Active kids are best in class



A pioneering physical education provider is helping schoolchildren to achieve top marks in their academic studies, new research has revealed.

Data from schools across the country showed that active primary school youngsters who’d had PE lessons from Sunderland-based Physical Education & Active Kids (PEAK) had attained excellent marks in reading, writing and arithmetic.

Ninety-three per cent of children who had been on a PEAK learning programme had improved their arithmetic, punctuation and grammar. Of the pupils who hadn’t been on the programme, only 66% had improved in these areas. More than four fifths of PEAK-taught children boosted their reading (81%) and writing (87%) skills – a much higher achievement than their peers (66% and 74% respectively).

More than eight out of ten (83%) of teachers surveyed said most of their children were more engaged in their learning in the academic lessons following a PEAK-led PE lesson. Over one half noted that attendance was better, while 67% said most of their children were more motivated to learn in other subjects.

The company’s training has also generated an upturn behavioural performance, with 75% of teachers claiming there were fewer incidents of poor behaviour the day after their children had attended a PEAK lesson.

PEAK’s learning programmes have drawn widespread praise from schools across the country.

Paul Brown, head teacher at St Lawrence’s Primary School in Byker, Newcastle, said: “Now that PEAK deliver our PE, the subject is much more varied and taught in line with the national curriculum. PEAK’s deliverer is extremely professional, punctual and has quickly become a part of our staff.”

PEAK was established two years ago by experienced teacher Dave Johnson, who decided to go solo after being made redundant in 2013. The company has three staff who deliver PE learning programmes in schools and 15 apprentices who also go into schools to help the teachers. In this academic year, 78% of young people who completed their apprenticeship have gone on to secure employment.

Dave Johnson said: “There are far too many organisations offering to deliver primary school PE using Level 1 and Level 2-qualified single sport coaches. These people are simply not qualified to deliver the level of learning that the children need.

“There are also organisations who are putting secondary qualified PE teachers into primary schools but again this isn’t a solution. There is a huge pedagogical difference in, say, a 16-year-old and a four-year-old so the teaching has to be adapted accordingly.

“The performance of our schools really demonstrate why having a suitably qualified, appropriate age qualified teacher of PE is so fundamentally important in the pursuit of driving up overall standards in that school. It has long been known that schools offering high-quality PE perform better academically as well. The results of our schools combined with our teacher survey really demonstrate that PEAK has helped schools to drive up their SATS results.”

For further information on PEAK, please call 07921 563 464, e-mail

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