In the United Kingdom, until the mid-1980’s every child was assessed by a school doctor at the time of school entry. Simple tests were carried out to check a child’s balance, motor skills, vision and hearing. Since the routine testing of children’s physical skills was phased out there has been no national screening programme to identify children who may be “at risk” of under-achieving as a direct result of immaturity in the motor skills needed to support learning in the classroom.
Research carried out in schools in the United Kingdom and Europe over the last 12 years has revealed that a significant number of children in mainstream schools showed signs of immature motor skills, with the incidence being higher amongst children already identified with a specific learning difficulty or speech and language delay, and that there is a relationship between immature motor skills and educational under-achievement.
Research has also shown that the introduction of a specific daily movement programme into schools can improve motor skills.
In March 2012, a new publication tried and tested in schools will become generally available to schools and professionals involved in education and child development. Assessing Neuromotor Readiness for Learning.
The INPP Screening Test and School Intervention Programme, is based on a programme, developed by Sally Goddard Blythe at The Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology (INPP) in Chester in 1996. It consists of two screening tests:
- One for children from 4 – 7 years of age,
- and another for children from 7 years and above.
The screening tests provide teachers with a means of identifying children for whom immature neuromotor skills may be one underlying factor in educational difficulties, under-achievement or behavioural problems.
The school based intervention programme, which is specifically designed to improve neuromotor skills, by replicating and repeating movement patterns normally carried out by the developing child in the first year of life, is suitable for use with children in schools from 6 years of age.
This intervention programme can also be adapted for use with younger children if results from the screening test identify a need, or the screening test can be used as a tool to evaluate progress following use of less structured, play based physical programmes specifically designed for younger children.
Assessing Neuromotor Readiness for Learning - ISBN 978-1-119-97068-2 - RRPŁ60.00
About the author:
Sally is the author of several books on child development, is a freelance consultant in neuro-developmental education and Director of the pioneering Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology in Chester INPP. Sally can be contacted, Ph (0)1244 311414 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Other books by the author are:
- Assessing Neuromotor Readiness for Learning
- Screen Testing for Physicians
- What Babies and Children Really Need. Hawthorn Press. Stroud.
- The Well Balanced Child. Hawthorn Press. Stroud.
- Attention, Balance and Coordination – the A,B,C of Learning Success. Wiley-Blackwell. Chichester.
- Reflexes, Learning and Behavior. Fern Ridge Press. Eugene. OR
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