“Good health supports successful learning. Successful learners support health. Education and health are inseparable.” (World Health Organisation)
The evidence is strong that healthy and active pupils are effective learners and that the social and emotional wellbeing of students goes hand in hand with raising achievement. Recently, we have seen Public Health England, The National Children’s Bureau and The Sport and Recreation Alliance produce guidance on the importance of mental wellbeing and specifically the role of schools in supporting children and young people in today’s society.
The Youth Sport Trust know that good health supports successful learning and can impact on attendance, attitude and behaviour for learning and specifically how inactivity affects more than just a child’s physical health but undermines their mental and emotional wellbeing. PE, school sport and physical activity is proven to enhance physical health, boost mental wellbeing, build resilience, lift academic achievement and create active habits for life.
Recently we have been setting out the role of physical education, sport and physical activity in developing Creativity, Aspirations, Resilience and Empathy (CARE) and establishing a generation of children with greater physical and emotional wellbeing.
Our manifesto ‘Unlocking Potential’ was launched in January and our work with The Future Foundation ‘The Class of 2035’ sets a clear vision for the role of physical activity in shaping children’s lives as well as outlining the challenges that lie ahead. Placing physical activity at the heart of the school has never been more important in making a positive contribution to children’s lives and this.
At the Youth Sport Trust, we believe the solution to many of the challenges outlined by our partners these last few weeks lies in schools providing opportunities for children to be physically active throughout the school day, develop leadership skills and develop life skills through physical education and competitive environments.
If we really do CARE about children today then we all have a responsibility for ensuring children have a greater sense of physical and emotional wellbeing and are confident employable citizens and the answer to that conundrum might just lie in the PE department.