Key stage 2 children at Broadoak Primary School in Swinton are celebrating an impressive 12% increase in fitness level – in a period of just six weeks.

Working with Salford-based EdStart – which provides full coverage of the primary P.E. curriculum – Broadoak Primary School has rolled out a series of health and fitness programmes throughout the school year. Keen to show just how powerful EdStart sessions and sports software are in improving children’s fitness, 240 key stage 2 children were tested at the start and end of a six-week period. All children showed an increase in fitness over this timeframe alone, and the 12% increase in stamina is particularly important due to the improvement it signifies in heart and lung health.

To celebrate the Broadoak children’s exercise achievements, EdStart helped the school host a Health and Fitness Fortnight, with a packed schedule of activities that raised the children’s heartrates at the same time as raising money for continued investment into school PE provision and equipment.

Health and Fitness Fortnight kicked off with a high energy assembly to reinforce to children why staying active is so important. The event featured a daily run that all children from nursery to year 6 were involved with, at a level tailored to their age and ability, as well as competitive teacher challenges. Children pitted their skills against their coaches in competitions spanning a netball goal challenge; number of chin ups in a minute; fastest 100m sprint; longest time in ‘plank’ position and number of squats in a minute!

A day long dance-a-thon rounded off Health and Fitness Fortnight in typically high-octane style, with 360 children, staff and parents involved! The response throughout the initiative has been overwhelmingly positive. Karen Wild, Headteacher at Broadoak Primary, said:

‘The children at Broadoak make me proud on a daily basis with their exceptional commitment to learning, and I wanted to arrange an event that would reflect and impact upon this commitment.

‘I want all our children to leave Broadoak with a firm grasp of the importance of living healthy lifestyles and understand the positive effect this can have on our future achievements.’

‘Children have embraced all the activities and there is a real buzz of enjoyment around the school. Working with EdStart is fantastic. Their support during the planning of this event has been invaluable. We had an initial meeting to brainstorm ideas and then together we finalised a structure of events for the fortnight. Their expertise and skill make events like this achievable!’

As well as noticing increased stamina, teachers commented on the children’s determination to improve their time / distance each day and their heightened concentration and focus in lessons following running sessions.

Chris Irwin, Managing Director of EdStart, said: ‘With levels of childhood obesity constantly in the headlines, it’s inspiring to be working with schools that are genuinely committed to make a difference to their pupils’ health and fitness levels – both now and for the future.

‘The progress we have seen in the Broadoak children’s stamina is truly something to celebrate: improvements in this area are associated with reduced risk in a number of health conditions including heart disease, diabetes and obesity – as well as reducing stress and improving mental well-being. The Health and Fitness Fortnight has been a brilliant way to celebrate a year’s hard work and achievement.’

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