Super Movers Symposium


Super Movers Symposium: Physical Education for Early Years and Students with Movement Challenges


On Monday we held a fantastic PD Day on physical education for the early years and for students with movement challenges. As well as practical presentations from our three highly accomplished PE experts (see below articles), there was opportunity for peer learning in an ideas exchange session as well as time at the end of the day to build programs and activities based on both the theoretical and practical components of the workshop. Highlights from the day included learning about physical readiness in Prep year and implementing simple exercises to assess readiness; incorporating dance, balance and fine motor exercises into programs including opportunities for students with movement challenges and implementing fundamental movement skills sessions to support classroom teachers and learning.

Some testimonials from the PE Specialists who attended the day:

“The Super Movers Symposium was an engaging and motivating experience. I thoroughly enjoyed collaborating, discussing and learning from my fellow HPE peers. A highly valuable and recommended PD.”

“I’m so glad I persisted with Admin to let me attend the Super Movers Symposium. The presentations covered all the areas I needed to develop for Early Years PE – from Dance to Fundamental Movement Skills to getting classroom teachers involved.”

“Thank you to ACHPER QLD for organising the Super Movers Symposium. It provided a wealth of ideas to implement the Fundamental Movement Skills in our school program.”

“It’s great to have an ACHPER event specifically targeting movement in the early years, identifying some of the challenges students face and ways these challenges can be addressed. It’s also great to have the opportunity to discuss these issues with other passionate PE teachers.”

“The Super Movers Symposium was a great opportunity to network and share ideas and resources. As a primary PE teacher, you often work alone so to be able to collaborate with other PE teachers and see the wonderful work that is being done in other schools is so valuable.”

Through interactive classroom demonstrations and outdoor, practical sessions, the symposium aimed to provide the research behind and practical support across the following topics:

  • Are the number of children presenting to school/preschool with movement challenges increasing?
  • How do we identify and deal with children facing movement difficulties, and when are referrals appropriate?
  • Why are children having movement challenges and what are the root causes?
  • Motor Programs that assist all children’s development
  • Exploring the relationship between movement challenges and the ability to cope in the classroom


Dr Leanne Johnston, University of Queensland

Ready-Steady-Go! What does physical readiness look like for children starting Prep?

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Dr Leanne Johnston is a Physiotherapist with a long-term interest in the motor development of children. She is currently the Coordinator of Paediatric Physiotherapy at The University of Queensland, Board Member for Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service and Founding Chair of the Children’s Motor Control Research Collaboration. Her presentation will share research and clinical insights on sensory and motor development needed for school readiness and flags for teachers in the early primary years.



Stuart Welsh, Kings College, Gold Coast

Get Them Moving: Fundamental Movement Skills

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With over 20 years of teaching Physical Education in both State and Independent Schools, Stuart has taught every grade level from Prep to Year 12, as well as 1st Year Undergraduate students at RMIT University in Melbourne. He has also run his own consulting business working with teachers and schools to improve their delivery of quality physical education programs. Stuart has developed resources for Cricket Australia and the Victorian Premier's Active Families Challenge and is passionate about the role Sport and Phys. Ed. plays in the development of young people in preparing them for a lifelong commitment to a healthy and active lifestyle. Having moved with his family to live on the Gold Coast in 2013, Stuart is currently the Deputy Head of Primary at King's Christian College.

Courtney Crack, St Mary's College Ipswich

Inclusive Dance: Learnings from the Tippy Toe Dance Co

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Having danced since the age of two, Courtney has seen countless families and children with special needs turned away by mainstream dance schools, due to their high-performance culture and traditionalist teaching methods. So she decided to do something about it. At nineteen, whilst studying a Bachelor of Health, Sport and Physical Education at the University of QLD, Courtney co-founded The Tippy Toe Co.; Australia’s first and only social enterprise and non-profit ballet school for children with special needs. As Principal Teacher, Courtney has worked with hundreds of young people, many of whom never considered dance or ballet a possibility due to the physical and social barriers placed on them by mainstream programs. Courtney has received several accolades including the Queensland Government’s Start Playing Stay Playing Award (Inclusion category) in 2016, for inspiring and encouraging more women and girls to participate in sport and active recreation, the 2014 ACHPER Queensland Pre-service Teacher of the Year Award and was one of four QLD Nominees for Young Australian of the year in 2018. Today, Courtney has a full-time load as a dance and HPE teacher at St Mary’s College in Ipswich and has trained 20 instructors in the Tippy Toe Co. methods, which emphasise fun and inclusiveness to meet the physical and social needs of each student. An inspiration to all dance teachers and extra-curricular providers, The Tippy Toe Co’s approach showcases how any activity, regardless of its physical demands, can be inclusive.

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