Val Sabin Publications and Training

“As a Headteacher committed to improving learning, I was excited to see Activate being used in a school to engage and focus children before their learning started.  The children clearly enjoyed the activity and were keen to join in.  When they sat down to learn, they were very focused and certainly ready and able to learn well.”

Janet Sharp, West Green Primary School

“I purchased full packs of KS1 and KS2 dance and gym 2 years ago.  We are really pleased with the product and it is used across the school and well liked by teachers.”

Rob Griffin, PE coordinator, Humberson Cloverfields Academy

“Our children struggle with a lot of different things and benefit a lot from it as motor co-ordination and concentration is often a problem but  they cope very well with how Activate is set up. It has been wonderful for us. I only started at the school in September and when I saw Val’s name on it I knew it must be her. She was the ‘BEST’ we loved her lectures and her very much.”

Rebecca Taylor


Since September 2004 the Lincolnshire South East School Sport Partnership based at Spalding High School has trained over 500 teachers, support staff and adult other than teachers to deliver the Val Sabin schemes of work in dance, gymnastics and games. From the outset the partnership embarked on a comprehensive training programme for local School Sport Co-ordinators and Primary Link Teachers. Six individuals attended the Val Sabin 5 star accredited tutor training programme to enable the partnership to deliver whole school training in dance, gymnastics and games. The main emphasis of the partnership was to help raise standards of physical education within local primary and special schools through whole school training.

Partnership Development Manager Lee Farrell explained “the only way I felt our partnership was going to raise standards of physical education within local schools was through whole school training. The majority of primary school teachers and support staff have received little or no training within physical education yet they are expected to deliver National Curriculum requirements. Whole school training in physical education has not only enabled the partnership to reach all staff but we have made the training more realistic by delivering courses within there own school environments”.

In a recent survey about the whole school training programme in physical education:-

  • 98% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed that the Val Sabin scheme of work had supported them in the delivery of high quality physical education.
  • 96% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed that the whole school training programme had increased their subject knowledge, confidence and quality of delivery within PE.
  • 81% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed that the whole school training programme had helped to improve pupils’ progress and attainment in PE lessons.
  • 58% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed that the whole school training programme had helped to improve pupils’ behaviour and attitude in PE lessons.

Partnership Development Manager Lee Farrell said the survey results were a fantastic measure of the whole school training programmes success. School Sport Partnership’s have a key target to enhance the take-up of sporting opportunities by 5 to 16 year olds so that the percentage of school children in England who spend a minimum of two hours each week on high quality PE and school sport within and beyond the curriculum increases from 25% in 2002 to 75% in 2006 and to 85% by 2008. The survey results clearly show that the quality of delivery within PE has increased and this is subsequently helping to raise standards.

Lee Farrell, Partnership Development Manager (PDM)


As a Partnership Development Manager of a large rural group of schools, partnership staff were keen to embrace the values of “learning through PE and sport” at any level to help engage schools and pupils further.

Many of our partner infant, junior and primary schools had a range of experience of movement / music initiatives and schemes which they found conducive in re-focusing pupils to re-engage within their learning.

Building upon the expertise of the tangible training that partner schools had received from Val Sabin and the Val Sabin schemes of work, we decided to trial the new Activate scheme within one of our three partnership clusters.

The programme was promoted to each school to meet many PLT requests in delivering a scheme which would sell the benefits of PE and School Sport throughout the whole school.

The training date was attended by twenty Headteachers and PLTs and then cascaded into each school by their nominated SSCO and PLT.

The partnership was keen to follow the progress of the scheme and the impact upon both staff and pupils.

In the Autumn term, one year group was chosen to pilot the scheme. Such was the impact and success of the scheme, by the Spring and Summer terms, every school had decided individually to deliver Activate to every year group across the school.

The qualitative results from staff and pupils were excellent and demonstrated a positive change upon many aspects, more notably; pupil concentration, behaviour, learning, enthusiasm to school PE and OSHL etc. In particular, the scheme gave staff less confident in delivering formal PE the opportunity to practice and become more confident in their skills, yet still delivering basic movement within the classroom. We expect that this staff confidence will extend into the school hall and fields.

More importantly, PE was seen to be an important element within the school day and a successful tool in meeting some of the challenges faced by school staff every day. This confidence in PE has enabled the partnership to promote and integrate other PE initiatives or focus in schools, in many instances, because they have faith and are now not averse to try something new.

It might even have a positive place in the staff room!

James Wilkinson, PDM for Bridlington Sports Partnership, Development Officer, Yorkshire and East Midlands



After implementing the Activate programme very successfully in our Nursery setting we decided to roll it out across the whole school. This proved to be one of the best things we have done in a long time. The programme was taken on board immediately by all members of staff with a high degree of enthusiasm and had a very quick impact on behaviour and learning. The two areas in which it had the biggest impact related to levels of concentration and fitness levels.

Before participating in Activate we had tried several strategies to ‘freshen up’ the children so that they would be more alert and ready to learn at whole class times, in Literacy sessions, in the morning and following ‘pretty hectic’ lunchtimes. The Activate programme allowed us to provide the children with meaningful activities which got them moving, re-energised and ready to sit and participate. The children were taught about the importance of the activities in relation to concentrating and ‘getting their bodies and brains ready to learn’.

It surprised many adults how well the children talked about how moving and getting oxygen to their brains were important. When we first started the Activate programme we were amazed at how poor the children’s levels of fitness were. Many children were unable to complete the short activities but after working on the programme the children’s fitness levels improved a great deal.

Our music coordinator commented on the impact the programme has had on music skills and the PE coordinator recognised its value in developing in coordination.

The teachers and TAs found the resources easy to use and we were able to implement the programme with very little input. The children loved the activities and we have not observed any child getting bored of the activities.


“Activate because it helps me do my work better. I like ‘Move and Shake’ best. It’s really funny when you have to shake your bum.”

Owen (Year 2)

“Activate is great because it’s good fun and it warms you up to work. I love ‘Noughts and Crosses’. I like jumping up like a star.”

Jamie (Y2)

“I like Activate because it helps me concentrate.”

Rhianna (Y2)

“I like Activate because it makes my brain work better. I love ‘Bounce and Punch’ because it makes me do exercise.”

Morgan (Y2)

“All the teachers join in Activate even Miss Lees (Head). Sometimes my teacher gets it wrong but it makes us laugh and we make up new activities.”

Lauren (Y2)

“Activate is good because it’s fun. It gets me moving a lot. I like the beans game especially when Mr Bourton says French Beans and we all say, Ooh La La.”

Megan (Y2)

Achieve Physical Literacy Through Outstanding Physical Education


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