Physical development is so much more than the curriculum, early learning goals, a prerequisite for sporting success and a means of combating obesity.
If we continue to look at Physical Development through a narrow lens, we are not only missing an incredible learning opportunity we are quite frankly failing our children.
The confidence, competence and motivation to move is part of our physical literacy journey for life, we must create opportunities to move from birth, so our children can discover, define and develop.
My passion is to support Early Years Professionals to create environments, from baby rooms to key stage one, where children have autonomy and opportunity to choose to engage in movement and physically active play.
I am working closely with Stockport Early Years and Bertram Nursery group who share my vision to have Physical Development Champions in all their nurseries and schools. Together we have created the concept of “The journey of a piece of kit”.
Children in all age groups use the same piece of kit, this supports transitions and emotional wellbeing for the children. In addition, the professionals see the progression of skills, which enables developmentally appropriate support for children to revisit and practice skills they may have missed out on.
The main impact from this approach has been the calmness of children, and staff, which in turn has resulted in longer engagement in tasks and greater opportunities for sustained shared thinking.
About Sharon Skade
Early years consultant and trainer
With a background in sports coaching, devising and delivering physical activity programmes for families in Stockport, Sharon became aware of a gap in the provision within nurseries and Children’s Centre’s regarding the awareness of the important role and positive impact of Physical Development in all areas of a child’s learning and development.
In order to understand more fully the theories involved in child development, to complement her coaching qualifications, Sharon completed a BA Degree in Childhood Studies passing with First Class Honours.
This has enabled Sharon to design appropriate bespoke training and development opportunities for a multi-agency early years workforce, which has been featured in Nursery World as a model which can be replicated and has shown great impact.
Sharon is passionate about changing lives through physically active play and inspires colleagues across Greater Manchester with her interactive early year’s physical activity training sessions and CPD opportunities.
Sharon’s vision is to have Physical Development Champions in all Early Years environments, creating opportunities for children to choose to be physically active and empowering practitioners to promote physical development and understand how it is the bedrock of all learning.
One small change in practice creates a massive ripple effect