We are Committed to Supporting Schools Develop Physical Activity Levels for all Children
Data from an Active Lives Survey (2022-2023) suggests that 53% of children and young people participate in less than an average of 60 active minutes a day. This figure remains unchanged since 2020-2021. As a partnership, we are committed to prioritising support for schools to develop ‘Active Lunchtimes’ and ‘Active Learning Environments’ in a bid to help improve the physical activity levels of children and to help all children meet the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines of at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
We are acutely aware that physical activity is central to happy and healthy lives and positive experiences at an early age help to build the foundations for an active life. The Active Lives Survey (2022-2023) further highlights the positive association between levels of engagement in sport and physical activity and levels of mental wellbeing.
Creating Positive Environments for Active Break and Lunchtimes
We offer support and training in schools to develop playground environments in order to facilitate and encourage levels of physical activity during periods of unstructured play.
Play Leader Training and Midday Supervisor (MDS) Training
Each year we train a huge number of Playground Leaders introducing them to and developing leadership skills, giving them the confidence to deliver active play at lunchtimes and break times for other children in the playground and raising their self-esteem and self-confidence. The training is two hours long and is delivered by a member of the SCSSP staff.
The SCSSP also provides training and support for Midday Supervisors to help with the organisation of the Play Leader Programme in schools. Our experience has shown that in schools that have appointed a MDS or staff member to oversee the Play Leaders, the programme has greater longevity and impact. MDS training has also been developed to enable schools to manage their lunchtimes, to encourage more young people to be physically active (by exploring the key roll staff can play during this part of the school day) and to review schools’ playground environments such that they promote and facilitate opportunities for positive physical play by ‘zoning’. The aim of the Play Leader Training and the MDS Training programmes is to have a whole school impact not only on levels of physical activity but also on children’s behaviour both at lunchtimes and in afternoon lessons.
The partnership has developed a number of resources that are referred to during the training sessions and are available for SCSSP subscription schools in the resources section of our website. These are designed to help schools to support, establish and deliver a Play Leader Programme in your school. The resources include: an application form for Play Leaders to complete, Play leader Training Certificates, Play Leader Log Books and Certificates etc…
We have also put together a Play Leaders Equipment bag which includes a range of play equipment and activity cards that are available to purchase through your SCSSP subscription. To order a bag for your school, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Active 60 Challenges and Playground Crazes
To support our commitment to increase physical activity levels in schools, we have developed half termly Playground Crazes and Active 60 Challenges. These have proven to be hugely popular in schools serving as a way to get all children (and staff!) involved in being physically active.
Half termly Playground Crazes are, as the name suggests, activities that can be run over the course of a half term with a view to getting as many children and staff involved as possible. The aim is to motivate and inspire pupils to compare their performance at the start of the half term to that at the end and demonstrate improvement to achieve a personal best. The crazes can be launched through whole school assemblies with pupils or staff modelling the activity and creating a ‘buzz’. Play Leaders, MDSs and teaching staff can then lead the activity during unstructured playtimes and as part of a ‘Movement Moment’ throughout the school day. We have even seen some classes developing ‘Leader Boards’ to add that intra-class competitive element!
Access to the annual timetable and craze posters can be found here.
The Active 60 Challenges offer a fun ‘compete against yourself’ approach to physical activity with a focus on resilience and perseverance. They are all simple 60 second activities requiring little or no equipment and minimal space that serve to get children moving and challenging a variety of physical skills. They, like the Playground Crazes, can be delivered by Play Leaders or used by Class Teachers during Movement Moments. These challenges offer a highly versatile approach to increasing physically activity across the school day. Children can choose their own challenge or, alternatively, challenges can be selected as weekly rotations to maintain interest and ensure children engage in different types of movement challenge. You could even establish a ‘grab bag’ culture within your school where a selection of the challenges and associated equipment are made easily accessible at appropriate opportunities throughout the school day. The Active 60 Challenges have proven to help increase children’s focus and concentration during prolonged periods of classroom based learning.
We have recently priced the resources required to deliver the Active 60 Challenges. To order a set or equipment for your school, please email email@example.com
All activity Crazes and the Active 60 Challenges can be downloaded from below