Movement Literacy is the the ability to plan and execute basic motor skills – run, jump, catch, kick and throw with agility, balance and co-ordination
If a child left primary school with the literacy and numeracy skills of a baby there would be outrage. This is the case with ‘physical literacy’.
- Ireland has the lowest level of mandated Physical Education in Europe, 30-60mins per week
- The European Union average is 109mins
- Students in the Munster region receive on average 54mins per week of Physical Education*
- In a recent EU study Ireland ranked lowest in total Physical Education delivery at a Primary School level – 37hrs per year. In the same study France deliver 108hrs, UK 75hrs**
- In the UK 48% of Primary School first years still have ‘baby’ motor skills, 35% of fourth years display ‘baby’ motor skills and 88% of 7 and 8 year olds still motor problems.
- 19% of primary and 12% of post-primary school children met the Department of Health and Children physical activity recommendations – at least 60 minutes daily. These proportions have not improved since 2004***
- The biggest barrier to engaging in sporting activities for girls was “they weren’t good enough at sport”***
The “Golden Age” for motor skill development starts at 8 years old when a child has a “mature” nervous
Within any single school year there may be as much as 4 years difference in physical, cognitive and emotional development between children.
A focus on organised/competitive sports is not conducive to skill development. More physically developed children tend to be recruited by teams. They are exposed to higher level coaching and improve their physical skill set at a greater rate than the less physically developed. There can be 2-3 years of skill development lost to these ‘late developing’ children
Organised sport relies on a basic “physical competence”. The primary aim of the “Kids InMotion” program is to enable the child to have the core physical literacy (agility, balance, co-ordination, running, jumping, throwing, hitting and catching), to choose which sport they would like to participate in.
The worldwide obesity epidemic has attracted large amounts of media attention. Unfortunately many programs designed to combat this problem establish exercise as a punishment for being overweight.
The emphasis of Kids InMotion is to improve motor skills, enabling children to build positive associations with physical activity and build life long habits.
Kids InMotion is:
- a small group (6-8) based physical activity program for children (8-10yrs) outside of school hours.
- aimed at teaching children basic motor skills in a fun environment
- an educational tool to deliver healthy lifestyle information
* State of the Nation’s Children – Office of the Minister for Children and Department of Health and Children Report 2006
** Physical Education and Sport at School in Europe – Eurydice Report March 2013
*** Proceedings of the Fifth Physical Education, Physical Activity and Youth Sport (PE PAYS) Forum 2010