Learning with Smart Moves
EIDSVOLD State School has started taking Smart Moves lessons every morning before class.
The program started this year under the guide of Principal Carole Boatwright and Deputy Principal Preston Parter to teach students teamwork and leadership skills.
“I’ve been in another school where we introduced Smart Moves in the morning session first up,” Ms Boatwright said.
“The goal of Smart Moves is we have a 15-minute burst of activity, usually in the form of a game.”
“It gets a bit of adrenaline going, gets the blood circulating, warms their minds and bodies and physically and mentally prepares them for the rest of the day.”
The lessons are for all ages, and the kids do them in mixed age groups.
This allows junior and senior students to work together in activities, and for the students to mentor their peers.
“While we had a distinct primary school and secondary school, and our normal curriculum is delivered in year levels, we wanted to try and build that cohesiveness across P-12 by dividing students into those five groups,” Ms Boatwright said.
“It builds those positive relationships, builds leadership opportunities and peer mentoring opportunities within the older students, and junior students as well.”
Most of the games are non-taxing team games that encourage kids to work together.
For example, they might have to form a circle and compete to get a hula-hoop around the circle without letting go of each others’ hands, requiring them to carefully manoeuvre it through their arms and legs.
“We have a rotation of different games for them to engage in,” Ms Boatwright said.
“It’s not just about doing laps; there might be a game where one person is ‘it’ and the rest of the group has to run from one side to the other while avoiding being tagged.
“If they’re tagged, that person has to join hands with them and they have to
It gets a bit of adrenaline going, gets the blood circulating, warms their minds and bodies and physically and mentally prepares them for the rest of the day. — Principal Carole Boatwright
tag somebody else, so you end up with a big line.”
Origins of Smart Moves
The program was first put forth in 2007 by the Queensland Department of Education.
It was originally developed as one of a number of cross-government initiatives that was introduced to tackle childhood obesity and improve children’s health and well-being.
According to the Department of Education, the six components of Smart Moves are:
1. Allocated time for physical activity
2. Improved access to resources for physical activity
3. Increased capacity to deliver physical activity
4. Professional development in physical activity for all teachers
5. Community partnerships to enhance physical activity
6. Accountability for physical activity through annual reporting protocols.
Following the official launch of the program in 2009, the State Government evaluated it in 2011 to determine its success.
The results found that Smart Moves had increased the overall amount of physical activity in schools with 85.1% of surveyed principals saying more than three quarters of students in their school were engaging in the required time for physical activity.
Ms Boatwright said the simple nature of it made it useful for promoting fitness in small schools.
“It’s not hard to set up, so you don’t need to spend the school budget on equipment,” she said.
SMART MOVES: The program introduced this year gets students active before class.
Mr Parter taking Rock and Water lessons.
The students are grouped in a mix of ages so the older children can mentor the younger ones.
One Yunbin group lined up for the hula hoop game.
The teachers get in on the action.