Session one – Introduction
The session begins with an introductory Power Point presentation, which outlines the programme including aims and objectives. In tone, it is aimed at engaging the young participants.
The aims of this session are to give children an introduction to health and fitness, highlighting how this can be fun and incorporated into everyday life. Participants engage in discussion about the four main learning themes of the Core Fit programme:
- Body core strength
- Flexibility and correct movement
- Balance (balance being proprioceptive balance, balance between left and right and front and back)
Following the presentation and discussion, the class is split into groups of no more than 15, exercises are demonstrated and the class is offered the opportunity to practice some of the basic exercises. Baseline measurements of fitness and capacity are undertaken using a series of physiotherapy assessment exercises.
In subsequent sessions, the participants are encouraged to use correct movement, posture and balance, both in the class and beyond. Discussion in sessions is steered towards the implications of physical activity on their future health.
Session two – Strength
The physical element of the session begins with an aerobic warm-up. This is set to music to engage participants, warming them up through stretching and increasing the heart rate. The focus of this session follows specific teaching of exercises which develop strength and balance in muscles, particularly the squat and the lunge positions.
Firstly, each exercise is demonstrated with emphasis on correct positioning and how this affects the body. Participants are then given the opportunity to practice this exercise with peer review which encourages self-awareness and critical review.
Once correct positioning is achieved, the session focuses on stamina and strengthening. Rather than simple repetition, the exercises are incorporated into games where the activities become a part of a more structured play session.
Session three- Flexibility
Discussion includes the need to maintain flexibility throughout life as it tends to wane with age. Further discussion
progresses learning with a focus on muscle growth, change, and strengthening as exercise continues; demonstrations also show that muscles contract.
How and why flexibility exercises should to be regularly incorporated into physical activity is also discussed in depth.
Focus is given to developing quad stretches with the tutor highlighting the need to stretch correctly. On the floor, children practice and develop hamstring stretches, piriformis stretch, bridge holds, all fours, plank and typical yoga positions such as downward facing dog and triangular upside down.
Session four – Balance
In this session, emphasis is placed on balance with demonstrations of balance positions. Participants are encouraged to imitate positions with peer review and interaction.
To conclude the session and add a fun element to floor work, participants are encouraged to walk on all fours, and develop elements of yoga, as well as the plank and bridge positions.
After weeks one to four of Core Fit
Now that the tutors and children are used to each other, the mind sessions begin. Core Fit exercise is used occasionally to break up the intense, more education-based learning sessions and to embed the techniques through exercise.
Week five to six – Self-belief
This involves whole-class participation. The children identify what they are good at, the qualities they have, and the qualities others see in them. They also look at what they feel they need to improve on.
The second week of self-belief is used to establish what qualities and attributes are needed for certain job roles. We use this to demonstrate to the children that they can, if they choose, access a wide range of careers, but it is their choice whether they build on their strengths.
Week seven to eight – Advanced core fit
The sessions are broken up again into two smaller groups to exercise the children and build on their physical fitness. This session uses the qualities the children have given us to improve their confidence and takes the opportunity to add to their self-belief by reinforcing how much they can do, and adding to the strengths they think they have.
Week nine to ten – Feelings
This section involves whole-class participation. It works by showing children the negative impact of unwanted feelings and equips them with strategies to change the unwanted feeling to a more positive emotion. A lot of role play is used in this teaching session, and we add short bursts of Core Fit to keep the sessions fun, fast and effective.
Week eleven to twelve – Final whole class participation
This session is based on the class needs or at the advice of the teacher.