When to use modifications and progressions

The leader must demonstrate awareness of how to modify activities to include all children and how to progress activities or modify/adapt them if they are not working. Sometimes the planning looks good on paper but not in action. This could be due to several issues such as:

  • Weaknesses in explaining the activity: Practise how you give your instructions in advance of the event. Fall back on family or friends if you want to try out your delivery
  • Activities that are too complicated: Always start with the basics, and then have extension activities planned. It’s always better to have everyone experience success initially and then add in a challenge
  • Inadequate space or equipment: you needed more room or equipment than anticipated
  • The atmosphere is negative: Children are not in the right mood/ there are issues, you are rushed or stressed

“Thinking on the spot” is a skill that will develop over time and improves as you acquire more practical knowledge and experience and build your “tool-box” full of “go-to” activities when things do not go to plan. This training is designed to provide you with these skills and the confidence to implement them.

Below are a few reasons you might have to modify your session and progress an activity.

  • You have been made aware that a child with special needs will participate and you will have to adapt plans to take account of learning and behaviour challenges. This might require increasing/ adapting the explanations and time for some activities and how you manage them
  • The number of participants might be more or fewer than anticipated. For example, if the plan was a relay with teams of 3 children, the plan may have to be modified to include more children and fewer obstacles to keep the time frame the same
  • The plan needs to allow for equipment not being available as this may change. For example, if there weren’t enough balls for one each, could the activity be performed in pairs? The plan should also allow for a change in the availability of the facility. The space available may be smaller than planned, the activity may need to be adapted in terms of moving around
  • The plan should also allow for the progression of activities for the children who can already achieve the task and require a further challenge

For example, increasing the skill level such as bouncing the ball more times or jumping from two feet to one foot instead of both feet landing at the same time.

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