The Youth Sport Trust has been working with Loughborough University on CLASS PAL; a Physically Active Learning project that supports teachers to incorporate physical active learning into their daily lessons.
The charity is working with researchers at Loughborough University and the University of Leicester, Nottingham, and Victoria University (Australia) to train Year 5 teachers and their pupils in seven Leicestershire schools on the Class Pal.
Teachers are being encouraged to integrate movement into the teaching of normal lessons, which could enhance children’s engagement and enjoyment of learning, help make the school day less sedentary and have a positive impact on achievement in the longer term.
An early pilot was carried out across five Leicestershire schools by the Youth Sport Trust Trust to understand how teachers can best implement active learning and movement breaks in class.
Alison Sturla, Development Manager at the Youth Sport Trust who has been part of the project said:
What we’re trying to do with active learning is to help teachers understand that lessons can be a place where young people can be physically active and learn at the same time and it won’t disrupt lessons. We are taking the principles from PE and applying them to create an active learning environment in the rest of school. By incorporating simple movements into daily lesson routines, pupils have an improved learning experience, will move more, sit less and have healthy minds and bodies for the future.
The research is being funded by the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care East Midlands. Dr Lauren Sherar from Loughborough University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences and the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine East Midlands is the lead investigator for the project.
She said: “Sitting for long periods is linked to poorer health in adulthood, so if we can encourage children to sit less from as early as primary school, it’s possible we could influence their future habits, for example how they might approach sitting in the workplace. There is also evidence to show that active learning helps enhance children’s engagement in the classroom and aids cognitive development, so this project may have dual education and health benefits.”
CLASS PAL includes a training workshop delivered by the Youth Sport Trust with supporting online information and resources to help teachers introduce active learning into their classrooms. Visit the CLASS PAL website to access these resources and to find out more about the project. Other partners of the project include the Affinity Teaching School Alliance.