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Blog BLG1009
How to build active minutes into your school day
Nat Richardson

Our children need to move more!

It is well known that being active has huge benefits on children’s health. However, do you realise quite how much activity they should be getting? The UK Chief Medical Officers have put forward the recommendation that every single child in the UK should have access to at least 60 minutes of physical activity each and every day. 

With an already packed timetable in schools and PE only ‘ideally’ being allocated two hours per week, the challenge facing schools is how to ensure that they encourage children to reach their 60 minutes each and every day. 

We have put together some ideas to get you started.

Encourage children to have active break times

The idea of a break time is that it allows the children to get out in the fresh air and essentially blow off some steam. By doing this they feel ready to learn and head back into their classroom. If you find that your children are struggling to find active things to do during their break then why not offer an organised active game or activity that they could do? Skipping challenges, inter house competitions and hula hooping are all fantastic ways to get children moving. You can still do this when it is raining by having an inside area that holds a physical activity, maybe dance, bench ball or dodgeball. 

Offer breakfast, lunchtime or after school sports clubs

As time is so limited during the school day, it makes sense that to encourage activity you may have to look at times out of curriculum hours. This is why extracurricular sports clubs are such a good idea. Not only do they encourage children to be active but they create an environment to develop a passion for activity that can continue into adulthood.

Hand out step counters

One common misconception is that the 60 minutes activity throughout the day has to be delivered in one block. However, this isn’t the case, you can instead choose to split it down into smaller and more manageable chunks. A very enticing way to encourage physical activity throughout the day is to hand out step counters to the children within the school and set them a target. It is surprising just how well this simple idea can get them active. Why not even make it a class competition!

Get active in lessons

Learning doesn’t have to always be at a desk, sometimes getting active in class can be a great help for students to learn. There are a number of different ways that you can encourage children to be active within lesson time. 

  • Maths of the Day is a fantastic resource for incorporating activity time whilst learning maths. 
  • Star jump answers is a simple technique for any age and subject. Have your pupils stand next to their desks and instead of raising their hands to volunteer, pupils complete a star jump.
  • Active classroom breaks. Include a five minute active break in learning where pupils complete a series of short exercises on the spot such as hopping, squats, lunges and jogging. What an exciting way to build in those minutes. 

With increased activity having a huge impact on brain cell growth, memory, problem solving, confidence, metal wellbeing and of course the risk of illness or poor health, it is all the clearer why schools should do all they can to encourage activity within their daily life. Why not try these out and see what you can do to help your students get active and have the best start in life?