BTEC revision made interesting & relevant

This guest post was written by Phill Dalowsky. Phill can be found on twitter @phillyneville.

Here @TSLA_PE_DEPT (The St Lawrence Academy) we continually strive to give students the opportunity to learn and make progress in a variety of different ways, through technology, high quality L&T, a personalised curriculum and a wealth of pathways at KS4.


With the recent changes at KS 4 and particularly with regards to the new BTEC Sport option we have had to make many a difficult decision. An option choice? Only offer GCSE? Or continue to offer to the whole cohort through the 2 hours core time and split the course requirements through practical and theoretical teaching.

We opted for the latter. A total of 122 students were registered on the course and then came the decision when to enter the students for the external exam. Unit 1: Fitness for Sport & Exercise was identified as the first unit for all students in Y10 to cover from September 2013 and the exam would be sat during January 2014.

After covering the unit content in total during early January we then decided to offer some revision opportunities prior to the exam. We have a good history across all subjects of students buying into after school and weekend sessions and this was no different. On Saturday 26th January a total of 64 Y10 students joined myself @phillyneville (Director of Student Progress), @PEexpert (Senior Middle Leader for Student Empowerment) & @hearny10 (BTEC Co-ordinator & acting HOD) for a morning of stimulating revision.

Below are a number of photos that encapsulate the morning and how much the students bought into this. A huge vote of thanks must go to my wife @AbyLDal (AST & HOD PE @Winterton_PE) for all her help with resources also. So much can be positively shared and amongst colleagues it is much appreciated.

Here you can see a simple hexagonal exercise undertaken in groups, the students merely using their knowledge have to start with one area and then link them according to if they fit and are relevant. There was no right way to create a pattern and the discussions amongst students were impressive.


A simple description, definition, test or component of fitness is alongside its answer and in pairs the students tested their knowledge by either giving the single answer or the longer example. This was made more challenging by either allowing one student to just ask one all the questions or mix them up and go alternatively scoring points along the way.



@AbyDal had used one of our children’s old domino sets and stuck questions and answers to each domino. Divide them all up amongst the players and a simple game was created where students had to put down theirs when they had the relevant answer in their hand. Competitive, fun, easy to create.



In 3 different sets (tests, definitions and key words) all the cards were turned over and in groups of 4 individuals had to turn over 2 cards at a time, see if they matched and if they didn’t then turn them back over. A simple memory game developed and pairs kept until none remained.

Using the program Socrative ( and the apps downloaded which are socrative student and socrative teacher, a number of questions were created and then accessed by the students using our iPads in order to test their knowledge. Instant feedback given by the program and also allows for us to see where gaps in knowledge are and how we subsequently plan for future sessions.



A game of Jenga (another toy stolen from our children at home!) was modified by @AbyLDal to include questions that and to be answered when drawn from the tower. Increased the challenge and competitive nature!



More games created and this time by using the old favourite of Bop It. Students had to play in turn using a variety of the devices games and answer questions when they became available.



Lastly a very simple analysis and comparison of key word, definition and fitness tests that all fit together in order to complete a simple diagram that they could take away to use this weekend for revision.



All the above lasted around an hour with all the groups rotating round our central atrium space. We then broke off for muffins, cake and refreshments before competing the last hour in pairs in the computer suites and using the sample online tests. By becoming familiar with the icons and tools the students made themselves feel relaxed about the task ahead.

Did it work? Well the proof will be in the results later this term but I would say that by providing a simple breakfast from 9am, allowing them to come in their normal clothes, by offering a fun, competitive but relaxed environment and access to sample tests online our students went away feeling that it was time well spent.

Thanks go to,
Aby Dalowsky, Head of PE & AST at Winterton Community Academy,  @AbyLDal
Deb Hearn, BTEC Co-ordinator & PE for The St Lawrence Academy, @hearny10
Dan Ellerby, SML for Student Empowerment & PE at TSLA, @PEexpert

Wheel of Misfortune

This guest post was written by Stuart Hutton. Stuart can be found on Twitter @PEInnovators

So I am always looking at different ways of delivering lessons to pupils to keep them on their toes and actively engaged in all lessons. Although they are in the classroom I do like them to get a sweat on even if it is a theory based lesson!

