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children’s health

trampolining fun

The surprising benefits of trampolining

By children's health, Exercise, family, fun for children, Mental health, parties, Playing, Wellbeing
by Sandra Zerr
Head of Marketing, AirHop Group

Trampolining isn’t just fun, it’s good for you too. Exercising regularly not only improves physical health, but mental health as well. And, unlike most other forms of exercise, it doesn’t feel like hard work yet it’s still effective. Bouncing on a trampoline or in a trampoline park can burn up to 1,000 calories per hour! Read on to find out more about some of the surprising benefits that visiting an indoor trampoline park can bring to both your body and mind, whatever your age.

Exercising on a trampoline is three times more effective at burning calories than jogging whilst being lower impact on your joints and limbs. Just ten minutes on a trampoline burns as many calories as half an hour of jogging. The bouncy surface of a trampoline is much kinder on the joints that experience a lot of stress and impact when running, such as your knees and ankles. Stop plodding along the pavement and start bouncing instead, it’s a low impact activity that provides you with really good high impact results!

Research has shown that there is a positive link between physical activity and improved mental health, and what better way to exercise than in a trampoline park!

Exercise can help to reduce stress in the body and release endorphins. These are your body’s feel-good chemicals, so you’ll happily come back for more bouncing! So take a break from your screens and social media and go for a bounce! A couple of hours in a trampoline park will tire you out whilst having fun at the same time, helping to improve your mood and your sleep.

Bouncing is a great way to improve your co-ordination and balance, as well as increasing your spatial awareness. Trampolining requires balance and adjustments of the body to stay in the centre of the trampoline and get a good bounce! The other activities found in trampoline parks – like the wipeout zone, battle beams, assault course, or reaction wall – all challenge your reaction times, physical ability, balance, and strength in different ways.

Every jump uses multiple muscle groups. Bouncing requires the muscles in your glutes, legs, back, and core to be tensed and relaxed repeatedly, giving you a full body workout, and increasing your strength over time. It’s also an aerobic exercise, so your circulation is greatly improved. As you jump, your muscles contract and help the heart push greater quantities of oxygen around the body. So you’ll feel fitter and better in other areas of your life after time spent in a trampoline park!

We’ve found the cure to growing older! Or slowed it down at least – because jumping works in unison with your body’s natural detox system, better known as the lymphatic system, the system responsible for removing dead cells and toxins from the body. Exercising in a trampoline park stimulates lymphatic circulation, promoting a healthy metabolism and helping to burn fat more effectively.

Visiting a trampoline park isn’t just for children, it’s the perfect active day out for the whole family! It’s a great way to spend time together and there are activities for all ages and abilities, not just trampolines! Indoor trampoline parks often have obstacle courses, airbags or foam pits to jump into and practise tricks, battle beams to challenge your friends and family, or reaction games to test your reflexes. Whether you are four or 54, there is an activity for you that will leave you with a big smile on your face.

Students can take a break from the books; swap times tables for trampolines, algebra for airbags, the whiteboard for wipeout, and enjoy a much-needed study break at an indoor trampoline park! They are also the perfect venue for sober socials and even corporate team building events, with a range of different activities to suit everyone and the physical element and fun environment helping to break the ice. Ice breakers without the cringe!

Some of these benefits may have surprised you but they certainly show that the pleasure of going to a trampoline park shouldn’t be restricted to just children; all ages will benefit whilst having a huge amount of fun!

AirHop Adventure & Trampoline Parks run 17 parks throughout the UK providing a fun and active day out for the whole family with sessions for all ages and capabilities.


benefits of dance in young people

For the love of dance

By children's health, dance & Art, Mental health, Music and singing, play, Theatre

Learning to dance is not just about mastering choreography or moving to the rhythm; it offers numerous physical, emotional and cognitive benefits, making it a valuable and enjoyable activity for children.

Here are some compelling reasons why children should learn to dance:

• Physical fitness
Dance is an excellent form of physical exercise that helps children develop strength, flexibility, and co-ordination. It promotes cardiovascular health, enhances muscle tone, and aids in maintaining a healthy body weight. Regular dancing can instill healthy habits that may last a lifetime.

