Category Archives: PE

Sport Education Model

I got the idea to try out the Sport Education from my departmental PT as he wanted to see how it worked, so I thought why not a give it a go? What can go wrong? I can can only learn more and take it forwards!!

What is Sport Education, and why use it?

Sport Education has shown to provide the possibility for better learning and social experiences for all learners through a learner-centred approach of teaching. Sport Education was produced to provide learners with an inclusive, encouraging and entertaining experience within sport. This is created because Sport Education allows teachers to assist and guide students to construct their own learning experience, rather than simply telling students what to do. Furthermore it helps to develop students into experienced, knowledgeable and keen sports people.

The development of responsibilities directly links into the health and wellbeing experience and outcomes, HWB 3-11a, HWB 3-19a, HWB 3-23a regarding social and physical wellbeing. These experiences and outcomes within the Curriculum for Excellence progress and expand student’s capability to undertake diverse roles and responsibilities within sport rather than simply performing. For example coaching, or refereeing. Also considering the significant aspects for learning there are numerous personal qualities that Sport Education targets such as confidence, responsibilities, leadership and communication.

It is suggested that Sport Education is producing situations in which the students benefit from continuing reflective development. Consequently inspiring students to contemplate their own learning and the learning happening around them. Sport Education contains a lot of self-management encouraging students to problem solve and make decisions for themselves. Most of the students responded well to this pedagogical model settling well into the sessions, with the team leader taking charge of the group also resolving issues. However in one particular group the students were not responding to the team leader and causing a problem which is where I had to step in to resolve the issue myself. In this situation I could have changed the groups around to split up the students causing issues. If I had spent more time with the students beforehand I would have had a better relationship and known who would work well together.

What did I do?

I chose to implement the Sport Education model to my S1 mixed gender, mixed ability badminton class. This group have many different behavioural and classroom management issues which can become a hindrance sometimes. However I still thought that these students could learn a variety of life skills and sport knowledge from this teaching pedagogy.

When planning I decided each team would be chosen by the class themselves; selecting their own team name and team captain. The team captain is overall in charge of the whole team and is responsible for making sure all team members carry out their responsibilities and stay on task. Other responsibilities within the team are coaches, reporter, referee, equipment manager, and score keeper. This gave the students the opportunity to be involved whether they are physically capable or not. I created badminton pack’s for each group which were labelled with the team name and included; – to do sheet, register, task cards, observation sheet, score cards, twitter sheets, reporter book, board pen and eraser. This allowed the students to pick up the pack, watch the demonstration and then have everything that they need to complete the lesson effectively.  Consequently allowing students to be more independent and self-manage their own learning.



My badminton pack for the students

image2 (2)

The roles and responsibilities for each group

Within the lesson I had planned and built in routines which were the same every week so that the students were completely aware of what was expected of them. Students were to organise themselves when they come into the games hall with the courts, registers and sit ready for the demonstrations. Each week there was a different focus for the students; week 1 – serve, week 2 – overhead clear, week 3 – drop shot, week 4 – net shot, week 5 – underarm lift. Each of these different badminton shots follow on from one another in order to build up a sequence as the student’s progress. This allowed students to gain more than just a bank of badminton shots and when to effectively use them. Students would gain a more in-depth knowledge of all aspects of the sport.

Students had to sit around a badminton court were I would run through all of the tasks that are within their badminton pack for the lesson. When completing the demonstrations I would give students the key teaching points, and observations to look for of the shot. The students were to look at their observation cards during the demonstration to make sure they understood the task. I planned to add in demonstrations to ensure students gained some content knowledge from me and the observation cards as a reference point for help.

