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Child-Centred Approach

Making the Most of Me

A Child Centred Approach to Physical Activity


What is a Child Centred Approach?

A Child Centred Approach enables children and young people to take control of their own learning

Sessions / lessons are organised around the child and their personal needs and interests

Teachers and Coaches are there to provide support and facilitate the child's learning but children determine the direction of their own learning following their natural curiosities, interests and passions.

Children jumping off a small wall

Refer to the resource listed below

  • Dragon Multi-Skills Factsheet - Child-Centred Learning

Making The Most Of The Experience

Why is a Child Centred Approach important?

A child centred approach is central to the new curriculum.  A learner driven approach will enable learners to adapt and thrive by engaging them in real, relevant and authentic experiences that are based on their needs, abilities and interests.

The ethos of this child centred approach is completely consistent with the vision of the Curriculum for Wales.

What are the benefits of a child centred approach?

Refer to the resources below

  • Dragon Multi-Skills - High Quality Sport Experiences
  • Dragon Multi-Skills - Developing the Whole Child



  • Everybody Everywhere 
  • Gardens

Refer to the Gymnastics Module 1 resources below

  • Using Cones
  • My Garden
  • Everybody Everywhere


Choice, Challenge, Improve

Refer to the Dragon Multi-Skills resource below

Factsheet - RECIPE for successful sessions



Refer to the resource below

SMILES Factsheet



Refer to the Dragon Multi-Skills resources below

  • Factsheet - Adapting Activities
  • Factsheet - Success for All

Physical Literacy 


The importance of developing the whole child to ensure enjoyment and engagement we need to develop Confidence, Competence Motivation, Knowledge and Understanding.

If learners are engaged when they are motivated, confident, competent and knowledgeable what happens when one aspect is missing?



The selection of curriculum content should consider learners’ input and should provide increasing opportunities for learners to help direct their learning as they progress. Learners’ views about their experiences and about what, how and where they learn should be taken seriously when a curriculum is being designed. 

Participation is a key principle of the UNCRC and enabling participation will create an engaging curriculum that responds to learners’ interests, needs and priorities. It is also a process that supports a dialogue between learners and professionals. It needs to be safe, enabling and inclusive, and it is of itself a valuable learning experience, supporting inquiry and critical thinking.


Making The Most Of It

A Child centred approach in practice

The clip shows many examples of a child centred approach.

Balls on school yard


Watch the video and look for examples of Child Centred Approaches. Use the checklist to help you with your observations and reflections. What else did you notice?

Ensure opportunities for 

EXAMPLEWhat the acitivty is

Space, Task, Equipment, People

Learners / Participants decide how game can be adapted.


Adaptation -

Space, Task, Equipment, People



How activities can be enabled and challenged.

What the learners / participants are asked to do / chose to do?



Offered to ensure engagement. What can learners / participants do? What do learners / participants like doing?  Why are learners / participants doing it? How do learners / participants want to do it? What learners / participants want to get from it?  Who learners / participants want to be with?

Choice of equipment – to enable, challenge



Opportunities for co-construction of the session and activities


Decision Making 

Problem solving and responsibility to make own decision and choices


Development of skills 

In fun, games-based activities. 



Important that learners / participants are enjoying the activity



Opportunities for improvement – use of conversation coaching, opportunities for accurate and meaningful reflection – (could become improvement in the session, in their ability, in their health 



Learners / Participants organising themselves – rather than being told what to do

learners / participants not organiser leading the activity 



Practically, in the activity, in positive relationships 



Ensuring all are participating – both practically and in guiding the activity


Positive relationships 

Positive relationships are key between teacher / coach and learner / participant and between learners /participants



Asking questions - rather than telling







Given over to learners / participants, including changing ‘rules’

Learners / Participants Explain, Demonstration and Do (EDD)



Physical: position of equipment, use of space.

Emotional:  no one left out, no one under pressure.





(Things that help learners / participants – further instructions, progressive activities 



Teacher / coach trusts learners / participants to make choices



Use of EDD 


Explain, Demonstrate, Do it



Once you have done this use the checklist to prompt further discussion and thought.  How could you incorporate the suggestions into your sessions? How would these approaches work for you?

Children running around a pitch

Making The Most Of What Is Available

Schools and practitioners need to draw on the guidance and resources available to decide on what specific experiences, knowledge and skill will support their specific learners to realise the four purposes of the Curriculum for Wales.  Good teaching and learning means employing a blend of approaches including direct teaching, problem solving, as well as creative and critical thinking.  

The following resources, whilst created for earlier curricula, still contain a vast range of learning activities that can be utilised within the new curriculum.  The resources constitute the ‘what’.  

It is how they are used or the pedagogy that will ensure they help learners achieve the four purposes. 

What resources are available to support me?

  • Gymnastics Modules
  • Play to Learn
  • Dragon Multi Skills
  • Dragon Sport
  • Dance
  • Creative Movement
  • Making a Splash
  • Health Related Fitness

If you haven't got access to these resources, email

Warm Ups

Refer to the resources listed below

  • Dragon Multi-Skills - Crazy Capers
  • Gymnastics - Thread the Needle
  • Gymnastics - Lily Pads
  • Gymnastics - Sunbathing Crabs

Skill Development

Refer to the resources listed below

  • Technical Skill Cards - Fast Feet
  • Technical Skill Cards - Ready Position
  • Technical Skill Cards - Rapid Reactions
  • Technical Skill Cards - Under Arm Throw
  • Technical Skill Cards - Dodging
  • Gymnastics - Frog Jumping
  • Gymnastics - Puck Shape
Rhythmic gymnast Frankie Jones competing at Glasgow 2014


Refer to the resource below

  • Dance (KS2) - Creativity

Learners should be encouraged to be creative in all aspects of their learning, including the integrated cross cutting ethos of the Curriculum for Wales, prompts schools, practitioners and learners to take this approach with aspects traditionally viewed as not creative for example sports or team games. By thinking creatively learners will be more engaged and motivated adapting activities to meet their needs, abilities and interests.  This will help them sustain long term participation.  

Dance is a key element of the expressive arts area of learning and experience.

Health and Well-being

Health and wellbeing is the area of learning and experience where practitioners will find many of the aspects that they associate with and recognise as physical education.

Refer to the resources below

  • Health, Fitness and Well-Being

Mini Games

Refer to the Dragon Multi-Skills resources below

  • Me to you to me
  • Rugby Rounders
  • End to End

Leading the Learning

Refer to the resource below

  • Dance (KS3) - Alternative Roles


Ensure opportunities for:

Adaptation Challenge 
Choice Collaboration 
Decision Making Development of Skills 
Fun Improvement 
Independence Involvement 
Participation Positive Relationships 
Questioning Responsibility 
Safety Scaffolding 
Trust Use of EDD 

Making The Most Out Of Reflection


  • What did we do and why?
  • What went well?
  • What didn’t go as well?
  • What have I learned?
  • What would I do differently next time and why?