There’s been quite a lot in the media lately about the push for more physical movement in the school day. This a great idea, as kids (and adults) need to move for lots of reasons – for both physical and emotional well being. All the research points to physical activity enhancing cognitive performance; enabling the person to move to a ‘calm alert’ state where they can focus, sustain attention and learn
The context and the type of physical activity organised by the school are the key to the effectiveness of this policy. For individual children physical education (PE) at school can be a dreaded class because they cannot motor-plan like the majority of their classmates. Children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) or with motor planning difficulty (often noted to be ‘clumsy’) have difficulty with learning new physical skills. They are fine once they have had extra time and support to learn the sequences involved, but in the meantime they can feel quite traumatised by their inability to do what the others can do almost effortlessly.
So – the dilemma and challenge for schools is how to add more movement without turning more children off PE. Hopefully there can be activities set up that take the focus away from individual performance and onto the joy of moving eg dance, generic brain break moving even in the class room.
Your local occupational therapist can help with attention issues and movement difficulties