Most of the roles are self explanatory and you do as it says on the tin! If you are a coach you use the observation cards and tell someone where they need to improve their technique. If you’re a scorekeeper you keep the score.If you’re a referee you have to make sure that everyone is aware of the rules and adhering to them. If you’re the equipment manager you have to ensure that your group has the court set up correctly and the right equipment needed for the lesson. However the reporter is more complicated. Reporters were to comment on the different elements of the lesson such as; – learning, enjoyment, sportsmanship. Reporters commented upon something they felt necessary and important throughout the lesson for example:- sportsmanship, ability, leadership, behaviour. However they must include the significant aspects of learning. This was getting them to start considering skills they were achieving. Furthermore students are linking learning with the significant aspects of learning, making individuals more familiar with the correct terminology. Subsequently including literacy within each lesson which is a responsibility for all teachers to consider within every lesson within the Scotland educational system.

image1 (2)  An example of the coaching observation card that I used


The front of the reporters sheet and example of an answer given by students

image2The back of the reporters sheet to remind them of the SALs 

What I hoped pupils would learn from this experience?

I hoped that through Sport Education that the students would gain a greater understanding of badminton. Rather than just the skills and some rules, by the end they would understand how to coach, referee, report, organise their own activities and keep the score. This helps students to gain more experiences within badminton and help others to learn with them along the way.

Students are also expected to take responsibility for their own learning. This helps students to be more independent and confident in their own ability; giving students a sense of belonging within the classroom (Hastie, 2012). Consequently Sport Education includes co-operative learning within PE which enhances physical performance and cognitive understanding supporting students, therefore increasing their motivation and self-esteem (Metzler, 2011).

Sport Education places students are at the heart of the learning process within small groups (Slavin, 2014). Students’ working co-operatively gives individuals the opportunity to work together effectively and energetically in small groups to enhance their own learning and others (Darnis and Lafont, 2015). Alexander et al (2014) approves and expands to propose that this style of learning assists both student’s accomplishments and social wellbeing. It also helps to facilitate learners to integrate their own knowledge and apply this within other situations. Subsequently allowing them to find as area that they excel in and creating a sense of success (Perlman, 2014). For example students who are good and confident at the serve can go and assist another member of the team to improve.


Evaluation of how successful the learning was in the series of lessons

Positives of the Sport Education model

There are many positives and advantages to implementing the Sport Education model with a secondary PE setting.  Overall many of the students responded and engaged well with this style of teaching and learning.

Sport Education gives students more responsibility to take ownership of their own learning. It proves to be very effective to hand the responsibility over so that students are responsible for organisation and helping one another. It gives students the opportunity to learn from one another, which is building upon student’s social wellbeing. Sport Education provides a social environment that examines relationship between students, overall assisting with student’s social wellbeing. Subsequently individuals within the class who have previously been disregarded have now become affiliated with peers in higher social groups. This is apparent when you look at the grouping registers and know the personalities of the students.

Sport Education provides structure to the lesson ensuring that students are always aware of where they should be and what is expected of them. Consequently this makes the lessons run smoother and quicker as it is the same structure and arrangement each week, which means they should be completely aware of what is happening. Within this structure the team leader is responsible for their own team ensuring that everyone is correctly and effectively fulfilling their role within the group. Students were to record which individual is carrying out what role so that everyone is clear and knows exactly what they are responsible for. It was evident from the lessons as the students always knew what I was expecting of them and if they were unsure I had the instructions written out in their team packs.

Giving each student a different responsibility offers each student to be appropriately challenged so everyone is always learning. For example if the students are physically capable and can perform an overhead clear they should be transferring their knowledge as a coach to help other students. Responsibilities can help to motivate students and provide individuals with numerous diverse opportunities to experience success within an inclusive environment focused upon team work and contribution. However some students can then hide behind their responsibility or referee or coach and not physically participate within the lesson. Therefore as previously mentioned I ensured they rotated roles each week.


