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Learning maths whilst being physically active. It definitely sounds like fun, but does it really work? The short answer is yes, it does. A six week study conducted by academics at Leeds Beckett University has concluded that the Maths on the Move (MOTM) programme both improves maths attainment and increases physical activity levels.  
 
The study, conducted prior to lockdown at the end of 2019, compared outcomes from children taking part in a MOTM programme against control groups who continued with traditional classroom-style maths lessons. All MOTM sessions were delivered by experienced trained educators.  
Children wore accelerometers during the school day to measure thier physical activity.  
 
This enabled researchers to find out how MOTM affected children's chances of meeting the in-school activity target of 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day.  
 
Compared to the control group:  
 
28% more children achieved the recommended physical activity levels in a school day.  
On average children secured an additonal 5 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and 5.7 minutes of light physical activity.  
There was a reduction of 9.5 minutes of inactive time.  
 
Even prior to lockdown, less than half of children were achieving the Cheif Medical Officer's recommendations around physical activity and the figure has worsened throughout the pandemic. The results of this study show that physically active learning can help to fix this problem.  
 
So, we can increase activity, but what about maths performance?  
 
Researchers measured maths performance using tests before and at the end of the programme. Maths attainment test perfromance significantly improved over time for children on the MOTM programme when compared to the control group.  
 
The scores for children on the MOTM programme increased from baseline average score of 11.3/25 (45.2%) to 18.1/25 (72.4%). The scored for the control groups increased from 10.1/25 (40.4%) to 11/25 (44%) over the same period of time.  
 
Researchers found that MOTM was an overwhelming positive experince for schools.  
 
Here's what some of the children and thier teachers had to say:  
 
"I like sports but... I also like Maths a bit... I like them all together and it's really fun because you.. challange each other" - Sana, Year 5.  
 
"I feel excited and happy, I feel this because we get to do fun activities and learn about Maths" - Aisha, Year 5.  
 
"If Maths on the Move is part of your curriculum, it would have an impact on the general enjoyment of Maths" - Shannon, Teacher.  
 
"In terms of thier attitudes towards learning, they seem more resilient and a lot more confident, and they don't have any tears if they can't answer any of the questions. They just persevere with it" - Zuri, Teacher.  
 
Why do we need physically active learning?  
 
Pandemic or no pandemic, all schools face the dual challenges of keeping children healthy through physical activity and ensuring their academic success.  
 
Strucutred, active learning programmes enable teachers to cut the time children are expected to sit at a desk whilst still covering the academic curriculum.  
 
Children respond positively to an active learning environment. It can boost confidence and improve academic performance.  
 
Physical activity in school can be intergrated into daily routines rather than positioned as an optional extra.  
 
Why is Maths on the Move a good choice?  
 
MOTM has been delivered to children across the country for more than 5 years. It is a well-developed programme that is proven to really work.  
The programme has been designed to provide total flexibility to schools. It is suitable for all abilities and can be tailored to suit your pupil's individual requirements.  
MOTM has been designed to meet the funding criteria laid out by both the PE and Sports Premium and the Pupil Premium.  
 
What's Next?  
Contact us today to find out how MOTM can be implimented into your school.  
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