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Forest Lake School

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We used knowledge learned from other curriculum areas, such as using the literacy contract process and transferring this knowledge.

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Aim/Focus: Curriculum

Planning for quality learning and teaching in health and physical education (PE), and linking to an overall "Big Picture": individual potential.

Background

Contributing (years 1–6); School roll – 190

We chose this area of focus in order to:

  • develop teacher knowledge and confidence
  • develop positive attitudes towards health and PE in both teachers and students – especially towards cross-country and athletics
  • move from 'the doing' to look more towards 'what the learning is' in lessons
  • keep going back to 'why are we teaching this?' … the Big Picture.

We were guided by:

  • a survey of student attitudes
  • similarities in attitude between junior and senior schools
  • a survey of teachers’ attitudes
  • making the end of the unit or theme a celebration of the learning, not the focus of it.

Process undertaken

Phases/Steps

  • Professional development of curriculum committee and transfer of that knowledge to other staff
  • Staff meetings – for example, PE focus of In, Through, and About movement
  • Growth and development of personal understanding among staff
  • Links made with other curriculum areas, such as literacy contract, observations, and learning intentions
  • Focus on clarifying key learning and asking questions
  • Links made to students’ thoughts and feelings towards health and PE, supported by surveys
  • Action plan updated
  • Link to school vision
  • Consideration of what we have done in the past and what we are doing now, or can do differently in the light of new understanding – analysis
  • Trialling different formats and templates for planning
  • Finding what we like through trial and error.

Outcomes

  • Transfer of knowledge and basic skills
  • Shift in teacher attitude and confidence in teaching and planning
  • Improvement in student attitudes
  • Regular PE lessons – not just sports, games, or a focus on interschool activities
  • Engaged staff
  • Cohesion, even though the juniors and seniors are using different templates
  • Utilisation of a wider range of resources
  • More being taught
  • Focus shifted from events to learning basic skills
  • Taking the learning and applying it to cross country or athletics as a 'celebration'
  • More teacher and child "voice"
  • Using formative assessment and enquiry learning.

Reflection

Successes

  • Principal’s involvement – making a commitment to the project from the start and leading by example
  • The school culture is inclusive of staff and student new learning
  • Board of Trustees kept well informed and provided funding to purchase resources and allow teacher release
  • Strategic goal in school charter
  • Finely tuned planning using templates used in other curriculum areas
  • Using knowledge learned from other curriculum areas, such as using the literacy contract process and transferring this knowledge
  • Time and responsibility – making sure we are being selective with our contracts, not trying to do everything, but taking 'small bites'
  • Despite having our own focus, drive and momentum, not working independently of the coordinators
  • Clear needs relayed to the coordinators ‑ we were clear on the support we needed, and asked for it.

Threats

  • Change of leadership within the committee due to staff leaving
  • Change of committee members
  • Amount of PA equipment and access to it – remedied by a new shed, clear expectations of monitors, new system, classes choosing room "kits".

Next steps

  • Development of a new Health and Physical Education Overview
  • Continual consultation with all stakeholders
  • Re-survey teachers – how they feel about teaching health and PE
  • Re-survey students – how they feel about participating in PE
  • Implementing into the new curriculum
  • Generic pedagogical practice through Assess to Learn (AToL) contract
  • Focus on how we are 'teaching' (lesson delivery, peer observation, and feedback sessions)
  • Assessment.

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