How to Move & Learn

An evidence-based guide to embedding physically active learning in your school

By: Bryn Llewellyn , Ian Holmes , Richard Allman


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Size222 x 182mm
PublishedJuly 2022

Written by Bryn Llewellyn, Ian Holmes and Richard Allman, How to Move & Learn: An evidence-based guide to embedding physically active learning in your school is a practical guidebook that provides primary school teachers and leaders with the know-how and confidence to embed more movement-based approaches in their teaching and learning.

We already know that increased physical activity and a reduction in the time spent sitting at desks have wide-ranging benefits (including to brain function), so what if there were also evidence that using movement in the learning process improves outcomes for children? What if we could then map out ways to support teachers in adapting their practice to make this a reality?

In this book, Bryn, Ian and Richard do just that – sharing the latest research from around the world and providing teachers with the means and motivation to identify opportunities to integrate movement purposefully into the teaching and learning process.

The links between health and education are paramount, and this book explores these connections, presenting a wealth of ideas, activities and resources to help teachers unlock both the potential of the school and outdoor environments for learning across all curriculum subjects.

How to Move & Learn identifies potential barriers to implementing physically active learning and, more importantly, provides practical solutions to help overcome them. It shows teachers how to harness the long-lasting benefits of movement as part of learning for pupils’ physical and emotional well-being, as well as their educational outcomes. Practitioners are connected to the latest research so that they can develop their teaching practice in line with the most successful evidence-based approaches and they are offered insights into what is a growing movement to energise and activate both teachers and learners.

Suitable for all primary school teachers and leaders.

Picture for author Bryn Llewellyn

Bryn Llewellyn

Bryn Llewellyn is the founder of Tagtiv8, having previously worked in various UK schools for 25 years as a teacher, deputy head and acting head teacher. His pioneering approach to physically active learning (Move & Learn) not only provides an enjoyable alternative to classroom-based learning, but also promotes physical activity – crucial when challenging the increasing problem of sedentary lifestyles. Bryn acts as an advisor to the BBC and the Premier League on their education content.

Picture for author Ian Holmes

Ian Holmes

Ian Holmes is a former head teacher who ensured physical activity and its related benefits sat at the heart of the school’s culture and ethos. He is passionate about supporting schools to embrace a whole school approach to physical activity and well-being in order to improve physical activity habits, attitudes and behaviours. He is currently working for the University of Bradford, ensuring research and practice are brought together in the implementation of the Creating Active Schools programmes at local, regional and national levels.

Picture for author Richard Allman

Richard Allman

Richard Allman is a former specialist leader of education (SLE) and senior leadership team member. As a PE specialist he delivered CPD to school leaders, teaching staff and initial teacher training (ITT) students. Richard is passionate about empowering primary school practitioners to integrate purposeful physical activity into classroom pedagogy.


  1. There is plentiful evidence that most primary school children are falling well short of the recommended time given to moderate or vigorous physical activity in the school day. This book is an account of the 'Move & Learn' approach designed to improve things. The writers are aware of the doubts many teachers will have about movement and activity spread beyond breaks and PE: lack of time, suitable spaces and resources, teacher confidence, fear of Ofsted. Their argument is therefore buttressed by theory and research-based evidence, and suggests many small steps that can gradually change a school's approach. The aim is to introduce movement, not only for its own sake but as a positive aid to subject learning, in the mainly sedentary parts of the curriculum, especially maths and English. There are practical examples of how this can be done, and two encouraging case studies written by teachers already using the approach successfully. The purpose is wholly admirable, and the book should be widely read.
  2. This book is timely and an essential read for all school-based Initial Teacher Education courses – indeed, a must for any teacher during their Early Career Framework period because they will find the ideas and examples help to extend their pedagogical repertoire of skills and knowledge. It should also be read by every primary head teacher before taking up post, since if they take note of the many examples and case studies in Move & Learn they will be even more successful – not just with improving children's learning but also the mental health and well-being of pupils and colleagues alike. It's a super book and every teaching hub should be buying and distributing multiple copies.

