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Fundamental movement skills provide the basis of physical literacy

This is an excerpt from Complete Guide to Primary Gymnastics by Lindsay Broomfield.

What Are Fundamental Movement Skills?

Fundamental movement skills are movement patterns that involve various body parts and provide the basis of physical literacy. Fundamental movement skills are the foundational movements, or precursor patterns, to the more specialised and complex skills used in play, games and specific sports. Physical literacy describes the ability of a person to instruct the body to perform an action accurately and with confidence and to recognize the physical, social, cognitive and emotional attributes required to do so effectively. Gymnastics-like activities promote the development of all movement patterns.

Fundamental movement skills feature predominantly through the units of work on the DVD and are referred to as action in the following gymnastics formula:

shape + action = gymnastics skill

Fundamental movement skills can be categorised into three groups: body management skills, locomotor skills and object control skills.

Body Management Skills

Body management skills involve balancing the body in stillness and in motion. Examples are static and dynamic balancing, rolling, landing, bending and stretching, twisting and turning, swinging, and climbing. The scheme of work on the DVD contains units of work that introduce, initiate and develop body management skills. Specific skills in the units include balancing (on large and small body parts, with a partner and in groups), rolling techniques, inversions, safe landings, and climbing. Body management skills can be developed using both the large apparatus and hand apparatus. Without competence in body management, the safe implementation and development of the other fundamental movement skills becomes difficult.

Body management skills are featured throughout the units of work on the DVD in the Scheme of Work folder.

Locomotor Skills

Locomotor skills involve transporting the body in any direction from one point to another. Examples are crawling, walking, running, hopping, leaping, jumping, galloping, skipping and swimming. Several units of work on the DVD feature travelling skills and jumping and landing techniques. The themed games in chapter 11 of this book encourage exploring various ways to travel, and the Travel Techniques card in the Pictorial Resources folder on the DVD offers many ideas for varying modes of travelling. The Creature Movements resources complement most locomotor skills in fun and easy-to-instruct ways and are explained in chapter 11, Themed Games, and in the Themed Games folder within the Pictorial Resources folder on the DVD.

Locomotor skills are featured throughout the units of work on the DVD in the Scheme of Work folder.

On the DVD, go to the Pictorial Resources folder. Refer to the Travel Techniques resource card within the Flight and Travel subfolder. Also refer to the Creature Movements resource cards within the Themed Games folder.

Object Control Skills

Object control skills require controlling implements and objects such as balls, hoops, bats and ribbons by hand, by foot or with any other part of the body. Examples are throwing, catching, kicking, striking, bouncing and dribbling. The use of hand apparatus to promote object control skills and extend gymnastics activities is a theme present in all the units of work, which makes it unique in its approach to inclusive gymnastics. The activities offer a creative alternative to the direct learning of gymnastics-specific skills and provide an avenue through which to develop object control skills in a gymnastics environment.

Object control skills are featured throughout the units of work on the DVD in the Scheme of Work folder.

More Excerpts From Complete Guide to Primary Gymnastics