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Changing the future by teaching fitness in school, long before the gym

By: Ben Hackney-Williams

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There’s so much more to a healthy lifestyle than sprint times, your weekly class count, or how much you can bench press. One way that we can inspire change for the future is to better educate people at a younger age about how to embrace physical activity. It’s time to get back to school.

Students in a health related fitness class

Coombe Wood School has launched a campaign of movement to bring a new understanding of the benefits that heart rate training brings. In a groundbreaking curriculum evolution of health related fitness, wellbeing is at the heart of physical education for both staff and students alike.  

 

More activity for students with Movember.

“We're so excited to have launched our Movember campaign,” explains Will Smith, assistant headteacher and head of HRF at Coombe Wood School. “This is the first time our students have been able to take their Myzone belts home with them and keep them on to wear them as much as they want to in supporting their movement outside of the classroom and in their everyday lives.”

What’s even more impressive is that the school is using Myzone for more than just classroom activities. They’ve integrated it at a deeper level than using it out of the classroom, too. Movember also includes a whole school house competition, instilling a sense of healthy competition and providing a challenge that everyone can get involved with.

“The students will wear their belts, and the house with the most Myzone Effort Points (MEPs) at the end of the month will win a prize; they will be celebrated for the amount of exercise that they've done.

“Of course, they know and we know that it's any type of exercise gets celebrated as long as they're earning MEPs, that can be playing football with their friends or that can be going for a run. It really doesn't matter. We're just really excited to be seeing how much how much movement they do and how much activity they get up to outside of the classroom.”  

 

 

 

 

Great start for a positive future of fitness.

While this is progress at its most positive scale, the Coombe Wood team know there’s still a long way to go before this partnership reaches its full potential. To fully spread the message of movement, even more needs to be done in communicating the benefits far and wide for as many people as possible.

“We need to work with parents, so they understand what's happening in school,” explains Jonathan Wilden, chief executive officer of Folio Education Trust.

“But we also need to make sure that the school is able to tackle those people who are disadvantaged because there is a such a different level of understanding out there.

“Some children will grow up in very difficult backgrounds in difficult environments, where it can be very challenging to ride a bike in a park or spend hours going through a climbing wall or playing football with friends. It's those children who probably need us the most. And it's those children that we would be very proud of saying through what we did we changed your life. And that would be that'd be a real moment.”

For more information on the initiatives Coombe Wood School is taking with physical activity and education, take a look at why traditional physical education in schools could be a thing of the past

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