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 (www.socrative.com) 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