The latest evidence shows that the Active Play Programme is helping to raise attainment in primary schools in Glasgow.
Commissioned by Glasgow City Council Attainment Challenge, the ten week programme trains teachers and works with children in both structured and unstructured play. Already the changes noted by teachers include increased communication, physical fitness, creativity, teamwork, risk-taking, problem-solving, emotional resilience and co-operation. Based on joint reporting from University of Strathclyde and Blake Stevenson, the first cohort of Active Play has been a success.
Closing the attainment gap is a key directive of the Scottish Government, currently the gap between children from and low and high income families is about 10-13 months. What Active Play does is bring in physical activity by stealth, but the benefits are for mental health as well. At a time when a third of six-year olds spend as much time as three hours in front of the screen. There are some who spend 12 hours per day. Fewer than 1 in 5 children in Scotland are meeting the minimum daily guidelines of one hour of physical activity.
Because Active Play contributes directly to the Curriculum for Excellence outcomes in health and wellbeing, with training given to teachers with the class, it is stress free for the teachers. As Headteacher of Royston Primary School noted
I feel that this is a very insightful way of supporting the raising of attainment.... thinking outside the box, avoiding more tests and asseessment pieces but actually looking at the emotional, mental and physical wellbeing, with the knoweldge that success will only come if pupils are mentally, emotionally and physically fit.
Another key benefit for teachers is that behaviour and engagement in school increases following physical and mental wellbeing, and this in turn helps towards academic attainment.
A successful education system is fundamental to a successful future; for our children, for our communities and for Scotland.
Active Play improves behaviour, improves learning and helps our children to be better citizens for the future.
We want to help educators achieve their ambitions, and those of Scottish Government, to close the attainment gap and get it right for every child.
That's why we have developed the Active Play programme, a programme which helps primary school-age children develop and grow emotionally, socially, cognitively and physically.
For more information about Active Play, please contact Rachel Cowper.