PE at Christ Church in the National News!
Prior to 2013, most Physical Education (PE) at Christ Church School was taught by external coaches. While this system provided quality PE, it was felt that it was important to bring the delivering of these lessons back into the teacher’s domain, especially with many new teachers joining the school. The Sports Premium funding provided the perfect opportunity to provide Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to upskill all of the new and existing teaching staff.
The Trinitas Partnership
Christ Church, St Augustine’s and Trinity Secondary School recently formed the Trinitas Partnership. Christ Church’s partnership with Trinity and St Augustine’s had a large impact on the development of PE and the available resources for the school. The floodlit AstroTurf pitch allowed children to compete against other schools, including regular tournaments with St Augustine’s, as well as participate in practice sessions throughout the winter.
Through this partnership, Trinity’s sports leader, Jill Hooper provided the most helpful resource. Jill’s immense contribution including running weekly CPD sessions, training play leaders to assist in break time activities and employing Trinity’s own Sports Leaders at sports day. Aside from this, Jill also runs annual Bexley Education Improvement Partnership (BEIP) Sports Masterclasses for schools in the borough with activities including hockey, athletics and multisport.
How has Sport Premium been used?
The Sports Premium for 2014/2015 has mainly been used to develop the following areas of physical education and health at Christ Church:
Supporting teachers in delivering outstanding PE
Coach Gurdip Thind from GT Sports was employed to deliver two hours of CPD lessons weekly working alongside teachers and the impact was twofold. Firstly, the teachers learnt the skills, rules and techniques of a different sport every half term. Secondly, teachers had the opportunity to observe the teaching of warm-ups, differentiation activities and behaviour strategies. The feedback from the teachers was unanimously positive with all teachers expressing how much more confident they felt in delivering quality PE and the strategies they had picked up.
Promotion of competitive sport and sports clubs
In the last two years, Christ Church have provided more competitions than just the annual Sports Day in the school. Such competitions included a World Cup football tournament in 2014 where every house represented a participating team and a dance-off at Christmas. The Sports Premium has been used to subsidise after-school clubs consisting of a free netball club, football clubs and a very popular gymnastics club run by J’amies Gymnastic Academy.
Introducing physical activity at lunchtime
To support the development of break and lunchtime activities, CPD was provided for the midday meal supervisors to aid them in leading physical activities. All three playgrounds were marked out with football pitches, basketball and netball courts, hopscotch and four square. A lunchtime Change4Life club aimed mainly at year four and five children who are less interested in team sports. Dubbed the ‘Creative Club’, children meet weekly for a range of activities including dancing, juggling and cheerleading.
Bringing parents and children together for physical exercise
Sprinting lanes have been painted on a quiet area of the playground where children can run at their leisure or race against each other. Additionally, for the next year, Christ Church are planning a marathon contest whereby any child can attempt to run 26 miles over the course of the year, recording their distances and times daily. One of the areas of focus was not only improving children’s fitness but also involving their parents. Consequently, a Family Fitness Club was formed, offering free weekly workout sessions for children and parents / carers.
Overall, to date, 45% of Christ Church pupils have been involved in sports clubs and teams.
Focusing on the enjoyment, engagement and progress of children
The increased level of confidence in the teaching of PE has given children the ability to assess their own progress and suggest areas of improvement and new activities. In the survey conducted in March 2015, 72% of children polled said they really enjoyed PE with only 3.5% saying they didn’t. A common theme which emerges from CPD sessions is the importance of instilling a sense of enjoyment and keeping a brisk pace to keep children engaged and stimulated.
The Sports Premium funding has proved invaluable in improving the standard of teaching PE at Christ Church due to the training and development it has provided. Equally, it has increased the opportunity for children to participate in sport. The fitness club has provided an invaluable opportunity for all children irrespective of initial fitness or ability.
Year 5 student Pami spoke positively about PE at Christ Church:
“PE is now so much more fun. We do loads more exciting activities and get to play football against other schools”.
Future plans for physical activity at Christ Church
Christ Church are currently in a round of PE observations to ensure that the high quality of teaching is maintained; a process which is carried out each term. As the school continues to grow, continual CPD for new teaching staff and current staff will have a role of being heavily involved in sharing the skills they have gained and mentor the newly qualified teachers.
Most importantly, a key focus for Christ Church next year will be healthy lifestyles. Expansion of the Change4Life club and parental participation in the Family Fitness Programme will play vital roles. Christ Church will forge links with local sports clubs in sports such as rugby and cricket. From September 2015, more staff are being assigned to support PE to further increase the opportunities available for fun and rewarding sport at Christ Church.
Read the full report on the London Sport website: https://londonsport.org/news/school-sport-case-study-christ-church-erith/