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Fundamental Movement Skills Development Plan in Singapore

2011-07-06

The Singapore Sports Council (SSC) is laying the tracks that will take Singapore's sporting journey into a new era. The SSC's new Fundamental Movement Skills development programme will ensure that children in Singapore acquire the motor skills necessary to achieve physical literacy - the starting point towards the development of more specialised sports skills and the first step on the road to life-long active living.

The SSC is working on a series of resource guides and training workshops, for preschool teachers, parents, and coaches of children aged two to 10. The resource guides will provide the information and practical know-how needed to develop fundamental movement skills in young children.

The Fundamental Movement Skills development programme was unveiled at the official launch of 'FUN Start MOVE Smart!' Fundamental Movement Skills for Growing Active Learners - the first installment of the series. Targeted at childcare and preschool teachers, 'FUN Start MOVE Smart!', provides principles, ideas and practices to assist teachers in delivering motor development activities to drive physical literacy in children. It is the first work of its kind to be created in Singapore.

"Teachers, parents and coaches are the greatest influences in a young child's life. We want to equip them with the correct tools they need to nurture a child’s innate urge for knowledge and, at the same time, enhance their development of physical capabilities. With "FUN Start Move Smart!', childcare and preschool educators now have a standardised resource, developed specifically for local schools, to reference for all their movement education classes," said Dr Bervyn Lee, Senior Director, Sports Pathways Development, SSC.

He added, "The realisation of this Fundamental Movement Skills development programme means that we have reached yet another milestone in the journey of Sporting Singapore. In the next five to 10 years, we will instill an entire generation with the physical capabilities to be successful in sports, be it at a competitive or recreational level. It is this generation of children that will take sports in Singapore to a whole new level."

Physical literacy is an attribute with life-long significance as it motivates people to establish a commitment to physical activity at a young age. It does not matter if the child aspires to be a professional footballer or is content playing friendly games with friends. In both cases, the child needs to have a solid foundation in fundamental movement skills if they are to be successful in their chosen pathway.

Fundamental movement skills are also critical in the holistic development of young children in addition to being a potential springboard to sporting excellence. They are the building blocks for learning domains such as language, literacy, numeracy and social awareness.

Expressing her thoughts on the value this guide will add to the quality of preschool education in Singapore, Guest-of-honour Mdm Halimah Yacob, Minister of State, Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports said, "Children learn best through their own active involvement in the learning process. They grasp concepts and make sense of their surroundings by exploring and experiencing them for themselves. Through the Fundamental Movement Skills programme, we will enable our early childhood professionals to create a stimulating preschool environment where all children enjoy the opportunity to develop their physical literacy, which refers to the ability to understand, communicate, and apply different forms of movement, through this process of active exploration."

Accompanying the resource guide is a one and a half day training workshop to guide teachers on effectively utilising, adapting and applying the principles and activity ideas in their daily lesson plans. In the first year, the SSC aims to train more than 700 teachers. Since March this year, 260 teachers have already taken up the SSC workshops.

The SSC is currently in the process of developing similar resources for parents and coaches, which will be launched in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

The 'FUN Start MOVE Smart!' is developed as part of the Let's Play movement, an initiative by the SSC to encourage all Singaporeans to embrace sports as a lifestyle choice, be it through playing, watching, cheering or volunteering for sports.

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