A Scottish charity delivering outdoor play sessions for primary school children has urged local authorities to invest in Active Play as evidence shows the programme helps to boost pupils’ health and wellbeing as well as contributing to learning and helping to close the attainment gap.
Thrive Outdoors, a fund of the charity Inspiring Scotland, has been working with Glasgow City Council to deliver Active Play since 2016 and has now delivered the programme at 58 schools across the city.
The positive impact of Active Play on pupils’ health, wellbeing and development will be presented at a meeting in Glasgow today, attended by senior officials from seven local authorities with the highest concentrations of deprivation. The presentations from Inspiring Scotland, Glasgow City Council, local partner charities and school teachers will demonstrate how Active Play increases physical activity contributing to better health and wellbeing and boosts concentration and focus in the classroom.
The joint team of Inspiring Scotland and Glasgow City Council will urge the other authorities to invest in more Active Play to support pupils in their area and help to close the attainment gap.
Active Play is part semi-structured games and activities, and part free play. The games are led by Play Workers from local partner charities, with teacher and pupil participation and delivered to primary 3 or 4 pupils. The sessions always take place outside, without the need for specialist equipment, and focus on developing fundamental movement skills and increasing physical activity over a 10-week period. Inspiring Scotland also runs a programme Play Champions in the schools, helping pupils from primary 6 and 7 classes to develop leadership skills by helping to run play sessions for younger pupils.
Independent evaluation of Inspiring Scotland’s programme in Glasgow has found that the Active Play sessions:
- Increased physical activity levels among participating pupils and enhanced fundamental movement skills.
- Made pupils more attentive, with improved problem-solving and creative thinking.
- Formed a key part of behaviour strategies with pupils responding positively to Active Play as a behaviour incentive.
- Helped Teachers to build relationships with pupils and helped children to improve their social skills and emotional resilience.
The programme has also contributed directly to Curriculum for Excellence outcomes and supports staff to develop professionally as Teachers and Support for Learning Workers are given help and training to be able to continue Active Play delivery after Inspiring Scotland’s
Celia Tennant, Chief Executive of Inspiring Scotland, said: “The work we have been doing with Glasgow City Council for the past few years has shown remarkable results and they really have been at the forefront of understanding the benefits of Active Play for children.”
“Active Play is easy to set-up and highly cost-effective, delivering disproportionately positive results for educational attainment and in wider health benefits – and it’s fun. The model we have developed in Glasgow could easily be replicated in other parts of the country and I am sure we will demonstrate that today, with other local authorities hopefully taking inspiration for their own areas.”
Maureen McKenna, Executive Director for Education, Glasgow City Council said: “This has been a perfect example of partnership working over the last couple of years and the evidence speaks for itself.
“We all have an important role to play in doing all that we can to raise attainment and achievement and in Glasgow that is very much about looking for new, innovative and creative ways in which to help our children and young people reach their full potential.”
Inspiring Scotland and its partner charities in Glasgow PEEK, Jeely Piece Club and FARE plan to take Active Play to 118 primary schools across Glasgow and Inspiring Scotland has also ran pilot Active Play programmes in Highland in Dundee since January this year.
Notes to Editors
For more information, contact Graeme Downie on 07973 300 184 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The local authorities attending the meeting are:
- West Dumbartonshire
- North Lanarkshire
- East Ayrshire
|Glasgow Aug16 – Jun18|
|Action Play sessions||576|
|Play Champs participating||584|
*Figures to June 18 have all been newly published today.