Health Promoting School

HPS Recognition!!!

Billis NS has just been awarded Health Promoting School status.

We will be flying a new flag at Billis N.S soon !!! Well done to everyone who has helped to make this happen, especially those  who have worked on the HPS committee over the last 2 years, the BOM, Parents’ Association, Staff and Pupils. Take a look below to see how busy we have been!!!Recognition Letter

We in Billis NS are now a Health Promoting School (HPS). This is a HSE supported initiative.  Click on this link for more information:  or read this document: Schools for Health in Ireland Framework Document

Health and Wellbeing 2016-17

We are continuing to work on promoting our school as a ‘Health Promoting School’. ‘Health and Wellbeing’ will be addressed this year. We hope to gain recognition as a health promoting school at the end of this school year.

So far we have looked at the themes of ‘Healthy Eating’ (2015/16) and ‘Physical Health’ (through the Active Flag process-we gained our Active Flag in June 2016) . We will continue to keep these themes on our agenda this year through the introduction of the ‘Food Dudes’ programme and ‘Brennans Healthy Heroes’. Leaflets and information on these programmes will be sent home. Parents, please take the time to read through these documents to keep yourselves informed of what is happening at school.

We have updated our HPS noticeboard located in the Junior entrance to the school. If you have any ideas on how we can promote ‘Health and Wellbeing’ in our school this year, please insert your ideas in the suggestion box on the noticeboard

The members of our Health Promoting Schools’ Committee 2016/17 are:

Teacher Representatives: Mrs M Hoban, Ms L Doughty

Parent Representatives: Valerie Johnston, Janette Waller

Pupil Representatives: Gordon Lochaden, Eamon McEntee, Maureen England, Jessica Snell, Emily McCabe Knockott, Casey Johnston, Joshua Clapp

ALDI Rugby festival in the Aviva Stadium

The pupils in 6th class took part in the ALDI Rugby festival in Virginia Rugby club on 28th March 2017.  At that event they were one of two schools chosen to attend the Regional ALDI Rugby festival in the Aviva Stadium, Dublin on Wednesday (28th April).

It was a wonderful experience for them.  They got to meet Rugby legend Paul O’Connell, had a tour of the stadium and played tag-rugby against the other schools.


Buddy Reading

Well done to all the Senior pupils for taking the time to read to the Junior pupils every Friday!

For buddy reading, each Senior pupil was paired with a Junior pupil. As part of homework each Wednesday, the Senior pupils practised reading their book before presenting it to their buddy on the Friday.

Buddy reading is very beneficial for both the reader and the listener. It gives the younger pupils a role model and helps with listening skills. It provides the Senior pupils with an audience to read to and helps to promote confidence and self esteem.

IFA Football Blitz

Well done to the pupils in 5th and 6th class who took part in the IFA Football Blitz in Cootehill on Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd March.

Our Sensory Garden

3rd and 4th class have been working hard with the help of Ms. Johnston and Mrs. Lundie to create an enchanting ‘sensory’ garden for pupils to enjoy. All the senses can be explored with sounds to hear, plants to taste, smell, touch and feel.

Resolution Area

A resolution area has been added to our playground area. It allows pupils a space to resolve playground disputes and issues.

World Down Syndrome Day

Staff and pupils celebrated Down Syndrome day by wearing odd socks on 21st March 2017.

Our Champion Food Dudes!!

March 2017

We are reaching the final stage of our Food Dudes program. Pictured above are our ‘Champion’ food dudes from each class. Well done for bringing in fruit and vegetables every day to eat and enjoy as part of a healthy lunch!!

Healthy Lunch Box Ideas

Please view the powerpoint presentation below for ideas on healthy lunchboxes.lunch box ideas

Portion Sizes

Please view the powerpoint presentation below for pictures of correct portion sizes. A display can also be viewed in the assembly hall.Portion Sizes


The Food Pyramid has been updated!!

The Department of Health have recently launched the new Healthy Eating for Life guidelines and resources for all adults and children aged 5+.

