Move to Learn Program

The “Move to Learn” Program is series of physical activities which work on the neurological system to enhance better pathways to the brain. Typical neurological development involves moving from stages of primitive reflexes in infancy to more complex voluntary movements, skills and behaviours. As our brains mature our Central Nervous System (CNS) takes these packages of reflex movements, and break them up to integrate into complex voluntary movements. However, when a child experiences a developmental delay there may be clusters of irregular reflexes which inhibit controlled voluntary movement.


“Move to Learn” has been running for a number of years within the Middle School of The Glenleighden School and assists students with motor control, sensory perception, hand-eye coordination, cognition, behaviour and overall development and learning. “Move to Learn” also targets the ability to register, integrate and create an appropriate response to sensory information that travels through our CNS. Our CNS is our control centre for thinking, learning and moving and develops in the same sequence for all humans.

 Humans have five main sensory areas for learning:

  1. Proprioception (Body position)
  2. Vestibular (Position in space and balance)
  3. Tactile
  4. Auditory
  5. Visual

 During development our touch, balance and position sense channels are integrated before vision and hearing, so only until we fully integrate vision and hearing we are unable to attend and learn! To integrate touch, balance and position sense we need to MOVE!


The movements in the “Move to Learn” Program are staged to follow the developmental sequence. This progress allows each child to build muscle strength, coordination and ability to focus the eyes which impacts on the ability to read and write.

Using this sequence of movements achieves these results because:

  1. It provides opportunity to go back to infant movements to assist in primitive reflex integration development.
  2. It targets sensory stimulation and development of postural and eye muscle control which assist in in-class attentiveness and endurance.
  3. It provides touch and proprioceptive feedback whilst working from the floor.
  4. It uses movements which integrate vestibular, proprioceptive, visual and eye muscle stimulation in a targeted and developmentally progressive manner.
  5. It practices rotation of the body, crossing the midline and bilateral integration, using both sides of the body in early movement patterns.
  6. The processing of sequential movements is involved in the brains ability to sequence and processes other forms of information.

Callum McIntosh

Occupational Therapist

 The Move to Learn Program – Barbara Pheloung (2006)

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