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Planning considerations

Teachers could begin planning by gathering a range of information about the physical activity learning needs of their students and by considering whether any of the possible learning outcomes here might meet these learning needs.

After discussing appropriate learning outcomes with the students, teachers could refer to the related learning experiences and choose activities, from here or elsewhere, that are most likely to help the students achieve their next learning steps. For example, to help the students achieve the learning outcome “apply rules in minor games and demonstrate safe and fair play practices ..." teachers might select activities that focus on learning and applying rules to a game and assess the students’ learning while they participate in playing the game.

Factors affecting learning

Research into key factors that have a positive effect on students’ learning (Hattie, 1999) indicates that innovative, responsive teachers can make a real difference to the achievements of their students. The single most significant factor is feedback. Teachers who provide feedback to students, giving them frequent information about how well they have understood and performed the current learning task, are giving them real, practical help that will have positive results.

Effective teachers give feedback; they also set specific, appropriate, and challenging goals for their students. Students who are involved in setting these learning goals and who then receive feedback while working towards them are more committed to achieving the goals and do, in fact, achieve better results.

Innovation is important. Teachers who consistently review their practices and try out new models, methods, and processes are likely to improve the quality of learning for their students.

Research (for example, Griffin, 1983) shows that feedback given to boys is often skill oriented, for example, to “keep your elbows high”, while feedback to girls is more behaviour oriented, for example, to “keep going”. Both girls and boys can benefit from both these kinds of feedback and also from the feedback that guides the next learning step.

Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes provide a clear focus for teachers and describe the learning that is expected to occur as a result of particular activities. In this book, the learning outcomes are linked to achievement objectives as follows.

A learning need is identified. For example, your students may need to demonstrate, to a partner, a springing or landing skill that they had previously found challenging and say how confident they now feel about doing it. This learning outcome can be linked to level 3, strand B, achievement objective 2 and is therefore identified as related to achievement objective 3B2.