Nalda Wainwright

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Dr Nalda Wainwright BAEd, MA, PhD

Director: Wales Academy for Health and Physical Literacy

Programme Director: Physical Education, Sport and Physical Literacy (MA)

Associate Professor: Institute of Management and Health

Tel: +44 (0) 1267 676730
E-mail: n.wainwright@uwtsd.ac.uk



  • Director of Wales Academy for Health and Physical Literacy
  • Deliver on the Physical Education (BA) and Outdoor Education (BA) Programmes
  • Programme manager for the Physical Education (MA)
  • Director: International Physical Education research methods summer institute

Dr Wainwright is an Associate Professor and Director of the Wales Academy of Health and Physical Literacy (WAHPL) at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and programme director for the MA Physical Education, Sport and Physical Literacy. Her impactful research focuses on promoting healthy developmental trajectories for all children. She is particularly known for a systematic line of inquiry facilitating early childhood physical development, cross sector work that provides professional development to support physical literacy across childhood and adolescence, the use of school grounds as a site for supporting physical literacy, health and well-being, and curriculum innovation to enhance the physical literacy journeys of children.

At the heart of Dr Wainwright’s research is a strong commitment to translate research and theory to professional practice. This comes from 14 years of experience as a teacher along with being the head of a unit for pupils with moderate and complex needs and associate advisor for Primary Physical Education.

Dr Wainwright’s research has had significant impact on the motor skills and physical development of Welsh children through her evidence-based Successful Kinaesthetic Instruction for Pre-Schoolers in Wales – (SKIP Cymru). As Director of the Wales Academy for Health and Physical Literacy Dr Wainwright strategically lead teams of researchers and academics in the evaluation and delivery of SKIP Cymru professional development for pre-school practitioners and early childhood teachers. SKIP Cymru has gained national recognition as a recommendation in the Welsh Government Health and Social Care and Sport Committee report on Physical Activity of Children and Young People. The SKIP-Cymru work has also been highlighted as a case study for the Journey to a Healthier Wales support materials for the Well-being of Future Generations Act.

Dr Wainwright was Vice Chair of the International Physical Literacy Association (IPLA) in 2016. Her work has gained recognition at the national and international levels, with invited keynote lectures at conferences for Physical Literacy, Physical Education, Teacher Education, Early Years, play and Outdoor Education. She was lead consultant for the Physical Education and School Sport Programme, regional strategic lead for the Physical Literacy Programme for Schools (PLPS) and Chair of the national PLPS research group. Dr Wainwright is the Physical Literacy lead on the Wales Active Healthy Kids Report Card and as professorial advisor for the Camau project supported the development and mapping of the progression steps for the Health and Wellbeing AoLE in the new Curriculum for Wales. She was also an international expert panel member for the Australian Sports Commission physical literacy consensus statement and definition and is an expert on the Sport England, Physical Literacy Consensus Statement project. Dr Wainwright serves as an Associate Editor for Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy journal. At core of all she does, Dr Wainwright has a strong passion to translate her research into positively impacting the lives of the children and families with whom she works.

  • Chairperson of BAALPE (Wales  2005-2006)
  • Chairperson afPE Wales (2006-2008)
  • Member of Skills mapping working party for PESS Foundation Phase project
  • Member of HEI working group for PESS project
  • Founder member and Vice Chair (2016) International Physical Literacy Association
  • Member of the Sport Wales Physical Literacy Expert group
  • Fellow of the HEA

Module co-ordinator for:

  • Curriculum Adventure
  • Masters Physical Education, Sport and Physical Literacy

Programme Director

PhD supervision

  • The implementation of SKIP Cymru in Schools in West Wales
  • Mass Participation Sports Events in Pembrokehire
  • Evaluation and development of Footie Families
  • Outdoor Adventure Pedagogical Model

PhD Examination 

University of South Wales.  

An Examination of Professional Identity Through Working at and Across Boundaries of Communities of Practice in Relation to Children with Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD) using Activity Theory as a Tool for Reflection. November 2019 

University of Strathclyde.  

