Physical and emotional wellbeing should be new focus for PE

As National School Sport Week gets underway, YST Chief Executive, Ali Oliver, says PE is changing, as schools across the country get set to take part in the week-long celebration of school sport.
Physical and emotional wellbeing should be new focus for PE

As National School Sport Week gets underway, the Youth Sport Trust’s Chief Executive, Ali Oliver, says PE is changing, as schools across the country get set to take part in the week-long celebration of school sport.

 “We’re really looking forward to celebrating school sport during National School Sport Week,” says Oliver.

There’s no doubt, that it’s been a year full of change and uncertainty around young people and that encouraging and supporting them through sport, physical activity and PE in school can help them feel good, both physically and emotionally, and hopefully develop the skills they need for life to keep healthy and achieve.

The Youth Sport Trust launched its partnership with Entertainment One’s (eOne) PJ Masks show, bringing to life the popular characters from the show in free digital resources for schools as they sign up for the week. The primary activity pack is full of branded activities inspired by the strengths of the three PJ Masks main characters: Catboy, Owlette and Gekko, a superhero trio of friends who embark on action-packed adventures using their superpowers of agility, strength and flight.

Power of 3 will specifically target young children between the ages of 2-5 in pre-school settings such as nurseries as well as youngsters in primary schools. They will be encouraged to take part in 30 minutes of daily activity, contributing to the daily total recommended by the UK Chief Medical Officer; 180 minutes for pre-school aged children and 60 minutes for school aged children, which should be a mix of moderate to vigorous in its intensity.

For secondary schools, free resources aimed at older children have also been shared to help schools celebrate sport throughout the week.

“We’re seeing some real progress in a number of schools where PE is seen as something far morethan a block of one sport followed by another” explains Oliver. “Many primary settings are working with us to integrate physical activity across the curriculum to increase engagement and improve cognition and are using their PE and Sport Premium for much needed professional development opportunities for teachers. Within secondary schools we are seeing programmes such as Girls Active significantly reimagine how young women and teachers can work together to close the gender gap while programmes such as YST’s My Personal Best to develop character and enhance employability skills.

Now, in its ninth year, thousands of schools are expected to take part in National School Sport Week. Last year saw more than 5,000 schools and around 1.8 million young people take part. The initiative aligns with the Youth Sport Trust’s core mission of building a brighter future for young people through sport.

A year in school sport:

  • 21,359 schools were reached through the School Games and over 1.1 million young people engaged in extra-curricular sport every week in schools taking part.
  • 8.3 million students had the opportunity to participate in the School Games in 2015/16
  • 843,083 young people were provided with direct opportunities to participate in PE and sport through 26 YST programmes
  • 129,553 young people were provided with Youth Sport Trust training opportunities, including coaching, officiating & volunteering
  • 34,446 teachers, coaches and volunteers received training from the Youth Sport Trust across 27 programmes, with over 70% receiving training in inclusive practice

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