With 57% of girls aged 13-16 not achieving the Chief Medical Officer’s recommended 60 minutes of physical activity a day[i] and 64% of girls quitting sports altogether by the age of 16-17[ii], Sport England has developed Studio You – a new video-on-demand platform to inspire teenage girls to get active through fun PE lesson experiences.
Co-created with teenage girls and PE teachers, Studio You has been designed to give teachers a fresh style of resource to inspire this hard-to-engage audience before they disengage with PE and physical activity completely. The platform will be freely available to all schools in England
Powered by Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign (that has inspired nearly 4 million to become active since 2015) Studio You aims to remove the pressure of competition and performance from PE. Instead, it seeks to open girls’ eyes to fun new disciplines and activities such as Combat, Barre, Fitness and Yoga. In line with the This Girl Can ethos, the focus is on enjoyment, community and achieving a sense of personal fulfilment.
The site, which has been developed with £1.5 million of National Lottery Funding, will feature over 100 videos, with teachers able to search for lesson content by duration of class or discipline. All video content is curriculum-linked and teachers can personalise the lesson planning experience by saving their favourite classes into their own digital library.
Kate Dale, the Campaign Lead for This Girl Can at Sport England comments:
“Engaging teenage girls with sport and activity is notoriously challenging. But we cannot allow millions of girls to disengage at such a young age when the physical, mental and social rewards of an active lifestyle are so important. And for some girls, PE at school is the only chance they have to get active – so it’s important to get the experience right for them,
“We want Studio You to help teachers increase the confidence of the girls who might otherwise disconnect by enabling them to inject fun, choice and ownership into the PE experience. Studio You’s message is clear: getting active should be an enjoyable part of everyday life for all teenage girls and young women – not just those who excel at sport.”
Sport England’s insights show that teenage is the peak time for girls to drop out of school sport and develop deep-rooted negative attitudes to physical activity, that can act as a barrier for life. Research from Sport England’s Secondary Teacher Training programme, shows that only 50% of teenage girls feel confident in PE, compared with 72% of boys[iii]. In Sport England focus groups, girls who had disengaged from the school PE experience, used words like ‘competitive’, ‘stressy’ and ‘repetitive’ to describe their lessons[iv], with studies showing that 80% of girls feel they don’t ‘belong’ in sport[v].
As a result of the insights gained from teenage girls, Studio You focuses on non-traditional, non-competitive activities led by relatable young coaches. Content can even be selected by mood with four themes: Energise, Relax, Party and Focus to choose from.
Stewart Orton, Director of Sport from Fortismere School, one of a select group of schools trialling the new Studio You content said: “Studio You has totally rejuvenated PE for girls at Fortismere. Traditionally, girls’ participation in PE and physical activity can seriously dip in teenage years. We have found that the lessons and wide ranging activities included in the Studio You package have been a significant factor in retaining our girls’ motivation for PE and for keeping active. Importantly it’s given girls in our school a real sense of pride in what they’ve achieved.
“It’s a wonderful resource and we have been delighted to have been involved from the beginning. Now that the resource is going out nationally schools are in for a real treat. It’ll be exciting to see the impact on PE over time.”
The Studio You platform has been designed in partnership with leading social impact agency Hopscotch Consulting, responsible for the Department for Transport’s THINK! Road safety education resources and behind high-profile education campaigns and programmes for Vodafone, GSK and Microsoft.
[i] Active Lives Children and Young People Survey, Sport England (January 2021)
[ii] P&G UK 2016 The Always Confidence and Puberty Wave IV study
[iii] Sport England Secondary Teacher Training Programme research, Sheffield Hallam University
[iv] Sport England and Hopscotch focus groups run by CHILDWISE with teenage girls from London, Bristol, Leeds and Suffolk (January/February 2020) and Livity in London (February 2020)
[v] P&G UK 2016 The Always Confidence and Puberty Wave IV study