A Practice Focussed Study of Outdoor Learning in Five Scottish Secondary Schools 2011-2019.   October 2021 

Deakin University Australia

Development of an Assessment Approach for Physical Literacy in Children. July 2022

  • The implementation of the Foundation Phase Curriculum in Wales and its impact on children’s Physical Literacy
  • The impact of curriculum change in Wales on physical literacy
  • Impact of the outdoors as a learning environment
  • Teachers’ perceptions of professional development in physical and outdoor and its impact on their practice
  • Early childhood motor development
  • Professional development programmes to support childhood motor development
  • Parental engagement programmes to support childhood motor development
  • Physical literacy and special populations

Dr Wainwright’s research has focussed on curriculum implementation in Wales, in particular how the Foundation Phase achieves outcomes in relation to Physical Literacy.

An internationally recognised expert in the field of Physical literacy and as past vice-chair of the International Physical Literacy Association and member of the Sport Wales Physical Literacy Expert group, she has led developments in this work Nationally and Internationally and presented evidence to the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee Inquiry into Physical Activity of Children and Young People.

Dr Wainwright was chair of the Physical Literacy Action Research Group in Wales and Strategic Lead for the Physical Literacy project in the region, managing the government regional grant for physical literacy in schools.

Dr Wainwright was an International Expert Advisor for the Australian Sports Commission, Physical Literacy Standards and Framework, is an invited member of the Canadian Sport For Life Physical Literacy Research group and member of the International Motor Development Consortium.

Key Research Grants

  • 2019-2022 — $565,000 (PI). SKIPping with PALS:  An integrative gross motor and physical activity intervention for parents and their preschool-aged children from rural, low SES settings
  • 2019-2020 — £3000 (PI) Footie Families (Football Association of Wales)
  • 2018-2019 — £6000 (PI) Footie Families (Football Association of Wales)
  • 2018 — £4500 (PI) Sport Wales Physical Literacy Consultancy
  • 2018
    • £6500 (PI) Developing SKIP-Cymru in Merthyr Tydfil  
    • Developing SKIP-Meithrin in Preschool settings (Active Swansea) in Swansea
    • Developing SKIP-Meithrin in Preschool settings in Pembrokeshire (Public Health Wales) 
    • £3000 Developing SKIP-Meithrin in Preschool settings (Active Swansea) in Swansea
    • £5000 Developing SKIP-Meithrin in Preschool settings in Pembrokeshire (Public Health Wales)
    • £55000 Physical Literacy for Schools action research investigating the impact of Successful Kinaesthetic Instruction for Pre-Schoolers in Wales (SKIP-Cymru) a regional case study
  • 2016-2017 — £105,000 Physical Literacy Project for Schools: regional development grant 
  • 2014-2016 — £350,000 Physical Literacy Project for Schools: regional development grant

Brian, A., Taunton Miedema, S., Starrett, A., Griffin, S., Stribling, A., Miedema, B.,Walker, M. Casner, C., Wainwright, N., Wadsworth, D., Goodway, J. D. and Stodden, D.F. (2022) SKIPing with PALS: Exploring Parental Engagement in a Motor Intervention for Their Preschool Children. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport. DOI:10.1080/02701367.2022.2041538

Stevenson, A., Wainwright, N. and Williams, A. (2022) Interventions targeting motor skills in preschool aged children with direct or indirect parent engagement; A Systematic Review and Narrative Synthesis. Education 3 -13 DOI 10.1080/03004279.2022.2034174

Wainwright, N. (2021) The Foundation Phase, Outdoor Learning and Motor Development. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, Vol 21, Supplement issue. pp 567-673 DOI:10.7752/jpes.2021.s1064

Tortella, P., Ceciliani, A., Fumagalli, G., Jidovtseff, B., Wainwright, N., Fjortoft, I., Sigmundsson, H., Haga, M., Sgro, F., Lipoma, M. and Saakslahti, A. (2021) Children’s outdoor movement education: position statement. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, Vol 21, Suplement issue. pp 451-462 DOI:10.7752/jpes.2021.s1046

Piper, K., Wainwright, N., Emanuel, L. and Williams, A. (2020) A Socio-ecological perspective of mass participation sports events culture in Pembrokeshire. Event Management (in press).

Wainwright, N., Goodway, J., Whitehead, M., Williams, A. and Kirk, D. (2020) Playful pedagogy for deeper learning: exploring the implementation of the play-based Foundation Phase in Wales. Early Childhood development and care. Vol 190(1) pp43-53.

Williams, A. and Wainwright, N. (2020) Rethinking Adventurous Activities in Physical Education: Models-Based Approaches. Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning Vol 20 (3) pp-217-229.

