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Tirimoana School

Students who have participated in the student sport leadership programme developed their leadership skills and demonstrated these by taking responsibility for activities they planned and ran, for other students.

Aim/Focus: Co-curricular

  • Develop a student sport leadership programme
  • Leaders independently run sport physical activities at lunchtime
  • ·Develop students’ leadership skills.

Background

In 2006 and 2007, there needed to be fewer duty teachers at lunchtimes and more activities for students to participate in. We reflected that physical activities were run regularly each week, but they were limited to a few teachers who were motivated to run training and preparation sessions for standard sport zone days.

Although we have a peer mediator system operating in the school, students were not consistently sorting out their own problems, making decisions, using their time effectively, or treating others in the playground with respect. We hoped the introduction of sport leaders would lower the number of duty teachers required and offer students a greater variety of activities to participate in.

Process undertaken

Phases/Steps

After the concept was introduced to the Lead Teachers, the group decided to raise this as an initiative at school. It was discussed at senior teacher level, and staff agreed that it was a good idea to develop sport leaders who could offer and run a variety of physical activities.

A group of year 5 and 6 students was selected to develop leadership skills. During term 3 of 2006, student leaders were trained and their activities trialled. The students met regularly each term to discuss the success of their activities, and to plan and evaluate their activities. Some of the activities the students offered included team tactics, balloon tennis, crossing the river, dodge ball, parachute, and Indian chairs.

In 2007, the student leaders’ programme got under way in term 1. Students who had been involved with the programme in 2006 and new leaders developed a programme that built on the previous year’s activities. They also worked with a teacher to develop activities that could be offered during term 3.

Responsibilities

Lead Teachers liaised with staff and senior management to allocate release time for working with student leaders. Teachers made allowance for the student leaders to be involved with this programme by supporting them and encouraging other students to participate and cooperate. In term 3 of 2007, a second Lead Teacher was co-opted into the programme so that it could be sustained in the longer term. Duty teachers have no responsibility for the sport leaders’ activities.

Outcomes

Students had an opportunity to experience successful leadership with teacher support.

Students had a supported programme of training and implementation. As a result, their activities ran smoothly, and were successful and enjoyed by participants.

Students had more to participate in during lunchtime as a result of the different activities on offer.

More students who had not been involved with traditional sport codes took a greater interest in being physically active.

There were fewer free play incidents of unacceptable playground behaviour.

Some of the activities were so successful that teachers adopted them as part of their daily in-class fitness routines.

Reflection

Successes

A student sport leadership programme is operational.

Two teachers are working with student leaders to plan and organise activities for other students at the school.

Student sport leaders run different physical activities during lunchtimes for blocks of two to three weeks.

Students who have participated in the student sport leadership programme developed their leadership skills and demonstrated these by taking responsibility for activities they planned and ran for other students.

Strengths

The programme has given different teachers an opportunity to:

  • develop leadership skills
  • work with older/younger students
  • share skills with colleagues by modelling activities
  • share experiences at syndicate and staff meetings.

The programme has given students opportunities to:

  • learn and develop leadership skills
  • run activities for younger students as well as for their peers
  • work with different teachers who supported them
  • share skills and successes with peers and teachers.

The student sport leadership programme is contributing to a growing awareness that we are an active community that is focused on empowering students to take leadership and make decisions informed by our shared values.

Weaknesses

Currently, the programme is still heavily reliant on teacher intervention. Student leaders do not yet understand that, as a community, we would like to see them independently run activities for other students during free play times. Teachers have a full range of duties and normal classroom responsibilities that limit their involvement with the programme.

At this point, only two Lead Teachers have worked with the student leaders to plan and run activities for other students. Student leaders are inevitably also involved with other sporting codes and are learning about prioritising responsibilities. Greater recognition of the efforts of the student sport leaders would make it attractive for other students to become involved with the programme.


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