Being Active

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Being active in school is important as it directly impacts the mental and physical wellbeing of children and young people. Numerous benefits are associated with physical activity in a setting and research shows this includes enhancing brain function, improving behaviour, increasing school attendance, promoting engagement, and increasing academic attainment. These positive effects can create an environment that fosters better learning experiences and overall wellbeing for students.  

Despite the benefits, currently data shows that up to 4 of 5 children and young people are not getting enough physical activity, reiterating the importance of the role of the school. By promoting and facilitating activity among their students, schools can contribute to their mental and physical health, and help pupils to thrive and reach their potential in school.  

What does good practice look like?

  • There is a whole school physical activity policy in place that promotes a range of activities for the whole school community throughout the school day and fosters a positive culture around activity.  
  • There are opportunities for staff to engage with CPD around activity and movement so all staff are aware of its benefits and can contribute to a positive culture. 
  • School provides a varied range of extracurricular activities to encourage and enable all pupils to find enjoyable forms of movement. 
  • Physical activity delivered in school is not only centred around competitive sports and fitness and is focused on creating experiences that are fun and enable pupils to feel good and develop confidence and skills to the best of their ability. 
  • Opportunities are provided throughout the day to ensure that pupils are active for at least 30mins whilst at school. 
  • Playground and outdoor environments at school enable pupils to engage in activity during breaktimes and lunchtimes (e.g., through line markings, zones, and equipment provision) and this is encouraged. 
  • There are peer led activities to encourage participation and relationships across the school age range. 
  • Active environments are created by utilising active learning resources for use in lessons or in the classroom to break up sedentary activity.  
  • Activity and movement are promoted in a way that maximises the full range of benefits, such as for enjoyment and for benefits to mental health and overall wellbeing, and this is incorporated throughout relevant areas of the curriculum. 
  • Pupils are regularly consulted about their views on all aspects of provision and there are a range of ways that pupils can share their thoughts.  
  • If pupils are reluctant to participate in activity, extra insight is sought to understand barriers and identify enablers.  
  • Links are made with local and community organisations and facilities to increase awareness and broaden the range and availability of activities for pupils and the wider school community.  
  • A School Travel Plan has been developed and active travel is encouraged where it is safe and appropriate. The school supports active travel by facilitating group activities e.g., walking bus.  
  • There are opportunities for parents/carers to participate in activity alongside their children, such as in extracurricular activities or events.  
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Active travel

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