Buntús Start Programme (Pre School)

Buntús Start – Equipment

Buntús Start is a comprehensive physical activity programme for children aged 3-5 years old.  It has been designed for use in pre-school settings so that pre-school and playgroup leaders can provide a wide range of learning opportunities for young children to develop their fundamental motor skills, manipulative skills, co-ordination and balancing skills and develop a positive attitude to physical activity.

Buntús Start helps adults working with children to establish positive attitudes to activity and a healthy lifestyle through enjoyable activity with children.  Buntús Start offers a combination of adult-initiated and child-led activities and enables adults to choose and plan appropriate activities as well as giving children opportunities to freely select and explore.  Whilst using Buntús Start children have opportunities to develop naturally through individual involvement in physical play, small group activity and to participate in whole-group activity.

Buntús Start Training Programme:
Participants attend an initial four hours training workshop with a further 2 hour follow up approximately 6-8 weeks after the programme is used in the pre-school.  Training will take place in an agreed venue. All staff plus 1 committee member or parent must attend both training sessions.

The objectives of the training are that by the end of the session participants would:

  • Have an appreciation of the Buntús equipment.
  • Be familiar with the Buntús Start resource cards, their format and layout, and their use with
    pre-school children.
  • Be able to extend their understanding of fundamental motor skills.
  • Be able to develop their understanding of inclusion and safe practice.

Delivered by Buntús tutors, the training workshop is designed to be practical and participatory using a variety of activities, inputs, small group exercises and full group discussion.  Links will be made to children’s stages of development and to methods of skills development.  

At the end of the training session, each participating centre will be provided with a set of resource cards and a Buntús Start bag.

To date, the programme has been fully subsidised by the Irish Sports Council through Kilkenny Recreation & Sports Partnership, Kilkenny County Childcare Committee and the HSE, South Eastern Area Health Promotion Department. This may change due to the current economic climate.


Background to Buntús (Primary School)

Buntús Play and Buntús Multi Sport (Buntús Generic) are two programmes developed to support teachers in introducing young people to sport, helping to develop their interests in sport and be delivered by teachers in primary schools in support of the Physical Education curriculum.

The three key components of the programme – training, resource cards and equipment – are designed to provide easy to understand, and accessible support to give children a fun, but high quality, introduction to sport.

The Buntús programme will be nationally co-ordinated and locally delivered and seeks to:

  • Raise the profile of physical education and sport.
  • Improve in-service training opportunities for teachers.
  • Assist Governing Bodies of Sport to develop and deliver appropriate support for teachers.
  • Provide enjoyable and meaningful activity for children.
  • Support delivery of the National Curriculum.

The Irish Sports Council and Kilkenny Recreation & Sports Partnership recognise the major role that sport can play in the lives of young people. It is important that an enjoyable multi-sport and
non-competitive model is used to introduce our children to sport that will complement and enhance both our school and community sport programmes.

Most children are introduced to sport in their homes or their surrounding community. It is essential that there are locally driven initiatives available to them through school and within their local environment if they are to see sport as central to their overall development and as a lifelong physical and social tool.

Buntús Sports Specific
Following on from Buntús Generic, primary schools are given the option of participating in the Buntús Sports Specific programmes. The sport specific programmes build on the generic Buntús programme and operate under the same child-centred approach with a similar format in relation to equipment, resource cards and training.  Although administered and managed through the Partnership, the delivery of Buntús Sports Specific training and the provision of resources is the responsibility of the relevant National Governing Body of the Sport.

The Football Association of Ireland were the first governing body to provide the resources to implement the Buntús Soccer in the LSP areas. Basketball Ireland, Badminton Union of Ireland and Junior Golf Ireland recently have all provided Buntús versions of their sports as follow on opportunities for the schools. As the Governing Body for these each sport is smaller with fewer resources, there is a limit on the numbers of schools involved in the programme per year. In the case of golf and basketball, the Governing Bodies have also prioritised schools in the areas with direct access to the local clubs.

  No of Schools Teachers Trained
Buntús Generic 81 535
Buntús Soccer 75 497
Buntús Basketball 11 21
Buntús Badminton 9 38
Buntús Golf 12 33


After Schools Programme
 (Secondary School)

Kilkenny Recreation and Sports Partnership have organised an After Schools Activities Programme in several schools across the county.  The programme includes a variety of activities such as Hip Hop, Tae Bo, Self Defence and Aerobics.  Where possible the activities take place on the school grounds, to make them as accessible as possible to all.  The programme is aimed at increasing the level of physical activity in teenage girls.  In some cases a minimal charge will be applied.

Promoting Lifestyle Change

This programme aims to develop, implement and evaluate a school-based intervention to promote increased physical activity, healthy eating behaviours and lifestyle change in teenage girls who do not participate in sport and to remove barriers of participation for young people who are currently not participating in sport or exercise.

It has been widely acknowledged that in spite of teenage girls being educated around the importance of exercise, activity levels for many fall well below those recommended by the World Health Organisation.  Non participants struggle to make the move from contemplation to preparation for exercise and this programme aims to build self esteem, encourage lifestyle change and an increase in physical activity levels in a supportive environment.  

This programme targets transition year girls and incorporates two phases. 

Phase 1 involves education around healthy lifestyle choices and managing lifestyle change and will be delivered over six weeks to the group (approx 20). This will also be supported by the SPHE and Home Economics teachers as part of their curriculums.

Phase 2 offers a programme of exercise as decided upon by the group and the group will be supported for the ten weeks of this programme.

 Assistant Sports Leaders
The Sports Leaders Award is a starting point for those who wish to develop leadership skills that can be applied to a variety of sporting situations.

This is a course ran over two days where participants receive guidance when coaching and working with young people. The aim of this programme is to help youth leaders gain sufficient confidence and competence to enable them to plan, lead and evaluate safe, effective and enjoyable sessions.
Participants don’t need to be sports stars instead an interest in their chosen activity, a positive attitude and a willingness to volunteer are all that is required.

Participants receive knowledge in

  • Planning a session
  • Adapting a session to suit age and abilities
  • Organisation and management  
  • Leading a session
  • Evaluating a Session
  • Teaching of skills

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