Why do we have a focus on developing physically active children?
At County Bridge, we want all our children to understand the full benefits for being active throughout the day and we hope this understanding will give them the drive to continue being physically active in a multiple of ways throughout the rest of their lives.
Why is physical activity so important for our children?
Physical activity has been associated with a wide range of physical health, mental health and learning benefits in children and young people and it is central to developing positive health outcomes from birth such as:
- increased health and fitness
- increased muscle and bone strength
- healthy weight maintenance
- improved sleep
- improved psychological and mental wellbeing (including positive self-esteem and lower levels of anxiety and stress)
- enhanced confidence and social skills
- enhanced co-ordination
- improved concentration and learning
In 2019, the UK Chief Medical Officers updated the UK physical activity guidelines in light of the latest evidence and recommended that children and young people, aged 5-18 years, should:
- engage in an average of at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day across the week. This can include all forms of activity such as PE, active travel, after-school activities, play and sports
- engage in a variety of types and intensities of physical activity across the week to develop movement skills, muscular fitness, and bone strength
- aim to minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary, and when physically possible, break up long periods of not moving with at least light physical activity.
Below is a physical activity guideline infographic, from the Department of Health, to help explain the type and amount of physical activity that children and young people (5-18 years) should be doing to improve their health and wellbeing.
Evidence suggests that many of the benefits of physical activity are likely to track forward into adulthood, thus, the school years represent an important period of preparation for a lifetime of health and wellbeing.
There is also a rapidly growing evidence base to support the co-benefits of physical activity to education, such as the beneficial effect of physical activity on academic performance and achieving their full potential.
What is primary school PE and sport premium funding?
The Government is providing funding of £150 million per annum to improve provision of physical education and sport in primary schools in England.
The funding is ring-fenced and therefore can only be spent on provision of PE and sport in schools. Schools must use the funding to make additional and sustainable improvements to the quality of Physical Education, School Sport, and Physical Activity (PESSPA) they offer.
There are five key indicators that school should expect to see improvements across:
- The engagement of all pupils in regular physical activity – Chief Medical Officers guidelines recommend that primary school pupils undertake at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day in school.
- The profile of PESSPA being raised across the school as a tool for whole school improvement.
- Increased confidence, knowledge and skills of all staff in teaching PE and sport.
- Broader experience of a range of sports and activities offered to all pupils.
- Increased participation in competitive sports.