• Motor skills development
Dancing requires precise movements and control of various body parts. As children learn different dance styles, they improve their fine and gross motor skills, which are essential for everyday activities like writing, playing sports, and self-care.

• Balance and posture
Dance teaches children how to maintain good posture and balance. These skills are not only beneficial for their physical wellbeing but also for their overall self-confidence and how they carry themselves in everyday life.

• Self-expression
Dance provides a creative outlet for children to express their emotions and feelings. It allows them to communicate without words, helping them develop emotional intelligence and self-awareness. Dance can also be very therapeutic and a great way for children to process their emotions.

• Confidence building
As children learn and perform dance routines, they gain self-assurance. The applause and positive feedback they receive boost their self-esteem and help them become more comfortable in social situations.

• Social skills
Dance classes often involve group activities and performances, which encourage teamwork and co-operation. Children learn to work together, support each other, and build friendships through shared experiences.

• Discipline and focus
Dance requires discipline and concentration. Learning complex choreography and striving for improvement instills a strong work ethic in children. They also learn the value of patience and practice as they work towards mastering dance techniques.

• Cultural awareness
Dance is a global language that transcends borders and cultures. By learning different dance styles, children gain an appreciation for the diversity of world cultures and traditions. This exposure can promote tolerance and open-mindedness.

• Stress reduction
Dancing is a joyful and fun activity that can act as a stress reliever. It allows children to forget their worries, even if just for a little while, and experience the joy of movement and music.

• Boosted memory and cognitive skills
Dance involves memorising sequences, steps and patterns, which can improve memory and cognitive function. It challenges the brain and enhances problem-solving abilities and cognitive flexibility.

• Creativity and imagination
Dance encourages creativity and imagination. Children often have the opportunity to choreograph their movements, fostering creativity and critical thinking.

• Lifelong love for the arts
Early exposure to dance can cultivate a lifelong appreciation for the arts. It may inspire children to explore other artistic forms such as music, theatre or visual arts.

• Career opportunities
For some children, dance can become a lifelong passion and even a career. Professional dance opportunities include becoming a dancer, choreographer, dance instructor or even working in the entertainment industry.

So, learning to dance is definitely not just about the physical movements; it’s about developing a holistic set of skills that benefit children in various aspects of their lives. It nurtures their physical health, emotional wellbeing and cognitive development while fostering self-expression, discipline and a lifelong love for the art form. Whether dancing for fun, self-expression or professional aspirations, the benefits of dance make it a valuable addition to any child’s life.

defiant toddler

Teaching your child boundaries

By Childcare and Nannying, children's health, Education, family, Mental health, Relationships, Special support needs
by Michelle Elman
Author, How to Say No

You will remember a time in your child’s life when “no” was their favourite word but as a child hits three to four years old, saying “no”, getting their needs met and communicating how they feel, gets a little bit more complicated. They start to develop Theory of Mind which means they start to get an awareness of the fact that not only can they think, but other people think too. Over time, this realisation turns into the knowledge that if someone can think, then they can think about you and they can also think badly about you.

As adults, you will understand that your own boundaries are usually in conflict with caring what people think, and children also suffer with the same issue, especially when popularity, fitting in and being liked by their peer group is such a high priority. This is where it is important to emphasis the need to keep boundaries in their vocabulary, starting with the simplest and first boundary we all learn – the word ‘no’.

As we all know, children don’t do as you say, they do as you do and therefore practising boundaries yourself is the best place to start to be an example to your children. Learning boundaries isn’t just something you should do for your children though, it can positively impact your life in many ways – from self-esteem, to protecting yourself from burnout, to reprioritising your need for rest and looking after your body. As much as children might struggle to do what you say, if you create an environment where everyone feels listened to, they often start to listen to you more too, if they feel heard themselves.

The word “no” is crucial to understanding how you feel, what you want and it also means that your “yes” has more power. If “yes” is the only word you can use, then that’s the default and your life becomes filled with meeting everyone else’s needs and demands. As much as a child using the word “no” may make your life more difficult as a parent, it’s important to understand that it’s a crucial skill as they grow up and become adults.

