Emma Powell

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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 fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). 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, thus these methods are embedded into the research modules across the undergraduate primary ITE programme. Since 2016, she has been an External Examiner for the PGCE Primary Physical Education Specialist course at Edge Hill University.


Administrative Responsibilities

Newman University Research Ethics Link Tutor


Emma’s interest’s focus on the areas of primary physical education.

Research Interests

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.

Other Activities

Membership of Professional Organisations

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • Member of Newman’s University Research Ethics Committee

Conference Papers

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.


  • 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

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