Exercise key to physical well-being
Working with children to improve their listening, concentration, physical well-being and social skills are the aims of Goodstart Early Learning Springvale.
Yoga and soccer have been introduced in to the curriculum to promote children’s health and to get their bodies moving, Springvale centre director Swarna Mendis said.
“As an EChO centre we thought it was important that all children in the kinder and pre-kinder classes had access to these programs so we run it with our kinder funding money,” Ms Mendis said.
EChO (Enhancing Children’s Outcomes) is a program which targets high priority centres to ensure the children have the learning, development and well-being outcomes they need for school and life. Goals are to encourage connections within the community, social and emotional development and health and nutrition.
“We really wanted to promote children’s health and physical well-being along social inclusion and team-building at our centre.”
She said the sports classes were also helping the children with their literacy and numeracy because the coach uses shapes and colours to direct the children.
“It also builds on their skills in following the rules, listening to conversations and instructions and learning to concentrate,” Ms Mendis said.
Since starting yoga, Ms Mendis said the educators had noticed an improvement in the children’s emotional, social and physical skills.
“It really helps them deal with the challenges and conflicts that they come up against every day. It also teaches breathing techniques and behavioural guidelines and physical posture,” she said.
So far, the parents are on-board, reporting that they had noticed the children using special breathing techniques when they were frustrated or having trouble dealing with their emotions.
“While some of parents didn’t know what they were doing initially, the results have been great so they’re happy.”
Soccer Time Kids’ Daniel K leads the soccer classes, which aim to develop gross motor skills, cognitive learning and build social relationships. The program is relevant to each age group and provides sports drills which are achievable for that age group.
Sonal Agrawal from Yoga Champs holds the yoga classes which aims to build concentration, enhance flexibility, strength, coordination and body awareness; and help with concentration and relaxation.