Submitted by Steven Carbutt, Deputy at Star Primary School
At Star, Fridays are not only the end to a busy week but a great time to get fit. We have embedded in our school culture a whole school focus on the health of our bodies and minds.
We identified the need to add a new opportunity to motivate our pupils (and staff) to get active, try something new and pay attention to their own well being. As a response to the poor diets, limited space and low aspirations of our community we wanted to inspire our pupils to be naturally more active.
Over the last 4 years we have successfully embedded FIT Fridays. Pupils and staff have protected time to reset themselves through a sport, try their hand at a new skill or take part in an activity that develops mindfulness and well-being.
Pupils rotate through a timetable of sessions over the year set by our Physical Education team. Sessions have included yoga, tai chi, cup stacking, dance, zumba and jogging. Often the sessions are run by our enthusiastic team, or we’ve sourced providers to offer new skills.
At Star we are committed to FIT Fridays so have introduced a FIT Friday t-shirt and hooded tops for pupils that they come to school in. To increase the buy-in, one t-shirt is given to every child, and as they move through the school they are available to be purchased and personalised with pupils initials on. Staff also wear staff t-shirts and tops, emblazoned with the words FIT FRIDAY and ‘nurturing and growing together’, our school ethos.
Our experience to date, relating to the impact of FIT Fridays:
improved attendance on Fridays;
- increased focus on wellbeing and physical health for the whole school community;
- Improvements in stamina and wellbeing in pupils and staff
- Pupils feeling positive and calm as they enter the weekend
- Improvement in staffs skills/staff trying new physical activities
Our families have faced challenges over the last two years that have had a negative impact on both their physical and mental health. We believe that FIT Friday provides an opportunity for our pupils to learn the joys of being active and in the long term help them manage their own wellbeing.