Fontys lectorate Move to Be Moves Toddlers

It seems logical that learning something is easier than throwing it away. Doing sports in children. An active child will likely continue to do this later in life. “Learning to navigate in and around school” says Dave Van Kahn, as of April 1, despite its simplicity, a complex problem. He is a new teacher in a series of research within the university that has continued for some time.

Out of school

Do you bring the children by car or can you take them to school by bike or on foot? Do they then sit on a chair in class most of the day? Or did the teacher create toys that get the kids moving? Do children receive physical education lessons from a physical education teacher? Or does the teacher provide the gym class herself? What about after school hours? We live in a time when YouTube videos and video games look like Fortnite. And while it is not so obvious everywhere, for example because of the crowding in the street, children can play outside freely.

“What makes it so complicated is that the child spends so much time in several places in the day,” says Van Kahn. “You can teach a child something at school, but it is also important to include the parents and the environment in which the child grows. In addition, movement is one of the many topics that requires the teacher’s attention. In a time of teacher shortage, it is difficult enough to have someone in front of the class Absolutely “.

Under the Move to Be Lectorate programme, researchers work closely with the professional field, says Anouk Adanek, lecturer at ALO and researcher at Move to Be Lectorate. The college conducts research with primary schools, municipalities and GGDs, among others, and is particularly involved with parents and children.

Dave Van Kan
Dave Van Kan

local versions

It started around 2007. While children’s lack of exercise grabbed the headlines, Adank continues. Then we wondered what the school, along with partying within the municipality, could do to stimulate a healthy and active lifestyle among young people. And how can we help with that.”

At that time, primary schools were inundated with projects designed to promote a healthy and active lifestyle among children. Together with colleagues, GGD Hart voor Brabant, GGD West-Brabant and the municipality of Tilburg, Adank has developed the “Basisschool in Beweging” method. This methodology provides insight into the school’s potential to increase children’s physical activity, whether using existing projects or not. “The methodology which has been in operation for fifteen years now, we are gradually adjusting to the ‘local’ versions,” says van Kaan. The methodology was recently developed for all stages of childhood, from zero to twelve years Child Health Center in Motion.

In retrospect, it was the beginning of an ongoing line of research into stimulating physical activity in and around primary schools, says Van Kahn. The new professor did research on Active Life from Maastricht University, for which he obtained his Ph.D. in 2017. He joined the Fontes College of Sports in 2016 as a lecturer-researcher. “Primary school in movement and active life were the first building blocks. We continue to build and deepen on the basis of the knowledge gained.” Van Kahn points to projects such as KEIGAAF, SALTO (Stimulating an Active Lifestyle through Top GymEducation), curriculum transfer and start-up skills.


Adhan’s initial research developed further. This led, among other things, to her Ph.D. A central research question is how physical education can stimulate an active lifestyle in children. The added value of subject teachers in physical education is fundamental here. In 2018, she was awarded a PhD Scholarship from NWO for Teachers for this purpose.

Adank: “When I started Primary School in Motion, I never thought that encouraging an active lifestyle among children would be and continue to be present and important. We thought it was important to respond to that. We still see that social relevance today. I’m glad we can do extensive research , in-depth, and above all, highly practical from the university. Together with students, group teachers, gym teachers and school boards, we investigate what is needed and what can be done in school. To ensure that (physical) education gets students excited about the transition. By participating in sports and exercise activities Now and in the future We look beyond the gym What it means to commute more or more in a day, for example, for the schoolyard, the curriculum, but also what it means for the neighborhood and sports associations local and neighborhood?”

thank you
thank you

The project that was primarily aimed at this connection from school to neighborhood, at home is KEIGAAF. “Another idea arose out of those earlier ideas from elementary school in Motion,” says Van Kahn. “And from the Ph.D. in Active Living, where the focus has been much more on trying to make the school environment as attractive as possible. So that the environment motivates students to move.”

Student Council

For example, Salto Primary School De Opbouw realized an additional playing field within KEIGAAF, created by the students themselves. Where children can play football, climb or ride the cable car outside school hours. A field about three hundred meters away. Pavement tiles à la Hansel and Gretel lead the way from the school to it. The key to this project was that the school had the students come up with a solution for the schoolyard that was too small, says Harry Voss, the primary school principal.

At first, students from the Student Council came to Voss with a complaint that the school yard was too small and boring. “Which was also true,” Voss says. “There are restrictions on the school yard, for example there must be a number of parking spaces. So expansion was not an option. Which means there are a lot of children in one place who can run freely or play football.” Let the Foss kids roam the neighborhood looking for a solution. So it turns out that it is about three hundred meters from the school. A grassy field with “poorly maintained” playground equipment.

The children wrote a letter to the municipality with a request to use this field as a playground. Voss read, “But the children wrote the letter themselves.” Voss and Van Kahn also spoke with the municipality. The municipality agreed. Opbouw pupils and teachers, together with Eindhoven Municipality and Fontys Sporthogeschool, have redesigned the field.


Each group has 15 minutes of extra play time at least once a week. Voss: “It depends on the teaching time, but you just see that when these kids come back, they have a lot of energy. Then they are completely relaxed. I noticed you can do a lot with them in class after that.”

Each class costs about three minutes per day of class time per week. And the benefits are enormous. They go to that field in two groups at the same time and then there is more space on the field. The road to the field is simply built into our system. And then an important plus is that students spend extra time on that active movement.”

To ensure that children can move from school to the field as safely as possible, there are paving stones with darts to and from the school in the neighbourhood. “This is also a great advertisement for the school and provides a better experience of subjects in the vicinity of the school.”

subject teacher

At Salto, Voss oversees the “Sports and Aerobics” working group. “Salto has always been interested in sports.” For example, every Salto school has had its own physical education teacher for years. Voss: “I could give a nice lesson in the gym, but if you have a sports teacher, the kids’ work is what I do. Kids come out of the gym tired, so to speak. They’re constantly busy. It’s a pleasure to see. He knows A gym teacher that’s what he does. Where I can quickly classify something as dangerous, he says, “How dangerous is that? They know exactly what to do.” Working with a subject teacher was the beginning of a long-term collaboration with Fontys Sports College, Voss says.

The Salto School community includes trainees from Fontys Sports College, among others. Gym teachers attend knowledge meetings organized by Fontys. In addition to Adank’s PhD research, the Salto Schools collaborate on other projects within the “Stimulating Movement in and Around Primary Schools” line of research.

Decorate differently

There is also a new puzzle on the primary school board. Beginning January 1, 2023, each group 3 primary student must receive two 45-minute physical education lessons per week from an approved teacher in appropriate accommodation. It’s a good development, says Van Kahn, to get the kids’ basics in order. “But it can also be a complex problem for schools.”

The professor can help with that, says the professor. “For example, do you always have to use a certain type of accommodation to be able to provide high-quality physical education? Or can you set it up in a different way? What is required for this, what does it require from teachers and how do you design the environment?”

According to Van Kahn, the essence lies in “thinking differently”. “What is the crux of what is being asked here: to facilitate movement and how can you achieve this later through creative solutions. So this amendment to the law can also help in research and education to better solve this puzzle along with the professional field. It is exactly such an issue where Knowledge and experience can be powerfully expressed in the Transition to Professorship Program.”

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