In the second part of our two part blog on initial teacher training and PE, we look at some simple steps to ensure you have everything you need to make a success of teaching PE in your early career, regardless of your previous training. We look at
- The role of your PE coordinator
- Planning and preparing
- External help
- Learning from your peers
Contact your PE coordinator
Every primary school will have a PE coordinator and they should be your first point of contact. Your PE coordinator’s job is to ensure equipment, planning resources and a curriculum plan are all in place.
Your PE coordinator can sign post you to any relevant courses and training in your area. These might be activity specific such as gymnastics or directly aimed at new teachers.
It sounds obvious but be sure you know what you’re teaching. If possible choose an activity you’re familiar with e.g. you may have played netball in your own time, or were keen on it at school. Find an appropriate assessment for learning task for lesson 1. Selecting an activity you are familiar with will help build your confidence when getting to know your class in the PE setting.
When you’ve decided what planning you will use, annotate it to shape the lesson to suit your school’s facilities and equipment and your class’s ability.
Head down to the PE cupboard and see that everything you need for your first lesson is there. If not, can you adapt or improvise so your class still experience what you’d planned? For example, if there’s only one set of netball posts, how can you ensure there is somewhere for each team to shoot? Can you rotate groups so all get to use the proper equipment?
‘Set’ your pupils ready for the first lesson and the assessment for learning task – who do you think will be in your lower, middle, and upper band? Remember you can always move individuals during the lessons if they make more or less progress than you would expect. These groups are simply a starting point.
Although your school should have plenty of resources, there’s a lot to be gained by looking at those of National Governing Bodies (NGB’s such as England Hockey). One such site I found useful when developing my tag rugby teaching included a video on the rules developed by England Rugby.
The step by step nature of the video as well as seeing things ‘play out’ was invaluable for me as an inexperienced teacher of rugby! With a bit of time exploring the web you can find some extremely helpful content.
When I was a new PE teacher I spent much of my PPA time watching other teachers. I sought out teachers that I knew were considered outstanding or real experts in their subject. I’d watch maths and see if any of the pedagogical methods could be transferred to my practically based lessons.
You may find watching experienced teachers lead PE valuable or even ask to go to the local secondary school to see what methods they use to deliver fun, effective and progressive PE.
It can seem that due to the lack of attention PE receives during ITT that it is a second rate subject. Some of the things I’ve shared here may seem time-consuming and that you’d be better focusing your attention elsewhere during the high pressure of your NQT year – but teaching good PE pays dividends with your class. We all know of the health benefits but the relationships you build with your pupils spills over in to other aspects of their learning.
Children learn trust, respect and resilience and that they will know that it is you that they shared this process with.
If your school needs planning for both new and experienced staff, take a look at what we do at The PE Hub our lesson plans and schemes of work offer support across a wide range of PE activities.
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