An old school approach to creating fitter future generations.

Every week in a school in Holmfirth, Yorkshire there’s a group of school children who fuel their fitness by singing and dancing their way through a BORN TO MOVE class. Six thousand miles away school children in Shenzhen, China do the same. Not only are both groups enjoying the benefits of regular physical activity, they’re now creating international connections and bonding over a shared love of it.

Fiona Noonan from the United Kingdom and Doris King from China are two talented teachers who recently took the initiative to film their BORN TO MOVE sessions and share the fun footage with each other’s class. The concept wasn’t just for fun, the idea was to prove how physical activity can be used across the curriculum, and provide additional activity minutes. It’s certainly worked.

The initiative started with children filming their favorite BORN TO MOVE sessions so that they could send the footage half way around the world. The moment the children watched others raising their heart rates and smiling their way through the same classes they had grown to love it was clear that they wanted to learn more. What could they find out about each other? How could they communicate? Email? Skype? Social media?... No, with their pens at the ready they decided on the safety and security of good old fashioned snail mail.

After coordinating the pairing up of BORN TO MOVE pen pals the children put their writing talents to use. They created letters with questions, information and drawings all designed to learn about life on the other side of the globe. After excitedly putting their packages in the post and the wait began. They waited, and waited, and waited… “Has the post always been this slow? How did people manage in the olden days?” These questions presented the perfect opportunity for the kids to learn about the logistics of the mail system and gain a new appreciation for modern technology-based communication.

When, after two long weeks, the letters arrived they were met with squeals of excitement. The children couldn’t believe they each had a letter that had come from the other side of the world. With the realization that they now actually have a friend in a different country (and that they shared their love of physical activity) the children had all sorts of new questions, and were jumping at the chance to get writing and keep the communication up.

The children are not the only ones happy with the success of the initiative. “This project was the perfect way to demonstrate how versatile BORN TO MOVE programming can be,” says Justine Williams, BORN TO MOVE Manager in the United Kingdom. “It shows that with a little creative thinking schools can develop cross curricular activities based on physical activity. In this case they learnt about different cultures, different languages and had fun, all because of BORN TO MOVE”.

BORN TO MOVE classes are now delivered in some schools as part of the United Kingdom’s new school exercise regime where teachers and parents monitor pupils’ activities throughout the school day in a bid to eradicate childhood obesity. You can find a BORN TO MOVE class near you, or let your child experience the magic of moving to music anytime by accessing BORN TO MOVE on demand – for free!

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