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Active Start in Action

December 8, 2021

Squishy Squashy Dance, Addie Uppies, and Pirate Pranks are just a couple of the new activities that early years children in Cumbria will be taking part in over the coming years.

This is all down to the new Active Start early years programme which is bringing the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum to life through physical activity and active play. Helping children to be healthy, to learn, and be active for life, Active Start celebrates its first year and the journey so far.

Following months of planning, and numerous stops and starts, Active Start finally arrived in Workington this Summer bringing together early years professionals from a range of settings. Attendees were able to learn more about the importance of physical development and the impact this has upon children’s reading, writing, and social skills too. 

90% of those attending the training told us that both their skills and knowledge, and their motivation and inspiration to improve children’s physical activity and play had increased a lot.

We also heard how attendees had:

“Learnt how important physical activity is to very child. It gives them the best start in life.”

“It has made me think about how much more as an organisation we could do to promote physical development.”

Kelly Alty, Development Officer, Active Cumbria said:

“It has been fantastic to finally witness our Active Start programme in action and explore how the resources will be used and brought to life by our early years colleagues. What has been really positive to hear is how relevant and purposeful the resources are to the early years curriculum, and that they could just ‘get up and go’ with them.”

The Active Start training sessions are complemented by a suite of resources including activity cards and equipment bags that all attendees are given. The resources and training align to the new Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum which was launched in September.

Now more than ever it is crucial that we provide opportunities for children from a very early age to increase their activity levels and strengthen their physical literacy. Supporting settings to incorporate active play and movement into the curriculum is just one of the tools we can put in place moving forward.

2022 will see Active Start expand into more settings across West Cumbria and venturing into new areas across the County. Families will also be supported through the rollout of an Active Start Family Learning programme to help families move together more.