School sport comprises a significant part of the life of our school. Some recently published research highlights the range of benefits on offer for students actively engaged in school sports programs.
School spirit, celebrations and teamwork have always been cited as helping to develop important social skills and behaviours in students. However, the deeper benefits are now being researched and the information being identified in relation to the impacts on learning are extremely interesting.
In a joint effort between authors at The University of Western Australia, Curtin University, Centre for Sport and Research and the Department of Sport and Recreation WA, the report ‘Brain Boost- how sport and physical activity enhance children learning” has recently been published. This report cites a significant amount of internationally published research, which has found a positive association between children’s physical activity, participation and academic achievement.
- Sport and participation in physical activity are generally promoted for their positive impacts on children’s physical and mental health. However, the overall picture is better than that. Researchers believe that, with children, increased participation in sport and other forms of physical activity also enhances cognitive functioning (information processing), memory, concentration, behaviour and academic achievement. Unfortunately research also indicates the opposite effect involving inactivity and associated negative impacts on brain health and executive and cognitive control.
- Extensive research contained in the report also highlights that in schools globally, a concerning trend exists where time spent on physical activity has been steadily declining with some schools reporting less than 10 minutes a day as the average amount of time spent on physical activity.
- Evidence indicates that regular physical activity is likely to provide children with the optimum learning benefits.
For parents who face challenges in engaging less athletically inclined students in sport, due to their natural abilities being towards art, academics or music, this research may be a worthwhile discussion point to enable students to see the bigger picture and understand that engagement in sport can be of great benefit across the board.
You can find out more about the sports on offer at Guildford Grammar School by downloading our Prospectus at www.ggs.wa.edu.au/prospectus
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