Sport Australia’s Sporting Schools program has grown to become Australia’s largest school-based sports participation program. Sporting Schools has consistently achieved its performance targets helping more than 80% of Australian schools to increase children’s participation in sport and connect them with community sporting opportunities.
Despite the program’s success, the majority of Australian children and young people aged 5-17 years are NOT meeting the ‘Australian 24-hour movement guidelines for children and young people (5-17 years)’ of accumulating at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day of the week.
In order to create long-term systemic change in children’s physical activity, Sport Australia believes a new approach is required to address inactivity in Australian children.
Sport Australia’s vision is for Australia to be the most active nation. We are encouraging all Australian children to ‘find their 60’ – 30 mins of physical activity at school and 30 mins at home each day.
To better understand how we can increase physical activity within the school community, we are working with a small subset of schools within the current Sporting Schools program to take a deeper look at the role of physical activity within schools.
We have named this iteration of Sporting Schools our ‘Exemplary School Program’.
What is the Exemplary School Program?
The Exemplary School Program supports the whole-school environment to engage more students in physical activity, encouraging them to live more active and healthy lives.
Schools participating in the Exemplary School Program will be engaged in 2019, working with 6 partners to deliver innovative physical activity initiatives in schools that support children to build healthy active habits for life.
Through the Exemplary School Program we are working with schools, teachers and parents to create active environments that aim to:
Enhance the value that schools place on sport and physical activity
Support the least active children and youth to get moving
Connect Australian children and youth with community sport
Develop physical literacy in Australian children and youth.
School Physical Literacy Framework
Following extensive consultation with the education industry, sports and academia, we have also developed the draft School Physical Literacy Framework which defines the ideal school environment for optimal impact on children’s physical activity and physical literacy.
The framework underpins the design of the Exemplary School Program by identifying the key components required for a whole-school approach to the development of physical literacy in children. The Exemplary School Program seeks to support schools to achieve the key components of this framework.
The draft School Physical Literacy Framework is currently being tested in the Exemplary School Program, with an evaluation being undertaken to determine critical success factors, program feedback and evidence around the increase of physical activity and physical literacy in children.
Results from the evaluation will be shared next year and will help us to shape the future of the Sporting Schools program for all Australian children.