Challenges of the Sport Education model

Sometimes the pace of the lesson can be compromised at the start of the block as the students have to take time to get acquainted with the system.  Students were in S1 and the principle teacher wanted the Sport Education model to be implemented from first year and then followed through each year. However this model was implemented in badminton which is a sport that most students had not played in primary school therefore they have no prior knowledge. This made is difficult to complete some of the tasks and effectively peer assess one another as they didn’t have the correct depth of knowledge to coach one another. Students must teach one another the different badminton shots but will find it difficult as they do not have the background knowledge to support this. Consequently I created reciprocal cards and observation sheets for the students to follow so the teaching points where available.

Bad behaviour can present challenging situations when implementing the Sport Education model. For example it is difficult to give students the responsibility to organise themselves if they are distracting one another and misbehaving. Student centred teaching and learning requires a certain amount of trust between pupils and the teacher, if this trust is broken and students misbehave learning does not occur.

Finally the Sport Education resources take a lot of time to prepare and get everything in order for the lesson to run smoothly. I had to prepare individual observation sheets for each shot, registers for each group, task cards for each individual activity and shot, score sheets, and twitter sheets. However once the resources are created they are completed and only need slightly altering in the future.


Hope this has been useful and let me know if anyone wants a copy of the resources!!




0530 on a Saturday morning is difficult, cold and after another long night of the ashes, very miserable. However, I was off to a Pedagoo event, packed with exciting speakers, thoughtful teachers, inspiring individuals and I was pretty confident that my chosen Saturday CPD event was going to be brilliant. It was…

The first thing that blew me away (after registering with the very welcoming pupils of the school) was the amazing building. It was bright, clean, tidy and very much the type of modern building I come to expect when I go ‘somewhere nice’. Just as our children know when they are being shortchanged as regards use of windows XP on old PC’s, they know it when they walk into a dingy building which is in desperate need of a paint job. Michael Gove said that the building and environment of a school makes no difference. I drive past these buildings at Fettes and Stewart’s Melville on the way to my school every day. Clearly, environment makes a difference.

The other thing about the building I loved was the use of images of Joseph Swan children working, often with ideas about how they work, or slogans/quotations about respect, reading etc behind them. That is something I will try and create in the next couple of weeks if energies allow as it looks so good and inspires.

Whilst having my complimentary tea and danish pastry (which would contravene the bring your own tea and biscuits policy of many councils) I set about reading my welcome pack. I loved the Happy Mondays leaflet which contained loads of great, ready to use, ideas for enhancing and reinforcing learning in the classroom. The Happy Mondays reference is because the teachers at Joseph Swan receive and e-mail every Monday, with a new idea or resource in it from their SMT. I love that idea!

MY first session of the day was in the Reading Room (and what an amazing space that is…) with David Hodgson. David talked about how we learn and how we can use techniques in the classroom to help children learn and remember how they learned things. As a primary teacher I get asked lots of questions from the children and my most frequent answer to them is good question. I don’t believe in throwing the knowledge confetti about for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I’m not convinced the children will remember it whilst they walk back to their desks and secondly I (or A.N.Other teacher) will not always be there for them when they have a question or want to learn something. The things we did in his session were all practical examples of an NLP approach, and I was so impressed I bought his book for my Kindle this morning. He used this pupil feelings graphic in his session too which I find a useful tool to have by my desk in the class room. Something David said which rang a bell was that we should ensure our children ‘Have a get out clause for children when they don’t learn’. This is vital, so often our children get way more stressed than we ever do about a wrong answer. We need them to take risks, get it wrong, change it and get it wrong again, smiling all the time! That is a successful learner right there.

The next session was with Rachel Orr who is HT at Holy Trinity Rosehill Her workshop was about developing writing through Primary Learning and specifically using Pie Corbett’s talk for writing work. I had worked on a Pie Corbett workshop for writing day before (January 2007??) and it was amazing. I’ve bought a few of his books and love his approach to writing. There is a lot of material on the internet too to supplement his written work. I also liked the punctuation sounds and actions which children are to use when they are talking and can then reinforce the assessment process in class. Rachel has used Pie’s work in two differing schools now and shared with us examples of the successes her young writers had, and these examples cal be seen on her school blogs. Rachel gave us a disk with loads of fantastic resources on, many her own work (the learning keys are a great idea!).

