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Physical Literacy

Why do we do Physical Literacy?

  • Core stability is generally developed by babies performing activities like crawling, tummy time and rolling over.
  • Strong core stability provides the basis for normal development. It requires strength in the:
    • Shoulder girdle muscles;
    • Pelvic girdle muscles;
    • Trunk – stomach & back muscles.
  • All these are necessary in order to develop not only gross motor skills but the fine motor control needed for writing and other fine motor skills such as cutting.
  • As we know not every child is given the opportunity to develop this core stability at the appropriate age.
  • Missing these key early development milestones can lead to a delay in overall development.



What is Physical Literacy?

Physical Literacy can be described as the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding that provides children with the movement foundation for lifelong participation in physical activity. Enabling them to be physically literate supports their development as competent, confident and healthy movers.


  • EYFS – Action-based activities when doing songs and rhymes with an underlying focus on quality of movement.
  • KS1 – An intervention programme for those children still not meeting age-appropriate physical development milestones.
  • Balanceability - an intervention programme using balance bikes as a tool to aid development of physical literacy.
  • Physiotherapists have designed five exercises that pupils should complete every day for a minimum of six weeks.
  • These exercises are designed to improve core and body strength.
  • They are carried out after an initial assessment of children’s physical development against a milestone checklist which is appropriate for their age.
  • Any children who are experiencing difficulties with actions on the check list on re-assessment, should be identified to the relevant staff (SENCO) and where necessary referred to Paediatric Therapy services.



What are the outcomes?

  • An increased awareness of children’s physical development.
  • An accurate assessment of children’s physical development milestones.
  • An improvement in children’s gross motor skills.
  • An improvement in children’s ability to concentrate, sit on the carpet and at the table.
  • An improvement in children’s fine motor skills as a result of improved core stability and shoulder stability with an impact on handwriting as a result.
  • To develop children’s enjoyment of being active and the positive impact this can have on emotional health and wellbeing, and the long-term likelihood of them remaining active in life.