We can all see the increased role technology plays in our everyday lives but what about within school and more particularly, PE? Can technology help with delivering engaging PE lessons and at activity clubs, to ensure pupils get the most from PE and physical activity? Can technology help busy teachers when planning PE lessons?
The answer is of course yes to both of these questions. I’m going to explain how below, by sharing my top tips on how you can give all your pupils a positive experience of being active and you’ll see that technology can play a big part.
Targeting children who need your help to find the thing they’ll love – the right technology can really help!
Don’t just put on more clubs for your sporty kids to do more sports. By investing in a good way of tracking participation (such as SPIRALPE), you can analyse the data to identify the children who aren’t currently doing any additional activities.
One great way we’ve found of doing this is to invest in some good child friendly digital cameras and offer a lunch time treasure hunt club to targeted pupils – they pair up with a friend, take the digital camera around school and take photographs – hunting for a list of items or something as simple as a certain set of letters they have to find on signs around school. Then they come back and print the pictures and build a collage.
Sell it to them as an art or ITC project, but ask them to wear step counters. They’ll love the activity and will have walked miles in the process, all whilst spending time with their friend. At the end of the project you might have children who realise how much they’ve enjoyed going for walks and you could have set a really important habit for life in previously sedentary pupils. We call it health by stealth and it’s a really valuable intervention. The cameras are also a great way for the children to capture lots of proud moments to celebrate PE and activities.
Make the most of the resources designed to help you
There are a lot of online resources and new technologies now available to help you deliver engaging and fulfilling activities which will help with your own organisation and review processes. This can be as simple as subscribing to free YouTube channels to get new ideas or reading other schools’ published funding reports. Be active on Twitter too – there’s lots of great people to follow – I find it’s a great source of best practice sharing and the best way to keep up with the PE conversation.
Make sure you have your ‘PE kit’ with you (and I don’t mean your tracksuit!)
You always make sure you have enough pens or rulers in your classrooms so why would you not have enough bean bags or marker disks in your PE cupboard? Having the right equipment and using it to help you manage how and where activities take place is a really good way to organise your PE lessons and reduce what can otherwise become chaos. Getting yourself set up right will allow you to focus on teaching the skills.
And if you have a school tablet, bring it into PE lessons with you and film the children in action. Showing it back to them is a great teaching tool, especially if you are able to slow the footage down or pause it at key points – you can discuss their technique and show them what you mean. You can let the children have a go too. They love coaching each other and this really develops their feedback and communication skills.
Keep them active!
The best way to keep kids active is to keep your PE lessons fresh – change the activity regularly so that everyone gets lots of opportunities to run, hit, catch, dodge…and avoid long lines and large teams. Why would you play 15 a side cricket when you can have six mini games with five people? Think how much more action and engagement the children get in a smaller game. When children get bored their behaviour often deteriorates, so challenge them – change partners, space, opponents and equipment – all things that will refocus their minds and keep them on task.
If you’re struggling to know where to start with PE lesson planning, SPIRALPE™ can help, it features complete lesson plans for reception to year 6, all on one handy online platform!
It’s about skills not sports
Don’t focus on a particular sport, focus instead on the skill you want the children to work on. Running is a skill, as are striking, catching and accuracy, but they can be taught in so many creative and engaging ways and all are transferable across so many sports and activities. Select the right sport or activity as a medium to teach the transferable skill you want to work on.
I hope you find these tips useful and that they help you and your pupils enjoy being active.
If you enjoyed these PE tips and want to find out more, they are the basis of many different lesson plans provided by SpiralPE, an online platform who helps incorporate technology into the PE curriculum!