West Somerset Physical Literacy Project

YST West Somerset Physical Literacy Project
We have been commissioned to deliver an 'Early Years physical literacy and social mobility project' which will ensure every child in the area of West Somerset gets the opportunity to achieve a good level of physical development linked to their language and literacy skills.

What is this project?

West Somerset is one of 12 Opportunity Areas across the UK. It is ranked the lowest in the Government’s Social Mobility Index which measures the chances that a child from a disadvantaged background will do well at school and gain employment. The West Somerset Opportunity Area has received funding through the Department for Education, with Somerset County Council commissioning YST to deliver this project alongside Futures for Somerset.

This project will increase the target children’s self-esteem and wellbeing, develop agility, balance and coordination which all help children gain a better start to their life. Delivery started in October 2018 and will continue until March 2020.

Click here to read the project launch press release

How is it being delivered?

  • An initial training session was delivered in early October 2018 with 15 of the 16 settings attending
  • Two Youth Sport Trust Learning Academy tutors are developing, mentoring and supporting practitioners in each Early Years setting to upskill them to deliver the Youth Sport Trust Healthy Movers programme
  • This sustainable delivery model enables these identified practitioners, called Healthy Movers Champions, to develop their key skills, competence and confidence in delivering physical development
  • It also allows them to cascade their learning to colleagues alongside the Learning Academy tutors who are modelling, coaching, advising and observing other staff when delivering sessions
  • This approach is supported through the suite of Healthy Movers resources which take a holistic approach to child development, physical themes and developing literacy and language
  • The Learning Academy tutors will also assist each setting in developing and delivering Stay and Play clubs for the children and their parents/carers to play and be active together
  • Every child will receive a Healthy Movers Home Pack that will allow families to continue to promote physical activity in their homes.

“Numerous settings feel that the “real gem” of this project is the monthly visits as the Learning Academy tutors really understand the strengths and challenges of each setting.

“It’s really interesting to see, as we fill in the baseline data on the assessment tool, how the children who are emerging on all of the physical skills are also the children with the poorer language and communication skills.”

Healthy Mover Champion

Read more about how nurseries are supporting children in remote Exmoor to have opportunities for life.

 What's next?

  • Engaging Child Minders and Health visitors in Healthy Movers training sessions
  • Further training sessions for other staff in the settings
  • Delivery of a recognised Level 3 Award in Supporting Physical Development and Physical Activity for Healthy Mover Champions
  • Deliver and facilitate a series of networking and sharing practice events based on engaging and including themed groups
  • Stakeholder networking to assist setting managers, Early Years partners, schools with reception age pupils and health visitors on benchmarking physical literacy and measuring the impact of the Healthy Movers approach
  • The creation of a West Somerset Physical Literacy Alliance to champion, advocate and influence physical literacy across the area
  • Comprehensive evaluation report (for use with Ofsted, governors, partners and parents).

For further information, please contact: 

Chris Caws
Youth Sport Trust South West
Development Manager
07825 065185