Module Details

Module Code: EDUC N7018
Full Title: Early Childhood: Physical Activity
Valid From:: Semester 1 - 2022/23 ( September 2022 )
Language of Instruction:English
Duration: 1 Semester
Credits:: 5
Module Owner::
  • Geraldine O'Connor
  • Sean Kilroy
Departments: Nursing Midwifery & Early Years
Module Description: The aim of this module is to equip students with the knowledge and skills required to plan, implement and evaluate safe and effective physical activity sessions for young children in line with the Aistear theme of Well-being.
Module Learning Outcome
On successful completion of this module the learner will be able to:
# Module Learning Outcome Description
MLO1 Assess the importance of regular participation in physical activity in early childhood.
MLO2 Outline the safety precautions necessary to provide a secure and safe environment for exercise and play.
MLO3 Examine the physiological effects of physical activity on children.
MLO4 Plan and deliver safe, effective and child-centered physical activity sessions to develop physical fitness and motor ability in children.
MLO5 Evaluate the effectiveness of physical activity programmes and policies aimed at developing physical fitness and motor ability in children.
Pre-requisite learning
Module Recommendations
This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is strongly recommended before enrolment in this module. You may enrol in this module if you have not acquired the recommended learning but you will have considerable difficulty in passing (i.e. achieving the learning outcomes of) the module. While the prior learning is expressed as named DkIT module(s) it also allows for learning (in another module or modules) which is equivalent to the learning specified in the named module(s).
No recommendations listed
Module Indicative Content
The role of physical activity in early childhood
What is physical activity?; The benefits of physical activity in the context of a healthy lifestyle; components of physical fitness; recommended participation guidelines for young children; barriers to regular participation; physical activity in the context of Aistear – the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework
Promoting physical activity in a safe environment
Creating a safe and supportive environment for exercise and play; risk assessment; health screening; child protection; adapting physical activities for children with disabilities and special needs
Physical Activity: Current policies and models of best practice
Future directions in promoting physical activity; investigating the effectiveness of national and international initiatives aimed at increasing physical activity levels
Development of the child
Physical and physiological growth and development; motor skill development; personal and social development; factors affecting growth and development
Exercise, play and physical activities for early childhood
A range of activities to develop basic motor skills, spatial awareness, coordination and control, aiming/estimating/predicting; Buntus Start Programme; active play
Module Assessment
Assessment Breakdown%
Course Work100.00%
Module Special Regulation


Part Time On Campus

Course Work
Assessment Type Continuous Assessment % of Total Mark 50
Marks Out Of 0 Pass Mark 0
Timing n/a Learning Outcome 1,2,3,4,5
Duration in minutes 0
Assessment Description
Students will be required to discuss the importance of developing Fundamental Movement Skills in the early years via a written assignment. As part of the process, they will be required to discuss current national and/or international research-informed programmes/initiatives/strategies designed to improve physical activity and fundamental movement skill levels of early years children..
Assessment Type Continuous Assessment % of Total Mark 50
Marks Out Of 100 Pass Mark 40
Timing n/a Learning Outcome 1,2,3,4,5
Duration in minutes 0
Assessment Description
Students will be required to design/plan two physical activity sessions (one indoor AND one outdoor) for a group of pre-school aged children and deliver this session in a workplace setting. Students will then be required to evaluate the physical activity sessions. As part of the process, they will be required to reflect on current PA guidelines and policies.
No Project
No Practical
No Final Examination
Reassessment Requirement
No repeat examination
Reassessment of this module will be offered solely on the basis of coursework and a repeat examination will not be offered.
Reassessment Description
Reassessment may include: 1). Submission of a project in which students will be required to design a physical activity session suitable for delivery in an early childhood setting and/or 2). Completion of a practical exam in which students will plan, deliver and evaluate a physical activity session suitable for early childhood.

DKIT reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

This module has no Full Time On Campus workload.
Workload: Part Time On Campus
Workload Type Contact Type Workload Description Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload Hours
Lecture Contact Classroom based learning Every Week 1.00 1
Online Contact Contact No Description Every Week 1.00 1
Practical Contact Activity based learning Once per semester 0.20 3
Independent Study Non Contact No Description Every Week 5.00 5
Directed Reading Non Contact No Description Every Week 2.50 2.5
Total Weekly Learner Workload 9.70
Total Weekly Contact Hours 2.20
Module Resources
Recommended Book Resources
  • Donnelly, F. C., Mueller, S. S., & Gallahue, D. L.. (2016), Developmental Physical Education for All Children: Theory into Practice, 5th. Human Kinetics, IL., [ISBN: ISBN 97814504].
  • Payne, G. V., & Isaacs, L. D.. (2016), Human Motor Development: A Lifespan Approach,, Routledge, NY., [ISBN: [ISBN: 97813].
  • Zachopoulou, E., Pickup, I., Tsangaridou, N. and Liukkonen, J.. (2010), Early Steps Physical Education Curriculum, Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL., [ISBN: 13: 9780736075398].
Supplementary Book Resources
  • Virgilio, S.. (2012), Fitness Education for Children, 2nd. Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL., [ISBN: 13: 9781450402552].
Recommended Article/Paper Resources
  • Government of Ireland.. First 5: A whole-of-government strategy for babies, young children and their families..
  • Department of Education and Skills. Síolta – The national quality framework for the early years..
  • National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA). (2017), National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA).
  • National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA). (2015), Aistear Siolta Practice guide. Available at:
  • Department of Children & Youth Affairs. (2016), ) Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Charter and Guidelines for Early Childhood Care and Education.
  • Tusla, Child and Family Agency. (2018), Quality and regulatory framework: full day care service and part-time day care services..
Other Resources
  • website,
  • website,
  • website,
  • Link, DkIT Library Catologue.
  • BlueCross and BlueShield of North Carolina. (2013), Be Active Kids Guide to Early Childhood Physical Activity: Motor Skills and Movement Concepts for Children Birth to Five.