Loughborough University launches resource to help children be physically ready for school
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Loughborough University launches resource to help children be physically ready for school

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A team of Loughborough University academics have launched an online resource to help early-year practitioners and parents deliver physical development opportunities to children.

The Early Movers service (https://www.earlymovers.org.uk/) provides information on some of the core principles underpinning physical development in children.

It is split into two key sections: ‘Core Skills’ and ‘Activities’ and aims to provide those looking after children with the tools to help youngsters progress from the building blocks of each core skill to simple and advanced levels.

The resource was launched in response to research undertaken at Loughborough University, which revealed how many four-year-olds are not physically ready to start school with 30 per cent of Foundation Stage children found to be ‘of concern’ – and almost 90 per cent demonstrating some degree of movement difficulty.

The website was created by Dr Janine Coates, of the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences (SSEHS), in partnership with early years practitioners, external consultants, Loughborough Campus Nursery and SSEHS academics.

Dr Coates said she hopes the website will give early-year practitioners more confidence as she says many feel they struggle with monitoring and assessing physical development.

“When we started to develop Early Movers, we talked to a number of early years practitioners who made it quite clear that there was a need for a resource that broke down physical development skills into more understandable chunks because official guidelines are often quite broad," she said.

“There’s also a whole host of research that also shows that a number of children starting school at the age of five are not ready and physical development is one of those key competencies that allow children to be school ready so we felt there was a need for a resource to help early years practitioners, and parents too, bring around children’s physical development so they are ready to sit and learn in that setting.”

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A team of Loughborough University academics have launched an online resource to help early- year practitioners and parents deliver physical development opportunities to children.
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