“Everyone has the basic entitlement to wellbeing and being healthy” – Kelvin Giles

In late June, Jersey Sport Foundation hosted world renowned teacher, coach and mentor Kelvin Giles at a 1 day seminar for PE professionals. Kelvin has an outstanding background in High Performance, having worked with Olympic Athletes, Professional Rugby teams and various NGBs but started his career as a Physical Educator in Birmingham.

The presentation focused on his concept and coaching philosophy of Movement Dynamics. His philosophy is simple and effective – that all children (and adults) should be entitled to being physically literate.

This takes the form of being able to do the following movements with technical and mechanical efficiency:

o Squat

o Push

o Pull

o Hinge

o Rotate

o Brace

o Lunge

These 7 movements form the foundation towards a journey of becoming physically literate.

What Kelvin is advocating is something that I believe so many children are missing from their first interactions with physical education at school – the basics of movement. I walked away from the session asking myself how can this be applied to my school, and longer term, how could this be rolled out in the UK’s PE curriculum?

Taking this forward at my school

I work as Head of PE at a South London School, which opens its doors every day to 1,500 boys. Like most curriculum’s in the UK, it probably follows a traditional approach, and something I am directly in charge of but, having a fully-fledged movement curriculum is not one that is feasible (yet). Schools now, in my opinion, are lacking a metabolic taxing curriculum that gets students working hard, physically hard. Having started to work with some students last term, we took some competency scores in April & July. We found that using these movements, our students became stronger and more competent over time (see below). A clear example of how this philosophy can work with guidance and support from the right teachers.

*while it may not seem like a massive improvement, this student progressed through the different Animal Lab Competency Levels.

As part of The Animal Lab, I want to implement this philosophy and way of working to help our young learners on their movement journey. The perfect opportunity will be the intake of 60 boys into year 6 from September. We have an obligation to help them become the best version of themselves and help them on their journey towards high performance (if they desire) or continuing to be physically active throughout their adult lives which they are entitled too.

For those coming into Year 6, our curriculum will include a movement element paired with a fun approach for the first 6 weeks (incorporating the movements mentioned above). And I will look to implement a block of these movements into the curriculum each week. As they move onto explore other activities we need to include them in every warm up, every lesson, every time, using 10-15 mins to practice these movements and embed these movements into their own movement vocabulary.

The challenge for me is fourfold:

1) Educating all on what to look for, the physical competencies

2) Delivering an engaging, well planned and fun curriculum for students

3) Sharing the progress with staff and make it a priority

4) Further building a culture of athletic development for all.

Kelvin has certainly inspired me as a Physical Educator to act upon the epidemic of ill-health, poor movement and inactivity of our youth of today.

As a nation we cannot continue to neglect poor movement and poor lifestyles. For some children, their first interaction with physical education is in a school setting and we therefore have a responsibility to introduce them to basic core movements and drip feed better movement into our lessons, training sessions or classes as early as possible.

Look out for more movement inspo from The Animal Lab on Twitter & Instagram in the coming weeks. #thebig5 #movementforall


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s