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Stormbreak at school. Sign up for Surge.

Recruiting NOW for April 2021!

Wondering whether to spend your PE and sport premium funding on working more closely with stormbreak? Read on as we share with you why signing up for or ‘surge’ training programme is an ideal use of this funding.

Read our emerging insight report for more information on the benefits of stormbreak in schools.

With the latest DfE guidance for PE and sport premium recently released on 23rd October 2020 there is no better time to really consider how to utilise this funding to ensure sustainable improvements are made to your school's provision of physical education, physical activity and school sport.

In 2019 the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on a Fit and Healthy Childhood published its report on the Primary PE and Sport Premium. The APPG report states that;

‘Overall, the key issue concerning the PESS Premium is what will its legacy be? The funding will end eventually and despite warnings about sustainability, some schools will have little to show for it if they have spent it all on sports coaches (whose presence is contingent upon the funding). Apart from residual items of equipment, what is likely to be the legacy (unless preemptive action is taken) is the familiar cycle of funding, followed by its cessation, leading to a wasteland consisting of teachers’ lack of knowledge and confidence because little or no appropriate training has occurred. In addition, there will be few subject advisers, clear structure or strategy – and once again, no money to supply these needs.’

The big question that the report poses is, when the funding ends, what will schools have to show for it? Where is the sustainability?

The report goes on to say ‘If the health and wellbeing of the nation’s children is as important as we are led to believe by the nation’s Government, then it is a duty incumbent upon that Government to ensure that the legacy of the PESS Premium is the acceptance that being active and educated in a physical sense, is as important and ultimately life-enhancing as being able to read or do maths. This is an opportunity to break the cycle.’

The updated guidance reiterates that in order to ensure that the funding is spent in a way that will have the biggest and most sustainable impact they should use the premium to:

  • Develop or add to the PE, physical activity and sport that your school provides
  • Build capacity and capability within the school to ensure that improvements made now will benefit pupils joining the school in future years

The stormbreak flagship training programme, ‘surge’ takes the content accessible on our website and ‘up levels’ it. The training will embed mental health strategies into the daily life of the school while simultaneously supporting physical activity targets. It will ensure that staff are trained in using the right language and skills to support your current children and future cohorts of children through mentally healthy movement activities.

Surge journey

Stormbreak meets guidance


The guidance sets out a set of 5 key indicators which improvements should be secured in when using the premium. The table below shows that utilising the funding for stormbreak will meet at least 3 of the 5 indicators:

Key Indicator How stormbreak meets the key indicator
Engagement of all pupils in regular physical activity

Stormbreak is designed to be done in the class with ALL pupils therefore the least active children would be targeted and would achieve 5-15 minutes additional time being ‘active’ each and every school day.

Schools that have embedded stormbreak into their everyday routine have stormbreaks occurring at break times and lunchtimes.

Although we have yet to see a school start a stormbreak club - we are sure that this is only a matter of time. Stormbreak would sit beautifully within a Change4Life club - again targeting those pupils who are least active.

One of the challenges schools face trying to meet this indicator in the current climate is how to offer after school sport and activity clubs while remaining in ‘bubbles’ and staying Covid safe.

One of the most popular stormbreak activities is called ‘Buddy Run’ but encourages children to develop their mental health through conversation with peers at the same time as running, jogging or walking around a chosen pathway. Why not do this instead of the conventional ‘active mile’ which is not always popular with all pupils.

Profile of PE and sport is raised across the whole school as a tool for whole-school improvement Stormbreak is a whole school initiative which supports prevention at scale, providing children with a toolkit of strategies to support their mental health both now and in the future. We recommend children engaging in a 5-15 minute stormbreak every day ensuring that they spend less time in a sedentary position.
As part of the ‘surge’ programme we work alongside senior leaders to create a change in the culture of the school where:
  • we reduce the stigma about mental health by mainstreaming conversations
  • we create cultures and environments for movement that foster a sense of connectedness and belonging
In one of our pilot schools, they now have 26 stormbreak groups across the entire school including classes, PCW groups and break time groups.
Part of our future development plans are to develop a programme which allows children to lead a stormbreak with their peers allowing them to lead each other in the development of mental wellbeing strategies.
Increased confidence, knowledge and skills of all staff in teaching PE and sport Although we do not class stormbreak as PE or sport it is most definitely movement, mentally healthy movement! Our activity cards (15 packs are provided for a school taking part in the ‘surge’ training) are easy to follow and adaptable to ensure that they work across the age and range of a primary school. Our training ensures that staff are confident in the delivery of the physical and mental health aspect of the activities.
The training is delivered with exceptional depth for chosen school advocates (you can have as many as you like) over 6 training sessions and our wider school rollout ensures that all staff are suitably confident and knowledgeable.
Broader experience of a range of sports and activities offered to all pupils Mental health is at the core of each and every stormbreak delivered, however the idea is also to get the children moving as we know how much movement supports our mental wellbeing. Activities are categorised by activity type and include:
  • Run Moves
  • Creative Moves
  • Free Moves
  • Mindful Moves
  • Nature’s Moves
By introducing stormbreak into your classes each and every day the children have the opportunity to get a grounding in a broad range of activities.
Increased participation in competitive sport At stormbreak one of our key principles in inclusivity, ensuring that the movement is simple and accessible to all. We focus on valuing the experience of movement rather than the outcome or performance. Having said this we do also value aspiration with a focus on ‘self-worth’.
There are several stormbreaks which can involve ‘competition’ if desired. ‘Class Compliments’ and ‘Ranagrams’ are particularly useful for this.


It is worth noting that schools who have already embedded stormbreak into their culture have also had some exceptional feedback during SIAMS inspections and safeguarding audits.

With regard to Ofsted, the PE and sport premium guidance also notes that:
‘Ofsted’s new Inspection Framework, which came into effect from September 2019, gives greater recognition to schools’ work to support the personal development of pupils, such as the opportunities they have to learn about eating healthily and maintaining an active lifestyle. Inspectors will expect to see schools delivering a broad, ambitious education, including opportunities to be active during the school day and through extra-curricular activities. Schools should consider how they use their PE and Sport Premium to support this.’

The inspection framework also states that;
‘leaders take on or construct a curriculum that is ambitious and designed to give all learners, particularly the most disadvantaged and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) or high needs, the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life’; ‘the provider’s curriculum is coherently planned and sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning and employment’ and ‘the curriculum and the provider’s wider work support learners to develop their character – including their resilience, confidence and independence – and help them know how to keep physically and mentally healthy’

It is clear to us here at stormbreak that utilising your schools PE and sport premium for further embedding stormbreak into your school’s culture and ethos is money well spent that will allow for impact on not only the physical health of your children but the mental health too. A way to spend this funding that will allow for a long term impact for pupils and a sustainable solution for your school that will still be impacting long after the funding has ceased. Please read our emerging insight report for more information on the benefits of stormbreak.

To find out when our next Surge Programme starts or If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us at