The fundamental movement skills programme (Steps PD): Physical development challenges and opportunities in the primary school context

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


There is little direct investigation of the links between children's transition experiences from primary to secondary education and their motor competence, but this chapter suggests that the sometimes demanding and disorienting journey through adolescence might be facilitated by ensuring that prepubescent children have maximised their movement potential during the primary school years. Indeed, if Year 6 pupils left their primary schools as proficient movers, this could support their physically active adolescent years ahead, concurrently improving their future health and well-being. High-quality, research-led movement programmes, such as Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS), could therefore be valuable tools within the primary school, particularly for their potential to pervade the classroom and the entire school curriculum during a critical motor development period in young children. Proficient fundamental movement skills can be developed with opportunities for focused practice, encouragement, and effective teaching, learning and assessment strategies in the primary school context. If children entered secondary school with high movement proficiency levels, there could be less demand for traditional 'skill drill' tasks in the early stages of the secondary physical education context, with an ensuing positive effect on adolescent attitude and participation in physical activity. Accordingly, the FMS programme might prove to be one of the most cost-effective health insurances on the market, particularly as it is ideally placed in the early stages of compulsory schooling when physical activity and appropriate long-term health behaviours can easily be nurtured.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBridging the transition from primary to secondary school
EditorsAlan Howe, Val Richards
Place of PublicationAbindon, Oxon
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780203818718
ISBN (Print)9780415575478, 9780415575461
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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