In 2002 Ruth Mitchell, then a School Sport Co-ordinator (SSCO), was concerned at the lack of daily physical activity taking place in some of the primary schools she was working with. She came up with the idea of trialling a fun 5-10 minutes of aerobic activity to lively ‘pop’ music on a daily basis, and called it the ‘Wake Up Shake Up’ programme.
It had to be easy to implement and not impact on either curriculum time or teachers’ time. So Ruth (along with her teenage daughters) devised 4 Wake Up Shake Up routines with fun actions, based on using major muscle groups, and put them to well-known, lively tunes.
The idea was that the older pupils could eventually run the programme and this has proved to be one of the major reasons for its success. Young leaders have taken complete ownership of it! Ruth gathered all sorts of feedback / evidence in the pilot phase and the impact was far greater than she had ever hoped for.
Wake Up Shake Up was so successful that in 2004, as a PDM at Callington Sports College in Cornwall, Ruth entered it into the Youth Sport Trust National School & Sport Partnerships’ competition, in the category for ‘increasing participation in informal activity,’ and it won 1st prize.
The original resource has been revised several times and follow on DVDs have been produced, currently totalling 7. Since then many schools across the country, and some from overseas, have used the resource to introduce the WUSU programme into their schools and it has been very successful. Ruth established her own company Wake Up Shake Up Productions in 2008 when she took early retirement from her PDM role at Callington, but was so passionate about getting children active and having fun that she decided to continue to develop the programme.
In response to continuous requests for more routines, WUSU 2, WUSU 3 and WUSU 4 have now been produced, as well as stand alone EYFS and Olympic Legacy resources. So a school potentially has access to 6 years worth of material irrespective of what the children produce themselves, so there really is no excuse!
ALL YOU NEED IS ENTHUSIASM AND COMMITMENT TO ‘GIVE IT A GO’.
Everything else is done for you!
In response to a friend’s request for something similar for the ‘not-so-young’ person, Ruth teamed up with an ex-colleague, now in her 70’s and who still delivers ‘Keep Fit Gently’ classes in her local village, to produce a DVD with chair-based activities set to fun and relevant music.
Called ‘ACTIVE BODIES ACTIVE MINDS’ (ABAM), this fun Wake Up Shake Up resource for the ‘not-so-young’ has proved popular with WI meetings and in residential settings where an activity leader can introduce it, but has also been successfully used in special schools for children with limited mobility.