Balance

There will be many special needs pupils who have not enjoyed the experience of early play with their peers. Such play as rolling, tumbling, climbing, jumping, swinging etc. was denied them perhaps because of parental anxieties or, social marginalisation or due to poor mobility, poor language etc... Whatever the reason for such a loss, school must attempt to give opportunities to catch up.

Early childhood play allows the individual to gain mastery of essential physical skills which eventually lead to a well balanced, physically able person.

Sensory feedback is given when the person engages in physical activities and each child needs this experience in order to become a more fully integrated person.

For instance, the child who has never played at rolling/tumbling/jumping, will not have learned how to save themselves in a fall or how to roll away out of trouble etc.. They will be anxious about physical challenges such as climbing or descending stairs, using escalators or ladders.

Crossing narrow pathways or picking their steps across a flooded walkway will be threatening tasks. Such an individual will often exclude themselves from play or ball games with their peers for fear of failure or ridicule.

For these reasons special schools should take physical education very seriously and make every effort to obtain the resources needed to operate an ongoing programme.

Resources will include most of the following.

Lesson 1: Floor Activity
Teacher brings group to gymnasium wearing tracksuit bottom and T shirt tops.
Teacher must demonstrate the activities and pupils follow. You are now involving pupils in disciplined stretching activities and some will find this difficult, especially the ‘held’ positions.
Regularly remind the pupil of how good they look when they stand and walk straight.
Ask them to grow as large as they can by stretching
and then to grow as small as they can, curling up on the floor mat.

Lesson 2: Balance
Pupils will take up best stance and this time teacher will demonstrate the following;

The three balancing exercises above should be repeated on a weekly basis so that the skills are well learned and the pupils gain confidence in balance.

Lesson 3: Stepping Up & Down
Equipment; bench, beam, hoops.
Pupils will be required to step up, step down, walk on a narrow bench or beam, turn on a bench, walk backwards, hop-in, hop-out, hop-up, hop-down.

Exercise 1 Hoop is laid on the ground in front of pupils.

  • Pupils must perform a two legged hop into the circle. Next they must hop-out.

    Teacher might practice this asking the pupil to hop over a chalk line on the floor.

  • When this hop is mastered, i.e.pupil can hop and land on the toes, not clatter down on the flat of the feet, teacher will challenge them to;
    Teacher will devise a progressive set of activities at all times reassuring the pupil by supporting them and making sure of their safety.
    Pupils should never be left alone if they find some activities frightening ....and they may find even the lowest bench intimidating.

    Lesson 4: Steps & Stairs
    Teacher may have the use of stairs or steps for practice.

    The pupil will only build confidence slowly in this activity.
    A platform, measuring 1 M square and height of approx. 12 CMS will be a secure base for pupils to practice these steps.