Wainwright, N.,  Goodway, J., John,  A.,  Thomas, K.,  Piper, K., Williams, K.  and Gardener,  D (2019) Developing a children's motor skills in the Foundation Phase in Wales to support physical literacy, Education 3-13 Vol 48(5)pp 565-579.

Godley, J.,  Williams, A. and Wainwright, N. Social media and the outdoors: Old solutions to new problems- A new role for the outdoor education residential? Horizons 84 Winter 2018/19, pp24-26.

Keegan, R., Barnett, L., Dudley, D., Telford, R., Lubans, D., Bryant, A., Roberts, W., Morgan, P., Schranz, N., Weissensteiner, J., Vella, S., Salmon, J., Ziviani, J., Okely, A., Wainwright, N. and Evans, J (2019). Defining Physical Education for Application in Australia: A modified Delphi Method. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education Vol. 38 pp 105-118.

Barnett, L., Keegan, R., Dudley, D., Telford, R., Lubans, D., Bryant, A., Roberts, W., Morgan, P., Schranz, N., Weissensteiner, J., Vella, S., Salmon, J., Ziviani, J., Okely, A., Wainwright, N. and Evans, J (2019) Guidelines for the Selection of Physical Literacy Measures in Physical Education in Australia Journal of Teaching in Physical Education Vol. 38 pp 119-125.

Edwards, L., Tyler, R., Blain, D., Bryant, A., Canham, N., Carter-Davies, L., Clark, C., Evans, T., Greenall, C., Hobday, J., Anwen, J., Mannello, M., Marchant, E., Miller, M., Moore, G., Morgan, K., Nicholls, S., Roberts, C., Sheldrick, M., Thompson, K., Wainwright, N., Williams, S. and Stratton, G. (2018) Results from Wales’ 2018 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, Journal of Physical Activity and Health 15(suppl. 2) (S2): S430-S432 DOI:10.1123/jpah 2018-0544.

Barnett, L., Dudley, D., Telford, R., Lubans, D., Bryant, A., Roberts, W., Morgan, P., Schranz, N., Wesseneteiner, J., Vella, S., Salmon, J., Ziviani, j., Okely, A., Wainwright, N., Roberts, J., and Keegan, R. (2018). How can we assess physical literacy? Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 21 DOI:10.1016/j.jsams.2018.09.131.

Wainwright, N. (2018) Physical Literacy in Wales (part three) – plugging the gap Physical Education Matters Vol 12 (4).

Wainwright, N., Goodway, J., Whitehead, M., Williams, A. and Kirk, D. (2018) Laying the foundations for physical literacy in the Foundation Phase in Wales: The contribution of the Foundation Phase to the development of physical literacy. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy  Vol 24(4) pp 431-444.

Wainwright, N. (2017) Physical Literacy in Wales (part two) – identifying the gap Physical Education Matters Autumn Vol 12 (3). 

Wainwright, N. (2017) Physical Literacy in Wales (part one) Physical Education Matters Summer Vol 12 (2).

Dudley, D., Cairney, J., Wainwright, N., Kriellaars, D. and Mitchell, D. (2017) Critical Considerations for Physical Literacy Policy in Public Health, Recreation, Sport and Education Agencies. Quest 69(4)pp 463-452.

Wainwright, N., Goodway, J., Whitehead, M., Williams, A. and Kirk, D. (2016) The Foundation Phase in Wales – A play-based curriculum that supports the development of physical literacy. Education 3-13 Vol 44(5) pp 513-524.

Williams, A. and Wainwright, N. (2014) A new pedagogical model for adventure in the curriculum: Part 1 – advocating for the model. Journal of Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy. Vol 21(5) pp 481-500.

Williams, A. and Wainwright, N. (2014) A new pedagogical model for adventure in the curriculum: Part 2 – outlining the model. Journal of Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy. Vol 21(6) pp 589-602.

Williams, A. and Wainwright, N. (2014) Professional development for adventurous activities in Wales. Welsh Jnl of Education. Vol 17, 6-29.

Wainwright, N.  (2013) Physical Literacy in the Foundation Phase in Wales. Journal of Sport Science and Physical Education, ICSSPE Bulletin 65 Special Feature Physical Literacy.

Wainwright, N. and Williams, A. (2012) “Miss that’s the best PE lesson we’ve ever had and we couldn’t see for most of it.” Adventurous Activities and Physical Education in Wales. Physical Education Matters, summer, Vol 7 (2), 51 – 54, 2012.

