The notion of school improvement has been with us for so long that it can seem unlikely that anyone would ever come up with a new approach that really works.
And yet this has happened, because of late there has been growing evidence to the effect that physical activity improves mental activity. Indeed a study from the University of British Columbia showed that very modest levels of exercise boost activity in the part of the brain involved in verbal memory and learning.
Meanwhile there has also been lots of evidence generated showing that increasing children’s activity throughout the day improves pupil focus, behaviour, wellness, and academic performance, as well as health and fitness.
Thus, when you give children short bursts of mild physical activity within a lesson they return to learning more focused. And indeed this is one of the reasons why the additional 30 minutes of structured activity has now been introduced as a compulsory measure in schools in England.
If that short period is spent on modest levels of physical activity the amount of learning that subsequently takes place increases considerably.
And that is before we even think in terms of encouraging regular activity in children in order to reduce the chances of obesity.
The new government directive requires all primary schools in England to provide 30 minutes of structured physical activity each day to all children in the school in addition to the weekly two hours of PE, and it is to support this practice that the PE and Sport Premium funding has been doubled this year.
To see how this approach can be implemented by making classrooms more active and the benefits it brings your pupils, we’ve now made available online a series of free trials of activity sessions. Each session can be implemented within classroom lessons.