This module looks at how we can help children to engage in physical activity and sport throughout their lives.
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Being physically literate allows an individual to:
be physically competent
understand, enjoy and value physical activity
take responsibility for their own health and well-being
This can lead to lifelong healthy choices.
Physical literacy is a disposition acquired by human individuals encompassing the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding that establishes purposeful physical pursuits as an integral part of their lifestyle – Len Almond and Margaret Whitehead.
All can be physically literate. Essential to this is the motivation to be active through positive and enjoyable experiences; therefore, it is vital that early years practitioners and parents provide these positive experiences. As all children have individual needs and interests, it is important to ensure that their personal physical literacy journey is catered for.
Children developing a positive relationship with physical activity from a young age will have a knock- on effect throughout their lives. If they feel confident and enjoy being active when they enter formal education, they will be more likely to be comfortable to take part in physical education and sport. When they leave school, they will be more likely to find physical activities and/or sport in leisure time.
The role of those who care for and educate young children:
Nurture and motivate
It is important not to only tell children what to do but to encourage them to experience and learn for themselves. We also need to provide them with experiences that motivate them to want to experience and learn.
Ensure inclusion of All
We need to provide experiences that are inclusive and suitable for all. Being aware of differentiation and how to cater for all needs.
Promote ongoing physical activity throughout life
When we provide experiences that allow young children to enjoy being physically active, they will develop a positive relationship with physical activity and be more likely to be active throughout their lives.
Set tasks and challenges with knowledge and purpose
Developing our knowledge is very important to ensure we provide children with appropriate challenges. It is important that young children enjoy the learning experience, however they also need to develop. Understanding individuals needs and abilities will also allow you to be aware of what they need next and how challenging to make the tasks.
Provide positive and varied experiences for all
Children need exposure to a variety of experiences in order to develop fully. They also need a variety of experiences to ensure all children’s interests are taken into accounts.