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Primary Schools Being Encouraged to Help Children be More Active by Maximising Their PE and Sports Premium Before the Funding Deadline

Primary Schools Being Encouraged to Help Children be More Active by Maximising Their PE and Sports Premium Before the Funding Deadline

As the country heads into summer, England’s primary schools are being urged to make the most of funding designed to encourage pupils to be more active.

Schools have until 31st July to spend any remaining money in their allocated PE and Sport Premium funding allowance. Under the rules, any balance left cannot be rolled into the next academic year.

The additional budget from the Government was set up to help improve the physical and mental health of children and young people. Here is a short guide to how the funding can be used.

A PE and Sport Premium to Encourage Children to Live Healthy and Active Lives

The PE and Sport Premium funding was made available to help primary schools in England to improve their provision of PE, sport and physical activity for pupils.

The UK’s Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) recommend that children and young people engage in moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) for at least 60 minutes every day (averaged across a full week) and at least 20 minutes for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

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The National Childhood Obesity Plan states that at least 30 minutes of daily activity should happen in schools.

And whilst all schools have a part to play, primary schools are considered to have an even more important role because they can encourage pupils to see physical activity as an enjoyable and positive experience from an earlier age.

A PE and Sport Premium to Help Tackle Child Obesity and Increase Wellbeing

The pandemic and lockdowns affected schools and pupils in many ways. In general, young people’s activity levels went down.

There are signs of improvement, yet the latest figures suggest there is still much work to be done regarding childhood obesity, well-being, loneliness, confidence, and happiness. The PE and Sport Premium is in place to promote greater improvements.

Sport England’s 2023 Active Lives Children and Young People Survey revealed some positives and many areas for improvement. It found:

  • Overall physical activity levels were stable across the 2022-23 academic year
  • Just under half (47%) of children were meeting the CMOs guidelines of taking part in an average of 60 minutes or more sport and physical activity a day
  • More than 600,000 children in England are doing no activity at all
  • Children and young people from least affluent families – or of Black, Asian and other ethnicities – were least likely to be active
  • Children’s physical activity rates were not changing as fast as Sport England would like.

The Government’s target was to have one million more active children in 2030 than in 2021-22.

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What Schools Can Spend Their PE and Sport Premium Allowance On

Additional and sustainable improvements schools can make with their ring-fenced Premium allowance include staff CPD, partnering with other schools or outside organisations to expand the range of offerings within the school, and breakfast or after-school clubs that encourage sport and physical activity.

Physical activity includes active play, fitness activities, walking, dancing, cycling, scootering, informal activities, and sports.

The PE and Sport Premium cannot be used for capital expenditures—such as a new minibus—or fixed playground equipment, such as climbing frames.

Schools need to show what they have spent the money on and how it has impacted pupils’ health and activity levels.

Schools can consider more traditional methods of providing physical activity or explore more innovative (and technology-based) solutions, such as interactive floor projectors offered by providers such as ActiveFloor.

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With ActiveFloor, a white vinyl floor is laid out in a classroom, hallway or hall – with space for pupils to stand around it. A mobile or ceiling-mounted projector then beams digital, interactive content from computer software onto the ‘active’ floor.

An interactive floor projector combines an engaging learning experience for pupils and students with active movement.

It’s one way a school can use its PE and Sport Premium to meet the Government’s priority improvement areas.

How ActiveFloor Supports the 5 Priorities of PE and Sport Premium Spending by Schools

Primary schools are expected to use the PE and Sport Premium to fund solutions that prioritise five key areas.

Let’s look at those key areas and how an interactive floor projector solution like ActiveFloor can fulfil each priority.

#Priority 1 – Increasing all staff’s confidence, knowledge and skills in teaching PE and sport.

The software in a solution like ActiveFloor holds more than 10,000 activities and learning games created by educators worldwide to make it easy for teachers to use.

Moreover, teachers can design and create their games from the templates provided – allowing them to learn and use extra skills.

Teachers do not need any particular IT skills to take part. In under three hours, they can be shown how to create and copy content confidently for interactive teaching with their pupils.

#Priority 2 – Increasing all pupils’ engagement in regular physical activity and sport

Instead of working with textbooks or looking at static presentations, ActiveFloor gives children the opportunity to interact with animated images, dynamic images on the ground. It makes learning fun and gets pupils moving.

Every child can participate, regardless of their academic ability.

#Priority 3 – Raising the profile of PE and sport across the school, to support whole school improvement

ActiveFloor connects learning with physical activity across the curriculum. For example, pupils can solve maths puzzles by jumping onto virtual number lines projected on the floor or explore historical events using interactive timelines.

Children get to do physical activity and learning simultaneously. Because they are so engaged in the activity, they may not even realise they are doing both. Whether they do or not, physical movement is good for the body and the brain.

Vitality and movement are brought to different topics: including reading, writing, English, maths, science, history, geography and foreign languages.

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#Priority 4 – Offering a broader and more equal experience of a range of sports and physical activities to all pupils

ActiveFloor is suitable for all boys and girls of school age, for children of any colour or ethnicity, for any preferred learning style. Because of its combination of light, colours, digital animation, sound and movement, it makes learning more accessible for SEND pupils.

It’s a solution that helps to break down social and physical barriers to learning and physical activity.

#Priority 5 – Increasing participation in competitive sport.

Solutions like ActiveFloor support and encourage pupils to learn without worry about getting something ‘wrong’, helping to build their confidence.

Pupils develop key skills for life, learning through interactive games and activities. It encourages children to communicate, collaborate and work together. It puts their problem-solving skills to the test. It has pupils competing, working in teams, and encouraging each other.

ActiveFloor also has a SportsWall version, where games and activities are projected onto an interactive wall rather than an active floor. In this case, pupils use toy balls or their hands to play the games rather than their feet.

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Whether floor or wall, the learning and movement encourages a positive approach to competition in play and sports.

Making Learning and Physical Activity Fun for Pupils of All Ages

The PE and Sport Premium for schools in England recognises that there is much work to do to get boys and girls more active – and enjoying doing physical activity.

This additional funding available comes with strict rules around how it can be spent by schools – and a fixed deadline for spending it.

Schools who still have some of this additional budget left are being encouraged to use it – to maximise the benefits for their pupils and staff.

Solutions like the interactive floor projector from ActiveFloor have been designed around how children learn and develop naturally – intellectually, physically and socially.

They may be just the answer for a school looking to ensure they don’t leave their PE and Sport Premium unspent – and find something with positive impact that also offers value for money.

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