Over 80 per cent of children and young people (5-15) do not meet the guideline of 60 minutes of physical activity a day. Islington's Health and Wellbeing Team is keen to work with schools to develop creative and exciting ways of raising pupils’ physical activities outside of PE lessons, particularly for the least active children.
If you would like us to visit your school to discuss ideas to support your work, please contact Denise Lake
See below for further information on exciting physical activity initiatives.
Physical Activity Ideas
Moving & Improving Clubs focus on getting children to move more and improve their physical skills, utilising alternative, simple and inclusive activities and sports to enable everyone to achieve and succeed. Resources and support can be utilised to create a new club at your school or integrated into existing breakfast, lunchtime or after-school clubs, yet the core focus is to engage and develop the least active children to become more confident, competent and healthy.
Clubs should aim to have at least a 50% ratio of children deemed to be least active or disengaged as this is the primary focus to target those who don’t traditionally take part in extra-curricular physical activities. Children can be from any year group, though it is recommended particular attention should be upon years 3 and 4.
What is on offer:
Training and support to staff to upskill to be able to run moving and improving activities and sessions (with the potential for delivery assistants to support schools with their clubs)
Staff resources for ideas around ‘Moving and Improving’
Pupils challenge booklets to track their progress
Various sports competitions during the year that encourage ‘Moving and Improving’ pupils to attend
Invite to ‘Moving and Improving Festival’, celebrate the success and achievement of those pupils during the year.
For further information on the clubs, please contact Denise Lake
What is Race to Health?
Race to Health is a very simple initiative that encourages children to be more active every day. It is an online inter and intra-school physical activity challenge for children with the aim of increasing physical activity levels to the recommended 60 minutes/day.
After last year’s successful race, we’re once again launching our newly Award-Winning Race to Health physical activity competition this term!
What is involved?
The more active pupils are the quicker the school will reach the finishing line. Pupils will be asked to log their physical activity minutes on our fun interactive website with the aim of achieving the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity. Whilst on the site pupils will be able to track their own progress as well as that of their class and the schools. Pupils will also be able to customise their own page, collect medals and points each week and learn interesting information about other countries, cultures, science, engineering and literacy.
If your school is interested in working with us during the duration of the Race to Health to actively increase the physical activity levels of your pupils, register your interest for this year’s race by emailing Denise Lake.
Watch a short video which explains what Race to Health is all about:
Going the extra mile…
As part of this year’s Race to Health we are also encouraging schools to take up the Daily Mile, a simple initiative that has been found to have profound effects in improving children’s fitness, concentration, behaviour, mood and overall wellbeing.
If your school would like more information on the Race to Health please contact Denise Lake for further details.
In the UK, 14% of girls aged between 5-16 years achieve the recommended daily amount of physical activity of 60 minutes per day. This figure drops to 10% in girls aged between 13-16 years. In order to address the low levels of girl’s participation in physical activity, the PESSPA team is working to support secondary school girls in Islington to be more physically active. in order to best understand the girls’ barriers to engaging in physical activity and to support both secondary school girls and secondary school staff to increase the physical activity levels of teenage girls, we have been working closely with all of the Islington secondary schools that have a female cohort.
As the aim of the work is to support and encourage girls to do more physical activity and to continue being physically active throughout adulthood, we have been consulting with school PE departments, through in depth interviews and with girls in the schools through focus groups and online surveys.
How This Girl Can… Create Change!
Earlier this year, the Youth Sport Trust posted hard copies of the This Girl Can…Create Change! resources to all secondary schools in England. Created in collaboration with girls and PE teachers, the resources celebrate friends as girls’ biggest influencers while recognising that positive encouragement from peers is the most effective way to get girls active - at school and at home.
Not only did lockdown create barriers to learning, socialising and keeping active, it also made leadership opportunities few and far between. Girls lead and take ownership of their own campaign through This Girl Can… Create Change!, which may well build the next generation of female leaders, influencers and campaigners.
The Youth Sport Trust and This Girl Can want to know how schools are planning to use the resources to create change in their school. The first 400 schools that fill in their survey will receive five This Girl Can pin badges for girls to wear in their campaigning role. The information gleaned from this survey will provide insight of schools’ intended actions and enable us to share practice.
Secondary Girls International Women's Day Physical Activity Festival 2020
On March 10 2020, the Physical Education, School Sport and Physical Activity Team (PESSPA) and Islington's Community Sports Manager for GLL - Gemma Tully held a Secondary School Girls Sports Festival at the Sobell Leisure Centre in celebration of International Women's day 2020. The event as designed to addess the decline in particpation in physical activity and sport among seconary school girls. The participants were offered a variety of physical activities, in order to help them find something that they would enjoy and enjoy they did! The event was a great success and the girls had fun trying differnt activities in a non-judgemental enviroment. Read the report to find out more about the festival and the impact that it had.