We want to foster a sense of independence and knowing how to communicate well, even if they still need to comply with the rules of the household or school. When they set a boundary that is simply not feasible, for example, staying at home alone because they don’t want to attend a family friend’s party, then you are still able to congratulate them on communicating their needs, expressing their boundaries and making them feel heard, listened to and respected.

If you lead with empathy, you are treating them with the respect you would with any adult who has their full autonomy and freedom to make their own decisions. I’m sure you’ve had evenings where you’ve not wanted to attend an event that you previously were looking forward to or there are times as an adult, you just want to be left at home alone to enjoy your solitude. For your child though, that might be unsafe and therefore communicating that to them, not only gives them respect but understanding as to the decision making process.

Saying something like “I know you don’t want to come tonight. I know you are tired and I wouldn’t want to come too if I had as long a week as you have. I can’t find anyone to stay with you last minute though and I do not feel comfortable leaving you at home alone so for your safety, you will have to come with us”. When you come from a empathetic standpoint, you can understand why a child wouldn’t want to go to a grown-up party where they have little in common with the people there, and it is easier to come up with a compromise, for example, “If you would like some alone time though, why don’t you bring a book and we can find a room where you can be by yourself while all the adults are talking?”

Teaching boundaries is also about teaching your children to respect other people’s boundaries so when you set rules about behaviour, make sure you echo the reverse. For example, if they don’t want their siblings barging into their room, then they also have to lHow to say noisten when their siblings say no to them entering their room. Emphasising that we also want to respect other people’s boundaries and giving them the language around boundaries is also really helpful. A boundary might not always sound like the word “no”, it can be “That doesn’t work for me”, or “I don’t like the sound of that,” and when you understand that this is someone conveying their boundaries, not only do they have phrases to listen out for but they have the same phrases they can use themselves.

‘How To Say No’ released by Puffin, is available now.

childrens emotional well being

Talking to children about their feelings

By children's health, Education, Mental health, special educational needs
by Marsha Dann
Lead Teacher, Play B C Preschool

Children are not born able to understand and manage their emotions. Self-regulation is a skill they have to learn. It must be frustrating for very young children, with little or limited language skills, to try to communicate how they are feeling to others.

They are particularly vulnerable also to the emotional difficulties experienced by their carers. Even though we have mostly put the global pandemic behind us, the profound effect it had upon all of us cannot be denied. The challenges of isolation, increased anxiety and stress affected individuals of all ages and continue to have an impact. Followed in quick succession by a cost of living crisis, the financial pressures that many faced then, have only continued to grow. To safeguard children’s general wellbeing, openly talking to them about feelings and teaching them to recognise emotions in others and themselves is of vital importance.

The early years of a child’s life are critical for development in all areas, and experiences during this period will shape the brain’s messaging systems. When a child feels content and emotionally secure, their cognitive abilities thrive, allowing them to concentrate, learn, and remember effectively. Conversely, when stress overwhelms a child, adrenaline surges through their body, suppressing higher cognitive functions as their system gears up for the fight-or-flight response. Prolonged exposure to high cortisol levels, a stress hormone, can disrupt brain development, particularly in areas responsible for self-regulation, memory, and executive function. Chronic stress in early childhood can lead to a myriad of emotional and physiological problems down the road.

Stress in young children often arises from unmet needs and separation from familiar caregivers. However, this can be mitigated through consistent and responsive adult attention and interaction. Rather than rushing to cheer up or fix a child’s problem, sitting alongside them and acknowledging their emotions, teaches them feelings do not have to be overwhelming and you can navigate them together. Developing curiosity about emotions instead of suppressing them helps children understand they can handle challenging feelings. Assist them to identify and label the specific feeling they are experiencing. Are they feeling anger, worry, fear, frustration or happiness? By doing this, you not only expand their vocabulary but also facilitate their ability to recognise and acknowledge the same emotion when they feel it in future situations.

