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Papakowhai School link Fundamental Movement Skills to everyday learning

Papakowhai School in Wellington recently attended a Teacher Professional Development session where they learnt about linking everyday Fundamental Movement Skills to the learning of Aquatic skills.

The school has a roll of approximately 415 students and have a heated school pool that is used each summer.

The school is part of the Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) Programme available to schools in the greater Wellington region that enables children to participate in FMS programmes at a discounted rate.

The programmes currently offered under the programme are Aquatics, MoveMProve, Football and GetSetGo/RunJumpThrow.

Schools are required to participate in two of these programmes and Papakowhai have chosen to participate in Aquatics and MoveMProve for 2017.

Sarah Gibbison (SNZ) and Megan Russell (Gym Sports NZ) recently delivered a joint professional development session to the school to help them link the everyday fundamental movement skills their children learn and use to both their Aquatics and MoveMProve programmes.

This training helps to develop the teachers understanding of how children need to move their bodies to get the best results they can whilst focusing on the seven key fundamental skills of balance, stability, manipulative skills, rotation, spring, land and swing.

Teachers were offered a range of ideas for activities and skills they could use in the pool to develop their students water skills while also developing their fundamental movement skills.

Links were also made to how they could encourage their children to move in the classroom and the playground to support these skills also. These included walking toe to heel along a line to the library, climbing up and down ladders in the playground and swinging on the monkey bars.

The teachers were able to identify very clear links between the FMS skills and the Water Skills For Life framework and discussed numerous options for how each of these could look in the pool. These included rolling from front to back, floating with improvised floatation aids and falling backwards from a floating mat before orientating themselves and swimming back to the side.

This is a great example of recreation organisations working collaboratively to achieve the same result – children who are developing fundamental skills from an early age.

Well done Papakowhai School, we look forward to continuing to work with you.