I recently got talking to Bryn Llewellyn, Founder of Tagtiv8 Active Learning, because we share a common interest in ensuring school age children keep up the same levels of physical activity as when they were smaller. I think this is particularly a problem for children in London and other big cities where they are usually spending less time outdoors.
My personal opinion is (although parents obviously should take a lot of responsibility too) there is not nearly enough time for physical activity to be included in primary school timetables. School schedules are squeezed by the demands of the curriculum. Bryn told me all about Tagtiv8’s unique Physical Active Learning (PAL) systems and I was fascinated so asked him to write a guest blog for West London Kids.
Tagtiv8 founded in 2012, when as a teacher, Bryn had noticed how pupils loved learning but hated sitting down for long periods of time. He was frustrated that many schools were focussing only on English and Mathematics.
What are the issues with children and fitness ?
As parents and carers, we know schools are incredibly busy places with relentless pressures to increase standards. In amongst all of this, the health and wellbeing of UK primary school children is declining.
- Physical activity levels amongst UK primary-aged children are falling from as early as 7-years of age
- Only 10% of children achieve the daily recommendations for physical activity
- Increasing numbers of children in the UK are leaving school classified as obese or overweight
Traditional approaches for improving health outcomes for children focus heavily on Sport & PE during segmented periods of the school day. But does this engage all children to be more active? Or does it merely maintain the levels of those that are active already?
What are the Possible Solutions?
Could Physically Active Learning (PAL) be the solution? Research has found that PAL can:
- Improve classroom behaviour and activity engagement
- Significantly reduce sedentary periods of time
- Offer aggregated improvement in academic performance over time
Based on his experiences as a teacher and school leader, Bryn Llewellyn decided to create something that would address these health issues, as well as tackling the data driven mentality of education ministers. As he explained, “Testing means that for many children, English and Maths are their staple diet. Subjects are taught in boxes – with certain boxes larger than others.
The narrowing of the curriculum means that physical education and the arts are often shunted to one side. With education focussed on exam/test performance, we have created a drill and practise culture where children are expected to sit and concentrate for extended periods of time. Studying to the test may work for some, but it’s not the case for all.”
Thus Tagtiv8 was born. Think Tig, Tag or maybe Tag Rugby meets Scrabble and Countdown – Tagtiv8 activates learning in English and Mathematics! “I wanted to create something that is like Lego – something that involves play and creativity – and can be accessed by children from EYFS to KS1, KS2 and beyond – as witnessed during this intergenerational pilot.
Tagtiv8 are now operating in more than 220 schools across the UK, with some pioneering schools in France, Australia and Finland jumping on board. To find out more about Tagtiv8, check out these videos:
Following the research, Bryn and Dr Andy Daly-Smith were invited to present at a TEDx event. Click here to see how they blend research with practice.
The research demonstrates that Tagtiv8 approaches work as well as play. The impact of ‘move and learn’ approaches on teachers and their children are also all too apparent in these quotes:
- “Tagtiv8 is an amazing resource and should be in every school.” Chief Executive Officer, Amaya Trust, London
- “Tagtiv8 takes away the fear of Mathematics.” Year 3 teacher, Lancashire
- “With Tagtiv8 Maths, you don’t get a chance to get bored or zone out.” Bella, age 8, Leeds
- “Tagtiv8 approaches engage even the most reluctant of learners.” Headteacher, Suffolk
- “I used to think I was rubbish at Maths, but now I know I’m not!” Ethan, age 10, Leicester
Are You Interested in Moving & Learning?
If you would like to contact Bryn about how Tagtiv8 can work and play with your school, he would love to hear from you.
Get in touch
Office: 020 3370 4272 Mobile: 07506 523354