How much exercise do young people need?

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How much exercise do young people need?

Richard Wise

We hear a lot about the short-term physical implications of a lack of exercise. One in three children are now obese when they leave primary school (a statistic that we’d like to change!). But, looking beyond, what impacts does exercise have on the short-term mental and long-term physical and mental health of our young people? And how much exercise do they need?

What does exercise do for them?

Young people will often find that their sporting and activity time is cut in favour of more ‘educational’ purposes. Yet greater rates of activity for children have been associated with higher reading and math scores and an overall boost in academic achievement. It has also been associated with improved behaviours in the classroom and greater emotional intelligence, promoting a long-term lift in both mood and behaviour. An easy visual assessment; think of a young person’s mood after they have spent an hour in a dark room staring at an iPad vs after an hour of running around in the park with friends. You can often see the physical and emotional difference, can’t you?

So, how much exercise do kids really need?

The NHS recommend that young people between 5 and 18 should be having at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day; this can be a mix of moderate and vigorous activity. Moderate activity can be as simple as walking the dog, with vigorous activity requiring them to get a little more out of breath! We find that some young people are already hitting these targets, but many need a little helping hand.

children exercising

How can we help young people to get involved?

Making activity fun for kids, promoting outdoor education and encouraging team building activities are great ways to foster interests in kids that may otherwise be disengaged with the traditional school sports-hall fare. Encouraging personal development and treating each child as an individual allows them to develop character and confidence. For physical development purposes activity should be mixed. Young people need to develop their muscle and bone strength so getting them involved in alternative sports means that not only are they thinking outside the box, but they are also working on different muscle groups. Think assault courses to develop agility, archery to work on hand-eye coordination and orienteering to help them explore and learn the world (sans Google Maps!).

kids sports day

Active kids are also more likely to grow up to be active adults.

Giving children the opportunity to take part in fun team building and sporting activity allows them to develop into happy, healthy and emotionally developed adults. Whether you are a teacher or parent, the health benefits of getting young children active are numerously beneficial.

We at WiseUp are dedicated to getting children involved in team building activities to help them bond, develop their skill level and ultimately stay fit.

Get in touch today to find out more.

What Does Resilience Mean In Education?

Richard Wise

Resilience is a word often used in education but what does it actually mean and how can outdoor learning have an impact?

Students at every age are under enormous amounts of stress, from school work and exam learning to social situations and potentially difficult home lives. These high levels of stress, particularly in young people, can lead to them becoming emotional, withdrawn, resentful and angry. Whilst many people brush these traits off as “teenage hormones,” there is something we can do to help.

Scientifically speaking, when people are stressed, this can cause the prefrontal cortex of the brain to temporarily shut down. As this is the part of the brain that is involved with problem solving, attention focus, impulse control and regulating emotion, it is vital that we give young people the tools to be able to adapt well to changes and difficulties to reduce this stress level. In short, building them up on the inside to be strong enough to bounce back from whatever life throws at them.

Studies have shown that resilient children are significantly less likely to develop emotional problems as they feel they are worthwhile and can make a difference, both independently and as part of a group. They develop good relationships with their peers through understanding others feelings, flexible approaches to problems and having the ability to laugh at themselves whilst maintaining a sense of purpose that they can get things done.

How can outdoor learning help?

As outdoor practitioners, we realise that transition points in children’s lives can be fantastic opportunities to build on this key skill in a variety of settings. Whether in primary school when students are learning extensive social skills alongside the national curriculum, to high school and beyond, many of the key factors in promoting resilience in young people remain the same.

By giving learners opportunities to contribute to a supportive group of peers gives them positive reinforcement of their choices and helps them develop optimistic thinking to find solutions to problems. Feeling the responsibility of their actions towards the rest of their team can increase student’s confidence, which in turn helps them deal with challenges.

Not only is managed exposure to risk necessary if children are to learn coping mechanisms, but it has been proven that exercise strengthens and reorganises the brain to make it more resilient to stress.

Get in Touch

If you would like to hear how our team can provide enjoyable team building days which help students work on their resilience, please use our easy enquiry form or give us a call.

5 benefits of learning outside the classroom

Richard Wise

 

Getting out of the school building is often an immediately popular concept for young children. However, it can also have a whole host of benefits for teachers and parents looking to reinforce classroom learning and increase their engagement and teamwork. If you are contemplating out of the classroom activities then let us convince you with these 5 great benefits.

1.  Variety

When teaching in the same style, 5 days a week for 32 weeks of the year, it is only natural that children’s engagement will start to drop. Taking children outside of the classroom allows for creative means of reinforcing the same lessons that children would normally learn, and breaking up the work.

2. Hands on learning

Through technology and books, children can learn a great deal about school subjects, and the help of great teachers can make this learning even more engaging. Despite this, there are some things that simply cannot be taught easily from a classroom. Activities outside the classroom which enable students to use a variety of materials are a fantastic way of reinforcing classroom learning, as well as teaching important skills like team building and cooperation.By gaining hands on experience, some learners are better able to translate ideas and thoughts back into the classroom through the use of other media.

3. Building relationships between peers

School events and team building activities are a fantastic way of getting children to interact with people outside of their initial friendship group. Team building activities, such as orienteering, allow children to see and acknowledge the strengths and weaknesses of their peers, which may not be as obvious during day-to-day classroom workings. There are a ton of proven benefits to team building activity days that make them an unbeatable way of breaking the ice between students, and getting them to work together.

4. Boosting teacher and pupil relationships

The relationship between pupils and their teachers is an important one. Building respect, authority and a desire to listen and learn to teachers is a process which takes time and effort. Getting out of the classroom is a unique way of helping to cement this bond and building a connection with students. Not only do teachers get to see students displaying a variety of skills in a new environment, by giving students the opportunity to interact with their teachers in different ways opens up new lines of communication. This means that when it comes time to go back to the classroom, students will be more receptive and open to learning.