Affordable cycle and accessories purchase scheme with free Cycle Skills sessions to get you started. Islington Council is working with Pedal My Wheels to make it easier for people who live work or study in Islington to buy a bike.
Pay the monthly fee until you either own the bike or you wish to return your bike:
- Pay a monthly fee of under £10 for a children’s bike, £20 for a standard bike or £100 for e-cargo bikes
- You can return your bike any time after one month
- A fully fitted bike including accessories can be delivered to your home or work
- You will receive a personalised two-hour Cycle Skills session on delivery
- You will also have a dedicated cycle mentor for ongoing support and advice
- You can choose from a wide range of bikes
- Comprehensive insurance and maintenance packages are available
- Easy to use online order system
Sign up with Peddle My Wheels who run the programme on behalf of Islington Council.
A fun, interactive and healthy initiative to safely promote sustainable travel throughout schools and the local community. Islington Council is committed to promoting alternative methods of travel whilst offering great opportunities for schools to get involved in.
Islington Council helps Islington schools commit to more active, safe and sustainable travel. For more information, contact Sobastian Frazer, Islington Council’s Active Travel Plan Officer.
Mini Mermaid Running Club is aiming to increase self-esteem and confidence in girls whilst encouraging them to take part in movement and activity, allowing them to really feel how being more active can benefit their mental and physical health. Our programmes consist of group discussions, journal work, games, movement and activities.
We work to help the girls identify their two internal voices of Mini Mermaid and Siren, to listen to their positive, self-affirming voice of Mini Mermaid and to tell Siren to be quiet. Learning about self-worth, whoever you are and whatever you have, is such an important message for girls growing up today and can help them identify positive role models, navigate life more kindly and know they can set goals and achieve them.
A 5km challenge at the end of the programme is the finale of the course where they are encouraged to complete it however they can, taking everything they have learnt throughout the sessions to help them around.
Young Tritons Club
Young Tritons Running Club is aiming to challenge the typical description of strength that boys are so often exposed to, whilst encouraging them to take part in movement and activity, allowing them to really feel how being more active can benefit their mental and physical health. Our programmes consist of group discussions, journal work, games, movement and activities.
We work to help the boys understand they can be strong by working as a team, sharing their emotions, helping and encouraging each other in all areas of life, not just ‘on the football field’.
A 5km challenge at the end of the programme is the finale of the course where they are encouraged to complete it however they can, taking everything they have learnt throughout the sessions to help them around.
Mini Mermaids and Young Tritons in-house training offer
The facilitators of both the Mini Mermaids and Young Tritons running clubs are now offering in-house training to schools, enabling schools to run the clubs themselves following staff training. For more information see the attached PDF below.
For more information on Mini Mermaids or Young Tritons, please contact Mini Mermaid Running Club
Sport England is running a national survey to understand more about children and young people's engagement and attitudes towards sport and physical activity. Schools are chosen at random to take part in the survey and I will be in touch if your school is chosen to take part in the future. It is well worth participating in the survey as it gives Sport England an overview of the physical activity levels of young people on a national, city and borough level, the results of which will influence policy and the ways in which physical activity is funded in future.
Comparison of the National, London and Islington results suggest that the majority of children and young people in Islington, England are not meeting the recommended daily 60 minutes of physical activity. Encouragingly, however, the percentage of children doing the recommended 30 minutes (or more) physical activity in school is higher in Islington than it is in both London and England at 30.3%. I think we can all agree that we need to get our children and young people doing more physical activity and to help them achieve their RDA of 60 minutes. The full results of the first year of the survey have recently been published and can be found below.
About the challenge
The idea of the challenge is for children to take part in the simple outlined activities every day throughout December (all activities are designed to meet current government guidance for physical activity). This also includes activity for the weekends and activities that children (and their families) can take part in during the holidays, all the way through until 31st December if they want to. Activities are short and simple, such as active travel to school, the Daily Mile, Arsenal and London Youth Games Challenges and Walking with Captain Tom, with activities lasting roughly between 2-15 minutes. Activities are easy to execute in your class bubbles and will easily slot into your school day.
There are two different calendars, the main calendar and a separate self-isolation calendar for you to use with pupils that have to self-isolate. The self-isolation calendar has activates that can be done inside and do not require any outside space. We appreciate that you may not be able to do the activity everyday (although that is the dream!), but please aim to do as many of them throughout the month as you can.
