University of Exeter
Tools for Schools
Feet off the ground

Feet off the ground

Key Points

This activity is for a whole class or small group to understand why and when you can learn and move at the same time. This strategy is useful to do with or before ‘moving is grooving’

  • Classroom activity
  • And/Or individual (personalised) for the toolkit student
How is this tweaked for flex?

Children who struggle with hyperactivity, attention or impulsive behaviour may struggle to remain still in the classroom, regardless of how much you ask them to! This strategy formalises a way of checking that they are learning while allowing them some freedom if they are not able to stay seated, hopefully reducing the amount of negative feedback the child gets

  • Find the time to have a segment of a lesson on moving and learning (see instructions in the resources list, along with tailored lesson resources for older or younger students)
  • Talk to others at school and home, and bring together resources to build in movement or fidgeting in a non-disruptive way e.g. wobble cushions, stretchy bands and fidget toys (see the backup plan ideas and ideas for short movement breaks)
  • Use the backup plan template for teachers and ideas to think through and note times when a movement break (a ‘move and groove’) will definitely not be possible, and have a backup plan in place. Think first how you can adapt to the child’s needs rather than how to postpone their need to move
  • Do the classroom activity – when can you move around and still complete your learning successfully, and when can’t you?
  • Identify three or four guidelines with the class to shape when movement is going to be possible, and how and when to signal that they need a movement break (see signalling template)
  • Agree with the class some reasons that you may say yes or no, and what to do if the answer is no. Use the guidelines suggestions and yes or no template to support this 
  • You could have students make a poster with these guidelines and their own illustrations
  • Put this somewhere where you and others in the class can see it and refer to it and encourage the class to request ‘moving is grooving’ time
  • Optional-talk about how you can check if a child is learning while they are moving– consider both your own thoughts and your students’ suggestions (use the checking I'm engaged template and ideas)
  • How much movement did you manage to incorporate for your students? Note how this impacted you in the reflection template
  • Did it impact their (or others’) engagement and learning? In what ways (positives and negatives)?
  • Talk to your SENCo and colleagues about how it is going and any problems, and think through how you might overcome them
  • Use the reflection template to reflect