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At South Pennine Academies, we want every student to have the best possible chance to achieve in school.

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Orchard Primary Academy

Physical Active Learning 

At Orchard we firmly believing in keeping children active for as much of the day as possible. Physical activity is a foundation that underpins policy, decision making and the thinking of staff.

We introduced Physically Active Learning in September 2019 and Principal Mr Carbutt is part of a group of like-minded Headteachers who are committed to driving PAL in school. 

So how do we ensure that our children are physically active at Orchard? 

Active Breaks

Each day our lessons stop at 10:00am and 2:15pm for 'Active Breaks'. This a 15-minute session when children break off from their current lesson to be active. These active breaks can be linked to the learning in that lesson, or can be something totally different. It is a time for children and staff to be active together and to have a brain break which ultimately improves concentration levels during lessons. Our children use the saying 'healthy bodies and healthy minds' when taking part in these active breaks. We encourage staff to take these active breaks outside where possible. Our active breaks include:

  • Tagtiv-8
  • Whole-class Body Coach sessions
  • Dance
  • Cosmic Yoga
  • Subject related games e.g. noun-phrase relay races. 




Staff train and support children in mindfulness activities once a day. Children learn how to be calm and present during this time. We believe it is very important for children to have this time set aside during the school day to ensure they stay mentally healthy as well as physically well. 


Physical Activity within the curriculum 

Our teachers are committed to embedding physical activity as part of our daily curriculum. They understand the important benefits that making lessons and activities more 'physically active' can have on outcomes, knowledge retention and enjoyment levels. 

Teachers plan for opportunities to be physically active in core subjects which can involve taking learning outside and promoting real-life experiences. They know that children do not have to be sat at a desk to learn. They maximise opportunities for children to be out of their seats as much as possible. Why do you have to learn your times tables sat down? 

They are also committed to making our foundation curriculum as active as possible. This includes activities such as: creating life-size diagrams on the playground floor, conducting science experiments outside and creating art using nature. 

Below are some examples of the different ways that our staff promote physical activity within our everyday curriculum:

Outdoor Maths

Outdoor Science

Active Breaks