It can be challenging to think of new and different ideas for your after-school clubs and to get children outdoors. Primary sports education specialist, Dale Spencer, discusses a number of activities based on his work in schools to help you encourage outdoor activities in your school.
Key PE Sports provides all kind of resources to encourage a creative approach to teaching and learning within physical education. Their scheme has been developed by a team of qualified primary school teachers, to provide you with lesson plans, curriculum maps and more! Their Scheme of Work is in line with the PE National Curriculum, find all their resources and how they can help your school here.
Here's Dale's guidance and activity ideas to help you encourage inclusion and outdoor play:
We listen to a range of ideas through pupil voice about what clubs the children would like to have as extra–curricular activities. Throughout our schools we create a ‘school sports crew’ that timetable activities to ensure that all children have the option to take part in different outdoor learning activities. After school clubs are fun and they also help boost children’s self–esteem and self–confidence. Clubs keep the children busy, active and healthy after school. Less active children are targeted and new sports, such as tri–golf and Y ball, are introduced to ensure even the least competitive children can participate. For children who find it difficult to attend after school clubs, a range of outdoor activities are offered before school and at lunchtimes.
In previous terms we have encouraged schools to open up their premises and encourage families to arrive early. They are greeted with music and a pot of wristbands. Every time they complete a lap you receive an extra wristband. Once they have completed 7 laps (1 mile) you can add their name to our reward list. Both parents and siblings are also encouraged to complete a mile whether that’s by walking, jogging, dancing or even scooting along.
In some of our schools we have opened a club and asked children to bring in their scooter and complete laps around the school yard. This has created such a buzz that we have now designated different days to other classes. This has been a fantastic way to help meet the 60 minutes of activity per day challenge.
Children complete the daily mile and over a certain number of weeks/months they have walked/danced to different countries. Monitoring their miles and adding them up with other year groups creates a challenge and sharing the progress in assemblies helps keep focus. This is something we try and introduce early in the year as it can easily be extended if you meet your target destination and is inclusive to most children.
Stay and play – this involves a box of equipment being left on the playground after school. Parents are encouraged to set up games and activities with their children to keep them healthy. This has also seen an increase in children achieving the 30:30 government initiative to support parents in engaging their children in 30 minutes of physical activity out of school.
Liaison with other schools is key to arranging competition in events that haven’t been played before with other schools. For example, wacky races, teamwork challenges/problem solving, basically anything that you can compete in whilst being active.
Orienteering as a family club
Orienteering is a sport that families can enjoy together. Parents can be invited in after school and try to complete tasks that have recently been taught to children during curriculum lessons. This is the perfect opportunity for children to showcase their new found skills and micro teach to their parents. It can sometimes be difficult to ensure that all children are participating in PE lessons. Orienteering can appeal to other children as it doesn’t always mean that the fastest child will complete the task/course first. The thinkers, the planners or analyst may become the winner.
Outdoor learning and allowing children to problem solve can be enjoyed as a family activity. It also helps parents to have an insight and know what children have been learning during school curriculum time. It’s also a great way for families to spend time together and play together.
All children in the after school clubs are given the opportunity to reach their full potential. Sometimes this means adapting an activity to the child’s ability and stage of development, providing additional resources or giving one child more attention and support than others during a particular activity or routine.
If you enjoyed this blog and would like to read others like it, Dale's blog featured in our Everything Curriculum Magazine Issue 8. Each issue is centralized around a chosen theme, you can sign up to receive the latest magazines or access our previous editions here.