  3. As the pandemic created downward pressure on physical activity, this book could not have been timed more perfectly. In the quest for more physically active schools, classrooms and students, How to Move & Learn is the next must-have book on the topic! One of the great appeals of this project is how the authors align Move & Learn strategies with sound principles of instruction. The differentiation of Move & Learn Activators and Energisers is critical to classroom application. I was also impressed with the authors' examination of school and classroom culture and environment. We need to do more to recognise the absolute importance of movement in the teaching and learning process and this book takes us to the next level.

  4. The authors of this book bring together physiology, psychology and philosophy and make us look differently at the embedded routines of schooling and how schools could break out of teaching as they always have and improve learning for pupils in the future. It is an energetic, highly readable and fascinating book which challenges thinking and practice in order to propose ways forward. Can schools step up, jump to it and take up the running ... or will they sit and watch the real world go by? This persuasive book will help those who want schools to be fit for purpose and our young people fit for learning.

  5. This book is about changing learning and teaching for the better. The authors call for all educators to ‘move and learn’ with the times and ensure that physical activity is an everyday part of their lessons both outside and in – not simply something that happens during PE and playtimes.

    The Move & Learn approach also values the benefits of play – both free play at playtimes as well as playful approaches to learning. It emphasises the need to consider the impact of the environment in which learning happens, including classroom, hall, corridors, playground, local green space and built environments.

  6. Whilst families are being told their children and young people need to be more active and healthy, the current educational trends decreed from on high are that they should sit still, follow the teacher with just their eyeballs and remain silent. In this delightful, timely and useful book, Bryn Llewellyn, Ian Holmes and Richard Allman offer us the research-informed, realistic and experience-led counterpoint to this sedentary state of affairs. Move & Learn is a powerful account of the benefits of enactive and active learning; a book that will be useful to anyone seeking the truth about and fun in learning. Get moving!

  7. This is an interesting and timely book. It's a well-researched entry into the debate about how we should teach and learn and it is well worth a read. I love the balance it displays – something rare in the current climate. It is also a really good mix of the academic and the practical and a fine antidote to the ‘sit down and learn’ messages that we seem to be getting too often these days.

  8. Move & Learn takes us into a journey of movement and its benefits. Through this text we are shown the importance and benefits of increased physical movement (and, in turn, decreasing sedentary times) on health, happiness and learning. Through this we see the potential flaw in generally expected classroom behaviour. We see that particularly in Western society most of our children are insufficiently active, and how through education we can change this. A strong case is made to show the impact of physical activity on learning – and it is a turnaround from what has traditionally been assumed; in fact, as the title suggests, movement and learning go hand in hand!

    Now, the benefits of physical activity are not in themselves revolutionary – however, the knowledge that movement can increase the learning experience is. The book is a practical guide with strategies that can be not just put in place, but placed at the core of the learning environment.

    Move & Learn is a joyous piece of work that gives us a sneaky peak into just how enriching a curriculum can be.

  9. Finally we have a book which endorses what every teacher knows – children learn better when they move! Despite this, the majority of our lessons provide for sedentary learning. How to Move & Learn is not the usual must-read staffroom manual! It's like cosying under a heated blanket to watch a favourite movie on a cold, rainy Saturday afternoon. It's a comforting read, confirms what we know, helps us to understand why we teach as we do and what the research tells us about active learning – and, most importantly, it's packed with guidance on how we can change how we teach to integrate more movement into our lessons and trust ourselves to do what we know is right.

    I was one of hundreds of head teachers who worked with Bryn to integrate more movement into lessons throughout my school. We started with whole-staff training which, of course, included movement and we had 100% staff engagement with such incredible feedback that movement in every in-service training day became standard. Staff then found that in every lesson which planned for movement and learning there was 100% pupil engagement, improved behaviour for learning and increased attainment. It's not rocket science but getting started can feel overwhelming and How to Move & Learn is the perfect guide. I'd say it's a must-read for every staffroom library but as it's the perfect accompaniment for planning, preparation and assessment time, you will need several copies.

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