Vital Schools Celebrates End of Research with a Full Week of Movement in Pilot School Paalbos
What is the best way to celebrate the end of the Vital Schools research into the integration of movement in class? A full week of movement activities in one of the pilot schools! That is why, from 17 to 21 May, all classes of the elementary school Paalbos in Assebroek move at least once to the outdoor class for an active movement class.
"Our research into Vital Schools is practically finished, which means that schools can now have all the knowledge they need to encourage autonomous movement within the classroom context," explains Gert Muylle, Vital Schools project manager. "Currently our programme is already in operation in four secondary schools and in six elementary schools. One of those pilot schools is the elementary school Paalbos in Assebroek. There, we have set up a large tent which will serve as a base camp for numerous class activities on the subject of movement all over the upcoming week."
Case Examples for Each Class
This week, the tent will be an extra classroom into which every class moves in turn for a class according to the central Vital Schools principle: less sitting and more movement. Gert Muylle: "Integrating movement into classes is perfectly possible indoors, but the 'outdoor class' makes it even more special this week. Indeed, Paalbos has already been focusing on movement for quite some time, and moving now and then to another location makes ‘learning in motion’ even more attractive and increases motivation. For us, the Vital Schools’ week is the perfect occasion to focus even more on all the case examples of our cooperation.”
A Healthy Mix of Sitting, Standing and Moving
In practice, 1st-year pupils e.g. learn to make sums with bridge to 20 during the 'math in motion' class. The 2nd year applies the terms left, right, front and back during a cycling class. And the 6th year is going to experience a ‘learn in motion class’ in the VR Sportscube on the Bruges sports innovation campus.
Nathalie David, principal of the elementary school Paalbos says the following: ‘The cooperation in the scope of the research was enriching. I hear the same from our colleagues from BS De Springplank and BS De Glimlach, both belonging to our '!mpact' school group... As a school team we have always been aware of the added value of a green environment. So, we convincingly focus on outdoor teaching and were grateful for all the tips and suggestions to make our pupils even more vital and our classes even more mobile. The final week, in which we will use an outdoor class in a stretch tent, feels like the icing on the cake. But the best part is that we now feel completely ready - after Gert's valuable input - to autonomously continue and share our good practices, both in and outside our school group.’
About Vital Schools
Vital Schools is a research project set up by Gert Muylle and Dave Brunet of Howest, on the topic of how to stimulate less sitting and more movement in the classroom context. The project was launched in 2019 and has been operational in 9 pilot schools since 2020: 6 elementary schools (Paalbos in Assebroek, De Glimlach in Zedelgem, De Springplank in Bruges, De Triangel in Sint-Andries, De Horizon in Koolskamp and De Berkjes in Bruges) and 4 secondary schools (Middenschool Bredene, Athena Oostende, H. Kindsheid Ardooie and Sint-Jozef in Oostende).