The past year has demonstrated an array of new challenges, limitations and expectations to the current learning and teaching environments, as a result of COVID-19. Educational systems across the world, have had to create and adapt to digital learning platforms, as well as become flexible to a new way of learning and teaching. In addition to this, the current priority of the Scottish educational system, is to ensure that these recent events do not drastically impact the health and wellbeing of the young people and children across Scotland, as outlined in government guidance (The Scottish Government , 2021) The expectations of educational practitioners across Scotland are to promote and prioritise all aspects of health and wellbeing (Education Scotland, 2013), including the promotion of active learning through physical activity and the use of an outdoor space. Due to these recent events, concerns regarding the health and wellbeing of children have increased, the ‘Youth Sport Trust’ (Youth Sport Trust , 2021) have released recent survey results, examining the impact of COVID-19 on physical activity among young people. The survey indicates that many parents are worried that there has been a decline in activity with regard to the governments recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day amongst children. A section of the analysed data states that of those who participated, a staggering 69% of parents expressed that there had been a decline in physical activity altogether. Research demonstrates that a lack of physical activity can result in poor mental health, and issues regarding obesity.
As a result of home learning and teaching mainly accessible through online learning platforms, it is clear that there will be an increase in screen time amongst children and young people as they are being encouraged to continue to engage in new learning using digital devices. The amount of time that young children spend in front of screens today is highly alarming. Sigman (2019) reports that digital device addiction can lead to sleep disorders, high levels of obesity and a clear lack of movement particularly surrounding outdoor physical activity. As a researcher this is the main reason why evaluating the physical wellbeing of my pupils was so important, to really analyse how much time was spent being physically active as opposed to facing a screen. The enquiry below is a mere insight into the perplexing and thought provoking truth behind the demotivation to partake in physical activity.
The aims of this enquiry were to analyse the promotion of encouraging physical activity through a digital learning platform and evaluate if the placement of this in compulsory and additional learning activities would enhance pupil engagement.