Emotional Intelligence (EI) plays a crucial role in a child’s ability to recognise and manage their own feelings, as well as understand emotions in others. Yale University have coined the acronym RULER to identify five essential skills for EI: Recognising, understanding, labelling, expressing and regulating emotions. By encouraging children to identify and express their emotions, we equip them with the tools to navigate and communicate their feelings effectively, setting a strong foundation for social and emotional development.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) identifies Personal Social and Emotional Development (PSED) as a prime area of learning, critical in a child’s overall growth. Self-regulation and relationship-building are identified as core components of PSED. The early years provide a critical environment for promoting emotional wellbeing, where practitioners can strike a balance between sensitivity, stimulation, agency and consistency to help children regulate their emotions and develop an awareness of their behaviour’s impact. Maintaining a calm and consistent approach while serving as a positive role model, further supports children in understanding how feelings can be managed.

Teach your child that it is perfectly normal to experience a range of emotions, even if some of them are unpleasant. Even emotions like jealousy, envy, or selfishness can tell us something, serve as opportunities for self-reflection and give us insights into ourselves and others. It is important to create a lighthearted and comfortable atmosphere when discussing emotions, as this can prevent heightened emotional responses, particularly when a child feels sad or anxious. While all emotions are OK, not all behaviours are, and young children need to learn how to show their feelings in a way that is effective and appropriate to their environment and others around them.

Practical strategies for encourag-ing emotional intelligence include exploring images of different facial expressions and encouraging children to imitate expressions in a child-safe mirror. You could guide them to map their feelings on a mood meter or think of them in terms of colours, think of the Pixar movie ‘Inside Out’. You can find more about this from websites such as the Zones of Regulation or the Ruler Approach.

In conclusion, it is good to talk. By engaging in discussions about emotions, recognising and understanding their feelings, and providing a supportive environment, we empower children to develop crucial emotional and social skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.

Teacher-led Play B C offers fun, yet challenging early education and prioritises relationships. Interaction is judged to be ‘excellent’ and practice has been further validated with an Early Years Quality Mark. More than just a place, at Play B C every day is a learning adventure. Please feel free to contact to arrange a visit.

early years play

The importance of early years play

By children's health, Education, fun for children, numeracy skills, Playing, reading, Relationships
by Jasmine Holbrook
Imogen Ruby

Playing underpins all aspects of a child’s development and keeps infants active and happy. Through play, children develop their language, emotional, social and motor skills, as well as their creativity, problem solving abilities and imagination. Alongside the benefits for your little one, playing together with your child can strengthen your bond and allow you to join their world. Play develops through a series of commonly observed stages and by altering your play style and the toys offered throughout these stages, you can continue to support and encourage this development.

Play can begin right from birth. Those early movements of a baby’s arms and legs that seemingly have no purpose are actually helping them to learn to move and you can join in by gently encouraging movement. This could be through baby massage, swimming or laying your baby on your chest, tummy to tummy, a great opportunity for eye contact and kisses.

Babies love interaction with another human face, allowing your little one to study your facial expressions. Talking and singing can make this fun for both of you. Tummy time will strengthen their arms and necks and help prepare them for crawling. Using high contrast flash cards and toys, as well as baby safe mirrors, will continue to develop these skills, as well as their visual and brain development and encourage them to continue learning about the world around them.

As a baby begins to move and explore their world further, they are able to engage with toys in a different way and will start to play alone, showing not much interest in other children’s play but developing an increasing focus on what they themselves are doing. Warm interactions from the adults around them, playing alongside whilst still allowing space to enjoy some independence will enhance their understanding and enjoyment. Board books, rattles and sensory toys such as ribbon rings and musical shakers are all great choices for this stage of development.

Commonly, around two years of age children become more curious about what other children are doing, observing without joining in. As your child begins to observe other children playing, you may feel that you want to encourage them to join in but there is no need. This stage is important for children to learn about social cues and to understand the behaviour and rules within social play. Their vocabulary continues to develop rapidly, with discussions about what they are seeing.

Children at this stage will benefit from opportunities to be around other children, but will very much enjoy activities with you such as singing, story telling, early role-play toys and of course, outdoor and indoor physical play.

Social skills continue to develop as children begin to learn to share toys and copy activities, whilst still playing alongside each other without much involvement. Age appropriate toys that can easily be shared and interacted with are important, for example wooden animals, vehicles, chunky puzzles and building blocks.

