Recent research shows that only half of seven year olds are meeting physical activity guidelines.
They are sedentary for six hours or more each day which creates long-term issues for children’s future health and wellbeing. Inactivity may also lead to problems at school. Behaviour issues, poor concentration levels and low attendance due to sickness can be linked partly to low levels of physical activity.
We have been working with primary schools to overcome these issues since 2005. Our tailored programmes have helped schools improve the quality of PE and sport, and boost levels of physical activity.
In 2010, we were approached by a school who were having too many reoccurring incidents on the playground at lunchtime which were spilling into the classroom and affecting learning. They asked us to observe and report our findings and suggestions back.
What did we see? A chaotic playground! Most children had bags of energy and were keen to engage in physical activity but there were barriers that were either forcing them not to engage or causing behaviour issues. This included use of space and equipment, a lack of resources, poor safety and lunchtime supervisors, who…well, were just supervising!
After engaging in conversation with the supervisors we quickly learnt that they didn’t have the knowledge, skills and confidence to help guide children towards positive playtime activities. Throw in a lack of communication between the school leadership team and the supervisors and we started to get a thorough understanding of what this school needed.
And this is how the Playground Activator programme was born. We quickly realised that this school wasn’t the only one experiencing these problems at lunch and play time. To date, hundreds of non-teaching staff have become Playground Activators and schools are reaping the rewards of having an active playground.
As a result, we partnered with the nationally recognised Awarding Organisation, Sports Leaders UK (SLUK). They have accredited Playground Activator which has helped add credibility and sustainability to the programme, as well as ensuring that we always meet the learners needs.
For more information on Sports Leaders UK visit their website