The BIG MOVES Intervention Programme has been created to help children in mainstream school improve their physical development and has impacts on wider school life, including developing listening and concentration, learning success and appropriate behaviour.

Developed by Elaine Cowley- a Developmental Movement Practitioner, over a six year period in a Leicestershire school, this programme is based on how the brain develops in early childhood and the foundation sensory and motor skills that every child needs to succeed in school and life. It explains the BIG MOVES every child has to experience in childhood before they can move on to using the small moves of the eyes and fingers for learning in the classroom.

To access the associated Big Moves parent videos click here


Improvements noted from using BIG MOVES! include:

  • Significantly raised value added scores in KS1

  • Better listening and concentration

  • Improved ability to follow instructions.

  • Better posture, no longer slumping in the chair.

  • More imagination & creativity

  • Improved ability to sit still and less fidgeting

  • More determination and ability to persevere.

  • Less complaining of tiredness

  • Improved pencil grip

  • Improved handwriting

  • Improved tool use, including safe use of scissors.

  • Raised independence, including in writing

  • Greater confidence

  • Better vocabulary about their own bodies

  • ‘Self Organising

Certificates are awarded to all children following completion of the programme!

Big Moves;

– 6 x 1 hour sessions

– Usually hall space is required, although the programme can take place in the classroom (behind desk)

– Maximum of 15 foundation and Year 1 children

– To be booked during the school day (09:00-15:00)


In South Leicestershire, Big Moves has been delivered in more than 50 schools over the past 6 years, with around 10/15 targeted children in each school, based on movement assessment results. An associated parent resource is provided.  A range of outcomes are measures, including impact on fine and gross motor skill development, self care, concentration and listening, academic success & social skills.

“Big Moves programme was very successful, results seen quickly. We will carry on the programme next year.” 
The Pastures Primary

“Really works. Couldn’t believe results in final movement assessment- huge improvement for some.”
Market Harborough CE Primary

“Extremely useful programme. We have passed information to the pre-school who have used some of the exercises with younger children.”
Croft Primary