Our main objective was for year 10 pupils to take part in PESS with greater confidence. We also wanted pupils to value each other’s contributions and to become more independent learners.
What did we do?
We introduced Sport Education – a 14 to 16 curriculum package that encourages young people to take more responsibility for their own learning – into two year 10 units of work. We arranged for one teacher to attend a half-day INSET course on Sport Education then to team teach with two more teachers.
We taught each unit of work over a block of six weeks, using Youth Sport Trust resources (we plan to develop our own materials next year). We introduced pupils to the concepts of leader, official, referee, team manager, coach and assistant coach and started them thinking about their preferred area by looking at job descriptions for the different roles.
The pupils worked in teams throughout the units, helping each other to adopt different roles. Some helped to plan activities and events, including inter-form matches with up to 70 participants. Planning sessions covered whole weeks, with pupils asking for direction from staff when necessary. We also introduced self- and peer-assessment strategies for evaluating activities. Each lesson ended with verbal feedback, and each week one team received more targeted support from a member of staff.
We gave the year 10 pupils the opportunity to practise their leadership skills in extra-curricular clubs. They started to lead warm-up sessions and to coach B teams and year 7 and 8 teams. We held a netball refereeing coaching course for those who had opted for a refereeing role and encouraged them to referee year 7 and 8 practice sessions.
We introduced sports award assemblies across the PE department, where pupils received badges for achievement. We praised pupils for giving demonstrations in lessons and gave certificates for inter-form events and for participation in sport and PE.
What difference did we make?
We saw pupils’ confidence improve. We surveyed a group of 34 year 10 girls who lacked confidence before and after taking part in the two units of work using a Sport Education approach. At the outset, 50 per cent of the group said they were confident about demonstrating in lessons, 30 per cent felt confident enough to demonstrate and lead activities, and 25 per cent were willing to try coaching. By the end of the two units, the number confident about demonstrating and leading activities had risen to 60 per cent.
The pupils became more independent learners, which allowed us to change our teaching approach. In the first week’s lesson, we spent most of our time directing pupils. Within a couple of sessions, the pupils had taken more responsibility for organising themselves. This allowed us to focus on specific pupils or skills. Pupils with weaker subject knowledge still needed more input but, with prompting, solved problems and analysed their work.
At the start of the year, few of the pupils valued each other’s contributions. As they worked together in these units and in the extra-curricular clubs, we saw pupils’ listening and teamwork improve. They became more willing to listen to other people’s opinions and those with strong personalities did not dominate quite as much.
The impact on the whole school has yet to be seen, but our department now recognises the value of Sport Education and is going to use it in years 8, 9 and 10 next year.
How did we collect information?
We collected information to show the success of this work by:
- surveying a focus group of pupils at the start and end of the year, using a questionnaire based on the high quality outcomes
- observing and assessing pupils at the start and end of each unit
- moderation meetings within the PE department and externally.