Stand-out schools and nurseries

The Active Movement concept is unique in its integration into school and nursery life. It therefore requires far closer co-ordination with participating settings than other health interventions.

At the same time, the programme is organic and constantly evolving as teachers, nursery staff, children and even parents come up with their own ideas and interpretations.

The programme is designed to be empathetic with each individual nature of each setting and never seeks to disrupt the classroom or change the school day.

But in all cases, all those close to the school are asked to participate fully. We are therefore hugely appreciative of those that have let Active Movement work so closely with teachers, parents and, of course, the children.

Here are Early Years, Primary and Secondary settings that have seen Active Movement’s outstanding effect.

Abberley VC Parochial School

This innovative Worcestershire junior school saw the first introduction of Active Movement across 5 – 11 year olds.

The school was given a series of movements integrated into the school’s daily routine as well as communication inside and out of school. They were introduced to characters designed to help deliver the key messages around reducing sedentary behaviour and being a little more active.

And as one of the first schools to undertake the programme, their input into the programme’s process and implementation was vital to its development.

The programme was extremely powerful. The children’s retained key educational messages about standing up and the effects on the body and well-being. Participation increased in intensity as teachers found the programme increasingly easy to implement and enhanced the lessons.

Old School House Day Nursery in Stetchworth, Newmarket

Voted the 2014 Individual Nursery of the Year, its innovative and highly-focussed staff created an Active Movement environment for 0-4 year olds, and tailored to reflect the different levels of mobility, communication and understanding at this formative time. A programme for the staff was also developed.

Feedback was phenomenal. A Mosaic review of the children demonstrated an understanding and affinity with the programme with astonishing articulation of the benefits and power of non-sedentary behaviour.

Qualitative and quantitative assessment of staff also showed significant improvements in behaviour around activity and personal well-being were impressive and long-lasting including the staff’s first-ever undertaking of a 5km mud run!

Park House Secondary School, Newbury

Its impressive reputation for sport and a progressive headteacher made this school an ideal opportunity yet a challenging one. Though the value of activity was recognised, the age profile and educational setting ensured changing sedentary behaviour was going to be difficult. The scale of the programme, its breadth of integration and the support process had to be upgraded to match.

The impact of the programme was wholescale. School routines changed to integrate non-sedentary behaviour into daily routine. Events around reading, debating, walking, homework, creative design and housepoints helped drive increased activity. Data analysis highlighted definitive shifts in activity as well as initial indications of improvement in attainment.

The Winchcombe School, Newbury

Though only limited connections between the school and Park House, the primary programme took place at the same time. Reception and Primary school children were introduced to the concept via characters and communication.

As well as everyday mandatory movements, different Active Movement options were introduced across reading, play, walks, lesson planning, homework and a nutritional idea based on the universal principle of small steps to cumulative gain. Parents were involved too.

Measurements across physical behavioural and activity levels all saw significant gains. Teacher and parent involvement was also comprehensive with uptake intensifying as confidence increased.

St Ignatius Primary School, Tottenham

The first programme in a London primary school offered the programme its greatest diversification across ethnic background and social deprivation. Previous research had also led to new developments in the programme across teacher training, children ownership and programme content.

Though at this time the programme has just finished and is being reviewed, the feedback from the children, teachers and parents has been nothing short of outstanding. There have been clear developments in behaviour, pupil involvement and teacher commitment as well as greater involvement by parents.

Quantitative assessments across physicality, activity and behaviour change will be completed in the months ahead – but the programme’s robust content and evaluation has already led to the school being awarded the Healthy Schools (London) Silver Award.

Old School House Nursery, Mosaic review

Research review

Marks Gate Nursery, Dagenham

One of 30 nurseries in the London Early Years Foundation group undertook its own programme for both children and staff members. Based near Dagenham, it was situated in a area of high deprivation. Response by children, staff and parents have made the programme already richly enjoyed by all, support by qualitative and quantitative data such as behaviour questionnaires, focus groups and EYFS data.

The programme complemented Mark Gate’s own pedagogy perfectly in areas such home, outdoor activity, multi-generational activity including an extraordinary visit to a Senior citizens home, reading and nutrition. Animal characters not only supported the educational messaging but was so popular parents planned weekend activity around their availability!

Early research has shown significant improvement children and staff activity levels.

Schools started January 2017

Calcot Schools, Reading (Nursery, Reception, Primary)
All Saints CEVA Primary, Newmarket (Reception, Primary)
Pot Kiln Primary, Sudbury (Nursery, Reception, Primary)
Newmarket Academy (Secondary)

Schools started in  September 2017

Castleview Primary, Slough (Nursery, Reception, Primary)
Montem Academy (Primary), Slough (Nursery, Reception, Primary)
Wexham Court Primary, Slough (Nursery, Reception, Primary)
St Francis De Sales Primary, Haringey (Nursery, Reception, Primary)
St Joseph’s Secondary, Slough
Eden Girls, Slough (All faith, All girls Secondary)
Chalvey Children’s Centre, Slough