Girls Active: Secondary
The framework of Girls Active has six key principles that underpin effective practice in engaging girls to be physically active. These have positive relationships at their core and should be supported by whole school policies and practice.
1. Take a long-term approach to engaging girls
2. Put developing self-confidence at the heart of PE
3. Make PE and sport relevant to girls lives
4. Recognise the power of friends to drive progress
5. Develop role models for the future
6. Empower girls to design and deliver PE and sport.
By age 7, girls are already less active than boys and this disparity widens as they move from childhood into adolescence. Adolescent girls are more likely to experience barriers to participation than boys with the biggest drop-off occurring during the transition from primary to secondary school.
At this time there are multiple factors that affect girls’ participation including disruption to friendship groups, the onset of puberty and declining body confidence and the increasing need to ‘fit in’ and be accepted amongst their peers.
· Across all ages, fewer girls (45%) meet physical activity recommendations compared with boys (50%) (Sport England, 2022)
· Of girls who were physically active in primary school, 43% no longer felt that way once reaching secondary school (Women in Sport, 2022)
· Concerns or being self-conscious about their appearance often stops girls (37%) taking part in fun activities (Girlguiding, 2023).
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