Short bursts of daily physical exercise are part and parcel of a morning and afternoon school routine these days. Some sessions are home-made DIY versions with a teacher and class making up their own punishing workout schedules. However, these often die out after the first half-term because they take up too much preparation time or they become dull and monotonous. Many more follow a structured commercial package where all the thinking and choreography has been planned ready to roll. All you have to do is watch the interactive whiteboard, press play and everyone tries to copy and paste the moves the best they can.
A collection of new, off-the-shelf fitness software well worth considering is 5-a-day Fitness. Volume 1 contains fullydemonstrated five minute routines packed with high energy, low impact repeated movements and set to stirring music. The routines are graded according to their difficulty from one to five and so enable you to cater for your class accordingly as well as any special needs. The resource also comes with detailed picture cards to go along with every exercise and certificates of achievement, which can be easily printed off the school network.
Volume 2 does more of the same with further fun routines. The exercises are all enjoyable and will help children improve their stamina, posture and core strength. What’s moreyou can also upgrade to Spanish and French versions for use in modern foreign languages. Opportunities for children to experience new languages through dynamic and social exercise have to be a winning formula.
You might also want to think about a winddown resource and Time-2-Chill fits that bill. This is a fine collection of two-minute routines that will help children to relax, improve their coordination and balance and use their imaginations. Perfect for stilling the waters after lunchtime storms.
5-a-day describes itself as the ‘Ultimate Fitness Resource’. It certainly has a lot going for it and will contribute towards boosting children’s self-confidence and self-awareness. It is entertaining and lively with its finger on the pulse of learner well-being and so deserves to be widely used.
However good the resource is though, its success will depend on the motivation of the children and the Sergeant Major skills of a teacher in some Y6 cases. The success of the resource will also depend on a commitment to engaging with the resource every day and not giving way to the business and busyness of everything else so that it becomes yet another initiative that loses its way.
Price: Unlimited online access from just £16.99 a month. School network software licence – £140 per volume; Time to Chill – £70; Spanish and French upgrades – £35 each.
5-a-day Fitness is a fun, effective and inclusive resource that will help children become fitter, nimbler, more motivated and more attentive when used regularly. The resources will also do their bit for improving behaviour. The routines could be used at any point in the day and would be ideal for when the class hit a bit of a slump or need to be energised to improve concentration and listening skills.