Golfhill Primary School in Glasgow’s Dennistoun area has been taking part in the Glasgow Active Play programme, run by go2play with funding from Glasgow City Council Education.
The programme has been delivered by go2play partner charity PEEK and involves weekly Active Play sessions in school, separate from PE and break time, for primary 4 pupils.
Primary 4 class teacher Miss McCarten found the Active Play sessions had a very positive effect on her class, helping them be more active, gain confidence, build relationships and friendships, and work better in the classroom.
Miss McCarten noted pupils were better able to focus on work immediately following Active Play sessions than they had been usually. The teacher used this time to do writing lessons in preparation for World Book Day, a lesson she said would previously have been difficult to engage the whole class in because of a broad range of abilities.
“After Active Play it was a wonderful experience; pupils were much more focused and really used their imaginations,” Miss McCarten said.
Pupils were also more confident about what they could do and things they could try in the classroom because they had tried so many new things during Active Play.
Miss McCarten also observed social and emotional benefits from Active Play which helped pupils in class time. The children were more confident in building relationships and friendships with each because of the fun interaction they had during Active Play which helped them to solve problems and issues together without teacher intervention.
Pupils also gained resilience from Active Play; as the weeks progressed they were better able to pick themselves up if they fell down and move on quickly from incidents. This led to more pupils being having confidence to try things they had previously been uncomfortable with and being more confident in their own abilities in the classroom. Furthermore, any issues between children during break-times were more often resolved by pupils which has resulted in more class time as the class are able to go straight into lessons.
Pupils have also learned new things about themselves with one boy in particular who did not like PE discovering he loved skipping and tennis because of Active Play games and is now really enthusiastic about taking part.
Miss McCarten also said Active Play sessions have helped her to get to know pupils better and get the most from class time. She has been able to see more of the pupils’ personalities because she is able interact with them in a non-classroom environment where pupils are having fun.
“Before pupils might talk to me about limited things but we all had a lot more conversations because of Active Play sessions. This has helped me to engage reluctant learners and helped them become more involved in class lessons because I have more insight into what they enjoy and what motivates them.”
Miss McCarten has also gained confidence in taking Active Play sessions and is so pleased with the effect the programme has had with her pupils she and headteacher Mrs Thomson are planning to continue the sessions as part of the school week.
“Active play has been a really positive experience for us,” Miss McCarten said.
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