Education on the Move – Active Smarter Kids pilot

Education on the Move – Active Smarter Kids pilot
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Education on the Move

The origins of this initiative is through research Britt Vegsund, Municipal Physical Activity Leader with the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg, conducted in Oslo, Norway in the fall of 2017.

Through interviews and school visits Britt researched how Norwegians support and integrate physical activity into their school day. As part of her trip she came across the Active Smarter Kids initiative. Given its simple, low-cost approach ASK appears to be a model that could work in Nova Scotian schools. As such Britt and her project collaborators will be piloting ASK in two schools during the 2018-19 school year in the South Shore Regional Centre for Education.  The pilot is in the early stages of design and implementation. Results and learnings will be shared as the pilot progresses

Britt’s full report Education on the Move: Ideas and Inspiration for School-Based Physical Activity from Norway (2018) is available here.

A one page overview (PDF) of the pilot project is available here.

What is Active Smarter Kids (ASK)?

ASK is a model for curriculum delivery researched and developed in Norway(1,2) that involves the incorporation of simple physical activities into the delivery of academic lessons. Physically Active Lessons (PALs) activities are delivered by educators in 20-30 minutes and are well suited for math, language and social studies classes. Other subjects can use PALs with simple adaptation. PAL activities are usually delivered outdoors but are adaptable to any setting.

The ASK model is low-cost and simple and has been shown to contribute to students’ attachment to curriculum as well as in classroom cooperation and students’ sense of belonging and enjoyment at school and in class.

PAL activities are designed to engage all students and encourage collaborative and cooperative learning.  Most activities occur as a class in small groups and offer a balance between the challenge of the lesson content and the physical activity. Activities are adapted to meet different needs of students and class dynamics.

A public database of PALs is available ( and educators can add their own activities for others to use.

For more information

Project Lead: Britt Vegsund, Municipality of the District of Lunenburg | 902-541.1336

Project Collaborator: Anna Haanstra, Regional Physical Activity Consultant | 902.634.7504

Additional Resources

Education on the Move – Ideas and Inspiration for School-Based Physical Activity from Norway | Britt Vegsund

Donnelly JE, et al. (2016) Physical Activity, Fitness, Cognitive Function, and Academic Achievement in Children: A Systematic Review. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 48(6):1197-222.

Resaland, Geir K., et al. “Effects of physical activity on schoolchildren’s academic performance: The Active Smarter Kids (ASK) cluster-randomized controlled trial.” Preventive Medicine 91 (2016): 322-328.

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