The resources which include an updated Food Pyramid, comprehensive information leaflet, fact sheets on each shelf of the food pyramid and sample daily menu plans for various population groups are available to view and download on

The Food Pyramid is supported by a large range of other materials to help convey the key messages.
These include some sample Food Pyramid to Daily Meal Plans which you can download (pdf format) by clicking any of the following links – 

Food Pyramid to Daily Meal Plan for Jakab aged 5

Food Pyramid to Daily Meal Plan for Niamh aged 10

Food Pyramid to Daily Meal Plan for Matthew aged 21

Food Pyramid to Daily Meal Plan for Siobhan aged 30

Food Pyramid to Daily Meal Plan for Michael aged 52

Food Pyramid to Daily Meal Plan for Tom aged 67

Food Pyramid to Daily Meal Plan for Mary aged 70 – is also worth a look for further health promotion literature.

Operation Transformation 10@10

Feb 2017

At 10 o’clock for 10 minutes, the staff and pupils at Billis completed circuits around the yard. Have a look at us in action!

Official Opening of Outdoor Classroom

The official opening of our Outdoor classroom was held on 20th Dec 2017 following our annual Christmas Concert.

Our Outdoor classroom was officially opened on Tuesday 20th December after our annual Carol Service.

George and Pearl Whitley attended and cut the ribbon, helped by some members of the Parents’ Association and some children. Unfortunately it was too wet for everyone to make their way over from Billis hall to the classroom but some people braved the elements to see it!

Once again our sincere thanks to all those involved in the planning and building process. A small number of people gave of their time and talents to see this project come to fruition and the staff, pupils and Board of Management are very grateful to them.

Santa Dash

 Virginia Nursing Home

Carol Singing

Team Hope ‘Shoebox Appeal’

Food Dudes!

December 2016

We are currently on the second stage of the food dudes program. All pupils have received their fruit and veg lunchbox. We encourage parents to send in fruit and vegetables every day as part of a healthy lunch. Pupils have been awarded bronze certificates for bringing fruit and vegetables to school and are now working towards a silver certificate!!

The Food Dudes program has started in Billis N.S. Pupils from Junior Infants to Second Class have been enjoying daily deliveries of of healthy fruit and vegetables. This will continue for 16 days. Pupils from 3rd to 6th will also be involved with taster sessions after mid-term break!

‘Brennans Healthy Heroes’

Health and Wellbeing Display

All pupils from JI to 6th class have been learning about what Health and Wellbeing means to them. They have learnt about the 8 Health and Well-being indicators i.e. feeling safe, healthy, nurtured, active, achieving, responsible , included and respected. All pupils were asked to create a poster that demonstrates what ‘Health and Wellbeing’ means to them.

Chess at school

Nov 2016

All the pupils from 1st to 6th class have been learning chess.

Milk at School

We encourage parents to send milk to school for their children. There  is a fridge available to store milk. Another option is to purchase a bottle with an ice-cube freezer stick attached. Please see the photos below.

Our Outdoor Classroom

We have been busy using the new outdoor classroom this term, to learn about soil, worms, and planting chestnuts. It has been a great opportunity to ‘bring the outside in’!



Sept 2016

All pupils from JIs to 6th class have enjoyed a 4 week Karate focused listening and concentration program

School Face Lift!!

Our school and playground has had a make over during the summer holidays. The school has been repainted and the playground markings have been repainted also.


Healthy Eating 2015/16


We in Billis NS are working to become a Health Promoting School (HPS). This is a HSE supported initiative.

The members of our Health Promoting Schools’ Committee 2015/16 are:

Teacher Representatives: Mrs M Hoban, Mrs Edna Smith

Parent Representatives: Valerie Johnston, Janette Waller

Pupil Representatives: Eve Brennan, Jamie Love, Abbigail Squires, Chantelle Metcalfe, Sarah McGovern, Sophie Alexander, Aoibheann Farrelly

A HPS suggestion box is located on the HPS notice board. Please post any ideas in relation to what our school can do to promote health and well-being here.

Healthy Eating Policy Launch

Our new Healthy Eating Policy was launched on Thursday 16th June.

Dietician, Ms. Lorraine Spotten gave an informative and interactive presentation on preparing healthy food/snacks for lunchboxes. She demonstrated the sugar content of some frequent unhealthy snacks eaten by children as part of their lunch. The importance of water and keeping hydrated was highlighted. Healthy portion sizes were also discussed.

I would like to thank Ms. Spotten for making the evening informative and enjoyable, to Mrs. Edna Smith for preparing a delicious fruit salad for us all to enjoy and of course, a big thank you to all those parents and pupils  that attended the launch.

