Move & Learn at Malton

Sharing Move & Learn Ideas from Malton with afPE

It was a genuine honour to be invited by afPE to present at this year’s ‘Strive to Thrive’ conference – to share what we have been trying to achieve with Move and Learn approaches at Malton Community Primary School.

My presentation aimed to highlight how we provide purposeful physical activity across the school day. Participants were asked to consider:

  • Why is physical activity important?
  • What does an active school look like?
  • How can you can make your school active everyday – inside and outside the classroom?

Using QR codes, we were looked at the health and education contexts in which we work. We linked this to examples from the real world. Delegates then had to answer a series of questions with physical responses courtesy of the wonderful Cosmic Kids.

I shared the multi-system Move and Learn approaches we use at Malton CPS. The delegates looked at Termly Active Approaches such as Inter-school competitions, Inter-house competitions, Charity Fundraisers and ‘Sweaty Church’. We also considered Weekly Active Approaches such as High Quality PE Sessions and After School Club Provision.

However, it was the Everyday Active Approaches that led to the most discussion within the workshop. We looked at how we can activate learning in the classroom environment, not just with standing desks and changing the layout of the classroom. The delegates also looked at the benefits of active brain breaks and creating an active curriculum for learning core subjects.

We also considered things that happen outside of the classroom at our school everyday, including:

  • Break & Lunch Play Leaders
  • Flexible afternoon break times
  • Breakfast Club
  • Year 5 & 6 Sport/PE Ambassadors

Case Study – Year 5 & 6 Sport/PE Ambassadors

What happens?

Weekly one hour sessions for younger children led by older children. Sample Session:

1) A Go Noodle warm-up for 30 Year 1 children – minus teacher input.

2) A carousel of activities:

  • Guess My Number
  • Capture the Tag
  • Nike Training App on the ipad minis being used as interactive tool for developing FUNdamental movement skills

3) A cool down and plenary

The activities and resources are carefully considered to maximise enjoyment and impact. We like to blend resources to to deliver sessions, rather like app-smashing. For example, the Tagtiv8 Number programme incorporated with Scooter Boards help children move and randomly generate numbers with which to work. The school had bought the Scooter Boards as they are fun and engaging resources that enable younger children to develop pushing and pulling movements using their upper body.

What is Involved?

Children have to apply for the posts of Sports Ambassadors before the selection process began. Upper KS2 children are invited to apply for positions of responsibility within the school’s ‘pupil leadership team’. Once they have read job descriptions and completed application forms they must then prepare for and attend an interview with senior school leaders. Providing opportunities for children to gain confidence and competence from these responsibilities is an essential aspect of preparing them for the transition into the next phase of their education.

I facilitate the planning, with the children helping to devise the sessions. The leaders are given a frame/scaffold within which they can lead and create sessions. As Lucy is keen to point out: “We choose the workout.”

The active learning doesn’t just take place in the hall. On the corridor leading to the EYFS classes, the Year 5 PE/Sport Apprentices deliver active maths sessions of their own. Children lead these sessions voluntarily each Friday afternoon as part of their University of Life activities. University of Life involves vertical groups of children working together as innovators and entrepreneurs; applying skills from foundation subjects towards projects that support the school and wider community.

The Year 5 Apprentices have developed a model for planning active learning, which they then ask the teachers to drop in the mathematical learning objective, e.g. adding one more or working out one less etc. This is yet another example of scaffolding the children with a versatile set of activity frames that allows them to create and lead successfully from within.

With my input, the Year 5 children lead mathematical activities involving hoops, bean bags, Bochia, Football phonics and New Age Kurling, during which mathematical skills are modelled by the older children with genuine encouragement and praise.

What is the Impact?

As to the impact on the Year 6 children, it is clear that it’s not simply a case of giving out stickers. According to Lucy, “We learn leadership skills and try out things we wouldn’t normally do.”

Watching Kyle deliver the ‘Grab the Tag’ activity, sometimes on his own Scooter Board to maintain eye contact, is akin to watching a motivational surf boarder. The PE/Sport Ambassador role has certainly helped him grow as a leader:

  • “It helps me become more confident in giving instructions.”
  • “I get to ask the younger children questions that help them develop their Maths skills.”

The benefits to the Year 1 children can be seen in their engagement with the activities and the way they respond to their older peers. According to Year 1 pupils, Evie and Scarlett:

  • “We are active – we are learning too. It is good mixing Maths and PE.”
  • “It’s better to learn with older children because they’re good at sport.”
  • “They are closer in age to us so they know how we feel.”

It isn’t just the Year 1 pupils who benefit. Their teacher, Beth Chaplin, has been keen to point out that it is a subtle but effective form of CPD for her, up-skilling her with new ideas. CPD for staff is a key investment that the school has made with their Sports Premium Funding. Since April of this year, class teachers have accessed specific PE CPD each week through collaborative planning and teaching with me and their own class.


I know of many schools that are simply employing teams of sport coaches to deliver sessions in order to cover PPA, more often than not with no CPD for teachers. To these schools and others, I urge you to consider innovative models such as the ‘Move and Learn’ ones developed at Malton and get ahead of the game now that accurate tools for tracking Primary PE & Sport Premium Funding come into being.

Developing active learning at Malton Community Primary School is crucial to getting more of our children more active, more often.

To find out about our latest news, check out our Twitter feed, @maltonprimary or my own, @rda7111986

To talk further about the approaches used at the school, contact me –

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