The Healthy Active Learning mahi at Sport Waitākere has a strong focus on inclusiveness, from planning and delivering physical activity and wellbeing professional learning and development opportunities to supporting schools to deliver inclusive play for their tamariki.
In August, the Sport Waitākere team hosted a HALO-day (Healthy Active Learning opportunities-day) for their Healthy Active Learning schools in West Auckland. The theme was ‘Inclusive for all - Participate, Engage and Inspire’. Thirty teachers from 11 schools, including special and deaf education schools, came together to learn and take new ideas back to the classroom.
Collaborating with community circus organisation Circability and The Halberg Foundation was a key to the success of the HALO-day. Advisers from both organisations showed the teachers how to bring inclusive play to life through activities for teachers to take back to their schools.
Several teachers from Arohanui Special School took part in the HALO-day. The Sport Waitākere Healthy Active Learning team has been supporting Arohanui School to include quality physical activity into its school day and supported their successful application for Tū Manawa funding for inclusive play and establishing a relationship with Circability.
“Inclusive play means we are catering for all students. It’s about acknowledging the culture that they bring into the classroom, it's acknowledging our wider community, because all of that impacts on our students,” says Sarah Oto, Healthy Active Learning Advisor at Sport Waitākere.
Sarah wants to see teachers take their learning back to the classroom and encourage their students, that no matter their ability they too can participate and have that great feeling of success.
“I am looking forward to using simple everyday items around the room to adapt a sport or game to involve all students. I learnt ways to improve their spatial awareness, team working skills, communication, and simple motor skills,” said Year 3 teacher, Jess Velasquez from Holy Cross School.
Sport Waitakere community connectors Oliver Wooding and Christian Curtis said that the success of Sport Waitākere HALO-days has led them to implementing inclusive play environments into schools and ‘Hui Hub’ community events. This is where community developers come together to share good practice, shape the future and share future collaboration opportunities.
Healthy Active Learning in Tāmaki Makaurau is supported by Aktive, Sport Waitākere, Sport Auckland, Harbour Sport and CLM Community Sport.
To find out more about physical activity professional learning and development opportunities for your school, please connect with a Healthy Active Learning Regional Lead at a Regional Sports Trust.