At Milldown CE Academy, Dorset, our moto is ‘Inspire, Believe, Achieve’. Through our curriculum, we aim to inspire children through their experiences with us so that they believe in their abilities and feel they can achieve anything they put their mind to. We are a small, single form entry school with around 250 children on roll. We have a demographic of nearly 60 children receiving pupil premium funding, we have 8 children on Education, Health and Care plans and we have just over 20 other children receiving some type of SEN support. With regards to our Physical Education delivery, all class teachers deliver their own PE lessons and this happens twice a week, meaning our children experience PE for at least 2 hours a week. Two of our teachers (and a TA) are trained in PE and we make up the PE team who oversee the subject. In the afternoons, the trained TA is employed to support staff during their PE lessons.
On the whole, our children have a great, positive attitude towards PE and are always enthusiastic to take part in a range of sports on offer during both curricular and extracurricular time. However, some of our staff’s attitudes towards PE are not always positive and as a result it will be the first subject that is dropped should curriculum time become tight. After exploring why this was, the biggest factors which came to the forefront were that they felt they lacked subject knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and felt that their planning in PE wasn’t to as good a quality at the rest of their curriculum. This is where GetSet4PE has been a massive success in our school.
Due to this lack of subject and pedagogical knowledge of PE, we searched through and trialled many different schemes with our staff and the only one which stood out with everyone was Get Set 4 PE. The scheme has a very clear lesson structure, it has clear and highlighted key teaching points, it has ideas of differentiation in all lessons and most importantly it was incredibly easy to use and implement for non-specialist staff. From a PE leaders perspective, the scheme (and the assessment interface that comes attached with it) has allowed us to start exploring how we can internally assess PE and ensure that the children are receiving quality teaching. There are many different resources that come with the scheme that are aimed at supporting the leadership of the subject and we have really benefited from the interactive curriculum mapping, the PE leaders area on the website and also the CPD offers which they run. Another factor, as it is in all schools I am sure, was the price and ensuring that the spending will have an impact on the teaching of PE. The many other schemes we trialled, seemed to charge a very premium price for a not so premium product. We have found that, for the amount of resources Get Set 4 PE offers, the cost is very reasonable and we have definitely seen an impact.
Since implementing the scheme, we have seen a vast improvement in the teaching of PE with staff teaching it on a more regular basis and there have even been comments of them finally enjoying PE. Our PE TA has also reported that the quality of teaching in lessons has started to increase and staff confidence to adapt their teaching has increased (due to the STEP principle promoted within the scheme). Before getting the scheme, we worked hard to try and create a skills progression for our school but everything we did just never seemed to fit as well as we wanted. With the scheme, there is a clear progression of skills in and across sports and is what we were trying to achieve.
With regards to the impact on children, we have definitely seen that our children are physically more active during our PE lessons and we have started to introduce a small stepped approach which the Get Set 4 PE planning has complimented very well. Although they already had a positive view of PE, they are now also feeling that they are being challenged more and their vocabulary and understanding of skills during lessons has improved.