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Encouraging Physical Activity in Children

Welcome to tonight’s Twitter Spaces with Jon Smedley from @Teachactive as we discuss how to encourage children to become more active during their day.


Research has shown that fifty-three percent of six-year-olds met the recommended daily guidelines for moderate-to-vigorous physical activity in a study carried out pre-pandemic by researchers at the universities of Cambridge and Southampton

..and the study found that schools are doing a grand job at encouraging physical activity, but they also spent more time being sedentary, sitting at desks etc, and this has an impact on their wellbeing and attainment.

That is where our guest comes in. Tonight, we are delighted to be talking to Jon Smedley from @TeachActive as we talk about how we can get children to be more active in lessons, so that they are happier and achieve more.

Jon - Tell us about the research that you have discovered. 'The Government recommend that children are active during the day, and what we ask is 'can we get children up and active.'  We / the University of Loughborough call it 'movement integration.'

How does it impact on attitudes to learning?'We know from working with schools and children all over the UK that it has a positive impact. Children are 'born to move' and it is one of the most natural things to them. Children enjoy being active.'

'Not all children like PE - but we are not talking about PE but most enjoy being active.How does it impact attainment?'There is lots of research to show how active learning can support children to learn better, memorise, retain and recall. It also supports concentration too.'

@TeachActive work in partnership with Loughborough University.

Have you noticed any improvements in overall learning? 'Yes. A school in Surrey went from national average to the top 2% of results nationwide. Another school in Liverpool - saw their maths results increase by 21% in 12 months.'

'Excitingly, we are also doing some ground breaking research in the UK. We have just received government funding to take on a PHD student at Loughborough who will be doing a 3 year research project in to the benefits of Teach Active.'

'It also develops the whole child. We know that active children are happier healthier and do better - social skills, teamwork, sleep better, more energy, resilience and determination improve.' Physical activity is so important to us and good habits are formed early in life.'

'This generation of children are the least active generation that have ever lived - we need to make the school day more active and active learning is a brilliant way to do this.'

'Being active can also help children to recall information, e.g. by playing a game using the information I taught you last week. It can also help support learning with their peers. '

Tell us about Teach Active? Why should schools consider this? ' '@TeachActive is an online resource with 3500 lesson plans for reading, maths and writing. It can be used in groups, or whole class and compliments all lessons. It can save hours of planning time. '

Tell us about PE and Sports Funding? 'We are endorsed as a good use of this funding as agreed by the DFE.'

What impact are you seeing? 'I see a lot of active lessons and hear a lot of stories from the teachers and they tell me about individual children, and the positive impact it is having on their learning. It's lovely to hear.'

How can we find out more? Visit the @TeachActive website: https://www.teachactive.org

Tonight's competition winner announcement: A woodland HT planner and a year’s subscription of @PracticePalMus is @7CraigWill Congratulations! Please could you send us a DM with your details?

Quote of the day: "Physical activity not only helps children grow healthy, but also assists in their learning and development, and contributes to their overall happiness." - World Health Organisation