Get Up! Step Up! How Alex Whitehead encourages pupils to get physically active by using cross-curricular links

Last week, the Sunday Post reported that more than 3,500 schools across 31 countries had adopted and adapted the Daily Mile concept to encourage their children to become more physically active.
Elaine Wyllie, the founder of the idea, explained, “schools can just open their doors and take the children out without ever signing up”, embarking upon a 15-minute run that has been adapted in various different guises to meet the requirement of each individual school.
Yet Evolve Health Mentor Alex Whitehead has devised his own concept that links physical activity with cross-curricular links at Crynallt Primary School in Neath, South Wales – introducing Get Up! Step Up!
With a school objective devised ‘to engage more children in physical activity and produce opportunities to experiences new sports and challenges’, Alex opted to link his PE lessons with the school topic of Egypt. Children were given watches to track the number of steps they achieved before an average was taken for the whole class. The scores were then added to Alex’ Health Mentor board in school, showcasing how close the class were to reaching Egypt…a mere 7 million steps from Neath!
Feedback from the children included “I enjoy having the watch on because it makes me move more” and “I definitely move more with Mr Whitehead.” Yet the benefits of the concept did not end there. Alex added a trivia quiz and fun facts to his board, ensuring children could access further learning about Egypt at any time. One child stated, “I liked reading the facts on the board whilst waiting for PE.”
Alex is now utilising this idea as part of his legacy within the school, adapting the concept to match each school topic that is presented throughout the year. Sticking with the healthy lifestyles theme, children are now focussed on the number of steps and physical activity they have to maintain in order to burn off a chocolate bar, marrying up with the new topic of chocolate within the school.
So, how long does it take to burn off the calories consumed from a chocolate bar?…

Image credit: RSPH