When looking at the new Ofsted guidance it is clear that it is still seen as a vital part of a students education. How that is delivered though is quite varied and there is a lot of interpretation going on as to what outstanding PE really looks like.
Is it about having great sports teams? Is it about having everyone taking part? Or is there more to it than that?
I have taken the subject specific guidance and wanted to just take a more detailed look at what is being said and hopefully spark some debate and discussion amongst PE teams as to what they are offering.
Is the curriculum you offer varied? Too often it suits the sports choices of the teachers as opposed to the need of the students. Have you accounted for students in curriculum design?
Monitoring and evaluation. I have used a few methods to ensure this has real impact. The school systems tend to leave student progress too long before recording for my liking. Ongoing tracking is essential to really see where a student is and where they need to go. I use google drive and a simple spreadsheet to simply record once a week what progress has been made. This is then shared with the students so they are part of the learning and can celebrate what they have done.
Sharing good practice. This is happening more and more, my take was to ensure staff are aware of the free CPD that is on offer through PE blogs, twitter and also through teachmeets. Where they don’t have time or passion to engage in it I have created documents using Smore to help them out. Are you providing ongoing opportunities?
Independent learners. Are you allowing students to think for themselves, to be creative in their approach? A coach can only ever do so much in games that are ever changing so sport people need this challenge, to decide how to adapt to new environments. It is also a vital life skill that PE can support. The use of tech is helpful here. I use the iPad to highlight things to students to get them to see things in a new way. iPad in PE post
In theory lessons achievement should be consistently high. Are you providing exciting and challenging learning opportunities to engage and enthuse learners? Sometimes the drive is simply for grades that can bore and make lessons mundane. Can you look at providing relevance to the learning to make it exciting? A friend of mine @gavinsmart has had students creating nutritional plans for sports people and actually tweeting them to get feedback!
Again reference to progress and staff organisation. I have to say that the introduction of KS3 tracking in the way we have at school has had a good initial impact as we can see the range of skills and competencies being covered and intervene instantly. With it being on Google Drive we also have access to everyones classes and this supports our moderation.
Pupils active for sustained periods. We are PE teachers, we should be making students active. There are times when technology can be at fault for slowing the pace of lessons. I am a big fan of using tech to support learning and it does work, but you need to use it when it is needed, to actually support the learning and at the right times. Don’t get students using it for the sake of it. If it isn’t going to change the learning, don’t use it. Remember, it is just another tool to help students progress. This directly links to the next point on using tech, it is a very useful tool. There are lots of ways to use iPad or other tech to really engage students. I use it so students can give better feedback on performance, for them to really develop their understanding, to support leadership opportunities and to develop quality homework opportunities and monitor progress.
The department needs to be looking beyond the traditional views of PE, lots of “new” activity choices are developing (parquor, aerobics, skateboarding, BMX etc) It may not be possible to deliver this in curriculum but an awareness of it is essential to keep relevant to students.
Partnerships. this is vital, so much is achieved through working together. Find the local primary schools and engage with them, share ideas and resources. Engage the older students n leadership opportunities to support the primary school. learn from the primary school as to what the students enjoy and the skills they already have.
Developing PE to support the whole school needs. Literacy and Numeracy are big issues across all schools. PE lends itself in so many ways to help support these agendas. Be careful not to forget the PE in any plan, it is still what the students will expect to have in the lesson, that is not to say that you can highlight the need for literacy and numeracy skills to support their PE as well as give relevance to those subjects beyond just getting an A-C grade. Lots of things can be done to support subjects. Literacy Numeracy
There is so much good practice going on in PE. It is needed to be shown how PE is more than the traditional view of performance sport. It is what gives decision makers the power to sideline PE. If your department is showing the support it gives to Literacy, Numeracy, Social, Cultural and Moral as well as the hundreds of other benefits, then it will highlight the importance of PE in a students education at all levels.
I’d be interested to hear your thoughts