There are many awesome teachers out there doing wonderful things in the area of Physically Active Learning (PAL). They are certainly going the extra mile to get their children moving & learning.
It would be great to hear from you about what you are already doing and what you intend to do.
- What successes have you achieved to date?
- What barriers have you had to overcome?
- How do you intend to help your children ‘move & learn’?
- Will you bring on board other teachers or maybe the parents and carers too?
- What will be your pledge?
We look forward to hearing from you and sharing further. We will return your pledge with a ‘move & learn’ memento.
A Huge Advocate of PAL
I have been a huge advocate of PAL for a number of years, since before my time returning to Grove Road. The main reason behind this was simply looking at the current state of education and asking myself:
“Would I enjoy this if I were still at school?”
As a keen mover and somebody who has spent my life being physically active, the answer was a resounding “No.”
The biggest successes to date, since returning to Grove Road have come in the form of happier children. There is no one thing that has contributed to this, but rather a drive to incorporate movement into my school day more. Brain Boosters and finding ways to have the children leave their seats to accomplish tasks in the classroom, hall or school grounds is something I’m always looking to do. Although with that said, only if it fits. I’m not a square peg into a round hole kind of person. Super Movers, Active maths or child-led kagan structures (e.g. jigsaw learning) are always a big hit with children moving around to learn and not be confined to their seat.
Every morning, my class start the day with something that seeks to help their wellbeing and adds some extra activity into their day. Whether this be ‘Mindful Monday’, ‘Table Tennis Tuesday’ or ‘Workout Wednesday’, it’s something they are always asking me about and looking forward to. I can happily say that other classes in school now join me for Workout Wednesday, which is a huge win!
There have been no barriers per se, other than that it’s a revolutionary way to approach lots of learning, in particular, the core subjects. Especially when you hear what learning ‘should’ look like. However, from speaking with other like-minded teachers and educators, you can’t place a price on the wellbeing and happiness of the children we teach, and ultimately, the happier they are, the more receptive they will be to learning.
I won’t be at Grove Road as we head into the next academic year, but whatever I end up doing in education, I know that PAL will be at the forefront of my thinking. My area of passion is Physical Education, and with the greater emphasis Ofsted claim to be placing on this subject area, as well as wellbeing, we are well placed to make a positive impact in primary education moving forward.
Moving & Learning in an Infants School
After meeting the Move and Learn team last year our school has put active learning at the forefront of our curriculum. Over the past year teachers have committed to making lessons more active and engaging throughout the curriculum. Our biggest success so far is the teachers willingness to believe in and implement active lessons throughout their teaching. Staff feedback that they love the freedom it gives them within the lessons they teach, children are more engaged in their learning and far less time is being spent just listening. Children are encouraged to move freely around the classroom in a manner that remains purposeful but allows children a greater freedom to make their own choices while being active. Classrooms have been redesigned by teachers to create free space for movement, the introduction of bean bags, exercise balls and clipboards enable children to work within different areas with greater freedom.
Our pledge this year is to seamlessly embed active learning throughout every lesson of the curriculum, overcoming the idea that active learning means children are running round throughout every lesson is not what active learning is about. We want all children to be able to spend more time moving in a lesson that they do sitting. This will be done throughout a range of activities designed and implemented by our teachers so they support the learning intention of the lesson. Our active learning will complement the other activities we do in school to ensure our children are active throughout every school day.