PEN's Active Families Programme

Jan 28, 2022

St Agnes CE Primary School in Longsight, Manchester have been involved in our Active Families project for nearly four years - they were one of our first pilot schools!

Through the implementation of the project, they noticed a significant impact on activity levels within their school. They could see the huge impact that the project had on wider family life when they supported families to be more active without the need to wear gym clothes, have special equipment or have prior experience. 

In fact, they found that despite perceived barriers to participation, all families were keen to be involved, and staff were surprised by the levels of engagement, not least of the number of dads who came along! The school found that parents were passionate about their children's health and wanted to promote activity at home, asking questions and looking for advice about how they could do this. Parent Champions also reported a positive experience. They enjoyed being active with other families, making new games and playing together at home.

That today's children are being raised with increased screen use and levels of inactivity has been particularly true of the last two years. Active Families school sessions are loosely structured but encourage participant input, and this is key to fostering independence and autonomy of activity levels.

The Active Families programme can give families the tools to be proactive about activity even if there is little space or when they are busy with their daily chores. It allows them to try new games and develop new skills in a safe environment, emphasising play and having fun and giving them the confidence to explore their wider communities and find opportunities to increase their activity levels.

Our Sport England Active Families funding is coming to an end in March. Still, with the need to be active more critical than ever, we're continuing to make it available to schools and settings as an online programme. And what's more, we have FREE equipment for 400 families from schools who sign up. And as we're a non-profit organisation, we'll continue to invest our learning and profit back into the project to ensure continual improvement and development. 

To find out more about the project or sign up, visit or contact [email protected]

Further reading:

What Works in schools and colleges to increase physical activity? Public Health England

The link between pupil health and wellbeing and attainment: A briefing for head teachers, governors and staff in education settings. Public Health England



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