Healthy Eating Policy for Billis National School June 2016

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Lunch Box Survey Results 2015/16

The results of our lunchbox survey have been collated. We surveyed the lunchboxes of pupils from 1st class to 6th class in October 2015 and May 2016 i.e. before and after the introduction of the HPS process. Please open the presentation below to view the improvements we have made to our diet and the contents of our lunchboxes. The results are also on display on the HPS board in our Assembly Hall.

Lunchbox Survey presentation


We encourage pupils to drink water or milk at school. A fridge is available if parents wish to send in milk as part of their child’s healthy lunch. A beaker with an inbuilt cooler/ice-cube stick are available to buy, which will help keep drinks cool.

‘Moo Crew’ Competition

Incredible Edibles

We have been busy colouring pictures of strawberries for the Incredible Edibles competition!


Sugar Content

We’ve been examining the sugar content of breakfast cereals during a maths lesson in weight

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We made a pictogram of favourite breakfast cereals in 1st and 2nd class.

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Fruit and Vegetable Tasting

Pupils enjoyed tasting a large variety of exotic fruit and vegetables on Wednesday last week. We made a healthy vegetable soup on  Thursday with the left over vegetables and enjoyed left over pineapple and melon snacks on our school tour on Friday. A big thank you to all the parents that donated all the fruit and vegetables. It was a very successful event!


Our Orchard

We planted a mini orchard at school on Friday 22nd April. It includes 2 eating apple trees a plum tree and a variety of berry bushes including blackcurrant, gooseberry, blueberry and strawberry. A big thank you to the Parent’s Association for donating the money  to fund the project.  Thanks also to all the parents that helped to dig holes, donated berry bushes and planted! All your help is much appreciated. We all look forward to a delicious crop of fruit to eat!



Curriculum Links

We have been learning about where our food comes from. We examined the label, for country of origin, sugar content and for where it can be recycled. We also examined the label for how much each item weighed.


The Food Pyramid

We examined our lunchboxes and checked their contents against the food pyramid.


Our Displays

We have examined the sugar content of breakfast cereals and food items contained in our lunchboxes.




Healthy Eating Certificates

Each week a healthy eating certificate is being awarded to students that bring a healthy lunch to school.


Congratulations to our Recent certificate winners!!!


We have been revising our Healthy Lunch Policy in line with recommendations from both the Department of Health and the Department of Education and Skills and also in line with the Social, Personal and Health Education (S.P.H.E.) Curriculum.  A group of parents, staff, pupils and HSE staff have worked on this policy as part of the Schools for Health in Ireland-Health Promoting School Initiative.  Please read the draft policy below and send any comments/suggestions you might have to us by Friday 15th April. Comments/suggestions can be emailed to or sent in writing via your child. Thank you. Healthy Lunch Policy Final Draft April 2016

There are Four Key Elements of a Health Promoting School: 1) Environment  2) Curriculum and Learning 3) Policy and Planning 4) Partnerships.

Environment: Each school has a distinctive atmosphere which usually reflects the extent to which the school takes care of the social, emotional and physical needs of those who learn, work and visit there. It is reflected not only in the physical environment but in the social environment which is felt in the school.

Curriculum and Learning: Teaching, learning, assessment and reporting form the core work of every school. The SPHE curriculum is vital, along with a menu of subjects and activities that nurture, challenge and support pupils. The primary curriculum provides a broad scope for schools to develop and reinforce a young person’s key skills in critically important areas such as managing self, staying well, communicating and working with others, all of which are important to the HPS ethos. The quality of teaching, learning, assessment and reporting, and the relationships fostered within the classroom also contribute to the health and well-being of the school community. Supporting staff to do the best they can is essential to ensure a healthy learning and working environment.

Policy and Planning: Policies are written documents which support the everyday running of the school through active implementation on a day-to-day basis. They form the background script by which the school navigates its way. They are developed and implemented by the whole school community, not just by one or two people.

Partnerships: Developing strong partnerships with parents/guardians and the wider community is a central part of the HPS process. The school recognises the value of these links for the promotion of health.

For advice for all members of the school community on all aspects of Health and Wellbeing visit: 

This leaflet below provides easy to prepare recipes/menus for families:

3 Week Menu Plan HSE

Click here to find 6 Healthy Habits for Kids: