The best start to being active
The two-year project managed and delivered by Castle Point and Rochford School Sport Partnership, has inspired reception aged children in Canvey schools to be active through an early positive experience with PE, by upskilling and increasing confidence through different teaching approaches. By being community-led, the programme quickly developed Flying Start Family festivals to get the whole family moving and engaged with physical activity, and a Saturday morning club.
It was identified that in order to improve levels of development, competence and understanding of the importance of being active on a daily basis, it was crucial to engage the families of these children to support the adoption of positive habits.
Taking place at Waterside Leisure Centre, the Flying Start Family festivals provided the opportunity for children, young people, and their families to try a range of activities in an informal and relaxed environment. Supported and delivered by partner agencies such as Healthy Schools, Mobile Libraries and charities, it allowed the chance to consult families around the barriers and motivators to activity. Local organisations were then also engaged to ensure developments could be made to enhance the offer for the community on the island.
Although Active Essex were a key partner, helping to secure funding, providing input with the design and development of the project, building relationships between local organisations and advocating the work across the sector, the success has been largely due to the determination of the partners involved.
This project has been extremely successful in bringing the community together, engaging parents and families, as well as school teachers and support staff. Stronger links have been made between the schools, families and the local council run leisure provider. It has become a fantastic blueprint for the Essex sector to utilise, highlighting the significance of coming together to ensure young people develop an early, positive relationship with physical activity.
Following the consultation at the first Family Festival, it was apparent there were not enough local opportunities for children at a young age to attend weekly community clubs.
With the support of Active Essex, and the Find Your Active Small Grants funding from London Marathon Foundation, a Flying Start Saturday morning club was developed, designed by the families engaged in this programme. Currently taking place for free over the course of a year, Active Essex are hopeful that this will help to create informed healthy habits among these families.
It has been great to understand the gaps in provision across the island, and to be able to offer Saturday morning clubs for free, has been really important. Led by the School Sport Partnership, the club has been fully booked, and displays the high demand to expand this type of offer on Canvey.Lee Monk, Active Essex Relationship Manager
It's important to take time to reflect and understand the learnings from work undertaken, in order to focus on ways to improve in the future.
importance of ensuring offers are available for young people in the local area
Money associated with activity
surveys helped to inform the major barrier when accessing physical activity is cost
Importance of PE delivery
carefully developed and tailored PE lessons have resulted in higher engagement
Adoption of programme
continue to develop curriculum programme and enhance through school CPD