During lunch I met some great folk including @spiceweasel77 who is doing some brilliantly exciting things with his class!

After lunch it was on to Hywel Roberts session. Hywel spoke passionately and humourously about creating contexts in the curriculum, allowing the children to view the learning they are given through their own filters and engaging children in their learning. I made loads of notes during Hywel’s session and later tweeted many of them. Here’s the quotations I tweeted:

‘It’s our job to get the World thinking.’

‘We need to dig learning holes for our children to fall into.’

‘we are the people who make sense of the curriculum we are given. ‘

‘Have a what’s great 2 mins at the start of staff meetings’

‘we need to induct our kids into learning’

‘all of these things are just doing the job we’ve been asked to do. That we’re paid for. ‘

I’ve got Hywel’s book and it’s a great read. I need to do more of this in my classes. It’s great stuff. I was incredibly impressed with Hywel and the way he works in schools.

Finally, my last session was about using enquiry based learning in maths. Stephanie Thirtle took this session, she is a maths teacher at Joseph Swan. (I’d love The Girl to have her as a maths teacher, lessons would be so interesting!)
We did some enquiry based openers which really got us thinking and she talked about the approach of letting the children work things out for themselves, rather than an I teach then you do model. I love the work things out idea and think the way she’s bringing it to maths in a high school works really well. Much of the rationale for enquiry based learning was on her presentation and clearly showed examples of enquiry based learning which we could use as one-off lessons or develop for a maths topic. Such things investigating square numbers, straight line graphs using algebra, and one which P7 will be seeing soon – 12 Days of Christmas maths.
Her room displays were wonderful and I snapped many of them on my phone and you can see them here. I particularly liked that ways she put maths into context making it real for the children.
That chimed so well with the session from Hywel previously.

I came away with my head full of wonderful ideas and a bag full of goodies!
So, what next…well before Christmas I will make some posters of children and their ideas about learning to go up in school and I will also make some musical posters for the music room.

After Christmas I will take loads more of these ideas and run with them. It’ll be different, fun and learning will happen. – a new(ish) approach to assessment moderation

As requested by @fkelly , I’ve decided to throw a quick post together about – a service I created to allow Scottish teachers to share their own unit assessments for the new National Qualifications.

Essentially the creation of this website was spurred by one glaringly obvious reality – the unit assessments provided by the SQA are simply not up to scratch, and as a consequence everybody is creating their own material and hoping that it meets the standards. Ón the face of it, this may be no bad thing – if we create our own unit assessments then we can tailor them to our own courses and our own pupils, and surely that is good idea?

To give an example, I have consciously themed my entire National 5 English course around the concept of ‘Coping with Conflict’, selecting texts which can be woven together across the whole year (‘Spiritual Damage’, ‘War Photographer’, ‘The Man I Killed’ and ‘Bold Girls’) – now that I am no longer forced to use a few set NABs I have also created reading assessments which follow this theme, thus enhancing the pupils’ overall understanding of what we are studying this year (at least this is the idea).

Several months ago, however, I realised that if EVERYONE does the same thing then there will be hundreds – perhaps thousands – of unit assessments being created across the country and many of us will be replicating the work that colleagues are doing (or have already done). Frankly, we all work too hard as it is to be reinventing the wheel hundreds of times over, so a system for sharing material is essential.

Of course, Education Scotland and the SQA are providing something along these lines, but there are two reasons why I believe it would be helpful for a service which is independent of these bodies. Firstly, the websites of these organisations (especially Education Scotland) are – to be kind – not particularly user friendly, and I (like many others) don’t have the time or the willpower to fight my way through Glow to find material on a regular basis; secondly, I firmly believe that the only way for us to ever really become confident in the development and delivery of our own materials is for us to move beyond a dependence on official bodies to confirm that every little thing is up to scratch.

