Building School Capacity
To develop the capacity of the school community to provide physical activity, schools should:
- collaboratively plan physical activities; share good ideas, expertise or interests in particular physical activities; and celebrate success
- survey teachers and students regarding barriers and enablers to participation in physical activity. The results may inform planning and time allocation for physical activity; and suggest criteria for quality programs (such as variety, choice, availability)
- provide access to equipment and facilities (including grassed spaces) to encourage active participation
- investigate grants available to support professional learning programs (for example, Sport and recreation organisations)
- investigate additional expertise (for example from secondary school students, sporting clubs and/or universities)
- promote the use of quality teaching resources such as the Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing's Daily Physical Activity Guide
- collaboratively determine the role of the school specialists in relation to physical activity
- promote the benefits of physical activity in relation to learning, behaviour management and health.
- provide access to information and resources on topics such as:
- physical activity appropriate to age, culture and gender activities
- safety considerations such as medical conditions, sun safety
- emotional, social and cultural issues when motivating students.
To promote community partnerships, schools can:
- enhance relationships with local councils, sport and recreation clubs and providers
- promote physical activity programs in regular updates in the school newsletter.
What does this mean for teacher practice?
- ensure activities are appropriate to ability levels; the physical environment; facilities; available equipment and enjoyable for the students
- adapt activities, environment or equipment to enable participation by all students
- provide protective equipment, where appropriate, to complement other risk-control measures (e.g. Curriculum Activity Risk Management Guidelines )
- establish an expectation that students set personal goals; and teach them how to set their own SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and within a Timeframe) goals so that they can monitor their own achievements and gain a sense of satisfaction, even if their personal goals are different to other students.
- provide opportunities and encourage participation in a range of physical activities including spontaneous play and games
- establish an expectation that students encourage and support each other in physical activity, rather than compete with each other.
Prior to commencing any planned physical activity:
- provide instructions to students on the processes and techniques associated with the activity; and the identified risks and risk management planned before commencement
- emphasise students' individual responsibility for their own safety and the safety of others; and the importance of leaving the area in a safe, clean and tidy condition.
During the activity
- maintain adequate supervision of students at all times, considering the age, maturity and number of students, the size and configuration of space and the nature and quantity of equipment
- monitor prevailing weather conditions and curtail the activity or seek appropriate shelter if weather conditions are unsuitable.
Note - Children should engage in natural resistance-based and weight-bearing activities and do not need weights to strengthen their bones and muscles.
Things to consider:
Physical activity does not have to be competitive
Physical activity can be spontaneous as well as organised
Start slowly and gradually build up the duration and intensity of physical activity
Protect children from the sun
Drink sufficient water
Seek advice if you are concerned about any children
Ensure activity is in a safe environment
Provide opportunities for all students including those with diverse needs, abilities and interests.
Additional benefits of regular physical activity
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This page was last reviewed on 17 Jun 2014