Creating an Active School Environment
The Case for Active Schools:
The research has been done. Physical activity can positively impact everything educators are trying to achieve. When children move regularly in school, behaviour, attention, attendance and academic performance often improve. In the future, these children will have better income prospects, improved physical and mental health, and higher productivity.
Active Children do Better in School:
Hundreds of studies from around the world point to the same conclusion: Regular physical activity throughout the day can lead to better behaviour, attendance and academic performance. This is true on both the short term (immediately after physical activity has taken place) and the long term.
The benefits are extraordinary. Physical activity creates a self-reinforcing cycle of benefits. Active children's brains work better, giving them improved capacity to learn. At the same time, better attitudes about school and improvements in their psychosocial health create a more conducive mind-set for learning. The net result is improved academic performance.
Physical Activity Improves Overall Classroom and School Outcomes:
When all children have the opportunity to be physically active, the school as a whole is better off. Taken together, the gains made my active pupils benefit the broader school environment, In addition, there are specific areas against which schools are measured and assessed that get a significant boost from physical activity.
Everyone Will Be Better Off
School leaders have a lot more people to answer to than just the students. For most leaders, much of the day is dedicated to managing the expectations of the school administration and school governors, teachers, staff and parents, as well as students. The impact of an active school environment on the 'school ecosystem' may be one of the most underestimated aspects of work. After all, when students are happier, healthier, better behaved, better performing and poised for long-term success, all of school's stakeholders are better off.
What is an Active School?
An active school provides all children with great experiences in physical activity and sport before, during and after school. The result is improved performance, behaviour and attendance.
Active Schools do 3 things well:
- Inspire 60 minutes or more of daily physical activity
- Deliver high-quality Physical Education
- Create a culture of physical activity for all
Are you an active school?
To gauge how your school is doing today and to find ideas for making your school more active, please have a look at the Active Schools Best Practice Guide and Active Schools Quiz.
Available resources to help you become an Active School:
Introduction and Section 1