An introduction to the MOVE programme and its underlying principles


Used by 115 special schools within the UK, Director of Move Europe, Charlotte Peck, introduces the MOVE programme and its underlying principles of motivations, opportunities and function, in our latest guest blog.

What is the MOVE Programme?

MOVE is an activity-based practice that helps disabled children and young adults gain independent movement, focusing on the skills of sitting, standing, walking and transitioning between. The MOVE Programme is used with over 1,050 children in 115 special schools across the UK, with fantastic outcomes.

The programme’s central philosophy is that movement is the foundation for learning. A toddler just learning to walk, learns special concepts about the environment around them by being able to move and explore. A disabled child, who uses a wheelchair and is reliant on others for movement, is not able to do this as easily. Their opportunities for learning are significantly diminished.

The programme is built around six-steps that are used collaboratively in all aspects of an individual’s life, by all of the people that work and live with that person. It is not a therapy technique just for professionals; it gives equal worth to the input of every person involved. The disabled individual and their family are placed at the centre of the programme and it is their goals that the team focuses on. The programme then provides a framework for including functional movement opportunities throughout the child’s daily routine.

If your child is on the MOVE Programme, or you would like some tips for including more movement practises at home, the MOVE Programme is based on three underlying principles that might give you some food for thought;


Think about what your child loves doing, and what activities they are really motivated by. Is there a way you could practise movement skills within that activity? For example, if your child is motivated by water play and is working on standing skills, could they practise standing at the sink to splash around with some of their favourite bath toys? Or if they’re working on raising their head whilst lying on their tummy, they could do this at story time to see the book you are reading. Find what most motivates your child and sneak in some movement practises!


In MOVE training, we also explain the importance of finding as many opportunities as you can within your typical daily routine where you could practise movement. We know times are tough at the moment, so it’s important to not feel pressured to cram lots of activities into a hectic day or to provide the same level of input as school. But, if you want to, why not write out your daily schedule and think about where your child could incorporate movement activities? If your child is working on sit-to stand skills, there might be lots of opportunities in their day to practise these skills. For example, they could practise pulling up at the kitchen counter to help make their sandwiches every lunch.


On a similar point, if you are practising movement skills, it helps to make sure those practises have a function, or a purpose. If you were asked by your physio to walk up and down 20 times, you’d be much less motivated than if they were asking you to walk to the fridge for a snack 20 times! If your child struggles with completing a whole task by themselves, maybe help them with the first part and let them save their energy to complete the last part by themselves, helping them to experience those feelings of success when they achieve the task.

If you would like to find out more about how MOVE would work in your setting or for your child, we are running a free ‘Introduction to MOVE’ webinar on Thursday 7th May at 2pm. Email us on to book your place or to find out more about the programme.

Find out more on MOVE Programme website – or visit their Twitter or Facebook page!

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