There is currently a lot of focus on PE, school sport and physical activity (PESSPA) due to the recent increase in the PE and Sport Premium funding.  Part of this funding is to be used to increase the amount of physical activity that happens during the school day.  This is great, but what does increased activity look like in your school?  How can you fit it in with all your other responsibilities? And why bother?

Why do more physical activity?

Your pupils will have PE lessons and some after-school clubs, why is this not enough?  Curriculum PE will be at best 2 hours per week at best and at as little as 30 minutes at worst.  Guidelines for children aged 5 – 18-year-olds recommends 60 minutes of moderate and vigorous activity each day.  Recent studies show on 15% of girls, and 22% of boys are reaching this target as a result, intervention is needed.

How can your school support pupils with increased physical activity?  By introducing novel but practical ideas that can see a dramatic increase in your children’s activity levels.

Active travel

This means when your pupils make it to school under their own steam meaning, running, walking, scooting, or cycling. However, this is not always possible with some children living a long way from their school.  So why not try exclusion zones? If you implement an exclusion zone it prevents parents dropping children by car at the school gate.  Therefore a 500-metre exclusion zone would mean every pupil walking an extra 5 kilometres per week.  These exclusion zones have also been shown to improve air quality and road safety outside the school and can be tailored to the geography of your school.

Informal activity

There are lots of organisations trying to help schools develop their informal activity.  The BBC is one such organisation and their programme Super Movers has been designed specifically to help marry increased activity with curriculum learning.  A library of videos guide teachers and school staff through relevant KS1 & KS2 curriculum linked classroom activity.

Active Environments

Ensure children have access to resources at break and lunch times.  Playground equipment does not need to be complicated, skipping ropes, hoops, balls and bibs can open up a world of opportunity for pupils.

Properly dividing your playground can mean pupils feel safe and know where to go for different types of activity.  This could mean a zone for competitive games such as netball or football. An area where playground leaders and lunchtime supervisors support activity and a section in which pupils can create their own active experiences (think skipping, cats cradle and hopscotch).

Skilled workforce

For more physical activity to be included in your school day, upskilling ALL your staff is essential.  Not only will they be equipped to support but they will be on board to promote what’s happening.  Lunchtime supervisor training is usually readily available from your school sports partnership or local county sports partnership.  Speak with schools in your area, they may already be implementing some of these ideas and can point you in the right direction to get started.

Great physical activity starts with an excellent PE curriculum and should not be used as a replacement for adequately taught lessons;

‘while the quest for physical activity is important, it must not and cannot be at the expense of developing physically competent young people’ AfPE.

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In January the BBC launched their latest offering to schools.  With the help of teachers, BBC Super movers is designed to get school children more active.  Super movers has teamed up with the Premier League to inspire children across the country.

The BBC are undertaking this project as part of their Royal Charter.

To support learning for people of all ages; accessible, engaging, inspiring and challenging.

The BBC should provide specialist educational content to help support learning for children and teenagers across the United Kingdom.

It should encourage people to explore new subjects through partnerships with educational, sporting and cultural institutions… BBC Royal Charter 2017

Activity levels falling – Can BBC super movers help?

The Government recommends that children should be getting 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each day.  However, activity rates in children have fallen dramatically in the last 40 years.  Research suggests that activity is set to reduce further still.  A frightening 15% more by 2030.

Development of Super movers

The BBC hope to play their part in reversing the rise of inactivity. Physical activity helps shape young minds as well as developing self-confidence and self-esteem.  The Super movers videos enable teachers to bring activity to their classrooms and at the same time cover key numeracy and literacy topics.

Characters such as ‘Moon Bean’ will teach children their times table through catchy songs. The videos also contain simple dance steps and are fun to use in the classroom but are also suitable for teachers to set as active homework!  Topics covered at key stage 1 include times tables, reading out loud and fractions.  For key stage 2 BBC Super Movers looks at algebra, money handling and word families.

The BBC will also be rolling out an ‘at home’ series for families to get involved.  It is rumoured to include some of our favourite strictly come dancing stars!  Watch this space.

Have you started using BBC Super Movers yet?  If so how are you getting on?  Does it work for your school or family?

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One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is delivering PE CPD for primary teachers in schools and there’s never been more focus on PE CPD than right now.  So how can schools ensure they get the most from their training?

