Boosting levels of attainment and achievement

YST Boosting levels of attainment and achievement
Research shows a positive association between participation in physical activity and young people’s academic performance - as discussed during Professor John Ratey's keynote speech at the YST 2018 Annual Conference.

Professor Ratey's research shows that physical activity boosts brain power, supports creativity and reduces stress and anxiety.

Programme: Young Ambassadors

The Young Ambassadors programme helps develop exceptional leaders of the future. Being part of the programme has a big impact on ambassadors’ aspirations and achievement.


  • 96% thought it would help or has helped them when they leave school, in further education, work or other volunteering opportunities
  • 93% said it had increased their aspirations.

Cerys Vick is a year 12 student at Creuddyn School in Llandudno and a Young Ambassador. She was instrumental in bringing girls rugby into the school, even helping to access funding.

She said: “People who get on in this world are not those that sit in front of a box all day. They may have the academic skills, but if you want to be an all-round person, you’ve got to have other skills and the sports hall is the best place to get started.”

Case study: YST Membership – Moseley Park School, Meg Jacobs, PE Lead

We work with our members to help drive understanding of the wider benefits of sport and play – including on attainment. Moseley Park School in Bilston, Wolverhampton is one of more than 4,000 YST member schools.

It is a comprehensive school based in an ethnically diverse area which ranks higher than average for the percentage of pupils with SEND, and pupils supported by the pupil premium. Its Progress 8 score of +1.0 ranks it as one of the top performing state schools in the country.

“Right at the heart of our school’s ethos is a belief in sporting opportunities across a wide range of disciplines.

“Using many of the principles of YST’s blueprint and their My Personal Best approach, the PE curriculum is made accessible for all types of learners and allows every student to succeed irrelevant of their competency level. We have found that kit issues and non-participant rates have decreased drastically due to the ownership of the curriculum based on the child-centred approach.

“We have been a member of YST for three years. We have made the most of this membership and supported it by achieving Silver Quality Mark status, actively participating in Game of our Own and the FA’s active literacy programmes. We are an active hub school and have been part of the ‘Girls as Activators’ programme. All of these support and strengthen our ethos and contribute to the key role PE and sport plays.”

Our Impact

The following findings were presented as part of our 2018 Impact Report - published in February 2019. A full version of the report is available for download on this page.
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Improving mental and physical wellbeing

Tackling the decline in young people’s wellbeing through sport and play is central to our Believing in Every Child’s Future strategy.
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Promoting healthy and active lifestyles

YST delivers high-quality and inclusive competitive sport to young people in 20,851 schools through the School Games, while our Hub Schools provide a nontraditional sporting offer tailored to targeted groups of young people disengaged from sport and physical activity.
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Developing life skills

Our work uses the power of sport and play to help young people develop attributes like teamwork and resilience, leadership and communication skills which will help them to thrive in other areas of their lives.
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Building connections between young people

Evaluation of our work shows that giving young people the opportunity to take part in sport can help provide a sense of belonging and the opportunity to make new friends.
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Enhancing support networks

Families, teachers, coaches, friends and peers all have a signifcant part to play in giving a young person the best start in life. A huge focus of our work is on enhancing these support networks to give them the best opportunity to make a positive impact on young people’s lives.
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