If – or, depending on your philosophical view of the amount of fluid in a glass, when – Curriculum for Excellence fulfills its potential it will be because of the incredible work of teachers, not Education Scotland, the SQA or the Education Secretary, and I hope that NationalModeration might play a small part in that development.

Basically, it works like this: teachers upload their unit assessments, other teachers moderate them by leaving comments, alterations are made as required and, eventually, gradually, standards become clearer and are met across the country.

At present the site only has English assessments but it would be great if other subjects could begin contributing materials as well (I’ll create however many subject specific pages are required in this instance). In order to sign up you must be teacher in a Scottish school (and verify this, usually by means of an official email address) – this means that the material can be kept secure, allowing us to continue to use it in our classes as our official unit assessments.

If you think that the site would be of any help to you as you continue to develop your approach to the new qualifications please do sign up – the more people are involved the more effective our approach will be.

Analogies and metaphors to aid understanding…

Having been introduced to Hattie’s work on ‘effect sizes’ in the learning environment last year (, I took it upon myself to investigate advanced organisers in my own practice. This is said to have an average effect size of 0.37, which in comparison to other methods is reasonably small. However, I opted to focus on the use of analogies and metaphors within my teaching practice, as personally I believe comprehension to be greater if a new subject is related to a familiar subject. Of course, many of us will naturally do this without a second thought, but I intended to consciously approach sessions with the intention of overtly using this method.

One example of this practice quite recently was when teaching the flow of blood around the cardiovascular system to a group of level 2 BTEC learners. I introduced the topic by asking the group to share their thoughts on the process of going to the gym – this involved eating food to give you fuel (collecting oxygen from lungs), travelling to the gym and going through the changing rooms (left side of the heart), working out and ‘burning’ the fuel (feeding the muscles with oxygen), travel back through the changing rooms (right side of heart) before travelling home (the lungs) to start the process again. Obviously when doing this, I did illustrate on the white board. I then made reference to the fact that the gym process is similar to the flow of blood…Following this, I gave the learners the opportunity to create their own analogies of the process. Working in groups they created some amazing ideas such as the process of topping up and using a mobile phone, travelling through the petrol station to name a few.

For the learners, this particular process taught alone can be very challenging, yet now they have their own analogies for the process, they are able to demonstrate a far greater understanding.

Any comments would be greatly appreciated!

Sorting the wheat from the chaff #LTT2013

I was really looking forward to this week. The obvious reason was because I am now on holiday for two weeks and will be able to catch up with friends, family and some well earned rest. But there was a far more interesting event for me this week. I attended the 2 day Learning Through Technology conference in Glasgow.

This event could not have come soon enough for me, partly because it ticks the rest of my CPD requirements, but mainly because I was looking for some help in sorting the wheat from the chaff when it comes to the use of technology in teaching. I am particularly guilty of dabbling with far too many different methods of bringing technology into my lessons. I don’t think I am alone in this and I hoped someone would talk some common sense this week and let me see the wood from the trees!

What with flip cams, twitter, edmodo, ubersense, coaches eye, phoster, evernote, wordfoto, dropbox, mini league, qr scanning, mindmaple and of course the essential pedagoo, pegeeks, iphys-ed, pescholar, and my weekly podcasts, my head is a blur!

Now, a lot of these new areas of my teaching week are very helpful and add a really enjoyable dimension to lessons, but where does it stop? One of said podcasts, the #physed podcast, recently discussed the balancing act between using technology and keeping the pupils active. Imagine a pupil struggling to keep their arm straight and score a consistent shot in basketball. Which is better, asking a pupil to film the shot with ubersense then discussing and offering feedback from the slow motion capture, or the teacher quickly going across and simply tucking the shooting elbow in to the body and letting the pupil get back to it. There is a time and a place for technology and sometimes the lines for me are blurred.

