Press Releases 2014-2015

Wales Institute for Physical Literacy at The University of Wales Trinity Saint David study finds Foundation Phase has significant impact on pupils’ Physical Literacy

10.04.2014

The Wales institute for Physical Literacy - part of the school of Sport, Health and Outdoor Education at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David – has been collaborating with the University of Bedfordshire to carry out the only research to date on the impact of the Curriculum in Wales on children’s physical literacy.

Physical Literacy describes a disposition that is developed throughout life. It is much more than learning skills and playing sport.  It’s about being confident; motivated; and about understanding why activity is important and how to be active - whether that’s playing sport in a club, walking in the hills, doing yoga, cycling, swimming or taking a dance class.

Education and high quality physical education in particular has an important role to play in fostering physical literacy so that young people are motivated and able to access a range of activities.

The Wales Institute for Physical Literacy at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) has been established to promote physical literacy throughout life and is a co-founder of the International Physical Literacy Association (IPLA).

With the recent launch of Welsh Government’s physical literacy initiative for schools there is growing interest in the concept of Physical Literacy.

Professor Margaret Whitehead founder of the International Physical Literacy Association and pioneer of the concept, recently visited the Wales Institute for Physical Literacy at UWTSD to see the work being done in the field that she helped establish.

Professor Whitehead’s definition of physical literacy is used by Welsh Government and she has been part of the supervisory team on research into the impact of the Foundation Phase.

The findings of the study led by the Wales Institute of Physical Literacy show that the Foundation Phase has a significant impact on pupils’ Physical Literacy. Also of interest, in light of the Government’s aim to raise standards, is the finding that there are significant links between the pupils’ physical competence and their intellectual development.

“It is very exciting to see the impact of the Foundation Phase on children’s Physical Literacy and also on their wider learning,” says Nalda Wainwright, Director of the Wales Institute of Physical Literacy at UWTSD.

“Research has shown for some time that there are very strong links between early physical development and cognitive development,” she continues. “Our research studied the Foundation Phase settings for over a year, using many research tools. The data shows that delivering high quality Foundation Phase experiences can have a significant impact on pupil’s physical literacy and wider learning.

“This is very exciting for the government’s agenda of ‘closing the gap’.  Having taught for the majority of my career in an area of social deprivation, I am very excited by the potential impact the Foundation Phase can have.”

The Wales Institute for Physical Literacy has a team of highly experienced bi-lingual full time staff with expertise in the fields of physical education, outdoor education, sport development, health and exercise, physiology, nutrition, sports therapy, early years motor development, inclusion and special educational needs and exercise psychology. The institute works in collaboration with a team of academics and researchers of international renown.

For further information on the work of the Wales Institute of Physical Literacy at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David visit www.uwtsd.ac.uk/wipl

Note to Editor

  1. For more information please contact Siân-Elin Davies, Senior PR and Communications Officer, on 01267 676908 / sian-elin.davies@tsd.uwtsd.ac.uk
  2. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David was established in 2010 through the merger of the University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity University College, Carmarthen. On 1 August 2013 the Swansea Metropolitan University merged with the University.
  3. The University’s Royal Charter 1828 is the oldest in Wales, and it is third behind Oxford and Cambridge in Wales and England. HRH Prince of Wales is the Patron of the University.
  4. On 1 August, 2013 Coleg Sir Gâr merged with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Group, however they will keep their own brand. Coleg Ceredigion merged with the Group on 1 January 2014.