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Linwood North School

We can see which age groups are responding to the activities and, as a group, rethink activities that may not be working.

Aim/Focus: Co-curricular

  • To sustain the Physical Activity Leaders (PALs) programme and increase lunchtime activities
  • To develop leaders and have senior children setting an example about becoming and keeping active.

Background

Contributing school (years 1–6); School roll – 225

Last year we trained our first group of PALs. The programme had many issues throughout the year, including PALs not being consistent, not being organised, and becoming disgruntled at having to give up more than one lunchtime a week. Most of the PALs were year 6 students, so once they left the school, so did their knowledge and experience.

Process undertaken

Phases/Steps

  • Consider roles, responsibilities, and resources
  • Effort put into PAL training and increasing the ‘mana’ among the students
  • PALs made easily identifiable through red hats
  • Updates in relation to PALs/activities made in the school newsletter
  • Regular meetings held with the PAL Lead Teacher to ensure things are going smoothly and address any concerns/issues
  • A timetable displayed for all the children to check daily
  • Every day, the PALs who are in charge go to a particular age group for that day and ‘advertise’ their activity
  • A Caught being Active slip developed to award to students who show great attitude when they participate in the PAL activities. Drawn in assembly
  • PALs given their own shelf in the PE shed so all the equipment required is available
  • The next major step to ensure the PAL programme continues next year is to identify the next group of leaders in years 4–5 and have them shadow the current PALs. This ensures knowledge is constantly being passed on to potential new PALs. This will begin at the start of term 4.

Outcomes

The enthusiasm of the PALs is awesome. They know exactly what to do, they get themselves organised, and their teachers are great about letting them go five minutes early to set up.

They are easily identified in the playground and are seen by the other students to be leaders and people they can ask for help.

They enjoy "advertising" their activities and we have found that is really good for the juniors, who don’t always remember that it is their day to engage in the activities provided.

The biggest success so far would have to be the Caught Being Active slips. The students love them and we made sure there was a space for comments so that when they are read out at assembly all staff and students know why they received the slip.

Holding PAL Lead Teacher meetings has also been beneficial.

Reflection

Having regular meetings has been great because, as a group, we can sort out problems before they get too big. We can see which age groups are responding to the activities and rethink activities that may not be working. The most successful part of holding the meetings is that the PALs feel supported.

Establishing a routine was initially an issue, but has improved with time.

Some PALs had difficulty getting other children to listen, but this was solved by giving them whistles as well as hats.

Next steps

  • To have year 4–5 students coming through the PAL programme so that knowledge is shared and maintained when current PALs go on to intermediate.

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