Increasing pupils’ physical activity through Successful Kinaesthetic training for pre-schoolers (SKIP)

Many of the children entering our school have poor physical skills. This is affecting how much physical activity they can and will do.

SKIP in the Foundation Phase is a programme that teaches about how young children develop their motor competence. This foundation of good movement is vital if they are to be active throughout life. The training helps practitioners understand how to alter constraints relating to tasks and the environment so that pupils progress through the stages of development.

Since attending SKIP training we are able to improve the children’s skills and ensure that they have opportunities for high quality movement across all areas of learning.

We have seen children becoming more competent, confident and more physically active. 

I believe that all teachers in the Foundation Phase need to understand how to teach children to move so that we can lay the foundations for all young people to be physically active for life.

In my school, we have children coming into our Nursery who cannot sit up and remain in that position without having to support themselves with their arms. We have an issue with children being overweight due to a lack of activity at home and many children choose a sedentary lifestyle playing on iPads and computer games rather than being physical. Unfortunately this stems from parental attitudes to physical activity too and so getting the children active is only half of the battle. We run parental engagement sessions and invite our parents to come and join in with physical activities with their children. We send home bags with PE equipment in to encourage the children to be active over the weekend. We are putting a lot of effort into this but equipment does not come cheap, sessions do not pay for themselves and our children need the all of the support that they can get. Working in the Foundation Phase, we have the opportunity to change their mind set before it is too deeply entrenched. My school is already under-resourced in many areas and physical activity resources are no different. We can plan the most fantastic lessons that Estyn would be proud of, but without the equipment to accompany it, it simply will not happen. SKIP requires little funding in comparison to many other schemes and the difference that it has made to not only the physical wellbeing, but the emotional and general wellbeing of the children I teach has been phenomenal. It would be detrimental to the wellbeing of our children if they weren’t going to receive this provision.