The BA/BSc in Physical Education and Sport and Exercise Science undergraduates at Canterbury Christ Church University on the year 3 Module “Learning in Physical Education” were supported with tutorials to work in groups to plan, manage, lead and record evidence of learning and personal bests for each participant for five sessions of after school club activities. The project was led by Dr Gemma Van Vuuren-Cassar. The focus of the learning activities was based on the Kent 20in12 theme, Challenges, Records and Personal Bests. Each group focused on developing age appropriate physical activities, taking into account the areas of activities of the NCPE. Use of ICT and other recording of learning strategies were used to collate evidence of personal and group participation; and personal and group bests. Fun and success for every participant were an essential parameter of each session. In addition, each group focused on developing either or a combination of the following links to the 8 National Strands: Enterprise; Sustainability & Regeneration; Internationalism; Citizenship; PE and Sport; Practical Learning and Healthy and Active Lifestyle.
The head of school circulated an invitation to each child to attend an afterschool activity of 1 hr 15 minutes on five pre-set dates between January and March 2010. There was an overwhelming response from 74 pupils (KS 1: 35 pupils and KS2: 39 pupils). This turned out to be the biggest afterschool club the school has ever had.
Each of the five groups of undergraduates was guided and provided with resources and academic support to plan, manage, lead and record evidence of the session. Individual records of personal bests were generated for each participant and where applicable for each group. The Olympic flavour was generated through grouping children by countries and wearing stickers with flags of designated countries; asking different children to carry placards of the flag of their designated country from one activity to the other; taking the Olympic torch around the Olympic cities of the last 5 games; participating in a series of physical activities and trying to improve their performance in different activities each week.
Differentiated and inclusive scoring systems were used and pupils registered their personal bests immediately. Written record of performance was kept by the activity leader and where suitable, by a designated child group leader.
The pupils enjoyed participating in physical activities for themselves (to improve their personal bests); and for the glory of the country they represented. When grouped by different year groups they assisted and communicated with each other to help each one in their group to achieve the best. There was a tremendous attitude of “let us do our best to achieve!” with support and cheering.
During a special school assembly a couple of weeks after the last session, the children were given a folder with certificates of participation; and where appropriate, records of their performances and their personal bests. For some sessions, the scoring systems also generated best country (group) scores too. The children enjoyed participating in the activities and they encouraged and motivated each other.
The school has been a great partner to work with and the recorded evidence of participation of pupils was celebrated on the school PE notice board while the afterschool club was running. Children were motivated and inspired to take part in physical activities and to do their best. Group and peer activities that required pupils to record personal bests demonstrated that children have a strong value of judgement, fairness and honesty.
The school was given PE equipment bought from the bursary as well as the session plans and recording personal bests and group templates as exemplars and points of reference for future practices. Photos of pupils participating in the activities were given to the school and will be displayed on the digital photo frame in the school hallway to inspire and celebrate Olympic and Paralympic challenges and achievement.