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Table 2 Examples of the SAAFE teaching principles applied in school-based physical activity interventions

From: Framework for the design and delivery of organized physical activity sessions for children and adolescents: rationale and description of the ‘SAAFE’ teaching principles

Principle Scores Atlas HIIT for Teens
Supportive Teachers learnt about fundamental movement skills and were instructed to provide students with skill specific feedback to improve students’ motor skill proficiency. Teachers were instructed to provide students with a rationale for improving their muscular fitness during ATLAS sessions. ‘Trainer of the Day’ certificates were awarded to the student who provided their training partner with the highest quality social support during the HIIT session.
Active Teachers were encouraged to replace full-sided games (e.g., soccer) with small-sided modified games. Teachers were provided with circuit cards describing body weight and Gymstick™ (elastic resistance training devices) exercises to ensure that all students could be actively engaged during sessions. HIIT sessions were embedded into existing PE lessons for 8-weeks. HIIT sessions included 30 s of high intensity activity followed by 30 s of rest (while training partner completed the task).
Autonomous Students were provided with leadership roles (e.g., running activities, setting up and collecting equipment) in PE, school sport and at lunch-time. Students were encouraged to complete one HIRT workout (i.e., short duration CrossFit-style fitness challenge) each session and could select the level of difficulty (Easy, Moderate or Hard). Students completed the HIIT sessions with a partner of their choice and were provided with options regarding exercise selection (e.g., running on the spot or jumping jacks) during sessions.
Fair Teachers were instructed to monitor and modify lessons (i.e., rules and teams) to ensure that games were not dominated by the most competent students. Teachers were instructed to monitor partner fitness challenges (e.g., shoulder wrestle activity) to ensure that students were evenly matched. Students wore heart rate monitors during sessions and were encouraged (by training partners and teachers) to achieve >85% of their heart rate maximum. This objective was considered achievable for all students as success was based on effort not absolute fitness.
Enjoyable Teachers were instructed to avoid boring and repetitive warm-ups (e.g., running around the field) and replace them with enjoyable starter games. Sessions provided students with opportunities to enhance their resistance training skill proficiency using a variety of teaching approaches including teacher-led, peer-led, and self-directed pedagogies. High tempo music was played during HIIT sessions to enhance affect, reduce ratings of perceived exertion, and improve energy efficiency.
  1. Abbreviations: SCORES Supporting Children’s Outcomes using Rewards, Exercise and Skills, ATLAS Active Teen Leaders Avoiding Screen-time, HIIT High Intensity Interval Training, HIRT high intensity resistance training