A LIVERPOOL primary school teacher is the first in the UK to receive a new national award after inspiring his pupils to be more active.
Jay Clarke from Rudston Primary School received the Gold Active Teacher award at a special event in Manchester. Presented by Olympic athletes Laura Weightman and Danny Talbot, the award recognised Jay’s involvement with Active Kids Do Better– a Nike and Discovery Education programme to increase kids’ movement and play throughout the school day.
Mr Clarke was one of the first teachers to sign up to the initiative, which now reaches hundreds of schools across the UK. The programme has helped pupils at Rudston Primary School to be more active than ever before, boosting their attainment and even school attendance.
Jay Clarke said: “Being the first ‘Active Teacher’ to receive a Gold award is a fantastic honour. It shows how dedicated myself and Rudston Primary School are to keeping children active on a daily basis and encouraging them to find their greatness. The Active Kids Do Better programme is for everyone. You don’t have to be a PE specialist to implement it. In my class I have seen a rise in attendance which has supported the increase of attainment levels in pupils. There is no secret that this is linked to the children’s increased activity level.”
Jay Clarke was invited to meet British runners Laura Weightman (Commonwealth Games medallist) and Danny Talbot (European Athletics medallist) at the Active Uprising conference in Manchester last week. Organised by ukactive, the event is a multi-day celebration of physical activity, bringing together athletes, politicians and businesses from all over the UK. Jay also took part in a special panel session where he shared his experience of building an active school culture.
Jay continued: “I loved having the opportunity to share my practice and to show how I have developed an active curriculum. Seeing and hearing how I have implemented the Active Kids Do Better programme in our school will hopefully help others to make a change.”
Fewer than one in four young children in the UK get the recommended amount of exercise, which means that millions of kids are missing out on the benefit of sport and play. Active kids are healthier, happier and show stronger academic performance.
The Active Kids Do Better programme, developed with the support of Liverpool John Moores University, offers free resources, games and activities to all UK primary schools, and teachers can sign up online at activekidsdobetter.co.uk. From short-burst classroom activities to outdoor games and play, the programme gives busy teachers fun and easy opportunities to get kids moving. They can also encourage their class to work towards Bronze, Silver and Gold awards.
Active Kids Do Better also gives schools access to Marathon Kids, the nationwide running programme which encourages children to run laps with the goal of achieving four marathons over the course of a school year.