Developing fundamental movement skills

by Youth Sport Trust

Developing fundamental movement skillsIn recent years the UK has enjoyed success across a vast range of sports. Despite these inspiring performances, physical activity levels across the nation’s children are in decline. Causing concerns over the health and wellbeing of young people.

Fundamental movement skills

There are a number of social, environmental and economic factors influencing the activity levels of young people in the UK. However, it has been discovered that those children who have greater competency of fundamental movement skills are more likely to be active in their childhood years.

Fundamental movement skills serve as a foundation which allows children to develop more complex movements and sport specific skills. Children do not naturally develop these skills. It is crucial to note that the role and responsibility primary schools have in ensuring children have access to these quality learning resources should not be underestimated.

 In 2015 it was recommended that Primary school teachers become more involved in assessing children’s fundamental movement skills. This is to ensure these optimal opportunities are maximised, and development is supported more effectively.

Embracing technology

To help teachers tackle declining physical activity in children, the Youth Sport Trust has launched a new app which focuses on the development of these fundamental movement skills in children aged 4-7 years.

The Start to Move Movement Assessment Tool app has been developed by the Youth Sport Trust in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University. Designed with guidance from Primary school teachers and international experts of children’s movement, the app allows teachers to accurately assess, and subsequently enhance, children’s learning of fundamental movement skills through three development stages of ‘emerging, developing and established’.

Optimising current technology, the Start to Move Movement Assessment Tool app is designed to be used on a tablet device, such as an iPad, providing a simple scoring and recording process, and allowing progress to be tracked and monitored over time.

Movement Assessment Tool in practice

There are 14 movement tasks included within the assessment, expertly identified as the most crucial for children aged 4-7 years old.

Video demonstrations of all the movement tasks are contained within the app, providing a clear example of how to perform the task, and can be shown to children as an instructional and feedback tool.

Based on established research, this innovative and engaging PE resource helps to improve a teacher’s confidence and understanding of assessing children’s fundamental movement skills. In addition, children are more involved and motivated during lessons.

Over time, using the assessment will enhance the learning environment for children to develop fundamental movement skills allowing them to become more competent movers and more physically active throughout their youth and into adulthood.

Click here to download from the App Store (available for iPads in UK and Ireland only)

For further information, please contact:

Charles Shields
Head of Digital Solutions
charles.shields@youthsportdirect.org
01509 226676

As a PE specialist, I would recommend this to non-specialists as it gives you the progressive evidence to improve children’s movement skills. 

This app enables me to fault correct, quickly and precisely. This will revolutionise assessment of movement. Pupils can not only see their own performance but it enables the teacher to analyse movement in more detail without it being onerous.

Mr Lowe, Richmond House School

We’d like to thank Mr Simon Lowe and Richmond House School for their continued support and feedback during the trials of the assessment tool.

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