Bringing Maths and English alive through active learning
An Uphill Challenge
Our children have faced an uphill challenge following lockdown which has impacted on their mental health, social skills, wellbeing and also their physical skills. After lockdown we noticed that children at Simonside were not engaged or motivated in learning and lacked the physical ability to maintain any length of sporting activity. As a school we realised that this has long term effects on our children and we need to prioritise mental wellbeing, physical fitness as well as provided academic learning to support gaps in learning.
Why Teach Active?
Teach Active provided a way of educating our children in a fun, meaningful way that also supported our children’s 60 minutes daily exercise. It allowed teachers to provide the children with active, fun and engaging activities that supported our current curriculum planning while allowing the teachers to have access to a resource that was easy and ready to use. Through Teach Active activities teachers are able to combine learning, exercise and social skills in a manner that helps support current learning, embed concepts and support children in concepts they find difficult. Activities can be differentiated to suit the children’s needs and allow for opportunities to assess the children’s progress in a more active method of teaching. All the activities are easily accessed by teachers and teaching assistants with resources readily available and quick to find.
Whole School Approach
Teach Active was introduced across the whole school with teachers being asked to trial the activities across Maths and English every few weeks. Initial feedback from staff was positive and it was obvious from watching lessons how engaged all children were in their learning and how enthusiastic they were in the different activities. Our pupils enjoyed the active element being used more within English and Maths lessons and it was clear that there was a good level of learning taking place, often without the children even realising. We were able to see children, who usually didn’t engage with some lessons, now become active learners. Teachers were also able to often use the lesson ideas with Teach Active and apply this within other curriculum areas.
Impact for life long learning
Introducing Teach Active across the school has allowed us more opportunities to ensure that all pupils engage in 60 minutes activity a day whilst supporting their mental health and curriculum learning to consolidate prior and new concepts.
Unlike some initiative to raise physical activity within schools, Teach Active is something that we will be able to deliver and embed with in weekly lessons making it sustainable over longer periods of time. The ease of finding an engaging way to deliver some difficult concepts allows teachers to then focus their time on other areas of learning.
Looking to the future, Teach Active would also really support children identified for interventions, be that academically, socially or mentally,, supporting them in their learning journey in a more relaxed, fun way.
It has been very easy to incorporate Teach Active into our curriculum, providing an effective way to encourage and implement further physical activity across the school day. The sessions are easy to use and clearly explained with resources identified.
Teach Active has contributed positively to our daily physical activity across school and is enjoyed by both children and staff. To do this with links to Maths and English only serves to enhance our curriculum offer.Donna Scott, Head Teacher