Activate at Cambridge East School
Activate! is a Cambridge East School programme which all our Junior students (Years 1 and 2) participate in. It consists of both the PMP (Perceptual Motor Programme) and the Get Set Go Programme. Each class has either two or three half hour sessions each week where they are active and learning fundamental movement skills. Both programmes are used - predominantly PMP for our New Entrants and Year 1’s, and leading into more Get Set Go as they get older and for the Year 2’s.
(Perceptual Motor Programme)
Before you can read your eyes must be able to track from left to right. Before you can understand what you read you must have an awareness of your world and how you fit into your surroundings. Before you can follow instructions you must be able to hold those instructions in your mind long enough to carry them out. Before you can hit a ball with a racket your eye and hand must have some coordination. Before you can connect your foot with a ball and send it where it needs to go you must have some awareness of your own body and the space around it.
Every 5 year old at Cambridge East School is taken through this programme which teaches and hones all these skills essential for further academic learning and sport. The PMP programme focuses on fitness, eye-tracking, balance, locomotion and eye/hand/foot coordination. It also incorporates short term sequential memory exercises. The children complete four or five fun stations of activities using balance beams, ladders, boxes, balls, skipping ropes, skittles and other such equipment all designed with these aims in mind. A further half hour session teaches the correct techniques required for the equipment sessions, and also incorporates music, rhythm and movement.
The programme is designed by Moving SmartTM who describe it this way:
"PMP is a programme which aims to develop the child's perceptions and understandings of himself or herself in relation to her/his world, through movement/motor experiences. It aims to develop perceptions of height and space, the pattern and order of the child's natural world, the laws and limitations that govern the human body. Above all it aims to give the child confidence to manipulate him/herself in their world to suit her or his own best interests.”
Get Set Go
Get Set Go was initiated by Athletics New Zealand and was designed to help young children develop fundamental movement skills that will enable them to be more confident when it comes to physical activities. At Cambridge East we use it in conjunction with, and following on from PMP to further develop the children's physical ability as well as encourage growth in thinking skills and social skills. This is done by using games which are specially designed to keep all children engaged and moving.
A typical session might involve teaching of specific movement skills for something such as catching a ball,a discussion about what you do with your body when you are catching a ball, then games which use such skills are played to consolidate the physical movement.
Research shows that increased competence in motor skills can have a significant positive impact on a child’s self esteem and social skills.
The children love Activate! The learning that happens is extensive and sets them up well for classroom and playground/sports field success. For more information about the programmes involved see www.movingsmart.co.nz and http://athletics.org.nz/Get-Involved/As-a-School/Get-Set-Go or come to the school and see it in action.