01.07.2013 Physical activity enables learning with all senses
Physically active learning. Schools that integrate physical activity into the school routine in areas other than sport and physical education are very successful: their pupils and teachers are more concentrated and receptive during lessons and enjoy the everyday life of the school. This means that a greater amount of physical activity at school creates a setting that promotes health and supports learning, teaching and a good school climate.
Physical activity at school is about more than just teaching sports. Integrating such activity into the classroom and applying it as a didactic principle improves pupils' concentration and motivation. Physically active learning means learning with all the senses. Physical activity improves blood circulation in the brain and better networking of nerve cells, which in turn enhances mental performance.
In addition, an adequate amount of physical activity has a positive and lasting effect on the physical and emotional development of children and adolescents. Flexible yet intensive promotion of physical activity and sport improves coordination skills and thus also makes an important contribution to accident prevention – and not only in schools.
A FOSPO physical activity programme
The "schule bewegt" (schools on the move) programme of the Federal Office of Sport (FOSPO) to promote physical activity offers a possible approach to putting "physically active learning" into practice. It provides interested teachers with free-of-charge implementation ideas in the form of card sets and physical activity-related material. In return, the teachers undertake to devote 20 minutes a day to physical activity with their classes – in addition to the mandatory sports lessons. The "schools on the move" modules extend from physical activity breaks to relaxation breaks and group-based games, and the range is being expanded every year. The module "Physically active learning", which offers ideas for enabling specific content to be learned through physical activity, will be issued in the coming school year. It is suitable for use in kindergartens and primary schools and can be ordered at www.schulebewegt.ch.
Head of «schools on the move» programme, firstname.lastname@example.org