The children in Years 5 and 6 have the extraordinary chance to go climbing as part of the PE curriculum. Climbing is a healthy physical exercise promoting strength, balance, flexibility and coordination. It can also provide mental and emotional challenges focusing on developing self-confidence and self-esteem, provide problem-solving tasks and encourages peer support, communication and teamwork.
For many children, climbing at Broadclyst is an introduction to a new activity which will help improve their balance, strength and flexibility, and be great fun! There are many skills that the children need to be taught and learn. During each session the children are taught to warm up and stretch before they start climbing. They preview and learn to read the route before climbing it.
By keeping their body close to the wall they keep their centre of balance using their legs to hold their weight, not their arms. The children must remember that their legs are much stronger and will carry them further. They must use their arms for balance and shifting weight, not holding weight.
The children are taught that as they push themselves and their ability with difficult routes, they are more likely to fall. Safety harnesses are worn at all times and the children are taught to take a fall correctly.
During the sessions the children will watch and learn from their instructors and other good climbers. Over the week, as the children practice good climbing techniques, climbing performance has measurably improved.