Recently we have started Unit 5 in BTEC Sport, part of this looks at First Aid . I created a useful resource which would randomly select a sports injury in which pupils had to go and deliver the relevant treatment to.  Injuries such as breathing and non breathing unconscious causalities, hamstring tears,  fractures, black eyes, dislocations and gashes.  The theme tune of the lesson was the Bee Gees favourite “Staying Alive” which highly amused and captured the attention of the pupils.  The useful resource I referred to earlier was in fact was a giant Wheel of Misfortune!


On each section represented a picture of an injured athlete or disfigured body part!! This really supported the pupils engagement in the lesson to add to the active delivery and pupils could really test themselves moving rapidly through Blooms Taxonomy applying and synthesising their knowledge of treatments. Pupils graded their confidence at delivering treatment to sports injuries before they started and at the end with some really positive results. High levels of learning, engagement and resilience throughout I’m saving this one in the learning bank for OFSTED!!

Making & monitoring progress in BTEC

The following guest post was written by Tracy Parker. You can follow Tracy on Twitter @GymaholicTracy .

Keeping a track of progress for BTEC students can be an overwhelming task, especially as you finish one unit and move onto the next knowing full well that some students still haven’t met the criteria in the previous unit! It is extremely important that tracking progress is not just the responsibility of the teacher but the learners also take ownership of their own progress too!!

The first tracking should occur during the assignment and our students have found that a simple tick list that includes the unit content is invaluable when used alongside the assignment brief. See example below.

Personal Learning check

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For P7, you must be able to describe each of the 3 energy and relate the energy systems to their use in different sport and exercise activities.


For M4, you must examine each energy system and explain its use in a variety of sport and exercise activities.


D2 builds on M4, and requires you to analyse three different energy systems and their use in a wide variety of sport and exercise activities.


Solo taxonomy is another resource used to monitor progress during a lesson and provides students with a clear focus on the expectations.


What it SOLO Taxonomy?

SOLO is the Structured Observation of Learning Outcomes. It is useful as it scaffolds and personalises learning, it also encourages higher order thinking skills and can be used as a tool for monitoring progress during any lesson or subject. It can be used to structure feedback, as a framework for meeting BTEC criteria or to develop a deeper level of understanding to stretch and challenge learners and push them to meet  distinction criteria.


The following is useful word mat that learners can use to assist them with structuring their sentences to further any evaluation or analysis of a topic.



Below is an example of how I have used the BTEC criteria of a unit to differentiate the learning outcomes and use SOLO Taxonomy as a method for learners to monitor their own progress. I ask students to judge where they are in their learning at various stages in the lesson and add a time and initial to track this. The colours reflect the traffic light system and all students are encouraged to get to the green by the end of a lesson. This has motivated students to aim higher and work hard to get there.





A progress chart is another method for monitoring learning & progress at various stages during a lesson. This can be linked in with the SOLO taxonomy sheet and helps learners establish if they have made progress and if not, this is the perfect time for the teacher to explain problem areas further.

Learning Progression Mat



The learning progression map is a simple but effective way of condensing paper, booklets or worksheets into a simple map of charting learning progress on one page. It can be developed, tweaked and shared to improve its quality, application and ultimate impact on student progress/achievement. Again, this is used in conjunction with SOLO Taxonomy or the Progress Chart for learners to monitor their own progress. It can allow for greater independence of learning and does include all the criteria for a specific BTEC assignment and includes a variety of activities that excite the learner.



The aim of this grid is to promote learning and raise student achievement over time. It is also directly related to the criteria of a specific unit and can be used alongside SOLO Taxonomy so that students can work at their own pace and track their progress over time by ticking off completed tasks.


For students to independently track their progress on unit completion and calculate their qualification grade and UCAS points, the following tracker is useful.



You can download a copy of each of the resources mentioned in the post using this link. Your comments on the post would be most welcome!