Maximising Participation in Fitness Activities for Primary School PDHPE
Central Coast Primary School PDHPE Network Workshop Clips

'Fitness' versus 'Physical Activity'

We're a bit reluctant here to use the term fitness with primary school age children. Fitness is a short term product, a moment in time considering the lifespan. Fitness levels are largely determined by heredity, and for many, high levels of fitness will be unachievable no matter how hard they try. Most primary age children don't even think of physical activity in terms of fitness, they think in terms of play, games and fun, and that is great! What we are really trying to achieve here is to increase the physical activity levels of our students and turn them on to an active lifestyle. The most important health benefits from regular moderate to vigorous physical activity include healthier weight, and reduced risk of diabetes, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, certain cancers and depression. So, even though the vigorous activities we run may indeed contribute to increased fitness, our main objective is to get everybody moving and having fun!

Maximising Participation

Children's fitness leader Liz Wells is exceptional at maximising participation. She achieves this by using fun activities and class formations that keep everyone involved and moving. Liz also follows a format that safely warms the students up, provides opportunities to develop their skills, facilitates a substantial amount of moderate to vigorous intensity activity, warms the students down, and encourages loads of fun at each stage.

The videos below demonstrate the lesson structure that Liz follows and provide examples of some of the activities and class formats she uses to maximise participation.

Some fundamental physical activity instruction ideas

  • Physical activity lesson format
    • Warm-up (5-10 mins)
    • Skill Component (15-20 mins)
    • Cardio Component (15-20 mins)
    • Cool Down (5-10 mins)
  • Formations - vary them regularly for variety
  • Change it up. Develop the activity by changing something in the TREE.
    • Technique e.g. passing must be overarm
    • Rules e.g. ball must pass through three team members hands before a goal can be scored
    • Equipment e.g. large round ball instead of rugby ball, or more balls
    • Environment e.g. Environment e.g. change the shape or size of court
  • Encourage the students to contribute to the development of the activity e.g. How can we change this so more people are involved?", "How could we make this more fun?"

The videos

Thanks Liz for allowing us to video and publish your presentation. Thanks also to our wonderful and enthusiastic teachers.

View the video clip of the workshop presentation of any of the activities below. Full screen viewing is available by clicking the box in the corner of the viewing screen.

Warm-up
  • Always warm-up before vigorous activity
  • Do not stretch to warm-up. Stretching is best left for the cool down
  • Suitable activities include
    • Aerobics and dance routines
    • Obstacle courses
    • Teamwork and partner activities
    • Statues to music
 
Sample partner warm-up activities in lines.  

Skill Circuit
 
  • Circuits are fun, they always go over well
  • Try different formations for variety e.g. circles, lines, stars
  • Include a variety of skill activities, games and relays
     Skill and fitness circuit sample

Cardio Component
  • This is your most 'huff n puff' part of the lesson. Try to keep everyone moving e.g. provide alternative activities if the game has an elimination component.
  • Try the Games Sense approach i.e. start with a simple game like the one in the sample, and then change it up e.g. add new rules like restricting certain players to limited parts of the court.
 
Sample moderate to vigorous intensity game - End Ball  
Cool Down
 
  • Bring them down slowly from vigorous activity e.g. do some power walking in lines before some stretching
  • Always include some stretching
  • Make it fun by incorporating stretching into games like Mister Wolf, or statues.
 

 

 

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