This study investigated the impact of a sensory-motor stimulation programme, namely the SEMOSTI Programme, on the gross motor proficiency of four-to-six-year-old children. A field experiment was conducted using a quasi-experimental comparison group pretest-posttest design as three teachers implemented the SEMOSTI Programme over a 30-week period. Data collection took place at two schools’ grade R classes in Gauteng province of South Africa. Due to a limited sample of 73 participants, the results are context-bound and specific to Afrikaans-speaking, white, grade R children and selected gross motor skills. Data was collected using subtests of the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, Second Edition (BOT-2), a scale and measuring tape as well as several questionnaires. The variables, physical activity, body mass index (BMI), gender, age, and perinatal morbidity could possibly influence the results and were taken into account. Data was statistically analysed using the General Linear Model (GLM) procedure and Dunnett’s t-test analysis. Findings indicated that the SEMOSTI Programme had a significant impact on the dependent variable, gross motor proficiency. The SEMOSTI Programme positively impacted on all five motor skills tested (bilateral coordination, balance, running speed and agility, upper-limb coordination and strength), but only the impact on running speed and agility and strength were statistically significant. Findings from the questionnaires indicated that the teachers who presented the SEMOSTI Programme perceived it as user-friendly, well-structured and effective in choice of equipment and activities. They identified the timeframe for the evaluation of developmental milestones and the structure of the plan-of-action section as weaknesses. Findings suggest that the SEMOSTI Programme is promising in improving gross motor proficiency in four-to-six-year-old children. Through participation in the programme, the experimental group significantly improved total gross motor proficiency, running speed and agility, and strength. This study offers support for the future use of the SEMOSTI Programme as a stimulation programme in grade R after further development and validation.
Dissertation (MOccTher)--University of Pretoria, 2012.