The Youth Sport Trust has been working with Bupa to develop a revolutionary approach to teaching PE to four to seven year olds. Start to Move: developing physical literacy aims to provide teachers with greater knowledge and confidence in how best to deliver PE in a fun and engaging way.
Since September, over 300 primary school teachers have taken part in the free Start to Move pilot and received training on how to use this new curriculum approach to develop their children's fundamental movement skills - locomotion, stability and object control. Research conducted to support the project by Dr Jeanne Keay, Dean of Education at Roehampton University, found that one in three primary school teachers are influenced by their own negative experiences of PE when they were children, which is impacting on how they deliver the subject to their pupils. Lack of confidence was also cited as one of the major barriers to primary school teachers delivering high quality PE classes.
Start to Move aims to tackle these issues by encouraging teachers to build their understanding of how young children learn to move and to build on the skills the children have, rather than focusing on teaching adult sports before children have the skills to participate.
Baroness Sue Campbell, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said: "It is not entirely surprising to see that some primary school teachers don't look back fondly on their own PE experiences at school. It has only really been in recent years that we have seen such a transformation in the quality and quantity of PE and school sport which young people can now enjoy.
"By teaming up with Bupa we aim to equip primary teachers with a far greater knowledge and confidence in how best to deliver PE to four to seven year olds in a fun, energetic way. This in turn will excite and inspire their pupils who will see PE as an enjoyable experience and hopefully be a platform for them to go on to lead healthy and active lives."
Martin George, Group Development Director at Bupa commented: "We're very pleased to be supporting this revolutionary approach to teaching PE. This is not just another 'initiative' - we believe that this is the way PE will be taught by all schools in the future. By focusing on the essential skills, such as tracking and catching a ball, instead of teaching a child how to play netball for example, the child's confidence and ability will gradually build. By engaging children while they are still learning about what it means to be healthy, we hope to inspire them to be the next generation of fit, healthy adults."
The programme is free to all primary schools and starts with a day of training delivered by experienced national trainers. Support is then provided on an ongoing basis from local educational specialists. The website www.starttomovezone.com will be live in early 2012 and will feature video clips of children demonstrating their progression in activities; showing how they have adopted the basic movement skills and developed these into more complex activities.