Physical activity forms a core foundation of the World Health Organisaton’s (WHO) Health Promoting School’s framework.
Schools have the mandate and responsibility for the learning and development of children across the curriculum and we know that physical activity supports that learning and development through:
- Enhancing cognitive performance
- Improving health and fitness
- Enhancing psychological and social well being and counteracting risk behaviour; AND
- Decreasing risk factors for future chronic diseases.
Bluearth Foundation works with the WHO Health Promoting Schools framework to encourage and support physical activity in schools.
Schools are supported to increase physical activity in schools and more importantly to make that physical activity inclusive and enjoyable through a range of programs and resources. There is a comprehensive Teacher Resource Centre which we are consistently adding to, to support schools in their aim to make physical activity an important part of every school day and every school lesson. Our program has been mapped to the HPE curriculum and we also provide ideas about how to include physical activity across all other curriculum areas.
An independent longitudinal research project Lifestyle Of Our Kids (LOOK) Telford et al (2007) evidenced the academic and physical health benefits of Bluearth programs in schools, with students showing
- Improved NAPLAN results
- Improvements in insulin resistance, body fat and blood lipids
We work with schools to develop a school that recognises and values the importance of physical activity among all those who work, study and use the school.
- A school policy and environment that encourages and values physical activity – whether this is providing facilities and equipment during class breaks, encouraging active transport or adequate space for free play.
- Teacher capacity to use physical activity to support learning and development, developing themselves for role models of active living, providing relaxation and release from mentally demanding, sedentary work as well as providing opportunities for teachers to be physically active with colleagues.
- Student’s physical literacy – the confidence, motivation and competence to lead an active life. By providing opportunities for students to experience success and enjoyment as well as learning through experience and self reflection we help build the foundation for an active life.
In addition to working with school staff and students, we also work with schools to engage with parents and family members, given they play a pivotal role in shaping a child’s physical activity behaviour.