Children will become more interested in playing with others, in talking and engaging and this develops their problem solving skills as well as their co-operation as they begin to navigate a shared space. During this stage, play is not very organised or focused but they are learning teamwork and communication skills as well as beginning to recognise other children’s boundaries. The best way to encourage this type of play is by creating shared spaces with similar toys, such as several dolls in a shared dolls house, a variety of vehicles on a play road map, or a mixture of animals or dinosaurs within a woodland themed playzone.

Co-operative play is the last stage of play and is vital for social and group interaction. This usually begins around the age of four and continues throughout childhood, bringing together all the skills already learned. This is where imaginative play becomes a key focus of a child’s play as they take on different roles within their imagination. You can encourage and enhance this stage of play in so many ways; for example, playing shops with a shopkeeper and a customer, playing kitchens and tea parties, directing ‘traffic’ in the garden, dressing up, the possibilities are endless.

Playing with your little one can create deeper connections and stronger emotional bonds as well as foster trust and open communication between you. It provides valuable insight into your child’s development and interests, and allows you to better understand their world. Through shared play, you can create treasured moments, enhance your own stress relief and boost your overall wellbeing – there are benefits of play for all of us!

Imogen Ruby has sustainability at its heart; through our organic clothing choices, environmentally conscious toys and passion for reusable cloth nappies.


The importance of empowerment

By children's health, Education, Health, Mental health, Relationships
by Project Female Dance Ambassador

Empowerment is a sort of internal permission, a confidence instilled by either yourself or the situations you find yourself in. It is defined as “authority of power given to someone to do something”. As a young person, empowerment can act as an important remedy to the societal pressures faced daily.

It feels like expectations of perfection lurk around every corner for young people. They turn on their phone and are bombarded with unrealistic images of perfection. In class there is the feeling that they would rather not raise their hand than answer incorrectly in fear of classmates and teachers thinking they’re stupid. Even at home there seems to be an expectation held by parents for their child to be a certain way. All of these experiences equate to a society of young people who are paralysed by insecurity.

empowering peopleEmpowerment has the potential to liberate young people from these expectations and pressures. Empowerment enables young people to find their voice, their place in this world and feel important and heard. Empowerment is the enemy of insecurity, and through engaging with activities and communities that make young people feel empowered, they grow in a confidence that can be applied to every aspect of their lives.

Inclusive spaces committed to creating a judgement free environment, allow young people the permission to be confident, to have fun without concern for what other people in the room are thinking and be empowered in a way they don’t often experience elsewhere. We see the relief young people experience when they are able to put all of those pressures and expectations aside and just focus on being in the room and enjoying the activity with people they feel respected by.

With a physical activity like dance, an inclusive space mobilises a type of empowerment that encourages creativity and freedom without the fear of judgement. Movement within dance is choreographed to be unique and can sometimes push you out of your comfort zone. Empowerment can be used as a tool to get over that feeling of awkwardness and express your individuality. Within an inclusive dance space there is no expectation of how you should look or act and a nurturing environment is created through the knowledge that you are surrounded by people who share similar interests and experiences. Empowerment in dance is extremely important as it gives the dancers permission to freely throw their bodies around, take risks and try new things confidently.

The young people we work with have said dance has made them feel more empowered. They’ve reflected that dance validates them when they’re feeling down or insecure. It distracts and offers them a creative escape when the pressures of society become too much. It motivates them to keep improving. The confidence they experience within the four walls of the studio becomes evident in other aspects of their lives such as school and socially.

Everyday we witness dance instilling and securing a sense of empowerment within the young people we work with.

Project Female offers a range of inclusive dance classes for 4 year olds to adults. Learn new routines, build confidence and develop creativity and expression in a fun environment.

learn to swim

Six reasons why you should learn to swim

By children's health, Sport, swimming
by Darren Bubb
Swim Safe Director

1. It’s great for your health
Swimming when young helps children to develop their strength, co-ordination and flexibility. It helps solidify a love of physical activity and exercise which will help them keep fit and stay fit no matter their age.

2. There are no age limits
Swimming is for EVERYONE, it doesn’t discriminate against age. From babies and children to parents and grandparents. It’s never too late to learn to swim and open up a whole form of physical activity.

