Increasing the number of active minutes provided for children within the school day
At Brookside Primary School we have been committed for several years to trying to increase the number of active minutes that we provide for our children within their school day. Government recommendations are of course that children should be active for 60 minutes each day, half of which should be within school. Across previous years we have encountered two main issues: the first, that although many of the children at our school are active during their break and lunch times, this is very hard to measure and there are groups of children across KS1 and KS2 who are not very active during this time. The second issue was the sustainability of, and child engagement with, initiatives such as 'The Daily Mile'. Although such initiatives did ensure that all children were active for a period of time, motivation was hard to sustain and perhaps most importantly, a substantial and valuable chunk of time was removed from the curriculum and teaching. We needed something that would engage children, be sustainable over a period of time and not detract from teaching time.
Choosing Teach Active
Teach Active seemed to offer what we needed and after attending a thoroughly enjoyable taster session, I was confident that it was the right product to engage our children. As well as this, the easy to access online resources made it quick and efficient to find activities for related lessons. In a world where we all know teachers are under huge time pressures, the website layout made it very straightforward to organise an activity for a lesson at short notice. Being based around maths and English meant that we could work periods of activity into curriculum lessons using Teach Active materials. Children would be able to embed and consolidate learning whilst being active as part of regular maths and English lessons.
Teach Active was introduced across our school at KS1 and KS2 and it was immediately obvious that children were enthused by the games and highly engaged with the ideas and content. Our pupils loved the active element to lessons and many of the more competitive activities meant that children actually answered more questions in a shorter time frame than they would have done if presented with the same questions sat in class. Many children who had perhaps been more reluctant mathematicians or English students didn't associate the Teach Active materials with these subjects in the same way they would typically do so, resulting in higher engagement. Crucially, Teach Active has allowed us to meet our two main goals mentioned earlier: ensuring all pupils' physical activity is more measurable and allowing children to engage in more physical activity within the curriculum and timetabled lessons.
Unlike other physical activity initiatives, we have found Teach Active to be something we have been able to deliver sustainably over a long period of time. The ease with which teachers can access, find and resources activities suitable to their needs means that their valuable time is not heavily impacted on. In addition to this, the activities available are highly flexible meaning that, whatever the weather or availability of indoor space, teachers are able to deliver activities in the space available to them - often simply in a classroom. Perhaps most importantly, there has been no dip in enthusiasm from our pupils and they always engage well in Teach Active activities, leading to higher levels of physical activity on a regular basis and a deepening and consolidation of their learning.
Teach Active has been really well received at Brookside School by both our pupils and our teachers. Children engage enthusiastically in the games and activities, and benefit from an active engagement in learning that supports other areas of the curriculum. Our teachers value the ease with which they can access the Teach Active materials and the variety of activities that are quick to engage enthusiasm and active learning for our pupils.
Gary Kenny, Headteacher
All of our pupils love Teach Active sessions and are always thoroughly engaged in the activities. They often don't realise how much learning or reinforcement of learning is going on because they are too busy having fun! The resources on the website are well organised, easy to access and it really takes no time at all to find, resource and set up a session.
Ally Lead, PE coordinator/class teacher