National NAPLAN scores are once again showing flatlining and declining results. In fact, a report from the Australian Council for Educational Research shows there has been no improvement in maths and reading among students in a decade. However, St George Christian School (SGCS), a primary school in New South Wales is showing outstanding NAPLAN results with 94% of their Year 3 students performing in the top three bands for numeracy and 100% of these students performing in the top three NAPLAN bands for reading and writing. What they are doing differently MUST BE a wake-up call for our Education Ministers both Federal and State.
What is SGCS doing that others are not?
SGCS has, over recent years, implemented the Unlocking Potential (UP) program, a neuro-developmental movement program designed by GymbaROO for primary school children. This movement program is based on neuro-scientific studies which confirm that motor skill development forms the foundation for higher order learning and cognition. Children who have excellent motor skills are most likely to achieve well academically. The program ensures that foundational movement patterns and skills are in place so that more complex learning can take place both in the classroom and on the sporting field. The Unlocking Potential program has been proven to also improve classroom behaviour, health, fitness and most important of all, self-esteem and overall happiness at school.
This is not the first time the UP program has been implemented in primary schools with outstanding results, including much improved NAPLAN scores. Read about the studies here.
The UP program has been implemented at this primary school for 25 minutes at the beginning of the school day instead of normally scheduled maths and reading classes, five days a week across the school year in Year 1 and 2.
Across all Year levels, teachers have reported improvements not only in literacy and numeracy, but also in behaviour, social skills and emotional regulation.
In particular, teachers noted improvements in:
- The automatic recall of the letter patterns, and the ability to write them automatically. This had a flow on effect into spelling and general writing tasks.
- Handwriting: A dramatic improvement in letter formation, spacing, placement on pages, neatness, left to right, and lack of letter reversals.
- Classroom tone: Classes are more settled and working. Behaviour, work habits, posture, engagement, attention span and workbook neatness have all noticeably improved. Children were quicker to get into routine, line up, change activities etc. They were able to change from task to task more efficiently.
- Literacy and numeracy skills: Children were more easily able to accept systematic, foundational teaching of the basic literacy and numeracy skills.
- Playground behaviour: In relation to others and objects children were more gentle and content. They displayed strong motor planning skills.
- Physical stamina and motor skills.
- Overall happiness at school.
A ‘wake-up’ call for our Education Ministers
The latest information on neurodevelopment, supported by the statistically significant results of recent studies on the GymbaROO UP program, provide irrefutable proof that motor skill based neuro-developmental movement programs ensure the neurological organisation essential for learning success is firmly in place and should play a key role in our education system. So, COME ON Education Ministers, for the sake of the children, the GymbaROO UP movement program should be implemented in primary schools throughout Australia as soon as possible.
How to implement the UP program at your school
For more information about implementing the GymbaROO Unlocking Potential program at your primary school or childcare centre please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
By implementing the GymbaROO sensorimotor movement program you will not only positively affect the neurological growth, learning ability and happiness of the children attending your school or centre, you will also be helping to bring about an important change to the future of education by delivering students that are significantly more developmentally ready to learn, more emotionally and socially mature and more able to participate constructively in the classroom.
Dr Jane Williams is one of Australia’s leading experts on child development. She lectures extensively and appears on media worldwide. She is frequently the keynote speaker at both national and international forums. Williams is the Director of Research and Development at GymbaROO. More on Dr Williams here.
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