children & young people

“We are trying to reverse a deepening obesity crisis and decline in young people’s mental health,” says Ali Oliver, CEO of YST

physical education and school sport to improve young people’s wellbeing. This year offers a chance for schools up and down the country to add their voice to a campaign calling for PE’s place in the national curriculum to be valued and protected.

There is a huge link between attitudes and attainment in any subject. If children are enjoying a subject, having fun and being successful, then they are more confident, enjoy the subject even more and, therefore, are more receptive and resilient when learning new information. The YST partners with Maths of the Day - an online platform providing teachers with 2,000 ‘Active Maths’ lesson plans - mapped perfectly to the primary maths curriculum from foundation to Year 6. It allows children to take part in high- quality learning while also exercising. The Government Childhood Obesity Plan has set out the ambition for all children to achieve one hour of physical activity every day, with schools being responsible for delivering 30 of these active minutes.

learn from best practice

St. Mary’s RC Primary School in Middleton, Rochdale, has approximately 450 students from reception through to Year 6 (ages three to 11). Headteacher Ben Lavin decided to introduce the online resource Maths of the Day in response to an ongoing commitment for Manchester schools to achieve more active lessons, with just 40 per cent of children in


The resources were rolled out in maths lessons initially and not only did the children love the lessons and activities, it also supported children with their learning including problem solving, reasoning and fluency. By using Maths of the Day and taking a different approach, it has changed the whole mindset of the school and encouraged

Greater Manchester doing the recommended 60 minutes of daily activity.

Maths of the Day provided teachers with the opportunity to meet the target of daily activity as well as making learning fun and engaging for the children. The school was finding that helping to influence the additional 30 active minutes outside of school at home was difficult to achieve, with barriers to tracking progress, something which Maths of the Day could help with.

by reducing time for play, young people are being denied opportunities to connect and develop essential life skills

teachers and pupils to become more mindful of their daily activity alongside improving children’s mathematical abilities.

Active 30:30

The YST has also developed Active 30:30 to help schools reduce sedentary behaviour and increase physical activity in young people outside of timetabled curriculum PE. Active 30:30 helps schools address how to influence the other 30 active minutes to be achieved outside of school by engaging families, clubs and community groups.

As a charity, we understand the pressures that secondary schools are facing to achieve in the core subjects and the E-bacc, and the effect this is having on the provision of high quality PE opportunities for young people. However, this is not a zero-sum game – by removing physical education from the curriculum schools are potentially impacting negatively on the benefits of physical activity and sport to learning in the classroom.

We are trying to reverse a deepening obesity crisis and decline in young people’s mental health by doing all we can to support schools and urge policy makers to harness the power of sport, PE and physical activity, use it strategically and to develop the traits and skills young people need to cope in today’s world.

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