Tips for creating more active classrooms

Yuille Park P–8 Community College and Loch Sport Primary School get their students moving with 'learning stations' and nature sessions.

Yuille Park P–8 Community College and Loch Sport Primary School get their students moving with 'learning stations' and nature sessions

Small changes in the classroom can have a big impact on how students learn.

Introducing more physical movement and activity can energise students, help them improve their concentration, retain knowledge and participate more in classrooms.

Through the Active Schools initiative, we are sharing tips, resources and professional learning opportunities to help you create your own active classrooms.

Schools with the moves

A year 7-8 numeracy class at Yuille Park P–8 Community College has been using 'wellbeing track learning stations' to get active and solve maths problems. The school put the maths problems in learning stations along the track, which is commonly used for cycling.

Teachers set up 10 stations with angled platforms, so students could access the problems while enjoying outdoor education. Each platform had a weather-resistant sleeve to protect the problem-solving instructions, for students to work on in small groups.

'We know kinaesthetic movement helps our students to retain connections to their learning,' Yuille Park P–8 Community College principal Brett Shillito said.

'Numeracy through movement has had a positive impact on student engagement in lessons and helped students to retain learning.'

Another school on the move is Loch Sport Primary School, which identified a need to increase student physical activity levels through active learning.  

'We engaged an expert educator from Bug Blitz on a weekly basis, who has students participating in regular active learning sessions exploring their local habitat and discovering all things nature-based,' Loch Sport Primary School principal Damian Lappin said.

'Taking part in these lessons required significantly more movement than the traditional classroom-and-desk scenario.'

Tips to create active classrooms

Sustainable change always starts small and takes time. Try one new thing at a time and build on it. Soon, you will have lots of ideas that you can share with your colleagues, to encourage others to make their own small yet impactful changes.

Here are some tips to get started:

  • add 'active' equipment into your classrooms, such as stand-up desks or wobble chairs
  • change the classroom layout to open space for movement, or use the playground as a learning space
  • encourage students to move freely around the classroom for roving group work and use corridors for more space
  • use existing outdoor spaces or build outdoor classrooms by covering existing areas
  • add interactive line markings to inside and outside areas for games and learning. For example, a wobbly snake painted on the floor can be used as a literacy game, a numeracy game and a wonderful movement break.

For help to plan and create active classrooms, refer to the Active Schools Team Implementation Audit and Guide.

For more ideas, check out the Active Schools toolkit, the Outdoors Victoria Teacher toolkit and TransformUs.

Celebrate success

After you've had some success with your program, it's time to celebrate!

Use awards, articles in newsletters and celebrations at assemblies to promote physical activity and encourage movement.

Professional development

The Active Schools Expert Support Service is a great place to start for professional development, resources and online chats to learn more about how to create a more active school.

Along with resources and guidance, free professional development sessions are also available for Victorian government school teachers. Refer to upcoming events for more details and to register.

Find out more

For more information, refer to Active Schools.

For further enquiries, contact: Kasturi Shanahan, senior policy officer, Physical Activity and Healthy Eating: