• Paul Wade

Movement & Play

I know that this might seem mind bogglingly obvious, but your child does not, in fact, spend all day in school, sitting at a desk or table, completing worksheets. They actually spend quite a lot of it being active.

EYFS children (that's 3-5 years olds in Nursery and Reception classes) spend 80% or more of their school day in free-play activities (carefully planned and guided by their teachers). Most Key Stage One children (Year 1 and 2) will have two 15-20 minute breaks per day, plus a one hour lunch break during which they will spend around 45 minutes out at play. In Key Stage 2 (age 7 up) and beyond, this changes to around one 15-20 minute break and a lunch break each day with up to 45 minutes to be active.

Primary age children should have 2 hours of high quality PE per week at least. On top of that, a lot of Key Stage One children will have additional activity times during the school day. Many schools run a daily mile (sometimes while learning times tables) and children will move between lessons in secondary school, often spending an additional 30 minutes per day just making these transitions. Many of you will also walk or cycle your children to school. Many schools have also introduced movement breaks in every lesson: younger children will move from the carpet to tables 3-4 times per day and the vast majority of children will have to make their way to the toilet (often a good distance from their classroom) at least once per session. After school clubs and extra curricular activities are also often active. This adds up to a lot of active time during and around the school day.

What does this mean for learning from home? Well, simply put, a LOT of physical activity. Consider having a significant movement break (5-10 minutes) at least once per hour and longer breaks (20 minutes plus) several times per day. You will also need to try to build in some extended periods of physical exercise (up to an hour) 2-3 times each week.

So how on earth do you manage all that activity if you are in isolation, especially in an apartment or a building without an outside space? - stairs are a great place for exercise, going up and down a few times is pretty good exercise - dance: smaller children especially love to dance and will move about for long periods to music - computer games: many consoles feature physically active games - yoga and pilates: there are a number of websites and platforms (Netflix and Amazon for example) that offer classes for children and teenagers - if any parents are physical trainers and feel that they could offer online workouts for indoor spaces, now is the time to offer

Stay active everyone, it will help the learning.

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