With primaries receiving on average £16,000 in the 18/19 school year and with a need for sustainability, teacher training and primary PE CPD should be a consideration for most schools.  PE CPD for whole school staff has not, historically, been a priority for schools. Going forward any organisation wishing to receive a good appraisal of their PESS premium spending need to consider their staff’s competence and confidence to deliver good PE.

What are the key areas that a PE coordinator or headteacher needs to consider when planning an effective CPD strategy for their school?

Planned

Teacher training days are rare and are often given over to key subjects such as numeracy and literacy.  Getting in early with your request for a whole/half-day or twilight CPD is essential.  Some schools will plan their entire professional development schedule including staff meetings up to a year in advance.

Prepared

A huge part of successful PE training is down to the tutor.  But getting your teachers and support staff 100% involved in what is happening is what makes the training a success.

Due to the physical nature of PE getting everyone up and moving really brings life to the training.  Make sure your teachers know what to expect so they can wear appropriate clothing and feel comfortable and confident.

It also helps to let your tutor know of any participants who need special consideration so the session is inclusive, this could be an injury or disability.

Identify needs for your school’s primary PE CPD

Finding out what training your staff require, rather than what you think they need is useful.  When teachers feel they are getting the training they want they are more likely to engage.

A quick simple staff audit can be undertaken which will highlight areas for development.  Gathering information on teachers’ competency in the following areas is a good starting point;

Outcomes

Know what you want to achieve so your tutor can personalise your training.  For example, ‘dance’ is something I often get asked to deliver; but what skills and competencies do you want your staff to walk away with at the end of the day?

I always as my client schools to provide a 3-point wishlist for the session and use this to shape what is delivered.

National Qualification in Leadership and Management in Primary PE

It is also worth considering qualifications for the PE leader in your school.  National Qualification in Leadership and Management in Primary PE is aimed specifically for school staff who are fulfilling the vital role of PE subject leader. It provides a national qualification at the same time as supporting you to develop high-quality PE in your school. This represents probably the most effective use of your PE and sport premium funding building capacity, resilience and sustainability.  There are trainers around the country that can assist you in completing this qualification.

Onward development

What happens now?  You’ve had your day/half day or twilight training session, and your staff are pumped to get out on the field.  What needs to happen to ensure your outcomes transfer into everyday school life?

Your development plan might involve buying equipment, rearranging PE teaching slots, pairing staff up to deliver, learning walks timetabled, and so on.  Whatever needs to be done, harnessing the momentum from the professional development will ensure the best experience of PE and school sport for your pupils and staff alike.

Ready to take your school’s PE to the next level?  Sign up now using coupon code CPD195 and receive 5% off your chosen subscription package!

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It is an exciting time in PE and School Sport.  The world is waking up to the wide impact that being physically active can have on children’s lives, as a result, the primary PE and School sport premium has increased significantly.

Funding levels

We mentioned in our last blog that the latest and largest amount of funding so far is landing in schools this month.  Schools with more than 16 pupils will get £16,000 plus £10 per additional pupil.  This means a typical primary school with a two-form intake will get in the region of £19,000.

When will it arrive?

Local authority schools will receive 7/12 of the funding allocation on 31st October 2017 and 5/12 on 30th April 2018. Academies will receive the same payment proportions on 1st November 2017 and 1st May 2018.  If your school falls outside of these types, you can find out more information on the DfE website.

What’s new?

Establishments should now publish how many pupils in year 6 are meeting the national curriculum requirement for swimming. Pupils should swim ‘competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 meters’.

AfPE, along with YST has developed a great resource to help your school record and report on all aspects of the premium; there is even an exemplar which we have helpfully linked to here!  All reports must be published on your school’s website by April 2018.

Below are some useful points to consider concerning the PE and School Sport premium.  AfPE are keen to dispel some common myths!

  1. The correct title of the funding is The Primary PE and Sport Premium.
  2. A school must publish on their website how they have spent or are planning to spend the money using the DfE commissioned website template.
  3. National Curriculum Swimming and Water Safety attainment must be evidenced.
  4.  Provision should be reviewed, looking at the curriculum first and then at extracurricular sport and activity.
  5. Impact of the investment on pupils must be clearly articulated.
  6. Schools should also consider how they might sustain any activity or initiative if the funding ceased.

If your school needs planning to support the delivery of the National Curriculum 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 and include resources such as videos and assessment tools.