There were some fantastic presentations over the two days but it was the networking opportunities which really were the highlight for me. I came way from the event having met some fantastic practitioners and leaders in their own field. It was these conversations that helped the most and at the very least I now know almost every other school faces the same issues and together we can actually make a difference.

The introductory speaker, David Cameron, argued that we might be talking too much about technology and not enough about the learning which comes from its use. This made a lot of sense for me and I agreed with his opinion that we must avoid the novelty factor. Something which I am probably guilty of just now!

There seemed to be a lot of focus around which devices are best suited in school. Apple made a big appearance over the two days and I am already a convert to this system. This is not the issue for me though. Our school uses chromebooks which have made a big impact as well. My frustration is with the speed at which new tech and apps arrive but the polar opposite with which our working environment is being made future proof and allowing and trusting us as professionals to utilise all these exciting advancements safely. Our school is not far away from trialling filtered access wifi in a small area of the building. Once a suitable product and service is decided upon then it should be rolled out school wide. But even when or if we get this next step education budgets cannot keep up with always providing the “next big thing”.

There was a lot of very healthy debate about IT restrictions and opinion over buying, leasing and bring your own device options. An overwhelming number of the people attending were in favour of removal of all IT restrictions and investing time in the teaching of safe and sensible use of the Internet. Dr Alexander Allan, MSP, spoke about a vision and promise for equality for every pupil to access and learn with technology. This is something which is still a long way off when we heard from several different teachers in the final debate who spoke about such a wide range of restrictions in their regions. Why can there not be more trust in our ability to deliver learning with the aid of any technology we feel is applicable? There will be examples of schools a few miles apart separated by a county line who have completely different sets of rules and restrictions. How can that be fair to the children?

I came away from the conference with some useful contacts, advice and opinions. I look forward to the new Glow Plus. Jaye Richards-Hill spoke with a real sense of belief that this project will meet national requirements for a world leading learning environment. I have a sense of understanding about how I should use technology in my teaching. It is a support and should stimulate learning not constrain it. This also goes for my planning… not constrain.

There are some exciting projects using iPads which are both primary and secondary driven. This 1:1 pilot programme is already showing both the benefits and problems with purchasing a device for every child. I was really impressed with the pupils from Bellshill Academy, who delivered a session of their experiences with using iPads. The major question from this was how does it continue to roll out across the school?

I have some thoughts on this. We currently have the fantastic #pupilfriday and #pedagoofriday where pupils and staff are invited to take out their smartphone and share positive teaching experiences that week through a tweet. I think the next stage for me would be BYODfriday. Bring your own device day which encourages staff to create lessons which incorporate the use of smartphones, tablets or something similar. And for those who cannot access a device like this (which is a remarkably small number) there is always the option of partner work and school provided devices. I know in my subject the possibilities of using coaching apps, data recording functions and collaborative document creations are endless. It does need a robust wifi system but within the next 5 years what won’t?!

Allowing pupils to be given the freedom to use open access wifi on curricular tasks for a short period of time like our half day Fridays would give the school a chance to test the system, develop lessons and strategies of best use and instill a safe use policy for the pupils. This would then naturally give way to full use through the whole week which is surely where we will all end up in a few years time anyway?

So, did the conference help me sort the wheat from the chaff? Not directly, but it was never going to do that! What it did do was focus my thoughts into a more streamlined approach to using all the excellent resources out there just now. But the event was also much more than that. I thoroughly enjoyed the thoughts of Derek Robertson and the promoting of a culture of creation. Andrea Reid was a refreshing voice of reason from the perspective of a quality improvement officer. I even managed to create a fantastic link with Skill Development Scotland and my work within the fitness for work element in our S2 Careers block. I have added a few new names to my following list on Twitter and look forward to some interesting points of view in the coming months.

