Are your kids getting their DPA (Daily Physical Activity) at school?

Every province has policies and approaches to ensuring kids are active during the school day. For many, schools must commit to providing daily physical activity (DPA).

If you’ve never heard your kids – or their teachers – talk about having DPA it might be time to do a little investigating because its delivery can be hit or miss even though it may be provincially mandated.

Sometimes it is firmly entrenched in the culture of a school. Sometimes it depends on the teacher.

But DPA is important and without it kids may not be moving enough at school, even with phys ed classes and recess. Kids spend a lot of time at school and if regular activity isn’t part of their day, they could be missing out on important opportunities to be active and to develop physical literacy.

If you are a parent concerned about how much your child is moving at school, a good place to start is to look into what the policies are in your province and then request a meeting to discuss with your child’s teacher or the school’s administration.

If you’re not satisfied that the provincial policies are being met, the next step may be to find some like-minded parents and start advocating for the school to start providing DPA and programs to develop physical literacy.

OPHEA (Ontario Physical Education Association) has some great tips for educators that will help them make DPA a priority.

You can also advocate for physical literacy at school with this letter.

With parents and educators working together to get kids moving, we have a better chance of giving all kids a healthy and active start.

3 responses to “Are your kids getting their DPA (Daily Physical Activity) at school?

  1. Definitely not. My son’s school and my daughter’s previous elementary school just used the idea of extra recess as DPA with no motivation, or direction to do moderate to vigorous physical activity. As a teacher I do find it hard to get the 20 minutes min. in on days my students do not have physical literacy classes. Many teachers in my school don’t do it. I purposely schedule my DPA in and the kids see the DPA on my visual daily schedule board. They ask for it and are excited to do circuits, Go Noodle, chair exercises, and other activities.

  2. It takes a village to raise active kids and we all need to do our part to help kids achieve their DPA – at school, in sport & rec programs, in the community and at home. There is no magical solution and we can’t contract it out. If we can all include a few minutes of heart pumping activity into our programs and at home, then kids will achieve the recommended minutes of physical activity. Making activity permissive spaces helps a lot. It all starts with recognizing that moving is critical to child development and to long term health.

  3. Many school are just not achieving their recommended daily activity targets! As an ex PE teacher is not that difficult to embed this into school life during lunch and break times. We at Fit For Sport have proved this for over 27 years by up training lunchtime staff and teachers you can get all kids active.

    A commitment from Parents and careers as well as schools make the difference in many children’s life’s, if not committing to fun daily activities we will fail our children for life.

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