Williams, A. and Wainwright, N., (2011) Changing times in Outdoor Education in Wales. Horizons.

Book Chapters

Wainwright, N. and Williams, A. (2022), Outdoor and Adventurous Education. In Griggs G and Randall, V. (eds) An Introduction to Primary Physical Education London: Routledge (2nd edition).

Wainwright, N. & Davies H. (2017) Physical Education in Wales. In Griggs, G., and Petri K., (eds) The Primary Physical Education Handbook London: Routledge.

Goodyear, Blain, Quarmby and Wainwright (2016) APPlying Teaching and Learning with iPads in Armour and Casey (eds) Pedagogical cases London: Routledge.

Wainwright, N. (2012) From Desks to Dens, In Griggs G (ed) An Introduction to Primary Physical Education London: Routledge. 

Conference workshops / Presentations

Brian, A., Miedema, S., Miedema, B., Griffin, S., Stribing, A., Walker, M., Casner, C., Wainwright, N., Wadsworth, D., & Goodway, J. (2021, June). SKIPping with PALS: A hybrid parent-led motor skill and physical activity intervention for rural preschoolers. Presented at the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity Conference, Virtual. 

Wainwright, N. (2020) The Foundation Phase, Outdoor Learning and Motor Development. International Congress, Outdoor Education, lifespan motor development science and application. University of Bolzano, Italy 3-5 Dec 2020. 

Brian, A., Taunton Miedema, S., Miedema, B., Griffin, S., Stribing, A., Walker, M., Wainwright, N., Wadsworth, D., De Meester, A., & Goodway, J. D. (2020, October). SKIPing with PALS: A parent-assisted physical activity/motor skill intervention feasibility study. Presented at the North American International Motor Development Research Consortium, Charleston, SC (virtual).  

Shiebler, B. M., Famelia, R., Goodway, J. D., John, A., Wainwright, N., Johnson, J., Sutherland, S., Chen, Y., Commito, A.,  & Atkinson, O. (2020 -June) Gender Differences in Object Control Skills Between the USA, Indonesia and Wales. North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA) Vancouver June 2020 

Wainwright, N. The importance of movement in early childhood. Invited Keynote presentation, National Day Nurseries Association Bi-annual conference, Cardiff City Stadium March 3rd 2020 

Shiebler, B. M., Verway-Cohen, Z., Alkhalifa, T., Goodway, J. D., Chen, Y., Famelia, R., Commito, A., Atkinson, O., Johnson, J., John, A., & Wainwright, N. (2020, February). Gender Differences in Object Control Skills Between the USA, Indonesia and Wales. Poster presented at The Ohio State University Education and Human Ecology Research Forum, Columbus, OH., USA. 

Wainwright, N. From PhD to Policy. Invitation Guest lecture Douglas College Vancouver January 29th 2020 

Wainwright, N. Developing and supporting physical literacy in the Foundation Phase in Wales. Pembrokeshire Play Conference ‘The Great Outdoors – Playgrounds, physical literacy and increasing resilience’ Haverfordwest 24th January 2020 

Wainwright, N. Footie Families: supporting families to develop the physical competence of their children to access a healthy active future.  Rural Health Conference, Llandrindod Wells. 6th November 2019 

Goodway, J and Wainwright, N – The promotion of Physical Education in school, sport and life – Co Chair - Round Table discussion UK SKIP-Cymru, an evidence based educational approach in Wales, Healthy Active Children, Verona Sept 11 -14 2019 ICOMDR and CIAPSE 

John, A., Goodway, J., Wainwright, N. and Williams, A. (2019) Initial findings from a study of SKIP-Cymru in schools in West Wales.  Verona Sept 11 -14 2019 ICOMDR and CIAPSE 

Wainwright, N. Laying the foundations of physical literacy in Early Childhood in Wales. Invited Presentation ESTYN, Cardiff July 2019

Wainwright, N.   Physical Literacy - The Role of Motor Competence in Supporting a Positive Health Trajectory Child and adolescent obesity in Wales, Welsh Obesity Society & ASO Wales Conference, Cardiff June 26th 2019.

Wainwright, N., Moving Muscles Moving Minds. Keynote Presentation Aiming for excellence conference, Llanelli, 10th May.

Le Rossignol, P., Saunders, J., Kennedy, L., Markwell, K., Wainwright, N. and Copley, B. (2019) The Physical Literacy Journey of University Students (PLJUS) – an international collaboration. ACHPER International Conference, Canberra, 14th -16th January 2019.

