Tool to get more kids in the Middle East active by ditching their desks showcased at this year’s GESS show

Schools across the Middle East will be encouraged to ditch the desks as Teach Active makes its debut at GESS Dubai (Stand UK Zone U1 Pod A).

Teach Active is an award-winning, online tool that provides active lesson ideas to teachers so they can deliver primary maths and English lessons through a range of physical activities. Hand-picked as one of the top 20 best EdTech products to watch by the UK Department for International Trade (DIT) and the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA), Teach Active has been invited to exhibit at GESS Dubai.

“Four out of five children in the UAE fail to exercise for at least the recommended minimum of an hour a day,” says Teach Active founder and former PE teacher Jon Smedley. “It is my mission to bring more activity into lessons worldwide.

“By moving more, we improve the health of our children but we also help them engage with their lessons. Research shows that children retain learning more easily when they are active and having fun.”

Inspired by a child he taught many years ago who struggled with engagement in lessons, Jon has dedicated the last 21 years to helping schools inject more activity into the school day. Rather than learning how to tell the time by looking at pictures of clocks on a page or screen, Teach Active pupils get out into the playground, become the numbers on the clock themselves and use skipping ropes as hands to learn the different times. In a spelling lesson, students become dictionary detectives and hop around the room searching for misspelt words.

Dubai’s The Arbor School and the UK’s school of the year, Kensington Primary School, are among 1,000 UK and international schools using Teach Active in their maths and English lessons.

Steve Tindall, a user of the system and headteacher at Holy Family Catholic School says, “Teach Active changes the psychology of learning as children forget that it’s maths or English they are learning while they run round having fun with their friends. Maths used to be our pupils’ 9th favourite subject, but in our most recent survey it had risen up the ranks to take 3rd place after art and PE. We’re delighted about that.” 

Recognised globally, Teach Active has recently won international and UK awards at both Bett and The Education Resources Award (ERA). They offer almost 3,000 maths and English lesson plans and resources for primary teachers. 


Notes to the Editors: 

Data: Research carried out by New York University Abu Dhabi and Zayed University found that 82% of children in the UAE fail to meet the one-hour daily exercise target. According to another study, this figure is higher and a whopping 84% of UAE children aren’t getting the bare minimum of an hour’s physical activity a day.

Data: The positive effects of moving while learning are documented in research showing improved concentration and memory retention 

Jon Smedley, former teacher and sports coordinator, and Teach Active founder is exhibiting at GESS Dubai and available for live interviews. He works in partnership with the Youth Sports Trust and is the founder of the ‘UK’s Largest Active Learning Day’. Inspired by a child he taught many years ago who struggled with engagement in lessons, Jon has dedicated the last 21 years to helping schools inject more activity into the school day.

Steve Tindall, headteacher of Holy Family Catholic School is available to comment on the benefits of teaching maths and English through physical activity 

Media contact: 

To arrange interviews or for more information or imagery, please contact: Alesha Allen, The Influence Crowd 

Tel: 07960 166 988 Email:  [email protected] 

About Teach Active 

Teach Active is an award-winning, online resource tool, providing teachers with nearly 3,000 lesson plans and resources with which to deliver primary maths and English Curriculum through physical activity.  They aim to educate, support and train teachers to deliver active, creative and inspiring lessons that will motivate and develop the next generation. 

Teach Active works in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, is endorsed by the Association for Physical Education and has been recognised by the UK government for its outstanding contribution to education.   

50 free active lesson plans for teachers are available from

Social media info: @teachactive

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