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A program for a more active, enjoyable school day

Schools on the Move

Helsinki, Finland
The aim of the Schools on the Move program is that every student under the age of fifteen exercises an hour a day. Every school can make school days more active in their own way. Schools on the Move provides a new perspective for teaching: less sitting, more active learning, exercise during recesses and commuting using your own body.
Introduction

What is it all about?

“I never would have imagined that just by allowing junior high school students to participate in planning school activities would get them moving.”

Finnish teacher

Learning is the most important objective of schools. According to international studies, inserting physical exercise to the school day can have a positive effect on many prerequisites of learning, such as cognitive abilities, concentration, behavior and satisfaction. The positive effects of exercise are apparent, and even a great deal of exercise during the school day does not hamper learning results in academic subjects.

Even though the effects of exercise on learning are widely recognized, only few children move according to recommendations. Physical exercise during the school day has the greatest impact on the students that move the least. Children get about a third of their daily recommended exercise at school, but for the least active group, school exercise may represent an even larger portion.

The Schools on the Move program is a top priority in the Finnish government program regarding knowhow and education. The government’s goal is that the initiative will reach every school and every student in basic education gets at least one hour of physical exercise a day.

The program consists of three key elements:

  • Student participation

  • Learning

  • More movement and less sitting

The national Schools on the Move program is based on schools participating and registering on a voluntary basis. It provides tips and support for more active school days, but in the end, the school must decide how they can increase student activity and exercise during the school day.

The program has proven to be a very efficient way to increase physical activity. Students at active primary schools reach the national exercise recommendation more often than students in other primary schools. Almost two thousand schools have become part of the program, and the model is becoming available for high schools, vocational schools and higher education, as well.

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Innovation Overview
7 - 17
Age Group
-
Children/Users
1
Country
2010
Established
-
Organisation
1 019
Views
Tips for implementation
Depends on the level and extent of implementation.
Connect with innovator
Antti Blom
HundrED Review
Innovativeness

Schools become more physically active and student participation improves.

Impact

Students taking part in Schools on the Move will be more physically active than the national average.

Scalability

Every teacher can implement the ideas of Schools on the Move in their teaching, but to gain all the benefits of the innovation, implementation requires nationwide commitment.

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Milestones

Achievements & Awards

Map

Spread of the innovation

Steps

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01
The idea behind the Schools on the Move program
Before testing the innovation, you should get to know the values behind the program.
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02
Physical exercise is about choice
Pohjankylä school has been a School on the Move since 2014. The school is known for providing different types of exercise choices during the school day.
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03
Combining technology and physical exercise
Ristiina school has focused on increasing opportunities for physical exercise with technology.
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04
Increasing student activity
Hauho comprehensive school at Hämeenlinna is a great example of a creative and bold yard design. The students and school staff have collaborated in creating an inviting environment for physical activity.
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05
Becoming a School on the Move one step at a time
Recess activity was the first step on Hansakallio school's journey towards being a School on the Move.
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06
Interested?
If you are interested in the Schools on the Move program, please contact program leader Antti Blom at the Finnish National Agency for Education below:
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