Pressure on school budgets mean that although schools are supposed to provide at least two hours of PE per week. If schools do keep to the required minimum – and there is evidence that some are even sacrificing this to prepare pupils for exams – often the lessons are moved to the afternoon allowing pupils to concentrate on the ‘important’ academic subjects in the morning.
Here SoccerKidz, who run football clubs for children in schools in and around North London, outline the benefits of early-morning activity for children – and how it can help, rather than hinder, their academic performance.
They Can Replace ‘Lost’ Exercise
Most pupils go to school in a car or bus, rather than walking or cycling as recommended by NHS guidelines. An early-morning form of exercise such as one of our breakfast clubs is a more than adequate way of making up the shortfall – particularly if the school has reduced the PE hours scheduled in the timetable to concentrate on academic performance.
They Boost Pupils’ Concentration and Energy Levels
Far from making them tired, early-morning exercise improves youngsters’ ability to learn and academic performance. This is because physical activity boosts the production of cells in the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain which is responsible for memory and learning. This allows them to concentrate more effectively for longer – such as for the rest of the school day.
They Help with Pupils’ Overall Health
In scientific terms, early-morning physical activity regulates and suppresses the body’s production of ghrelin, the hormone which is responsible for how hungry you feel. So early-morning exercise means children are less likely to snack on unhealthy foods during the day. And early-morning sport can easily become a good habit for pupils to get into. If they carry on taking exercise in later life it will reduce their chances of suffering from heart disease or a stroke.
They Help Pupils’ Mental Health
Any form of physical exercise means children feel good about themselves – the so-called ‘runner’s high’ which is experienced by adults as well. Studies have shown this helps to increase youngsters’ self-esteem and body image, and can also help combat depression, stress, anxiety and other mental health-related issues.
They Help Hard-Pressed Parents and Schools
If parents have a job which requires an early start, then breakfast clubs are a great advantage. With our courses, your child will be safely supervised from 8am onwards. Our sessions last from 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the school’s start time. And hopefully the school benefits from better behaviour and better academic performance.
They Are Fun
At SoccerKidz we always try to keep our breakfast clubs fresh and fun, so that the pupils are always stimulated and in a good mood for the academic day ahead. The activities can be targeted towards specific year groups or be open to everyone, of all ages and abilities, to join in.
Football Clubs for Children from SoccerKidz
Our breakfast clubs can be run separately or alongside other school sessions. We also offer a range of other sessions, including lunchtime, after-school, weekend, and half-term football courses.
All of these are ideal for parents, schools and children in North London and Hertfordshire, including Enfield, Barnet, Cheshunt and Haringey. If you would like to know more about our courses, and what we are currently able to offer during the coronavirus lockdown, click here or call us on 07946 260945.