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The increase in the funding for PE has been widely reported.  However, do you know how you should be evidencing the impact of Primary PE and Sports Premium? More money ‘great’ I hear you say!  But you can be sure that this comes with added responsibility.  Keeping up with the most recent changes and what you are required to do as a school is not easy.

Just last week we had a call from a school worried about how they should be spending their money to get best impact and fulfil their obligations to pupils.  There are a range of national partners working together aiming to support schools with all aspects of the PE and sport premium funding, such as sports coach UK’s guidance on the employment and deployment of sports coaches.

Evidencing impact of the PE and School Sport Premium

The Association for Physical Education (AfPE) and The Youth Sport Trust were commissioned by the Department for Education to draw up a template which covers the 5 key indicators schools should use to demonstrate improvement.

This is a great tool as not only does it let you plan and evidence how you will spend the premium, but it acts as a review document to reflect on your current circumstances.

Download the website reporting tool here

Download the exemplification support document here

In our next blog will look in further detail at the guidance for spending the Primary PE and Sport Premium; the first payment arrives in schools between 31st October and 1st November 2017. In the mean time, the website reporting tool is a great place to start to help get to grips with your new funding.

 

“All pupils leaving primary school physically literate and with the knowledge, skills and motivation necessary to equip them for a healthy lifestyle and lifelong participation in physical activity and sport.”

 

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What’s in your PE cupboard?

There is nothing I love more than a well organised, well stocked PE cupboard! Over the years, I’ve taught a lot of PE in a lot of different schools and you can tell a lot about an establishment by their PE equipment!!

One of the things I am asked most is what a school, teacher or staff need to do to deliver outstanding PE?. Equipping your pupils for the sports and activities they participate in is a great start.  Simply having enough of the essentials such as cones and bibs can make the difference between a good lesson and one that requires improvement.

Focus is now on sport specific activities in Key Stage 2 so ensuring your pupils are properly equipped is vital.  High quality and outstanding PE can very rarely be seen when there’s 1 tennis racket between five children.

Using your PE and Sports Premium funding

Primary PE and Sport Premium will be doubled to £320m in 2017. New equipment is a wonderful way to help inspire your pupils to try different activities.  Better equipment allows children to spend longer on activity, therefore, increasing their skill and fitness levels.  A well-resourced PE cupboard allows you to deliver a varied and interesting curriculum and preparing pupils for competition is made all that easier when children are familiar with the equipment.

 

To get you started we have a FREE offer of £75 worth of Lusum rugby balls for your school – courtesy of Big Game Hunters.  To take advantage of this limited offer simply register for an account here, no is purchase necessary and the team at Big Game Hunters Sports Ball Shop will send your FREE set of Lusum rugby balls.

 

Lusum Sports has used its resources to put the most research and the best quality materials into making the ball. Using a distinctive pink colour – it can be seen in your peripheral vision better than a standard ball. The balls are aerodynamically tested and the flight of the elite ball has been perfected so the kicking performance is the best it can be.  What are you waiting for?  Order your free set now!

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I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you just how unpredictable our weather is these days.  It helps if you can be prepared for a wet weather PE lesson.  Just last week I was in one of our Birmingham schools supporting a year 5 tennis lesson, many of the children had little experience with ball and racquet.

Not a problem you might think, low bounce sponge balls a plenty in the PE cupboard.  However, it was blowing a gale, so a hastily adapted indoor lesson had to take place.  Taking a mixed ability tennis group indoors from outdoors can be easier than you might think.  Don’t abandon your activity in favour of something more ‘manageable’.  Below are a few things we did to adapt tennis for a small indoor space:

  1. Set up 4 stations with slight variations still focusing on our main objectives – class then rotated through.
  2. Allowed only 2 groups to have racquets – reducing the risk of contact in small space.
  3. Grouped pupils by ability – this made it easier to control each group and differentiate their task.
  4. Adapted equipment – We used sponge balls but also light plastic balls which could be hit off the palm of the hand.

The teacher also had a few ‘go to’ starter activities which quickly got the children warmed up and ready for the lesson which gave him time to get set up.  Below is a fun activity that can be used for net/wall games and adapted to fit a small indoor space.  Why don’t you give it a go and let us know how you get on?  Even better tweet or Facebook your class playing.


