaster Aedín Ní Thiarnaigh.

Sosanna Spleodracha can be used first thing in the morning to kickstart the day, as a transition between subjects, as an energiser when energy levels are slumping, as an activity to move outdoors for a little movement break or as a warm up for PE or sport.

These quick and easy activities, such as the ‘funky fruit’ activity which promotes the recognition of fruit with skipping, jumping and various movements, do not require any additional equipment or resources. Sosanna Spleodracha can be easily modified for all abilities and many different classroom settings.

" This programme helps to break up sedentary behaviour while also developing a positive association with the Irish language,"

Laura Hickey, Children and Young People Programme Manager , The Irish Heart Foundation.

“The new programme has been designed with children and the combined expertise of teachers, health promotion professionals and Irish language experts,” said Laura Hickey, Children and Young People Programme Manager with the Irish Heart Foundation.

“By bringing fun and short activities into the classroom, children are learning through the Irish language and bringing healthy movements and mindful breaks into their everyday lives. For teachers, the programme offers a suite of movement breaks at high and low intensity and mindful breaks.

“By doing a Bizzy Break in the classroom, healthy activities become the norm. We know that any physical activity movement has health benefits, and this programme helps to break up sedentary behaviour while also developing a positive association with the Irish language,” Laura added.

 

" By carrying out these activities through Irish, teachers can bring the language to life by creating regular, active and positive experiences for the students,"

Mairéad Ní Thiománaigh, Bainisteoir Gaelbhratach , Gael Linn.

“We hope it will be especially beneficial for teachers who want to introduce more Gaeilge and movement throughout the school day but don’t know where to start,” said Mairéad Ní Thiománaigh, Bainisteoir Gaelbhratach with Gael Linn.

“This resource provides an ideal structure and lots of supporting materials to get them started. Webinar workshops will also be offered for teachers interested in using the resources. The shared values between Gaelbhratach (Gael Linn) and the Irish Heart Foundation created a sense of positivity and cooperation from day one, and it is a pleasure to be able to share the fruits of this collaboration.”

“Sosanna Spleodracha provides endless opportunities to get children of all abilities up and moving during the school day. By carrying out these activities through Irish, teachers can bring the language to life by creating regular, active and positive experiences for the students,” she added.

The Irish Heart Foundation and Gael Linn wish to express their thanks to COGG for their support in the production of these resources and Foras na Gaeilge for the ongoing support of the Gaelbhratach scheme.

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