Cardiff Healthy and Sustainable Pre-school Scheme team join staff from early-years setting for fun Play to Learn sessions

The Cardiff Healthy and Sustainable Pre-school Scheme (CHaSPS) team have worked with Sport Cardiff to provided free, face-to-face Play to Learn training sessions with staff from different early years settings.

The Healthy and Sustainable Pre-school Scheme (CHaSPS) is a national accreditation scheme which acknowledges pre-school settings as contributors to children's health and well-being. Settings who embrace CHaSPS will be accredited and recognised for their endeavours in promoting physical, mental, social and emotional health.

To support and encourage early years settings such as pre-schools to incorporate physical and active play into their daily activities, Anna Hurley, Emma Coleman and Karen Trigg from CHaSPS organised free physical activity training sessions for early years settings who are working on, or are being re-accredited, for Phase 1 of the scheme.

Staff from nine early years settings attended the Play to Learn sessions, which were led by Dawn Mitchell Williams and Tom Clarke of Sport Cardiff. The sessions took place at Cardiff Met University and introduced setting staff to Play to Learn and physical activity ideas that they could use with children in their settings.

Staff were also encouraged to work in small groups to create their own physical activities that link with the Play to Learn books and there were discussions about how staff could use any book with the children by learning to pick out the physical activity language and encouraging the children be physically active and do the different movements that link with different stories.

The CHaSPS team found feedback was overwhelmingly positive and a three-month follow up survey found that seven out of the nine early years settings who attended the training are carrying out Play to Learn sessions with their children.

When asked what the most useful part of the training was, one setting said: “Learning how we can incorporate physical activity into our daily routine and planning and learning different and simple games we can use with our children.

“I really enjoyed this course, I felt energised and confident to provide the children in my setting with amazing physical activities that can be as little as 5 minutes to 15 minutes.”

Another said: “Thank you so much, I don’t remember the last time I had so much fun in a training course.”

Each setting that attended were given a Play to Learn pack to take back to their settings to use. These packs included the three Play to Learn story books and activity cards.

They also received a physical activity resource bag which included a pack of dance scarves, easy grip groove balls and a pack of rubber floor markers all of which are useful resources to use whilst doing a Play to Learn session at their settings.

The CHaSPS team is now planning to organise further Play to Learn training sessions.