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The importance of PE and sport in a nursery & pre-school setting

Barry Smith

What is your role within Up & Under Sports?
Sports Coach, specialising in Nursery & Pre School Settings

Why are you so passionate about getting young children involved in sport at a young age?
The benefits of Physical Education for young children is well documented, not only for the health benefits that it gives children physically but also for their mental health. The younger that children can become involved in physical activity, the more likely they will be to adopt a love of sport and fitness as they grow up.

What do you think makes you fit your role so well?
My knowledge of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum has been vital in supporting my role; knowing that teaching PE can, and does overlap into so many of the Development Matters areas of learning. I have been teaching PE in the Early Years setting since 2008 and have sometimes been the only consistent male role model in the child’s life, which supports the children’s personal, social and emotional development, as well as their wellbeing. Building confidence in children this young is so important and it will stay with them for life.

Tell us about a typical session?
I always start with getting the children together and talking about news, helping to build their confidence straight away by talking in front of a group. This also links to communication and language. We deliver simple but effective games, which support confidence, self-esteem, team building skills, as well as the vital moving and handling part of their development. The games that the children do are multi skills games including Tennis, Hockey, Hurdles, Bean Bags, Hoops and Football. In addition, developing balance and coordination is part of every lesson; gross motor skills are developed as well as fine motor skills when asking children to turn small cones over as part of a game.

What do you feel makes our Nursery / Pre School Programme so successful?
Having the same coach attend our Nursery / Pre Schools allows the children to build up a firm and trusting relationship and a consistent approach ensures that the children feel safe.  Myself and everyone Up & Under Sports take pride in delivering a high standard of PE in Pre Schools and Nurseries and it is a fast growing part of the company.

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