The NHS guidelines are that young people from age 5 to 18 should engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate or vigorous exercise per day:

National data suggests that fewer than half of children now experience this level of exercise in their lives and that this is a major health concern for the nation.

We ensure that our children have a full entitlement of 2 hours PE per week and we try to encourage active play at breaks and engagement in our sports clubs. We have a substantial playground, a MUGA, extensive fields, climbing wall, trim-trail, outdoor gym, multiple table tennis tables. We build in additional time each day for activities such as yoga and our 50 Things offer, many of whch are active.  From observation, many of our children engage in physically active play, although some are more sedentary. Overall, we doubt that many genuinely exercise moderately or vigorously, by definition, for an hour a day. Of course, we don’t know who does what out of school though!

We have joined a national partnership called Creating Active Schools, which provides support and a framework for us to try to help our children to be more active. This isn’t just about PE, which we already take very seriously and think we do well. The framework looks at making all lessons more active, reducing the amount of time children sit still, encouraging informal active play.

CAS is well established nationwide, but there is no hub in Nottingham or Nottinghamshire. We have been permitted to link into the Yorkshire programme, with a view to us becoming a pathfinder school more locally.

Over the coming months, we will be trialling lots of new initiatives, which we hope will make the days more active and more fun for children. We think all will benefit; as well as the health implications, there is a great deal of solid scientific evidence to suggest that being active leads to better learning, that movement stimulates the brain and, of course, might be particularly beneficial for children with sensory and/or attention needs.

More to follow on this as we drip-feed new ideas into our days. If you have any views on this, either for or against, please feel free to talk to us about it. The leads are Mrs Rippon and Mr Hillier and they would particularly welcome any feedback or thoughts in person or by email.