Resources for you to download in order to start the challenge:
The resource pack includes all of the information and resources that you will need to take part in the challenge.
- Each week, you will be sent a link to the evaluation survey to complete. This should only take a couple of minutes
As the Daily Mile is also part of the challenge, we have organised with Arsenal for your pupils to be able to run the Daily Mile around the Emirate Stadium! To book your slot at the stadium, email Joe Chaffey
All schools that take part in the challenge will be entered into a prize draw! Prizes (tbc) are being donated by Arsenal in the Community, London Marathon Events and The Daily Mile Foundation. One of the prizes will include a Q&A session for your pupils with a Team GB elite runner!
If you have any further questions, please contact Denise Lake
Today’s children move less than ever before whilst mental health issues are on the rise. Stormbreak is a charity that inspires mentally healthy movement to help children become happier, healthier humans.
“When the storm rages we teach children to create light, calm and change through movement.”
Stormbreak seek to achieve this through embedding mentally healthy movement for every child, everyday and equipping children with sustainable skills and coping strategies to thrive throughout life.
Online and on their website you can find a wide selection of videos ranging from 3-10 minutes leading children through a range of mental health movement activities. The videos cover a wide range of themes including; resilience, self-care, relationships, self-worth, hope and optimism.
Visit their website to get started and try a Stormbreak now! https://www.stormbreak.org.uk/
Read more about Stormbreak through their Impact Report here
Welcome to the International Women's Day 2021!
The theme this year is #ChooseToChallenge. "We can choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let's all choose to challenge." www.internationalwomensday.com
A great message that ties in perfectly for sport and physical activity and ties in really well to the challenges that girls tell us they face with regards to engaging with physical activity.
Find below various physical activity resources to help celebrate and support International Women's Day on the 8th March 2021.
Here are a couple of sports challenges you can try inspired by incredible sportswomen!
We are challenging schools to do the Daily Mile over 2 weeks starting on IWD 8th March 2021 up to 19th March. The Daily Mile is simple; class teachers just take their class outside for 15 minutes to run, jog or walk around a designated route. There is no need for a change of clothing, they just go outside and run! Whilst we can’t physically be together, we can come together as a borough virtually to run the Daily Mile. The theme of IWD this year is #ChooseToChallenge, so if you want to, you can create a theme or a challenge for your Daily Mile. However you choose to do it, do let us know what you did!
If you have not done so already, please watch the video from Dani Nimmock, Team GB distance runner, who talks about the Daily Mile and talks about her journey from school pupil to elite runner
Please email us to let us know when you have done your Daily Mile challenge and we will send you the International Women’s day Daily Mile participation certificate.
The International Women's Day website has a wide range of free resources for teachers, parents and caregivers to educate and inspire children about the role of women in society. Resources including; activity booklets, fact sheets, task cards, lesson plans, book study, role model case study, reading lists, author interviews, games, coloruing in and videos.
- The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) provide practical insight and support insightful resources aiming to help children and young people understand gender stereotypes and develop the mindset and strategies to challenge inequality. Access the WAGGGS International Women's Day resources here
- Puffin Schools wants to give young readers access to new feminist icons and ideas: female authors and artists to be inspired by, women-centred stories to learn from, fantastic heroines to befriend. The resources include classroom activities to explore story lines, analyse characters, challenge stereotypes, examine language use and establish a lifelong ove of reading. Plus a reading list featuring books about women who changed the world - women who stood up, spoke out, struggled through and soared. Access the Puffin Schools International Women's Day Resources here.
- Teaching Resources from 'Teach Starter' including lesson plans, fact sheets and activity cards to celebrate women's achievements, challenge gender stereotypes and bias, use problem solving and creativity skills, develop wriritng, reading and multi-media skills. Access the Teach Starter International Women's Day Resources here.
- DreamWorks Annimation: She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is a show full of strong female characters supporting each other. It's about the power, fierceness and realness of women - and how different young women step up into leadership roles, learn about themselves and make a positive difference in each other's lives and their world. Resources include discussion guides, activities, colouring and games. Access the DreamWorks She-Ra International Women's Day Resources here.
Arsenal in the community have developed a range of primary home learning materials themed on past and present players including the ladies team. Find the selection of resources here: Arsenal Player home learning packs for primary schools
Opportunity: Arsenal Saturday Club
Arsenal in the Community in partnership with the Brandon Centre run Saturday morning football sessions for girls aged 8 – 17.
