A large group of primary school children are demonstrating movement in early life as they follow a dance instructor's moves in a dance studio during the Celebration of Dance event. The children are behind one another, moving around in large circle with the instructor in the middle.

Resources and Best Practice to Help You Support Movement in Early Life

Movement in early life, (from 0-25 years) can have a profound impact – encouraging children and young people to be active for life.

To help, we’ve put together a range of resources and best practice for deliverers and educators. These resources are designed to provide you with easy access to evidence-based information and practical advice, that can help you create positive and enjoyable physical activity experiences.

We hope you find the resources and best practice guidance valuable and informative. If you have some best practice from your setting that you’d like to be shared here, then please contact the Early Life team by emailing hello@activedevon.org.

Content Sections for Quick Reference

  • Active Breaks
  • Active Classrooms
  • Active Travel
  • Best Practice Examples
  • Inclusion
  • Opening Schools Facilities
  • Outdoor Learning
  • PE Curriculum
  • Play
  • Research, Data and Insight
  • Sharing Your Schools’ Best Practice Through Storytelling
  • Supporting Mental Health Through Physical Activity
  • Volunteering and Leadership
  • Youth Voice

Active Breaks

Skipping workshops for schools

Skipping was recently used as a focus in an MA in Education dissertation at Plymouth Marjon University. Young people taking part in skipping workshops and then following up with regular personal challenges were found to improve their attainment.

‘Pupils undertaking a physical activity intervention once a week gained an extra mark on a test paper, which doubled for those who undertook a physical activity intervention twice a week.’

‘SATS improvement findings were consistent across both literacy or numeracy curriculum areas, with a notable benefit identified for low ability pupils in the subject of numeracy. These results suggest that short, high intensity physical activity bursts, when placed strategically within the context of a school day, can have a positive impact on literacy and numeracy attainment.’

Skip2Bfit offers skipping workshops. These are about motivating children to succeed, whilst at the same time encouraging them to exercise.

60 Second physical activity challenges

Complete PE and the Youth Sport Trust have developed these 60 second physical activity challenges. They are a fun ‘compete against yourself’ approach to physical activity, with a focus on resilience and perseverance, and the aim to achieve bronze, silver or gold medal targets.

Disney dance-alongs

This Girl Can has teamed up with Disney to create these great dance routines for adults and children to do together. The dance-alongs feature the Jungle Book, Little Mermaid, Moana, plus other songs from the Disney channel. Perfect to use in a classroom or on a screen during an active playtime.

Jump Start Jonny 

Jump Start Jonny is on a mission to get kids fit! His fun workouts and chill-out videos are loved by over 250,000 jumpsters in schools and homes worldwide! So, get jumping today with these exercise and dance workouts.

The Daily Mile 

The Daily Mile is a fully inclusive, free and simple initiative which improves the physical and mental health and wellbeing of children. There is no extra workload for teachers. Simply put, The Daily Mile is 15 minutes when children jog or run, at their own pace, during the school day at a time of the teacher’s choosing. It is recommended this be during lesson time, so children have their full break or play time. The Daily Mile is not Sport or PE, but rather health and wellbeing through physical activity.

Active Classrooms

Teach Active

Teach Active is a multi-award-winning educational resource which provides primary school teachers with lesson plans and resources to deliver the Math’s and English curriculum through physical activity.

Active Travel

Devon County Council – safe travel for schools

Devon County Council has comprehensive guidance and support for schools to promote and encourage children and parents to travel sustainably to school, whilst reducing the number of collisions and casualties involving young people. The resources include: Bikeability training, School Streets – helping schools set up traffic free roads, tips to deal with parking and congestion outside schools, School Travel Plan -the first step for the school to set out their sustainable travel credentials, Walking Bus Guidance and much more.

Sustrans – programme of activities and resources

Sustrans have a programme of activities and resources that can help schools increase physical activity, reduce congestion and improve safety around the school.

Living Streets – walk to school

Living Streets are a UK charity for everyday walking. They provide walk to school initiatives, resources, stories and much more.

School Streets

School Streets provide accessible information and guidance to empower local communities who want to see School Street schemes implemented.


Inclusive PE activity cards

The Activity Alliance have created resources to support teachers to provide a high-quality inclusive PE curriculum. Each card shows you how to play the game and what equipment you will need. They outline how to use the STEP Tool to adapt, modify, and progress activities for pupils with different abilities and/or specific impairments. Plus, there is a fun pupil corner section that encourages pupils to challenge themselves and work together.

Activity Alliance inclusive education hub

Teachers across England have access to all the essential resources for inclusive PE in one space. It is created in partnership by Activity Alliance, Youth Sport Trust and Department for Education. The new free online hub is a result of collaboration with schools, expert practitioners, local, and national partners. Once registered, you will be able to complete the Inclusive PE self-assessment. Then you will be directed to relevant resources based on your answers and receive tips to continually improve the way you work.

All About Autism e-learning

Developed by the Youth Sport Trust, and endorsed by the National Autistic Society, All About Autism is a digital and practical toolkit that builds upon knowledge of autism spectrum conditions (ASC) and some of the key considerations for making PE and sport inclusive to all.

Trans Inclusion and Gender Diversity in Play and Sport webinar 

This is a webinar from the Youth Sport Trust. Hear from Simon Scarborough, Head of PE, Crispin School Academy to gain insight on how to ensure all young people can have an inspirational, accessible and meaningful experience through physical education and sport.

