Balanceability and E.Y.F.S.
Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right. Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up. (DfES 2012)
Some examples of Balanceability and their links to physical literacy:
The Obstacle Course
Encourages children to recognise their own bike and become aware of the safety of their own equipment before creating their own imaginative routes through obstacles, thus enhancing their knowledge and understanding of what they are doing. They also learn to respond to the challenges presented by the environment.
The Wiggly Weaver
Teaches children to have an awareness of themselves through turning, stopping and working in pairs and teams. Children become confident and motivated and learn to make self-assessments.
Illustrates the need for Instructors to understand the developmental stages of the child and adapt each activity to the physical competence of the child. The child's confidence increases as they become aware of their own skills and ability to manoeuvre through and around objects.
Physical literacy can be described as the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility for maintaining purposeful physical pursuits throughout the life course (Whitehead, 2012). According to Almond and Whitehead (Physical Education Matters, Summer 2012), in order for the foundations of physical literacy to be established, children's experiences in physical pursuits must be satisfying and enjoyable and enable them to appreciate that they are on a personal lifelong journey. Elements of physical literacy underpin the foundations of the Balanceability programme, with all activities designed to promote the motivation, confidence and physical competence of a child. Balanceability also helps to underpin co-ordination , visual motor and auditory skills, and standards in reading and comprehension (Pre-Schooler Focus, July 2011).