How PE teachers can help pupils stay active over the summer

Date: 18th Jul 2023 @ 3:47pm



Concerns over childhood obesity and increasingly sedentary lifestyles for children are never far from the media spotlight. While PE lessons are compulsory in schools for pupils aged 4-16, the long summer holidays can mean that some children aren’t nearly as active as usual for a sustained period of time, and can be missing out on the benefits that this brings. 

With this in mind, we’ve put together some tips for PE teachers so that you can help your pupils to enjoy some fun and beneficial activity over the summer break from school. 

Clear communications with parents

Getting parents on board with your plans for helping their child to have an active summer is essential. Not every child has access to clubs, sports, activity days and equipment, and many parents need to work during school holidays, so it’s important not to make assumptions about what parents can and cannot do to assist with activities. Communicating clearly with them about what you would like the children to do and, most importantly, why, can make all the difference. If parents can see the value in the activities you plan, they are much more likely to encourage their child to participate rather than just seeing it as another obligation. 

Provide details of free activities in the area over the summer

Depending on location, many local authorities, charities and organisations put on free activity and sports events for children over the summer holidays. It can be everything from football workshops to dance camps, forest days, or even climbing or canoeing. Any activities that involve movement and are fun are a great way to bring in some activity without it feeling like planned exercise. 

Gathering details of these ahead of time and makings sure that parents are aware of when they need to book etc, can make a big difference to how likely they are to enrol the children. 

Give pupils a simple activity challenge to complete each day

If activity is built into the daily routine, it’s much more likely to stick and become a habit. Finding an age-appropriate activity challenge that everyone will be able to join in with can be a great way to bring a little exercise into the mix across the summer holidays. Not every child will enjoy the same activity, so providing a number of options could be a good way to maximise participation. On the same lines, some children will be on their own and some may have siblings or other family members or friends around them, so providing activities that can be done alone or with others can be beneficial. 

Making this into a game, such as activity bingo, can be a good way to add extra incentive for children to complete activities. Giving them something slightly different to do each day helps to keep their interest. Whether it’s a set number of skips to complete, a simple scavenger hunt to do outdoors, playing at the park, kitchen dance parties or simply taking a walk, these are all things that will get children up and about more often than they perhaps otherwise would during the break from school.  

Getting the children to make a record of what they have done, whether it’s a scrap book, an activity diary or even a bingo style checklist, is a great cross-curricular project that can benefit them in more ways than just physical exercise. 

For schools with a structured behaviour and rewards policy, the summer challenge can link up with this, or teachers can look at incorporating their own rewards system for participants, helping to provide even more incentive to the pupils for staying active.

Provide more structured activities for pupils that want them

Some pupils will usually be very motivated to stay active over the summer already and enjoy being given challenges and active tasks to do. While giving them full lesson plans might be more than is needed, PE teachers can use EdTech tools such as iPEP to quickly help them plan tailored sessions to give to those who want them for the summer holidays. 

We hope that you’ve found some of these tips useful for helping inspire pupils to stay active over the summer. If you want to know more about our EdTech solutions, get in touch.