The sessions are free of charge and currently involve discussions, quizzes and physical exercises, a great way to stay connected during this difficult time with football sessions resuming once government guidelines allow
They’re open for new members who would like to join virtually and once football starts again. For more information and to join up, contact Rebecca Jones
The FA Shooting stars programme inspired by Disney has been developed to support primary age girls with developing their physical literacy, speaking and listening sills through creative play, storytelling and activities capturing the imagination through your favourite Disney and Marvel characters and films including; Frozen 2, Aladdin, Toy Story 4, the Avengers, the Incredibles and more.
Resources include active story books, flipbooks and videos as well as at home task
To access the full resources you'll need to click on the resources and sign up to their to the portal, but it is all free and straightforward and well worth it
Youth Sport Trust have teamed up with DC comics to produce an physical activity resource inspired by Wonder Woman 1984. The resource includes a wide variety of individual and small group activities to get children and families activity as well as support other skills such as courage, strength and teamwork.
In Mini Mermaids, a girls self-development and running club, we use two characters. Mini Mermaids, our inner cheerleader and Siren, our inner critic. Using these characters, we help girls distinguish between the internal and external influences that have the power to both hold them back and move them forward.
Through this, girls are better able to silence critical messages and focus on the inner cheerleader voice. 'I'm bad at math' becomes 'it just takes me a bit longer.' This voice tells each girl that she deserves to be heard and creates a belief and strength that comes from within. As a result, each girl becomes a force for change. It may be within her own family. It may be in her community. But it's hers.
To help girls, we have girls write a letter to themselves from Mini Mermaid. What would their inner cheerleader tell them? They keep this letter to remind them of all the amazingness that they have within them.
Mini Mermaid Running Club are a self-development and running club activated in primary schools for girls Years 3-6. The programme, delivered by school staff in small groups(10-12 girls), includes instructions, objectives, games, workouts and journal exercises, leading up to a 5km challenge. Mini Mermaids proactively protect, preserve and build girls’ self-confidence, self-esteem and self-compassion, underpinned by a love of movement. For more information on Mini Mermaids visit the Increasing Physical Activity page.
If you have any further questions about International Women's Day, please contact Denise Lake
Islington Schools Community Virtual Fun Run: 24 – 28 May 2021
Deadline for schools entries into run: 30 April 2021
Islington council supported by Arsenal in the Community are organising the Islington Schools Community Virtual Fun Run for schools and a separate virtual run for children and their families during the school holidays. We have created the community event to get children in the borough physically active and to support their overall health and wellbeing, in a fun and flexible way, bringing the community together (virtually) after such a challenging year!
There are three fun run categories, schools can enter to run:
- Once in the week
- Three times in the week
- Five times in the week
Fun Run Details:
- Each run lasts 15 minutes and can be run in the school or in the local area.
- The run/s must take place between Monday 24 and Friday 28 May 2021
- Pupils can wear their own bib design or your schools winning bib design, they can wear it during their runs to show their schools community spirit!
- Schools can take part in groups, year groups, key stage groups or indeed the whole school, staff included if you want to take part
- Pupils can walk, jog or run (or a combination of the three)
- You could even organise a run before or after school for children and their parents and carers!
- Deadline for schools entries into run – 30 April 2021
On completion of the run:
- When your school have completed the run, please email Denise Lake to let us know how many runs you did and you will be sent the finishers certificate.
Daily Mile Schools
For those schools that currently do the Daily Mile, you can do your Daily Mile as part of this challenge and if you do it three times a week, why not challenge yourselves to do it five times for the week of the fun run!
Runners Bib Winner!
Thank you to all of you that submitted a running bib design. They were all so good that Joe from Arsenal and I had a hard time picking a winner! As a thank you to all of the young designers for their effforts, all winners will receive a personalosed certificate and a prize from Arsenal! There can however, only be one overall Islington winner and that goes to a young man from Pakeman school! Congratulations to Pakeman School on their winning design! We think you’ll agree that this lovely colourful design is a deserving winner!
We are also holding a runners bib design art competition! We will pick one winning design per school and an overall winning design from all of the schools. The winning design from your school will get a personalised winners certificate. The one overall winning design that will be picked from all schools will receive a prize from our very generous supporters at Arsenal in the Community!
Each child in your school can either wear their own design or your school can print their winning entry, to be worn by the children whilst running during the Islington Schools Community Virtual Fun Run to show their community spirit!
Deadlines for entries for bib design have now closed
As well as the schools community Fun Run, which we would love you to promote the families fun run to your families. The Islington Families Community Virtual Fun Run is open to families during the schools holidays.
It would be really lovely if the families could wear either a copy of their child/children’s bib design or the schools winning design, so they could wear it during their runs to show their community spirit. If you could facilitate that, it would be a lovely addition to the family runs. We will also send finishers certificates to schools for you to share with the families that complete the fun run.
Please feel free to use the text below to promote to families.