An Activity Studio is a flexible space to facilitate and promote physical activity, across all ages and abilities, designed with your input and your educational vision in mind. It should be a space in which you can create and adapt activities to enhance the most engagement of your students.
The layout of the studio should be defined by your ethos, and your vision for your PE department – what does your department want to achieve? The Activity Studio will help to tackle inactivity as well as to engage and encourage participation from a broad range of students/user groups who may not be traditional involved in sport and recreation. These are particularly significant agenda items for Sport England and the FA Football Foundation.
“Creating more opportunities to be physically active means thinking about many prompts and cues that enable positive changes in our behaviour. An active environment is one which responds to community needs and aspirations and provides the conditions and opportunities for people to be more active in their everyday lives. Active environments require a more coordinated and holistic approach to the design and operation of our surroundings…” Charles Johnston, Executive Director of Property, Sport England.
Spaces for physical activity can be created in a wide range of rooms in school buildings. Although most sports require minimum dimensions and other key requirements, almost any space can be used for some form of physical activity.
Use the whole space, enhance studio walls to engage and inspire students to achieve their goals and stay fit and healthy. Use them to express your vision as a department or school. This can be done through things like wall décor, vinyl, paintwork etc.
Using vibrant colour throughout your studio will stimulate, motivate, and invigorate students’ mind and body. Updated guidance from March 2020 published by public health England, identifies that, if you want to drive engagement of students in physical activity, choice and variety and creating active environments are two of the principles that will help achieve this.
Ensuring your Activity Studio is flexible enough to accommodate a variety of activities, whether it is dance, circuit training, table tennis or yoga will give your students both choice and variety within their active environment.
The potential of smaller spaces to accommodate indoor physical activities will depend on the particular characteristics of the space in question. A space as small as 5m x 5m x 3.5m can be re-purposed to create a multi-activity space.
Some points to consider:
- Spatial requirements – proportionate and appropriate for their use. Start with measuring your proposed area and consider what can be included
- Suitable floor surface – the selection is essential for creating an appropriate space for multiple applications
- Internal finishes – does your space have anything to work around or avoid? Columns, wall-mounted kit, or doors opening into the space?
- Comfort – ventilation, good lighting, and heating/air conditioning are important to maximise the use of the space
What activities could your activity studio offer?
What makes an Activity Studio different from a Fitness Suite – often mistaken for one another the Activity Studio can be more flexible to accommodate a more diverse range of activities than the Fitness Suite. A Fitness Suite will often comprise gym equipment such as weights and cardio machines and a warmup/stretch area.
An Activity Studio offers a combination of multiple activities and learning space in one area that is configurable and flexible. It is an area that can adapt to the needs of your school, timetables, and students. This multifunctional space will enable you to offer a wealth of activities. Below are just some options that can be arranged and put away quickly and easily to accommodate both variety and choice.
How can your studio tackle mindfulness…? Well easily, Yoga and Pilates are great activities for promoting mindfulness in children of all ages. It is also easy to set up, with only matting and a good lesson plan required.
Maximise variety and create opportunity – Other activities that require large floor space and minimal equipment are Aerobics, Dance, circuit training, and even martial arts. With dance covering a variety of styles from ballet and tap to street dance, you can offer your students so many options, such as a balance between more traditional team and competitive sports.
Introducing activities such as Ping pong or Table Tennis to your studio is great for PE lessons but also for lunchtime, after school, and extra-curricular activities. Plus, they are great sports for group play and socialising outside of the playground and lunch hall. Many tables can be purchased as fold-away or wheel-away items so easily stored and put away, so the space is free and flexible for other activities around the clock. You can even try some new and exciting table sports such as Teqball – the nation's new multisport table used by many sporting idols today.
Free weights are an addition that could complement your Activity Studio, especially if you don’t have the capacity for a Fitness Suite. Just make sure you have good storage to put them away and be as flexible as possible.
Non-PE – group work and presentation, meetings
Your Activity Studio can also be utilised for activities outside of sport and fitness such as meetings, presentations, group work, quiet study space and downtime, and even parents' evening and staff training. All you need is the appropriate furniture, which is configurable and flexible, allowing you to move them into place and back into storage quickly and easily. WF Education offers a wide range of furniture, presentation equipment, and storage solutions that will help you create an Activity Studio that is truly adaptable.
Why consider storage?
Lack of storage space for equipment is a common problem in many indoor activity spaces and sporting items can also be attractive to thieves.
The variety of activities offered in your studio will require adequate storage for equipment to enable you and your students quickly and easily setup for lessons/sessions. Equipment should be stored or removed at the end of an activity as much as possible. Storage areas should be convenient, safe, and easy to use and should not create obstructions in and around the activity and circulation routes. To ensure a flexible and multifunctional space, equipment, matting, flexible furniture, and other items will need to be stored away easily.
WF Education offers storage solutions from open storage to secured and lockable cupboards to mobile stores.
Don’t have room for an Activity Studio?
Consider using unused classrooms to create your Activity Studio. You could even adapt it to use it as an additional classroom, exam space or meeting room if needed too.