Early childhood is the optimal time to teach and learn fundamental movement skills. During this period young children are motivated and keen to master ways of moving, controlling their bodies and coordinating their movements.
Following a strategic approach by the LCC PE Adviser, to improve the quality of the teaching and learning of Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) at KS1, Our Lady Star of Sea volunteered to be involved in a long term action research programme which started in 2015 to follow a class of children through KS1 and into KS2.
The importance of developing basic movement / fundamental movement skills has best been described by Seefeldt, Hauberstrich and Reuchlien (1979):
“Children who possess inadequate motor skills are often relegated to a life of exclusion from organised and free play experiences of their peers and subsequently, to a lifetime of inactivity because of their frustrations in early movement behaviour.”
The project aimed to demonstrate the impact on pupil’s fundamental movement skills (FMS) at Y1 and Y2 and their teacher’s confidence and subject knowledge through working alongside a teacher with specialist training in FMS.
The impact planned was to improve teacher’s subject knowledge and confidence in observing FMS and setting up activities that will improve children’s FMS within the curriculum and outside of it.
The results of the initial project showed the children had improved their fundamental movement skill age (as tested by the TGMD-2 resource) by an average of 3.3 years over KS1.
Following the success of the initial project Active Lancashire shared this best practice with the Lancashire Head teacher’s alliance, one head teacher wanted to replicate this with a district approach.
The project was set up with Active Lancashire, the Lancashire County Council PE Adviser, Burnley Head teacher group and the School Games Organiser.
A Burnley head teacher’s meeting was set up where the project was outlined to them. They full supported the approach and used their PE premium to release staff to attend the training.
The following CPD was help:
- 30 subject leaders– Approach to teaching and observing FMS in KS1
- 30 year 1 teachers – How to baseline children’s FMS and develop a PE curriculum based on children needs.
- 30 year 2 teachers – How to observe and adapt lessons to support physical competence of FMS and how to conduct an end of year assessment of FMS to share with Y3 teacher.
- 5 SSP support staff – FMS observing and supporting staff in school
The SGO supported schools once a term with each KS1 teacher around teaching and learning FMS at both Y1 and Y2 through their School Sport Co-ordinators who also attended the training around FMS delivered by the LCC PE Adviser.
The benefit to pupils of this project is that there is a real focus on developing their physical competence in FMS. The teachers not only know what they are looking for in each of the FMS but they are adapting their delivery so that the children practice the skills they are less competent at more than those they are competent at. This approach will have a real impact on their physical literacy as their physical competence improves so does their confidence and enjoyment of PE, sport and physical activity.
Our Lady Start of Sea continued with the research by focussing on early years and up-skilling teachers in the foundation stage on how to develop children’s FMS.
The PE adviser designed a new resource called “5 FMS for under 5’s” which was trialled by the school in both nursery and reception class.
Pupil outcome at one school have shown an average age progress of 3.3. years in their FMS
Pupil outcomes around physical competence and FMS have improved in all 30 Burnley primary schools.
School staff have developed confidence in observing FMS at both Y1 and Y2 and are adapting the KS1 curriculum to meet their children’s needs in FMS.
One school has developed an assessment system in Reception class, which is passed up to the Year 1 teacher around the Lancashire 5 FMS for under 5’s.
Helen Kershaw, Head Teacher, Whittlefields Primary Schools:
"Our children absolutely love it, they practice these skills and play time and when moving around the school. Our team are really enjoying delivering PE now, they feel empowered and really understand the skills."
Laura Woodend, Year 1 Teacher:
"Working with the mentor and doing the training has really benefited not just the children but me as well. They have helped with my skills in teaching and delivering sessions and that confidence I have gained has really helped my teaching get better and I can see childrens skills getting better and better after every session."