Emma gained a BSc (Honours) in Primary Physical Education and Sport Studies with QTS in 2004 with the University of Leicester. She started her career as a primary school teacher, in which she was employed as the subject lead for physical education. In 2007, she was then employed as a School Sport Co-ordinator (SSCO), in which she led the development of physical education and school sport across six primary schools in Birmingham. During this time she was also working as a Primary Physical Education Consultant for Birmingham City Council, specialising in the areas of dance and gymnastics. She was appointed at Newman in 2009, to teach primary physical education across the undergraduate and post graduate primary Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes. Within the first two years of being in post, Emma completed a MA in Professional Enquiry and a Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, and is now a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA). In 2017, Emma also completed her PhD with the University of Leicester, in which she developed intervention strategies to increase children’s physical activity levels during primary school physical education lessons and break times. Alongside Emma’s role as a primary physical education specialist, she has developed a keen interest and lead in the research module strands in the undergraduate primary ITE programme. Her research experience is in mixed method designs that use both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Emma has been an External Examiner for the PGCE Primary Physical Education Specialist course at Edge Hill University (2016-2020).
Newman University Research Ethics Link Tutor
Emma’s interest’s focus on the areas of primary physical education and educational research methods.
Current projects include collaborative research with a number of primary schools across the West Midlands to implement and evaluate the effect of the SHARP teaching strategy intervention (Powell, Woodfield and Nevill, 2016). The SHARP intervention was designed to increase children’s physical activity levels during primary school physical education lessons through a set of key pedagogical principles and behaviour change theory. Working in partnership with staff from the University of Strathclyde, the SHARP Principles intervention is being implemented in schools in Glasgow to test the feasibility of it’s application in the context of the Scottish curriculum. Other projects include collaborative work with the University of Exeter in the development of a novel family focused intervention to promote physical activity among children with Cystic Fibrosis. Working with colleagues at Newman, research is also being conducted to investigate school based physical activity for children with Cystic Fibrosis.
Membership of professional organisations
Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)
Member of Newman’s Research and Research Ethics Committees
Lan Wong (ongoing) – University of Strathclyde, Glasgow – Adapting an intervention to Increase the Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity (MVPA) Content of Primary School Physical Education Lessons.
Grants and funding awarded
£150,000 – from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), for a two-year programme that will develop a novel family focused intervention to promote physical activity among children with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). In partnership with the University of Exeter and Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust.
Powell, E. Woodfield, L.A., Powell, A. and Nevill, A.M. (2020) Assessing the wider implementation of the SHARP Principles. Research Seminar Series, University of Exeter, 11th March.
Powell, E., Woodfield, L.A., Powell, A. and Nevill, A.M. (2019) Increasing the quality of primary physical education through targeting children’s MVPA and high repetition of skills: The SHARP Principles Intervention. BHF funded Motor Competence in childhood: the forgotten pathway to improved cardiovascular health conference, Coventry University 20th June. Oral Presentation.
Devonport, T. J., Powell, E., Nevill, A., Applegarth, S., Brady, A., Hunt, S., Baines, L., Ellis, L., and Hooton, W. (2016) The Effects of Integrating Key-Stage-One and Key-Stage-Two Children during Primary School Lunch Times on Physical Activity and Social Behaviour. BPS Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology conference, Cardiff, 12-13th December.
Powell, E., Woodfield, L.A., Nevill, A.M. and Powell, A.J. (2016) Increasing Physical Activity Levels in Primary School Physical Education: the SHARP Principles Model. 21st Congress European College of Sports Science, Vienna, Austria, 6-9th July. Oral Presentation.
Powell, E., Woodfield, L.A. and Nevill, A.M. (2015) The Role of the Primary School Day in the Promotion of Children’s Physical Activity Levels. ISNAPA, Poster Presentation.
Woodfield, L.A. and Morris, E. (2012) Children’s school based physical activity: using systematic observation to capture physical activity behaviours. Growing Up in Britain: Collaborative Researching with Children, Young People and Families in the age of Austerity. International Conference, Newman University, Birmingham, UK.
Davenport, T., Powell, E., Nevill, A.M. and Brady, A. (2020) The Effects of Integrating Children from Lower and Upper Primary School Years during Lunch Times on Physical Activity and Social Behavior. Journal of Sport Behavior, 43(4), pp.405-425.
Powell, E., Woodfield, L., Powell, A., Nevill, A. (2020) Assessing the wider implementation of the SHARP Principles: Increasing physical activity in primary physical education. Sports, 8(6). doi:10.3390/sports8010006 file://staff/XL/MORR205/Downloads/sports-08-00006.pdf
Powell, E., Woodfield, L., Powell, A., Nevill, A. and Myers, T. (2018) Evaluation of a Walking-Track Intervention to Increase Children’s Physical Activity during Primary School Break Times. Children, 5(10), p.135.
Powell, E., Woodfield, L.A., Nevill, A.M., Powell, A.J. and Myers, T.D. (2018) ‘We have to wait in a queue for our turn quite a bit’ Examining children’s physical activity during primary physical education lessons. European Physical Education Review, p.1356336X18785343.
Powell, E. (2017) Systematic observation of physical activity and children's group interviews: Can a mixed-methods design assist in the depth and breadth of the researchers’ understanding in community health research? SAGE Research Methods Cases. DOI: 10.4135/9781473991040
Powell, E., Woodfield, L.A. and Nevill, A.M. (2016) Increasing children’s physical activity levels in primary school physical education: the SHARP Principles Model. Preventive Medicine Reports. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211335515001643
Powell, E., Woodfield, L.A. and Nevill, A.M. (2015) Children’s physical activity levels during elementary school recess: a quantitative and qualitative research design. European Physical Education Review. DOI: 10.1177/1356336X15591135