Effects of a Sports-Oriented Primary School on Students’ Physical Literacy and Cognitive Performance

As only a small group of children fulfil the guidelines for physical activity, interventions are necessary to promote active lifestyles. We examined the effects of a sports-oriented primary school (N = 79) in comparison to a regular primary school (N = 90) on students’ physical literacy and cognitive performance. To evaluate the implementation of the sports-oriented school curriculum a process evaluation was conducted, in which the school curriculum was analysed and guideline-based interviews were carried out with the schoolteachers and the school director. To measure students’ physical literacy and cognitive performance several tests were used. Small positive effects of the sports-oriented primary school on students’ physical literacy were shown in standing long jump and attitudes towards physical activity. There were no differences between the groups regarding cognitive performance. This study provides the first insights on how a sports-oriented school can promote students’ physical literacy in the future. The results are in line with previous research that shows that when children spend more time in physical education and overall physical activities at school, no negative consequences result for their cognitive performance. In future, long-term evaluations of the effects of sports-oriented schools are required to receive valid results on the effects on students.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk3030037