5. Rewarding students

Whilst outdoor learning is proven to have a string of benefits which make it hugely beneficial to children’s education, children often see getting out of the classroom as treat. Building up excitement to going outside and presenting it as a reward for cooperation between classmates, or getting great results, is a nice way of encouraging students to achieve and work together.

In summary

These are just some of the many benefits that out of classroom events can have for children of all ages. Getting outside and participating in team building activities, or engaging in educational or cultural events, is a fantastic way of supporting the knowledge that children learn at various stages of their education.
If you would like to find out more about our team building activity days, or would like our team to arrange a great event your school, contact us today.

Scientifically proven ways of engaging young minds

Richard Wise

When you have a large group full of young children, it can be hard as an educator to make sure that all of them are learning and engaged at the same pace. At WiseUp, we know that children learn in many different ways; while one solution may work for one child it may completely daunt another. It is important to make sure that these aspects are taken into consideration when teaching in any environment by parents, teachers and instructors..

The following are some scientifically proven ways of engaging young minds, both inside the classroom and outside.

Make learning meaningful

If you have ever tried to teach someone something which they believe has almost no bearing on their day to day life, you will see that it is easy for that learner to become bored and disassociated. In order to remedy this, it is important to add as much perspective and meaning to activities, in order to fully engage students. Research has shown that if students do not consider an activity relevant to them, then their engagement will be significantly lowered. All of our activity options at WiseUp link to students everyday life, as well as the UK national curriculum. This teaches learners valuable skills for their personal development which are transferable to a range of environments, including the classroom, playground, workplace and home.

Relate studies to their personal interests

This point goes hand in hand with the last, but relating children’s studies to their personal interests is a proven way of engaging students, as well as making them happier in general. Not only does this allow students a chance to express their individuality, but it also helps to demonstrate that the learnings can have real world benefits. At WiseUp, we use well known everyday examples to demonstrate the success of learning a multitude of different skills.

Lesson variety

Everyone learns in a different way, so creating a schedule which allows for a variety of different activities is the best course of action for ensuring that all children are learning. Games, group work and outdoor activities are all proven ways of engaging children in their studies, which strengthen key skills such as group work, initiative and proactive thinking. Our many activity options have a strong ethos of being student led which allows learners to make decisions on their own timings, planning and group management.

Don’t focus on academic results

Teaching children through activities which focus not on their academic value, but their curiosity, passion and desire to learn, is something we strongly emphasise at WiseUp. Studies have shown that students who pursue an activity of their own perceived accord, with a desire to learn and understand, are more likely to outperform peers who are merely motivated by grades, or parental pressure.

This demonstrates the value of letting children develop their own passions without constant pressure of academic relevance. This is a great way of tying all of the previous points together, and ensuring that students drive and passion for learning remains through their years of study.

Get in touch

At WiseUp we know a great deal about getting people of all ages engaged in team building and educational activities. We are firm believers that taking children out of the classroom and doing something exciting and new cannot only be a lot of fun, but can really help to reinforce classroom learning and grow important character skills. Get in touch to find out how we can provide exciting activity days in your school.

Team building courses to suit Key Stage learning

Richard Wise

The learning that students undertake from Key Stages 1 & 2 up to Key Stage 5 varies greatly, to suit their ever developing minds. In just a few years, young children go from learning the alphabet and numbers, to writing stories and solving sums.

At WiseUp Team Building we offer exciting team building activity days to suit children at every stage of the Key Stage state education system. We think it is incredibly important to educate children both in and out of the classroom, and team building activity days are a great way to do this.

In line with the National Curriculum, which sets out targets to be achieved at each of the Key Stages, we offer activity days that are specifically tailored to the various subjects and assessments to match each of these stages.

Key Stage 1 & 2

kids rope pulling activities

During these early stages, where children are still developing in primary education, our activity days can make the most of hands on, interactive challenges to help them visualise and use the knowledge they have learnt in the classroom. Culminating in the SATS tests, which will eventually lead them into secondary school, our activity days can be the perfect antidote to getting young children engaged with their learning outside of the classroom.

Great choices for this age group: The Hub Challenge, Assault Course Activity Day, The Bushcraft Challenge.

Key Stage 3 & 4

school children racing

In secondary education, students are faced with taking on greater challenges and development. For many, this transition can be difficult, and the learning curve quite steep.

Activity days can be a fantastic way of overcoming this by getting children active and challenged with a wide variety of fun and educational activities. This will not only support their Key Stage learning in preparation for their GCSEs, but will also help them work closer with their peers and develop their skills for later life. Students are actively encouraged to self evaluate themselves and their teammates, utilising key English language skills to build confidence as they present ideas and solutions in group settings.

Great choices for this age group: Orienteering Activity, The Hub Challenge, The Bushcraft Challenge.

Key Stage 5

Original

Beyond secondary school, Key Stage 5 students are faced with difficult decisions and greater challenges with their education.

At this stage, activity days are a fantastic option for helping to alleviate some of that pressure and building relationships with their peers. The skills and knowledge they will learn in these activity days help to encourage teamwork and problem solving, which will be an asset to sixth-form and college students as they complete their higher education and move on to their next step. Independent learning is crucial at this stage, and is emphasised in the student led approach to activities,

Activity days offer an often much needed escape from the classroom and associated pressures, and a chance to work with their classmates in an engaging, yet still educational, environment.

Great choices for this age group: Apprentice Themed Activity Days, The Hub Challenge, Orienteering Activity.

Get in touch

If you would like any further information on our Key Stage activities or availability, please complete our easy enquiry form or request a call.