Buntús Start is a comprehensive physical activity programme for children aged 2-5 years old. It has been designed for use in pre-school settings so that pre-school and playgroup leaders can provide a wide range of learning opportunities for young children to develop their fundamental motor skills, manipulative skills, co-ordination and balancing skills and develop a positive attitude to physical activity. The programme was first piloted in Sligo and Donegal in 2004/2005 and is now being offered to areas with Local Sports Partnership’s, including North Tipperary.
Buntús Start helps adults working with children to establish positive attitudes to activity and a healthy lifestyle through enjoyable activity with children. Buntús Start offers a combination of adult-initiated and child-led activities and enables adults to choose and plan appropriate activities as well as giving children opportunities to freely select and explore. Whilst using Buntús Start children have opportunities to develop naturally through individual involvement in physical play, small group activity and to participate in whole-group activity.
The aim of Buntús Start is:
To extend the physical, creative, personal, social and emotional capabilities of pre-school children through enjoyable, planned, physical development play activities in the areas of spatial awareness, basic motor skills, co-ordination and control skills and aiming, predicting and estimating skills.
Buntús Start activities help children’s learning in other curriculum areas by supporting and developing the following:
Personal, social and emotional well being
Social and creative skills
Attention skills and persistence
Language and communication
Reading, writing and maths
Knowledge and understanding of the world
Buntús Start Training Programme:
Participants attend an initial four hours training programme with a further 4 hour follow up approximately 6-8 weeks after the programme is used in the pre-school. Training will take place in a central venue. All staff must attend both training sessions. The objectives of the training are that by the end of the session participants would:
Have an appreciation of the Buntús equipment
Be familiar with the Buntús Start resource cards, their format and layout, and their use with pre- school children
Be able to extend their understanding of fundamental motor skills
Be able to develop their understanding of inclusion and safe practice
The training session is designed to be practical and participatory. Buntús tutors deliver the training to participants. The tutors will deliver the training through a variety of activities, inputs, small group exercises and full group discussion. Links will be made to children’s stages of development and to methods of skills development.
At the end of the training session, each participating centre will be provided with a set of resource cards and a Buntús Start bag .
There will be a cost of €100 to centres taking part in the programme. This fee covers all the training and equipment for each centre. The overall cost (approx €600) will be subsidised by the North Tipperary Sports Partnership and the North Tipperary County Childcare Committee.
All staff must attend the training sessions. It is very important that the selected pre-schools are committed to ‘full-staff training’ and to using the Buntús Start bags on a regular basis.