 John, A., Goodway, J., Wainwright, N. and Williams, A. (2019) The impact of SKIP-Cymru on pupils’ motor competence, perceived motor competence, and physical activity levels. UK and Ireland network meeting Two- children’s motor competence, University of Cork. January 9th 2019.

 Wainwright, N., 2018) Laying the foundations of physical literacy in the Foundation Phase in Wales- a sustainable cross sector approach. Rural health conference Builth Wells, 13th November 2018.

 Wainwright, N., Goodway J., John, A., and Edwards, K.(2018) Developing and supporting physical literacy in the Foundation Phase in Wales- a sustainable cross sector approach. 2018 AIESEP world congress. Edinburgh July 25th -28th

 Saunders, J., Cropley, B., Kennedy, L., Markwell, K., and Wainwright, N. (2018) Making the transition into adulthood- how are university students experiencing the physical literacy journey? 2018 AIESEP world congress. Edinburgh July 25th -28th

 Goodway, J.,  Famelia, R., Tsuda, E., Wainwright, N., and John, A. (2017)  Summer Success: A pilot program to promote school readiness in Preschoolers from and urban disadvantaged environment.  3rd International Consortium of Motor Development, Nov 9-11, Melagaco, Portugal.

 Wainwright, N. (2017) Developing physical literacy through a multi-disciplinary approach. Change the Game, Umea Sweden. September 2017.

 Wainwright, N. (2017) Laying the foundations for Physical Literacy in early childhood. Change the Game, Umea Sweden. September 2017.

 Wainwright, N. (2017) The Wales Institute for Physical Literacy. Change the Game, Umea Sweden. September 2017.

 Williams, A. and Wainwright, N. (2017) Advocating a new model for Adventurous activities in Physical Education: to make learning more meaningful, relevant and successful. Paper presented at the European Outdoor Education Seminar, 28 June – 2 July, Marjon University, Plymouth, England.

Wainwright, N., John, A., Edwards, K., Piper, K. and Goodway J., (2017) Examining the Impact of incorporating Successful Kinesthetic Instruction for Pre-schoolers (SKIP) in the Foundation Phase on Young Children’s Motor Development. Poster Presentation, Inspiring Innovation in Practice Conference Hywel Dda Health Board July 13th 2017.

Wainwright, N., John, A., Edwards, K., Piper, K. and Goodway J., (2017) Examining the Impact of incorporating Successful Kinesthetic Instruction for Pre-schoolers (SKIP) in the Foundation Phase on Young Children’s Motor Development. NAPSPA, San Diego June 2017.

Wainwright, N., (2017) Successful Kinaesthetic Instruction for Pre-schoolers in Wales (SKIP-Cymru). International Physical Literacy Conference, Toronto 12th April 2017.

Wainwright, N., (2017) Using the four pillars to develop a strategic approach to physical literacy. International Physical Literacy Conference, Toronto 12th April 2017.

Wainwright, N., (2017) Improving physical literacy to survive a perfect storm. Keynote presentation International Physical Literacy Conference, Toronto 12th April 2017.

Wainwright, N., Goodway, J. Whitehead, M., Williams, A., Kirk, D. (2016) SKIP in the Foundation Phase in Wales – Laying the foundations for physical literacy. International Motor Development Research Consortium, University of South Carolina. Nov 2016.

Wainwright, N., Goodway, J. Whitehead, M., Williams, A., Kirk, D. (2016) Examining the impact of the Foundation Phase in Wales on children’s motor development. NASPSA Montreal June 2016.

Wainwright, N., Goodway, J. Whitehead, M., Williams, A., Kirk, D. (2015) A Study of the interpretation and implementation of the Foundation Phase in Wales and its contribution to physical literacy. International Physical Literacy conference Vancouver June 2015.

Wainwright, N. Goodway, J. Whitehead, M. Williams, A. Kirk, D.  (2014) Examining the impact of the Foundation Phase on children’s motor development and physical activity.  British Educational Research Association Annual Conference, September 23rd 2014.

Wainwright, N., Whitehead, M., Williams, A., Kirk, D. (2014) A Study of the interpretation and implementation of the Foundation Phase in Wales. PESS regional Share and Inspire conference June 19th 2014.


Consultancy

Consultant and Author for ‘Footie Families’ Football Association of Wales -Trust project 2018 - Present.