Written by Yorkshire Sport Foundation
An insight report on the Creating Active Schools (CAS) framework has been published to look at how to get children active before, during and beyond the school day.
The report looks into the challenges and motivations around using physical activity as a driver for whole school improvement.
It found the CAS process has helped schools bring in new, creative and innovative solutions to help everyone move more.
Senior leaders have adapted recruitment policies, set whole school expectations and targets for staff around physical activity. Something as simple as improving access to the playground has helped motivate teachers to take the children outside and learn on the move.
One teacher involved in the project said: “CAS has been crucial in leading to policy change across the school. It has really helped that the CAS Coordinator is the Assistant Head and member of the Senior Leadership Team”.
The report was commissioned by Yorkshire Sport Foundation and delivered by MG Consultancy who presented what has been learned from the Creating Active Schools Project in West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire. It explored how the framework can be used in schools to build physical activity more strategically into school life.
One headteacher said they wanted to use the CAS framework “to bring all staff along with them on the journey, achieving a shift in mindset”. Another headteacher said that they believed the process would support behaviour change across the school.
The report highlights a number of recommendations, including the need for senior leaders to align physical activity interventions with priorities. It should be considered a whole school approach for a sustainable long-term strategy, rather than a series of short-term interventions.
Dan Wilson, Director of Develpment at Yorkshire Sport Foundation, helped develop the CAS framework with education and health professionals in 2019. He said: “This report is our first real indicator showing the impact that Creating Active Schools is having in education settings in West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire.
“We have seen CAS grow from a co-designed piece of academic research into working practice in many schools we work with. Physical activity is now seen as a strategic tool for whole school improvement if embedded within its culture, vision and values. It helps leaders to understand how moving more can improve a range of academic, social and emotional outcomes. This research will help us and multiple CAS networks across the country to tailor support to schools.
“We hope this will lead to more children being equipped with the tools they need to lead the healthy and active lifestyles they are entitled to within and beyond the school gates.”
Monica Golding and Philippa Youlden of MG Consultancy, presented the insight gathered about understanding the processes and impact of the CAS Framework on physical activity culture and behaviours within schools.
Watch the presentation video here
Find out more about Creating Active Schools