Reflections from the Connected:PE Conference, Dubai, 2016 – Part 1

This time last week I was enjoying the biggest buffet dinner at a Dubai restaurant, with a table full of new PE friends from around the world. Connected:PE had lived up to expectations! 157 delegates from 27 countries, all converging for professional development in Physical Education. Awesome!

Friday’s workshop went well…around 25 fully grown adults sitting on elementary chairs in a small classroom – no opportunity to escape! What struck me about these professionals was their enthusiasm for the chance to network with others, and take part in the tasks. They got straight to it, considering their own health and wellbeing – where do they personally go to learn about health and wellbeing? Who are their health role models, and how do they ‘follow’ them? Who supports their health and wellbeing? This set the scene for a later discussion – changing the subject of these questions to “your students”.

The aim: to consider whether the students’ inspiration and support network for health was centred around their local area – perhaps family, friends, school, local community, or whether it extended further afield than this – whether they spent time researching, blogging, discussing and questioning online, as most of the adults agreed they did personally – either in the form of inspiration on social media, searching for advice on nutrition and training, or communicating with friends around the world. As most teachers were abroad, teaching in international schools, their support network often extended beyond their local community, which they felt was significant for 2016.

Emphasis was given to the importance of this varied advice and support. If we are, why can’t our pupils be inspired by others around the world? Could they be researching their own health and wellbeing online? Should they be questioning things they read online? Perhaps they would initiate some healthy changes with inspiration from students in other countries?

The Children’s Health Blog gives children these exact opportunities, with four key elements:

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Add this to the fact that children of Primary age would be inspired by our healthy role models – Captain Kinetic, Nutrition Ninja, Agent Lifestyle and Mindset Warrior, and we form a motivational, diverse and appropriate health offer for our young children.

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If you think your students could benefit from joining our Children’s Health Blog, get in touch via email, or twitter or leave a comment below. We have students from the UK, Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan signed up, and the blogging will get under way in November. Why not be one of the first to join in the global conversation about health and wellbeing?

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