3. It’s a low impact sport
Unlike other popular sports, swimming’s low impact means that you reduce the chance of injury. Which means that not only is it a great recovery and rehabilitation sport it means that you can swim well into older age.

4. Swimming lasts a lifetime
Learning to swim not only gives you a new skill. It gives you the opportunity to enjoy swimming for many years to come.

5. Great place to make friends
Swimming is a powerful way to bring people together, whilst having fun, overcoming struggles and fears. It gives your children a chance to meet people away from their classrooms and gives them a wider social circle. It’s also a great way for parents to meet other parents too.

6. Swimming could save your life
Drowning is the second-biggest cause of accidental death in children aged one to 14 years old in the country. This means that it’s vital that your child knows how to react should they find themselves in trouble in the water. Learning to swim will help your child become a strong swimmer and give them the best chance of survival should they find themselves in a difficult situation in water.

For more information please visit

first aid training

First aid for parents

By children's health, Education, First Aid, Health
by Feola McCandlish
Daisy First Aid

Would you know what to do if your child choked, swallowed something they shouldn’t have, hit their head, was burned, had a seizure or fell unconscious? Would you know how to recognise the early stages of meningitis or a severe allergic reaction?

No parent wants to think about their child being harmed; but unfortunately accidents do happen and learning essential first aid skills can make all the difference in an emergency situation.

What is first aid?
First aid is the immediate treatment given to a person before medical help arrives.
Your first actions while you wait for an ambulance can make all the difference and can sometimes even mean the difference between life and death.

There is so much to think about when you have a baby and it’s understandable that first aid might not be at the top of your list – especially when you are sleep-deprived and trying to figure out how to keep your tiny human alive.

Learning first aid can be scary, particularly when it is our own children we are talking about, but it doesn’t have to be. Learning first aid with like-minded people in a relaxed and informal environment can actually be a lot of fun.

Perfect for pregnancy
Did you know you can do a first aid class when you are expecting? It’s safe to do during pregnancy and it’s something you can tick off that ever-growing list! Why not learn with your antenatal group, friends or family?

Lots of parents, understandably, worry about choking when they are beginning to wean their baby. Did you know that babies have extremely sensitive gag reflexes, which are there to help keep your baby safe from choking?

When a baby is weaning it’s completely normal to experience a lot of coughing, gagging and going red in the face. A common misconception is that you will hear a person choking but you won’t; severe choking is usually completely silent. Knowing the difference between gagging and severe choking is really important, particularly when you are about to wean your baby. If they’re coughing and going red in the face that’s a great sign, we can usually let them work it out themselves; if they’re silent and turning blue they need our help.

Doing a first aid class can put your mind at ease when it comes to weaning your baby so you can relax enjoy the process (and focus on cleaning the mess!) and feel confident that you know what steps to take if your baby does choke.

Not just for babies
It’s not just babies who sometimes require first aid. Once your child is mobile, a whole new world will open up to them; it’s an exciting time for them and you! Young children love putting things in their mouths. Did you know this is for sensory reasons? They have more nerve endings in their mouths than they do in their fingers so they find out more about an object if they put it in their mouth! But this obviously poses a choking risk.

Once your child is walking, running and climbing it’s normal for blows to the head to become a fairly regular occurrence (at least, they are in our house!) Would you know how to treat a head injury? And would you know what signs to look out for in a serious head injury?

Learning vital first aid skills gives confidence to parents and other child carers so that they would know what to do in an emergency involving their baby or child. All it takes is two hours.

Daisy First Aid teaches award-winning courses to parents, expectant parents and children all over Sussex in homes and public venues. They also provide OFSTED compliant courses for teachers and childcare professionals in local venues and private settings.

For more information visit

boy biking

New Active Challenge to help families set healthy habits in 2023

By children's health, fun for children, Health, Playing, Sport

Families wanting to be more active in 2023 are invited to sign up to a new physical activity challenge, which features fun fitness activities to be completed throughout the year. The Premier Active Challenge is centred around 52 exhilarating activities – one for every week of the year. Activities require minimal equipment, are accessible and can be modified to suit children and adults of all ages.

