Learn­ing with Smart Moves

Central and North Burnett Times - - JUNIOR SPORT - Jack Lawrie jack.lawrie@cnbtimes.com.au

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.

PHO­TOS: JACK LAWRIE

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.

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