Keeping kids active

Lucy Newson (7), Sonny Shi (7), Harvey Newson (8), with Go 4 It Fundamental Skills Coordinator Strini Naidoo and ACG Tauranga teacher Dave Hanna. Photo: Chris Callinan.

ACG Tauranga's commitment to ensuring its students get active from a young age is receiving some tried and true support, by partnering with one of Sport Bay of Plenty's leading initiatives.

ACG Tauranga has become the first Cambridge International curriculum school to sign up to Sport Bay of Plenty's GO4it, an in-school programme designed to teach children the fundamental skills required for everyday physical activity and athlete development.

The Bay of Plenty secular, co-educational school is one of 41 education providers participating in the Sport Bay of Plenty programme, with more than 6000 Bay of Plenty children aged 5-10 years old taking part in 2017.

From large and small ball handling skills to sport-specific movements, such as kicking, passing and hitting, the GO4it programme covers a range of physical skills that are both age appropriate and delivered in a fun and exciting way by qualified Fundamental Skills Coordinators.

Sport Bay of Plenty fundamentals advisor Debbie Garea says not every student has ambitions to be an athlete, but the purpose of the programme is simply to get children active, to make it a part of their lives as they grow.

“If a child can feel comfortable participating in exercise from a young age, they are more likely to stick with it for life. Our programme supports teachers to offer something that is unique and engaging for students, and which shows them being active can be fun.

“We have the ability to tailor it to each school's needs and work with them through various pathways. We're thrilled to have ACG come on board as our first-ever school working to the Cambridge curriculum.”

ACG Tauranga principal Shawn Hutchinson says teaching children how to be confident in one aspect of their education translates well into all areas of their schooling.

“Physical education has an incredibly positive impact on student wellbeing mentally and physically, developing them into well-rounded individuals.

“One of our core goals at ACG is to equip our students with all the skills required in a 21st Century world so they can go confidently into the world. Understanding the role movement plays and being comfortable with physicality is a vital part of this, and I'm pleased with how the students are developing under the GO4it programme.

“Thanks to its accessibility for all ages and abilities, it's got some of our most dedicated academics out and about, and enjoying the learning that comes from group physical activity.”

GO4it was established in the Bay of Plenty in 2011, with a new concise model of delivery being implemented last year for the benefit of students and teachers alike.

Under the new model, a Sport Bay of Plenty GO4it Fundamental Skills Coordinator spends 12 in-school sessions a year with the students from Year 0-6.

During this time, the coordinator will also be demonstrating and educating the school's physical education department, so once they have left the school's teachers can continue the programme and build on the existing work to meet the PE curriculum.

Shawn adds, “To have hands-on support for our teachers, as well as our students, is fantastic. Quality teaching is fundamental to ACG Tauranga, and we see this programme as an extension of the professional development we can offer to keep our staff at the top of their game.”

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