Return to sender

Put children in groups of approximately 5. Set up as many courts needed so that children can play against each other over a net or bench 5 v 5. The aim of the game is using hands to pat the ball & keep the ball going back & forth over the net. The ball can bounce as many times as needed but cannot roll—teacher to decide if restricted bounces to make it harder where appropriate. Children need to communicate with each other to know who is going for a ball or who is not. Racquets can be introduced to make it harder but space must be available so children are not too close together when trying to hit the ball.

Extension: Change the type of balls e.g. sponge, low bounce, normal tennis ball etc.


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There is no magic bullet or fool-proof strategy for teaching outstanding PE. As Ofsted itself says, ‘There are many routes to excellence’.  Ofsted is clear, however, on what they require for a lesson to be ‘outstanding’. This article examines some of the features that should be present in your lessons and primary PE scheme to help ensure excellent teaching and learning.

High Expectations

A common pitfall for primary teachers is that they don’t apply their teaching skills to PE as they would other subjects.  Just as you would for literacy or numeracy, set high expectations for pupils; so this starts with progressive and inclusive lesson objectives that set the tone for the lesson and the use of a quality primary PE scheme.

Time on activity

There’s no substitute for time on an activity which generates commitment to learning.  Aim to reduce your teacher-speak to 10-15% and allow children to be ‘doing’ for 85-90% of the time.  Appropriate organisation, explanation and demonstration is key to making this a success. (We will look at this in more depth in a future post.)

Check understanding/progression

Show what ‘good’ looks like through clear modelling. In PE terms this could be a specific skill, a passage of play, or a compositional idea. Defined teaching points are necessary to check for understanding and show progress. These should be used for each skill or concept taught.

Use mini-plenaries to check pupils’ progress; don’t wait till the end of the lesson to find out what they have or have not achieved.  Assessment for learning in PE is an absolute must for outstanding teaching, including sharp questioning related to the AFL task.

Teaching Strategies using a primary PE scheme

Ofsted says outstanding lessons have ‘well-judged and often inspirational teaching strategies’… with a little planning, this can be achieved. Show children what is possible (what good looks like), show them how to achieve it (key teaching points and demonstration), allow them to experience, explore and learn for themselves (time to practice and make mistakes/refine).

When PE is well planned with a clear vision over the short and medium term, teachers are free to intervene and change, challenge or direct pupils; this is when real progress happens, and deeper connections between the teacher and pupils are made.

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PE Coordinator responsibilities often go to the young and enthusiastic primary school teacher.  Whether you’re an NQT or you’ve been on the teaching circuit for a while, there are a few key areas to consider to understand your PE coordinator responsibilities and take your school’s PE from strength to strength.

Training for the role of the PE coordinator

There are numerous courses available for the new PECO and for a good reason.  The PE coordinator responsibilities can be overwhelming.  As well as your own development you will have to facilitate the CPD of your fellow staff, ensuring they all have access to training that will upskill them.  The school or an outside agency may deliver training.  CPD in PE is essential for all staff to ensure sustainability.

Curriculum

Interpreting the new curriculum for your team and signposting to effective PE schemes of work and resources is one of the PECO’s significant responsibilities.  Choosing the right PE resources for your staff can support all PE teaching to be good.  Furthermore, it will also help teachers feel supported and secure in what they are delivering.  Pupils’ learning the curriculum is a focus of the new inspection framework, so selecting high-quality resources and schemes to support curriculum delivery can have a considerable impact on pupil progress.

Organisation

Being an effective PE lead mainly comes down to organisational skills! You will have curriculum planning, fellow teachers and possible specialist coaches to manage.  Also, you will also need to schedule clubs, hall space and transport to and from fixtures.  You may even bear the responsibility of Risk Assessments and off-site plans.  If this is the case ensure you are fully supported to do so by your senior leadership team and receive the correct training.  You can find great information on this subject on AfPE’s website including The Safe Practice In PE handbook.

Budgeting

PE leaders often find themselves managing the Primary PE and Sport Premium Funding. Spending in line with your school’s sports premium targets and budgeting for the year can be a big responsibility.  School’s often support their PECO’s in the management of this funding to ensure effective use.

In future blogs, we will share stories from PE Coordinators across the country.  If you wish to share your experiences of being a PE coordinator we would love to hear from you, email us at info@thepehub.co.uk and if you need support for your staff with resources check out our free content and subscription packages.

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