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At Nettlesworth Primary School, physical education and activity is at the heart of what they do. They believe that it plays a vital part in developing the holistic child. Each day they will ensure that all children will engage in physical activity in a variety of quick and cost effective ways. Every morning, during challenge time, the children in school take part in a Super Mover’s video. This resource is easily accessed on the BBC website, which is free of charge. It includes a little dance and song for the children to participate in whilst also helping them learn and remember key facts such as the alphabet or times tables. Also, each day all children engage in a five-minute ‘Brain Gym’ exercise as a whole school after assembly. This entails children completing a range of gross motor moves to cross the midpoint of the body, in order to wake up their brains ready for learning!
This practice helps the children burn off a little energy and focus ready for their morning learning. This is also completed on an afternoon after lunch break so that the children can refocus ready for their afternoon sessions. This activity is completed within each class and is child led, therefore giving the children ownership of their physical activity.
A few years ago a teacher and teaching assistant completed training on ‘Brain Gym’ and since then they have led several CPD sessions to ensure the knowledge of all staff members is current. This is teacher led and is completed to music. Again, very cost effective as the only resource used is a song.
In the Autumn term of 2019, Nettlesworth Primary School also introduced Real Play boxes to EYFS and KS1 children. In each half term five children were chosen to take them home and engage their whole family in 30 minutes of activity each day. These boxes are filled with lots of practical activities and games that the whole family can join in with. It also reiterates the importance of daily physical activity.
So far feedback from children and parents has been positive. This is having a positive impact on the amount of time families are spending being activity together.
The boxes cost £250 initially and it is envisioned that some resources may need replacing over time, i.e. balloons, but obviously this will be a very minimal cost to school.
As a school, Nettlesworth Primary have also implemented an Active 60 Homework ball for each class. The aim of this is to encourage children to continue to get their daily 60 minutes of physical activity over the weekend. During physical education sessions class teachers are constantly monitoring and assessing progression. This then helps them decide which child will be nominated to receive the Active 60 Homework ball over the weekend. Children are very enthusiastic about the ball and book, that they get to take home, if chosen. Children can then record which activities they have completed over the weekend, using the ball as a starting point. They do this by drawing, writing or taking pictures. All members of the family are encouraged to get involved
It has helped encourage children to continue to improve and try their best in PE lessons. Again we receive lots of positive feedback from parents and children alike. Again we feel that this incentive has had a positive impact on physical activity within school as well as at home, costing us very little once again.
The initial cost of setting up the book and ball is approximately £30. They are updated each academic year.