Interview with STEP Physical Literacy UK Managing Director

Children in Scotland is the collective voice for children, young people and families in Scotland; and for organisations and businesses that have a significant impact on children’s lives in Scotland. They are an influencing and membership organisation, comprised of representatives from the voluntary, public and private sectors. (CiS acknowledges the support of the Scottish Government through the Children, Young People and Families Early Intervention Fund, managed on behalf of the Scottish Government by Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland.)

UK Managing Director of STEP Physical Literacy, Lucinda Roberts-Holmes talks to the editor of Children in Scotland Magazine about physical literacy...

Lucinda Roberts-Holmes STEP Physical Literacy UK Managing Director

"Every child has a fundamental right, not just to an education, but to leave school educated. With literacy and numeracy levels being the usual measures of both the pupil’s and the school’s success, once concern is raised over  a child’s academic performance the pressure is on both to find a way to hit the all-judging benchmark. The last decade has seen a plethora of school and home based interventions emerge and in the age of computer based learning these are often delivered online. 

In many schools the jury is still out on whether technology is an improvement or an impediment in the classroom but one area that is showing to be of benefit is that of adaptive learning. Software developments now allow pupils’ progress to be recorded, assessed and areas of needed improvement highlighted. Furthermore, it can create learning solutions to target an individual child’s particular stumbling block reducing the need to experiment with multiple interventions. So, with the question of raising attainment at the forefront of every school’s improvement plan, technology solutions could have their part to play.

The STEP Programme has received a large amount of attention since it was made available in Scotland at the end of last year. Much of the interest is due to the substantial progress pupils make in their academic attainment, and equally as important in their behaviour, self-confidence and wellbeing. I have talked with over 150 head teachers across Scotland this term about the challenges faced in their individual schools and what they think is needed for their struggling pupils. The answers are almost unanimously focused around children in the lower quintile lacking the underlying skillset needed for them to succeed in the classroom. Rather than making pupils read, write, count or spell more, STEP addresses the underlying physical capabilities that are needed if they are to sit still, focus, concentrate, process and apply what is being taught...

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