Opening Schools Facilities

As part of our continued support to schools across Devon that are opening their school’s facilities, here’s some useful resources and further information to help you along the way:

Youth Sport Trust – Inclusion 2020 Youth Voice toolkit 

Children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) can face particular and additional challenges to participating in PE, physical activity and sport at school. Their voice may also be under-represented. This inclusion Youth Voice toolkit has been developed to support practitioners in a range of ways to engage student voice in their school.

Street Games – Youth Voice Ideas Tips and Tools

This document is full of ideas, tips and tools on how to ask young people for their views, and then acting on that feedback to improve or develop.

Sport England – Use our school 

Use our school is a free resource that supports schools to open their facilities to the community during evenings, weekends and holiday periods. This resource includes information templates and case studies.

We’ve also put together a range of resources, which have been created by working with Social Change.

Outdoor Learning

Recycle Devon’s zone resources for teachers and parents 

The Recycle Devon’s website provides teachers with a wide range of resources to help teach our children how to reduce, reuse, recycle and compost more of their waste every day.

Outdoor Classroom Day campaign and resources 

Outdoor Classroom Day is a global movement to inspire and celebrate outdoor play and learning, at home and at school. On Outdoor Classroom Day itself, teachers celebrate with a special day outdoors for their class. These free resources are fantastic and can be used on any other day too!

PE Curriculum

Studio You

Research shows that when it comes to PE, young girls express much lower levels of enjoyment than boys. With Studio You, teachers like you can help change this. Fun, inclusive and accessible, Studio You is packed with free video-based PE lessons you can filter, save, and play in real time. Whether you want a series of lessons to help teach a new skill or team up with your students to decide on a new discipline to try together, you’ll find everything you need to get your students moving in a way that works for them.

LTA Tennis for Schools

Designed specifically for schools to support the curriculum and wider school outcomes, the tennis for schools programme brings together inclusive PE lesson plans, personal development resources, teacher training and much more. It’s all been designed by teachers, for teachers, and it’s all free!


BOING play games

​BOING’s ambition is for children everywhere to develop their physical literacy through active and inclusive play. They offer free resources for teachers to use and continuing professional development opportunities.

Research, Data and Insight

 The Youth Sport Trust Knowledge Bank 

The Youth Sport Trust Knowledge Bank contains key statistics and evidence about young people and physical activity, play and sport. It is updated on a regular basis to make sure it contains the latest information. There is a lot of information, so they’ve pulled out some of the main challenges, issues and benefits on their website. The full database includes key topics such as young people’s physical, mental and social wellbeing as well as statistics around education and society.

Active Lives Survey

The Active Lives Children and Young People Survey is a world-leading approach to collecting data on how children participate in sport and physical activity. This provides valuable insight for those working with children aged five to sixteen. Learn how the survey can support your school with valuable insight on activity levels and behaviours, plus, how Devon schools are using their survey results.

Sharing Your Schools’ Best Practice Through Storytelling

School storytelling toolkit developed by Youth Sport Trust 

Schools across Devon are enabling, empowering and encouraging children and young people to be physically active. We want to uplift and amplify this amazing work across Devon and beyond. We can do this by sharing your stories. For you and your school, sharing your experience and stories can help to demonstrate the impact you’ve had and celebrate the difference you’ve made. It can also enable you to share progress and impact with key stakeholders like Governors, parents and senior leadership team. Plus, share information about programmes and ideas between schools. To help with your storytelling, Youth Sport Trust has developed a school storytelling toolkit. Once you have written your stories, we would love for you to share them with us, so that we can help amplify them with our network. Simply email your stories to the Early Life team via hello@activedevon.org.

Supporting Mental Health Through Physical Activity

BBC Moodboosters at BBC Teach

Inspire children to get moving for mental health and wellbeing with BBC Moodboosters. In collaboration with BBC Children in Need, BBC Education has launched this primary age mental health and wellbeing initiative, which offers video activities for teachers and parents. The activities are designed to boost children’s mood by giving them the tools and skills to thrive, feel good and help manage their emotions while moving to the fun, musical videos. The new Moodboosters website provides primary school teachers with short, simple and fun videos, featuring some famous faces, to support the PSHE curriculum for five to eleven year-olds.


Stormbreak is a charity that supports primary aged children’s mental health through movement. In this webinar stormbreak will share with colleagues their approach to helping children develop the skills and coping strategies to navigate the complexities of modern life. Educational and movement experts at stormbreak will discuss the important, but often overlooked, role that movement can play in helping children to recognise, respond and regulate their feelings and emotions. Practical ideas, pedagogical approaches and resources will be shared with delegates to help them introduce the stormbreak approach in their own school context.

Volunteering and Leadership

Activity volunteer programme

Active Devon has partnered with SLQ Sports Leaders to offer a certificated award at no cost to young individuals across Devon. The Activity volunteer programme has been designed to offer young people (and adults) a pathway into volunteering. It helps your learners to build essential life skills through six fun, bite size learning sessions. These can be delivered face-to-face, via blended learning or on-demand online content. Participants can track their progress in a personal volunteering skills profile, showcasing their growing abilities. The programme is fully funded by Active Devon, and upon completion, participants receive a certificated award.

Playmaker Award 

Developed by sports leaders, The Playmaker Award is a great introduction into leadership for pupils or students aged nine and over. The award is designed for use in a variety of education settings as a six-hour course and focuses on developing learners’ leadership skills. Playmaker costs just £9 per learner or if you are a primary school you can register for the Primary Leaders Licence and register unlimited Playmakers within your school for a total cost of £99 per year. Sports Leaders also offer printed certificates and learner journals for a small additional cost.