Space can be at a premium for your school. Organising amongst other teaching interests to access your school halls and outdoor play areas can be a minefield, but with our help, you can maximise your space and produce a creative activity programme.
Any space can help you get your kids active, and the more creative you are, the more memorable those sessions will be!
So how can you support schools and children with small spaces?
Why not explore themed functional movement?
Themed functional movement can help to expand a child’s physical cognition, using their imagination. A report released by OFSTED gives schools examples of activities they can use, including basic skills such as throwing, catching, twisting, and running. Using these as your blueprint, you can start to get children to use their bodies creatively.
Instead of running, for example, explore thematic ideas such as “standing as tall or as wide as possible” or “pretending to be a snake”. These can be used to stimulate their imagination. Both themes can be used in a primarily stationary fashion and offer opportunities to stretch, bend, twist or transfer their body weight.
Create activity zones for dynamic group activity
Activity zones are a great way to use small or large school spaces. You can create different stations with activities for children to complete that target different muscle groups. Children can see all the types of exercises they could do by watching their peers. And you can use this time to help children embrace healthy competition, using reps and good form.
What about using task cards on-site? Large format cards can be used at each zone and will help to keep children focussed on any given activity. These cards can be a great stimulus for your teachers as they can be used at any time and added to any activity throughout the week. To reduce space usage, children can be given new tasks in their groups instead of moving from station to station.
Using music or sound for physical activity
You can explore the use of music in the classroom as well as indoor and outdoor facilities on campus. Upbeat music can energise children in the mornings, and lower energy music can be used as a wind down towards the end of the day. Music can also be a catalyst for new activities, offering dance and activity options including Capoeira, Ballet and Yoga.
There’s also an opportunity for children to be creative. In groups, they can create dance routines or complete exercises such as Burpees or sit-ups to the beat encouraging more or fewer reps. These bursts of activity can raise their heart rate, and lower energy music can help introduce Yoga or mindfulness.
Setting up obstacle courses
You can use your play areas’ existing lines and markings to set up obstacle courses, adding additional equipment for further exploration. Obstacle courses can include any existing equipment such as benches or cones and use the markings on surfaces to encourage children to balance, hop, and skip, for example.
The changes in terrain can help children with their problem-solving skills. They can use the highs and lows to decide the ways they can navigate through them, encouraging them to use different muscle groups and excite their imaginations. The dynamism will increase their motivation to get active too.
Encourage active core subjects in your school
Many schools imagine that PE is a monolith. PE can be an incredibly flexible subject that you can add to all parts of the day. In the morning, it can be a great lift and get them ready to focus on core subjects. In the afternoon, you can use physical activity as a wind-down or as a way to teach core subjects like Maths and English.
Programmes such as Maths on the Move can be used by any school or instructor to teach simple maths concepts such as fractions or multiplication. More than 80% of children who’ve used this programme were more confident with their Maths when they used activity-based learning.
Need a little extra help to maximise your space? First Step PE is on hand for small spaces, mid spaces, and big spaces! Use our coaches to enhance your PE programme today.