It’s a well-known fact that as well as being fun, physical activity is not a break from learning, it’s also an investment in improving academic performance. In July 2019 the Department for Education (DfE) released a School Sport and Activity Action Plan to promote a joint approach to the physical activity and mental well-being of children. We have some school playground equipment ideas which will help to incorporate physical wellbeing into your playground.
Much research has been undertaken around the subject of inactivity in children. A campaign from the API: Association of Play Industries based on research with parents that highlights a tangible shift from outdoor play to indoor screen time. Whether it be in or outside school time, the DfE has advised that children and young people should take part in sport and physical activity for at least 60 minutes every day. Providing outdoor playground equipment plays a vital role in the educational, social, emotional and physical development of children. With increasing childhood obesity and inactive indoor lifestyles, the Government, as part of the Activity Action Plan wants to raise awareness making 60 minutes a day as popular and as recognisable as 5 a day and wants to put physical exercise at the heart of every school day.
The Department for Education allocates £320 million per year to primary schools across England to improve the quality of PE and sport. As part of Activity Action Plan, they will be providing more accessible national guidance regarding good practices for spending the funding & providing a toolkit to support its effective use. PE and Sport Premium funding has been provided since 2013 and recommends embedding physical activity into the school day. Whether it be Adventure Trail or Sports Walls schools are encouraged to use the PE funding the best way it works for their own pupils. Click here to find out more information about the long-lasting benefits of investing PE & Sport Premium funding.
Sport England is investing over £194 million (2016-21) of government and National Lottery funding into projects focused on improving children’s enjoyment of physical activity include after school provision such as Multi Use Games Areas. After-school clubs being located on educational facilities is ‘particularly beneficial, as children can easily access them after the school day. It can also be convenient for parents, aligning better with working hours than the school day often does, and being a safe and well-known location.’ School Sport and Activity Action Plan.
The School Sport and Activity Action Plan sets out a range of new measures to help educate teachers, parents and children about the importance of exercise in and outside the school environment. You can read the Action Plan by clicking here.
If you are planning a school playground project and need some inspiration you can request a copy of our virtual ‘Playground Inspiration For Schools And Nurseries’ catalogue right here.
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