Physical Education, Physical Activity and School Sport
What are Fundamental Movement Skills
Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) are a range of movement patterns that involve different parts of the body. They include skills like running, catching and balancing and are the foundation movements to life. They are also the precursor to more specialised and complex skills that are used in play, sport, active learning and outdoor recreation. It’s vital for the physical development of children that these skills are developed from a young age.
FMS are broken up into 3 categories:
– enable the body to move freely from one point to another.
– allow the body to interact and have control of objects and implements. – key for having a balanced body both in stillness and in movement.
Why do we teach FMS at Dovelands?
The development of FMS is an important step towards ensuring lifelong involvement in physical activity. They are the physical equivalent of spelling and grammar in literacy, or addition and subtraction in numeracy. Without proficiency in skills like throwing, catching, kicking, leaping and balancing, children are less likely to explore the range of options available to them to establish and maintain active lifestyles. Research suggests that children who are competent in FMS are more likely to enjoy sports and activities and to develop a lifelong commitment to physical activity. Research also suggests that children who do not master FMS are more likely to drop out of physical activity in later life.
Children who have achieved proficiency in FMS have been found to have better self-esteem, socialisation skills and a more positive attitude towards physical activity. Research indicates that the improvement in self-esteem and confidence in performing FMS has a flow-on effect to other areas of a child’s education. For example, improvement in confidence in physical coordination has been found to help develop proficiency in reading and writing.
What approach to teaching FMS do we take at Dovelands
Teaching FMS is at the heart of our KS1 PE curriculum. Children are given the time to learn and practice these skills and apply them in age appropriate modified activities, so they can put the skills they are learning into practice. In Lower KS2 children continue to build on the FMS and execute them with ever increasing accuracy in different activities and games. And finally in upper KS2 the children practice movements both in isolation and in combination and execute movements that you are likely to see in more sport specific activities.
What if your child has no interest in physical activity
If your child does not want to be the next sporting superstar that is absolutely fine but FMS are still crucial and important for their development. Studies have shown that proficiency in fundamental movement skills is highly correlated with physical activity and health. Children who are more proficient in FMS are more likely to choose to be active throughout their lives and pass this positive habit onto their own children. In short, THE MORE CONFIDENT CHILDREN ARE AT MOVING THE MORE LIKELY THEY ARE TO MOVE.
It is sometimes thought that FMS, just appear in children but they do not. It can take many hours of practice to learn a skill to proficiency. Although this could be much longer or shorter depending on child, type of skills and quality of practice. Naturally, this time can’t all be done in school time.
With more children spending time exercising their thumbs on video games, and spending less time outdoors it is logical to assume that less and less time is being spent in active play, learning new skills through trial and error and honing them to proficiency.
What you can do to help
Let your children run, jump, throw, kick, climb and balance at any given opportunity. Do this outdoors as much as possible and use nature as a playground. Don’t let any negative experiences of physical activity and PE stop your encouragement of it and make active play a positive habit for your children.