Building positive attitudes towards Physical activity & Sport

It is undoubtable that children’s attitudes towards PE are considered to be a key element influencing physical activity participation. Children who have more positive attitude towards physical activity are reported to be more likely to participate in physical activity outside of school and demonstrate higher physical activity amounts than those with less positive attitudes. Fostering children’s positive attitudes will ultimately lead towards the promotion of current and lifelong participation in physical activity and sport.  

Children’s enjoyment, knowledge and perceived usefulness (self-belief and self-efficacy) and previous positive experience can cultivate a child’s positive attitude towards PE. This can be gained by schools providing a creative and captivating PE and sport provision.  Schools must ensure that PE and sport is a central part of the school’s development plan. The context of sport can used across the curriculum and the skills and positive values of sport are a must and be integrated into the school ethos. The school sport moto “We never say we can’t, we always say we will try,” can be applied to all areas of the curriculum. 

The schools subject lead/PE team are required to create a detailed, broad and flexible P.E development plan with short and long term targets that enable all pupils (including target groups) to progress and achieve. Teaching and learning styles should be always matched to lesson content and to encourage all pupils to participate through innovative and inclusive lesson plans, short term and long term planning which are endless and focus on mastery of skills rather than units of work.

Pupils should be able to access a broad offer of school sport activities (as participants, leaders or organisers) through an extensive sports leadership programmes. By providing opportunities for all pupils to develop their leadership, coaching and officiating skills this will also improve knowledge, experience and confidence. An extensive range of sport must be available, including opportunities for SEND children as well as highlighted inactivity groups. We must offer an inclusive PE and sport provision through a programme that both responds to the demands of all our children and introduces sports activities that the pupils may not otherwise experience through an extensive afterschool sport club and community club programme. Also, implementation of unique and tailored physical intervention programmes to all EYFS and KS1 children within school can promote improvement fine and gross motor skill, ultimately improving physical literacy and confidence as they transit up through school. 

All children’s progress, attainment and participation in physical activity should be valued and celebrated on a daily/weekly basis to instil a sense of pride in pupils and ensuring that a positive attitude to learning is always adopted. PE pupil of the week which is celebrated in PE lessons, weekly celebration assemblies and reported back to parents/carers via the school website, social media and weekly newsletters is essential is cementing a positive attitude. Success, achievement and participation in any extracurricular sport or activity should be celebrated to all other children and school staff. Photographs, certificates, news articles and other evidence can be used to engage others and motivate them to try sporting activities they would not normally participate, especially clubs in the local area. Schools are urged to develop PE and Sport  to the wider community by fostering positive relationships with other schools through inter competitions with neighbouring schools and supporting and celebrating success to other teachers, sharing good/outstanding practice.  

PE Primary specialists and/or teachers are the ones who have the closest contact with children which is why positive role models are extremely important. When a child follows the example of a role, they will pick up habits and attitudes towards physical activity that could last a lifetime. As a teacher we can inspire and encourage children to strive for greatness, live to their fullest potential and see the best in themselves. Teachers are seen as someone that children admire and someone to aspire to be like. Staff who display positive attitudes, regularly participate in physical activity or even compete in a sport or have achieved or been successful in a competitive sport should be showcased in school at every opportunity. 

Finally, children’s parents/carers, friends and families positive attitudes are just important when nurturing a positive towards PE, Sports and continued participation. It is more than likely that a child will adopt a more favourable attitude if they are supported by those who they spend the most time with. By providing a child’s immediate family opportunity to take part in sports days, supporting at sporting competitions and enjoying parent and child fitness classes it will only encourage the child to be more positive. 

Are you interested in improving your schools PE and Sport Provision? Contact a member of the SOSI team and we would love to help.