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Bledisloe School

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One of our strengths is our ability to plan as teams, which allowed for collegial support.

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Aim/Focus: Curriculum

  • The area we felt we could make the most improvement in was curriculum and looked at ways to enhance best practice in physical education.

Background

Bledisloe School is an urban primary school in Taradale, Napier. We are a Health Promoting School and saw the School Community Physical Activity Project (SCPAP) as having beneficial links to this.

We had also been awarded the Gold Heartbeat Award by the National Heart Foundation, and had been looking for ways to further enhance student well-being.

We saw SCPAP as an opportunity to access resources and professional expertise.

The first step when becoming a SCPAP school was to implement surveys with both our community and students to find out what was going on. No surprises here. Our community told us they valued physical activity, and families who replied had high levels of involvement in both school activity and community activity. We collected and completed playground data and concluded that most of our students were physically active during breaks.

The staff were surveyed and felt the greatest area for development was in the area of transferring skills they have in other areas to physical education (PE). Teaching skills, like using questioning techniques, learning intentions, and providing feedback to students, could be used more consistently in PE. They also identified some areas for specific skill development.

After analysing all our data, the question was asked: “How could we best use SCPAP to make us better than before?"

The five components of a physical activity culture were:

  • environment
  • community
  • co-curriculum
  • curriculum
  • ethos and organisation.

Process undertaken

A survey of our students showed they were already involved and active, so we asked: “How could we help them develop lifelong skills?”

  • Our Health and Physical Education Curriculum Statement was revised and shared with our Board of Trustees.
  • Massey University Advisers Vicki Small and Nik Henriksen offered professional support.
  • We developed, in consultation with staff, an updated planning sheet.
  • We had workshops on the greatest areas of need identified by staff – Run, Jump, Throw (athletics) and Te Ao Kori.

The next step was to trial, reflect, and adapt our practice. We totally redeveloped our PE assessment and made it more meaningful. Our students were made responsible for it, where appropriate. We moved to self- and peer-assessment as our focus.

Learning intentions were being used in other curriculum areas so the flow into our PE programmes was a natural one. Teachers felt comfortable using the language. Success criteria were developed with students during lessons.

Our PE became much more focused, with teachers having a clear idea of the intent of the lesson. Students became more active participants in driving their own learning, with an authentic voice in determining success criteria.

Responsibilities

A Lead Teacher was nominated who would have the ultimate responsibility for coordinating this project.

A team was then developed from the existing PE curriculum team, with representatives from the three learning areas in the school, so that we had input from all age groups within the school community.

Each learning team (Junior, Middle, and Senior) developed, trialled, and reflected ‘best practice’ strategies and activities.

Team planning was a key here to support those less-confident practitioners and to allow everyone to ‘take risks’ in a collaborative environment.

Individual teachers were responsible for trialling and feeding back to their respective teams. From there, information was fed back to the PE team.

Resources

We made a decision to divide our budget for equipment into three parts to ensure all areas had some resources:

  •  playground equipment
  • organised sport
  • PE equipment.

Physical layout

We have a large field/park and a 15m pool with wheelchair access. Both these resources allow us to assist in the delivery of quality PE programmes to our students.

We had access to the Health and Physical Education Adviser from Massey University and the Active Schools Facilitator from Sport Hawke’s Bay, who were available to:

  •  support the Lead Teacher in implementing SCPAP
  • provide information on other agencies to support our programme
  • liaise with the Board of Trustees and staff to explain the SCPAP focus.

We had well-coordinated and implemented, organised sport programmes up and running, so we had a sound base of good practice on which to reflect and refine.

We had a well-equipped and organised sports storage area, easily accessible, with good systems in place for using, monitoring, and maintaining the gear.

Outcomes

As many of these are subjective, they are listed as what we believe are developing trends in our school:

  • Students are more involved during PE, with activities showing maximum student participation.
  • Life skills such as cooperation are being transferred into sports and leisure games.
  • Physical resources are being better managed, with enough equipment for sports, PE, and playground use across all areas of the school.
  • Our students are developing self-reflection skills, which are being used by the year 5 and year 6 students consistently and trialled in other areas of the school.

Reflection

Strengths

We saw one of our strengths as being our ability to plan as teams, which allowed for collegial support. Assessment ideas were developed together and shared with other learning teams. Having the budget divided into three areas allowed for clear direction about spending. We already offered vast opportunities for co-curricular sport, so our students were active.

Weaknesses

We were greatly concerned that, having taken on this project, we were unable to access a local PE adviser for a considerable period of time as Massey University was unable to fill an appointment. We felt this left us at a virtual standstill for the first part of this initiative.

Opportunities

The National Education Guidelines (NEGs) and National Administration Guidelines (NAGs) had been revised to give priority to regular quality activity that develops movement skills, so we saw this project as an opportunity to meet these goals.

Threats

A threat to us was the crowded curriculum, which puts pressure on time. With literacy and numeracy being the key focus areas in a primary school, PE is often the victim of limited timetable options. We saw individual teacher strengths and motivation as threats that could impact on the success or outcomes.


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