I feel much more at ease with what I am trying to do in my own teaching career with regards to technology and appreciate that with a more trustworthy system of access to the World Wide Web, we would all make much better progress. After all, as the Head teacher from Hawick High School said, why stop a teacher or pupil from accessing “bloody Culloden” in a history lesson when they can just pull out a mobile device and jump onto 3G within seconds?

I look forward to the day when we can move forward at a pace which is much more suited to the modern era, and I know for a fact my subject is more than ready to lead the way!

Lies, damned lies and statistics…

“Highland has 80% of primary schools and 90% of secondary schools meeting the Scottish Government’s target for PE. What would you do to ensure all schools in Highland meet the target by June 2014?”

This was the topic on which I had to present in a recent interview for a PE Development Officer’s post. I didn’t get it but that’s not the point. I’m not bitter, honest, just wanted to share a few ideas in the hope that some of them make it into the remit of the new post-holder.

I was recently at an Education Scotland PE event at Ratho. It was excellent, as usual the most informative and useful parts of the day came in the tea-break chats with fellow teachers and those interested in PE.

A similar statistic to the one above was shown to us in the initial briefing session, albeit as a national picture. Bearing in mind that the room was full of people who actually teach PE in schools across the country I’m sure you can imagine the derisory snorts and whispers of “never, nothing like that number” from around the room.

That, of course is not to say that the will isn’t very much there. I completed my PGCE in Primary PE about 4 years ago and wrote my dissertation based around Peter Peacock’s statement in the 2004 Report of the Physical Education Review Group:

I will ask the curriculum review group to ensure that there is sufficient flexibility in the curriculum to allow schools to accommodate the provision of at least 2 hours of good quality physical education for each child every week, and more if possible.

I mused on the theme of “what is quality physical education?” I don’t claim to have the answers and I certainly don’t know how best to get those numbers up to 100% (that’ll be why I didn’t get the job!) but I do have the following thoughts on some of the barriers to teaching PE in our schools.

Having studied the work of Prof Richard Bailey as part of my course and being a keen follower of his on Twitter, I work very much on the problem-solving approach to learning: what problem are we solving by doing/learning this (or what use is it going to be to learn/do this) so I came up with a Barriers vs Solutions theme for my presentation:

Solving them might be a bit trickier than listing them though! I lumped the first two together as one very much influences the other. What affects them? Teachers’ own school and ITE experiences I would argue: if you didn’t like/enjoy/value PE why would you be interested in it? I know that’s  a broad generalisation but it’s one I’ve certainly come across a lot in my time.

How do we address it? Firstly by getting supportive, well-trained people (teachers of PE, development officers, etc) in to run meaningful, practical CPD which doesn’t just leave one equipped with a load of “physical” resources (lesson plans, cones and balls, etc) but with “mental” resources: a sense of valuing PE, a shift in pedagogy an approach which sees PE as an opportunity to learn in other areas through the medium of Physical Education. Number Bond Orienteering anyone? Counting in fours whilst doing the slosh? (honest, tried it last week!)

We see too much “superficial” CPD – heaven knows anyone on pedagoo knows the real stuff happens in the interactions with colleagues and the sharing of ideas. PE CPD needs to reflect this and allow those who’re not comfortable with it to use their existing skills and interests to facilitate PE – you like ICT? Cool, let’s get the kids using the Wii balance board; Geography’s your thing? Excellent. TOPS Outdoors Orienteering for you sir!

For me all CPD should be about capacity building. If you leave [a CPD session] armed with resources and thinking “right, that’s me sorted” then you (and the CPD event organiser) have failed. If, on the other hand you leave with a bunch of ideas, questions as to how you might put it in place and thoughts on how you can improve then we’re getting somewhere. I’m not suggesting all CPD should be mind-blowingly pedagogically challenging stuff, but if you come to school every day and get everything right, you’re wasting your time as a wise pedagoo-er once said.

Get out and have a go. Ask the questions. Use the resources – physical and mental. There’s always someone with an idea to contribute and a huge amount of folks out there with the will to make it better.

Good luck!