From balloon volleyball, to scavenger hunts and a World Book Day-inspired fitness challenge, the activities are themed to the seasons and intended to get the blood pumping.

The challenge has been devised by Premier Education, the leading provider of sports clubs, curricular PE and holiday camps to primary schools. Passionate about encouraging children to lead more physically active lives, they hope the challenge will entice more families to regularly participate in physical activity in a fun, inclusive and accessible way for all.

David Batch, chief executive at Premier Education, comments: “Our Premier Active Challenge is about setting healthy habits for the year ahead. It doesn’t matter if you’re five, 55 or 105 – there are ways to participate and keep the body moving! Obviously, each activity needs to be adapted to those taking part, but if families can make a concerted effort to spend time together in an active way, they will be making an important commitment to their physical and mental health. We can’t wait to hear about everyone’s progress – and above all it’s about giving it a go and having fun!”

Each month, Premier Education will reveal the latest batch of weekly challenges, which will be published in a downloadable and printable planner to stick on the fridge.

Each new weekly challenge will begin on a Monday and participants should aim to complete each one a minimum of three times per week, putting special focus on weekends when it’s the perfect time to encourage friends and family to join in!

Participants are invited to share progress on socials using #PremierActiveChallenge. A star participator will be selected every month, with prizes including home sports equipment such as a cricket set, rugby balls and tennis racquets.

For more information about the Premier Active Challenge or to take part, visit 2023-active-challenge or see Premier Education’s social channels for details.
fat school child

Data reveals over 200,000 Year 6 children are classed as overweight or obese

By baby health, children's health, Food & Eating

Public Health England has recently revealed that tackling obesity is one of the greatest long-term health challenges currently facing England, as one in three children leaving primary school are overweight or living with obesity and one in five are obese.

According to these figures, a staggering 227,314 children aged 10-11 were classified as overweight or obese in 2021/22, a figure that has risen by 30% since the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2019/20, 172,831 Year 6 children were classed as overweight or obese before records were skewed during the 2020/21 Covid-crisis.

According to eating disorder experts at UKAT, (the UK Addiction Treatment Group) the number of children overweight or obese in 2021/22 was the highest count of overweight or obese children age 10-11 ever recorded, with figures going back as far as 2006/07.

Analysis of the new data by UKAT also reveals that the number of children in reception, those aged just four to five years old, classed as overweight and including obese rose from 91,723 in 2019/20 to 126,701 in 2021/22, a 38% rise since the pandemic. Those in Year 6 who are classed solely as ‘severely obese’ has risen drastically too. In 2019/20, 22,885 children age 10-11 were classed as severely obese. This rose to 34,818 in 2021/22 – a 52% rise.

There is concern about the rise of childhood obesity and the implications of obesity persisting into adulthood. The risk of obesity in adulthood and risk of future obesity-related ill health are greater as children get older. Around two-thirds (63%) of adults are above a healthy weight, and of these half are living with obesity.

Obesity prevalence is highest amongst the most deprived groups in society. Children resident in the most deprived parts of the country are more than twice as likely to be living with obesity than those in the least deprived areas.

Nuno Albuquerque, Head of Treatment for the UKAT Group comments; “Our concern is for the physical and mental wellbeing of children who are overweight or living with obesity. The health consequences of childhood obesity include type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and exacerbation of conditions like asthma, to name a few. But the psychological problems that come with obesity at such a young age include social isolation, low self-esteem and bullying, all factors that go hand in hand with the development of an eating disorder. We treat people aged 16 and over for eating disorders, and the vast majority of those began their unhealthy relationship with food during their childhood. For some, over-eating is not a choice, it is a progressive illness that worsens over time and can be extremely dangerous. These figures clearly show that children’s eating habits worsened during the global pandemic and as a society, we need to tackle this head on as a priority.”

For population monitoring purposes, children are classified as overweight (including obesity) if their body mass index (BMI) is on or above the 85th centile of the British 1990 growth reference (UK90) according to age and sex. For population monitoring purposes children are classified as living with severe obesity if their body mass index (BMI) is on or above the 99.6th centile of the British 1990 growth reference (UK90) according to age and sex.

For further information and 24/7 confidential help and support with understanding eating disorders please visit