Fit 4 Kids Info for Schools

Teachers non-contact time - What is it?

Teachers non-contact time is a block of work time in which teachers work without children present.

According to Sutton Veny Primary School

“We all know how valuable teachers’ non-contact time is. Because grabbing 20 minutes here and an hour there doesn’t always allow staff to make the best use of time, at Sutton Veny an enrichment programme has been worked out that enables teachers to take their full block of non-contact time on Wednesday afternoons. (click here)

The arrangement enables key stage teachers to get together to swap ideas and discuss pupils, staff can spend the time they need to on larger evaluation projects and teaching assistants can be briefed for the following week’s work well in advance. The value of such guaranteed planning, preparation and assessment (PPA) time within the school week for teachers is recognised within the National Agreement on School Workforce Reform. At Sutton Veny, because this time away from the classroom comes in the middle of the week, teachers have found it’s like having a mini break. They feel refreshed and ready to face the second half of the week, so there’s less stress and less illness – and their weekends are now their own.

Meanwhile, the pupils enjoy an enrichment programme of Wednesday afternoon activities including Information and Communication Technology, French or German, Music, pottery, aerobics and outdoor sports – all things that are on the syllabus, but which now also receive an added focus. Professionals from outside the school are brought in to teach these subjects, while the teaching assistants and student staff provide continuity for the pupils.”

How can Fit 4 Kids help

Fit 4 Kids provides children’s fitness to school aged children, which are age & ability appropriate, stimulating & fun & enhance positive health development.

Fit 4 Kids employs fully qualified children’s fitness instructors who are CRB checked and approved.

The programme of activities include physical child development as well as informal education on areas such as physiology & health, including healthy eating, etc.

Fit 4 Kids delivers sessions in schools and provide classes to a variety of age groups whilst your teaching staff take up “non-contact time” activities.

School can be safe in the knowledge that children are enjoying cardiovascular exercises through indoor & outdoor fitness activities & informal health & fitness education with qualified & experienced fitness instructors.

Fit 4 Kids is a project which has been developed in partnership with Club 4 Kids – it is health & fitness based & aims to target health priorities such as childhood obesity, etc.

How does it run?

Fit 4 Kids will come into your school on a hourly, daily or weekly basis, depending on how your school structures it's teachers non-contact time.

Fit 4 Kids will take a class of 16 children (maximum) per instructor and utilise areas such as school hall and/or outdoor play grounds/fields.

Each session will last 1 hour.

How much does it cost?

One group of 16 children will cost - £35*. *This is a subsidised rate provided to schools only.

Case Studies to support the idea/proposal

By following the link you can access the full case study of Sutton Veny Primary School (above)

Outcomes of the Sutton Veny Primary School project

No-one foresaw quite how liberating the staff would find having Wednesday afternoons free for non-contact time. From the point of view of lesson-planning, of working together as a team and of benefiting from a break midweek, all the teachers agree that it has exceeded their expectations.

Childhood Obesity - the facts

Obesity is a growing problem in the UK and elsewhere and is currently the subject of a Commons Health Committee inquiry. The most recent study (2001) estimates for England suggest that some 8.5% of 6 year olds and 15% of 15 year olds are obese. This is a concern because obesity is an important risk factor for mortality and a range of chronic diseases in adult life.

The increase in childhood obesity reflects a wider trend among the adult population in the UK and in other countries. Prevalence of obesity among adults in England has almost trebled in the last 20 years. The year 1980 to 1998 saw obesity rise from 6% to 17% among men and from 8% to 21% among women. The National Audit Office (NAO) has projected that by 2010, 1 in 4 of the adult population will be obese and that the total (direct and indirect) cost to the NHS and wider economy will be around £3.6 billion (Reilly JJ et al, British Medical Journal)

Causes

1. Physical Activity

Changes in patterns of physical activity and the adoption of more sedentary lifestyles are likely to be important factors behind obesity. Data available to the Health development Agency reveal:

  • A decline in the number of young people playing sport at school - the proportion of young people spending 2 or more hours a week on sport in school declined from 46% in 1994 to 33% in 1999
  • A fall in the proportion of children walking to school. Since 1989/91 the proportion of children walking to school has fallen from 62% to 56%.
  • A decline in the proportion of children cycling to school. Just 2% if secondary pupils currently cycle to school compared to 5% in 1989/91.
  • A possible rise in sedentary pastimes such as watching TV, playing computer games or accessing the internet. An Independent Television Commission survey shows that the average 4 - 15 year old watches ~ 2.5 hours of TV per day (research also shows a strong correlation between the number of hours spent watching TV and increased risk of obesity). In 2002, ~ 50% of households with children had home internet access; on average children log on 10 times a month

2. Dietary factors

(more information on request)

Why was Fit4kids set up?

Because children in schools don't have much in the way of sports each week compared to previous generation. On average, children get between 1 ½ & 2 hours physical education per week.

Fitness helps us in so many ways - relieving stress - it is a know fact that children suffer similar stress levels to adults - we need to give them ways to manage it effectively. Fitness not only helps in the acknowledged physiological ways, it also helps psychologically through the:

  • development of 'feel good factors'
  • increase blood flow to the brain
  • improves concentration
  • co-ordinated activities build neurological pathways
  • improves memory and learning.
Loss of Play opportunities - children now don't have the same open play opportunities as previous generations But no-one wants to do fitness unless its fun - and that's the key element!
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