Heads Up

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Physical education | Remote learning

The transition to remote learning during the current lockdown has added another dimension to ongoing discussions in our department about how to best serve students. We are now challenged to address how we engage the boys in a format unsuited to delivering our usual curriculum. At the Prep School, our program is based largely upon students’ interactions with each other in the physical realm — developing co-operation, teamwork, respect for opponents and working together to develop games, practices and movement sequences (and learning some specific movement skills and strategies along the way). In the relatively isolated environment of students’ homes, this is challenging and we have chosen to deliver an alternative curriculum based on the constraints and needs of the current situation.

Discussion within our department during the first lockdown established that our values within that scenario revolved around encouraging students to be active and helping them to support and motivate one another. In the first iteration, when getting outside was more practical, this focused on giving ideas for activities and having students share the ways in which they were getting active. In our current situation, these values have led us to opt largely for the provision of teacher-led and/or third-party video workouts that require minimal space and equipment. We feel this is the best way to inclusively provide specific instruction while being present (virtually) to observe and support where necessary. Our scheduled class times permit that we can provide some suitably intense exercise for 20 to 30 minutes while allowing time to connect with our students through discussion and some fun activities. While this is far from our idea of a perfect PE curriculum in normal circumstances, it is a good fit for our current circumstances and will hopefully provide some valuable active time for students.

We were pleased to see so many positive comments from the students in our recent survey, indicating that they are appreciative of our efforts to promote physical activity in PE and Games periods.

Stay well,

Mark Baxter
Physical and Health Education Teacher