Physical activity and development support for reception aged children
Ready4School is a project delivered in schools across Canvey Island by the Castle Point and Rochford School Sports Partnership. The focus of the project is to provide reception aged children in Canvey Island schools with physical activity and development support to accelerate their overall good levels of development.
Each school has been allocated between 1-3 early morning/breakfast Ready4School club slots dependent on school size. The project brings the community together by engaging parents and families along with school teaching and support staff, to create the concept of them coming together to ensure these young people develop an early positive relationship with physical activity.
The primary audience for these clubs is the cohort of reception aged children in Canvey schools who are in receipt of Free School Meals. Working closely with school leaders, these students were allocated a space in a 10–12 week breakfast club which focussed on the development of fundamental movement skills, fine and gross motor skills and confidence. Through a carefully designed programme of activities and challenges, the sessions were all delivered in a fun and physically active way. The School Sport Partnership staff led the delivery of these clubs and produced a progress report with pre / mid and post surveys noting the progress of individual students both in terms of skill development, confidence and attitude.
Active Essex has been a key partner to this initiative from the outset, by securing funding to enable to project. Active Essex has also provided support around the design and resources development for the project.
Throughout the project, they have learnt that children of this age will engage with high quality PE delivery if it is carefully developed and tailored to their stage of learning and is interactive, fun and based on personal challenges. The partnership has learnt that working with families in receipt of Free School Meals as part of the Ready4School club programme, can be a challenge. A flexible, bespoke approach is needed across different schools, and once engaged, the young people and families see the wider benefits.