PE Sport and Physical Activity in Scotland and beyond

Archive for June, 2007

Do It Be It

Posted by drilly on June 27, 2007


I was reading Laurie O’Donnell’s blog and came across this article about do it – be it. This is an MP4 player that sells at £50 and comes preloaded with a range of audio files covering everything from study skills to relaxation techniquies. Being a PE teacher I was initially drawn to the sport and health applications. The forth comming golf “hole it” resource would probably be very benificial to my floundering game.

As I read on I could envisage it as an extremely useful revision aid for PE to provide general study skills advice and relaxation techniques. The pupils can also record their own revision notes and listen to them and add in music to personalise their revision. I have in the past used Text aloud MP3 to convert text notes to MP3 revision files for my pupils. This was very quick and simple to do but the voices, even the “natural” ones, were irritating to listen to for an extended period. I also experimented with using Audacity which gave better results but was much more time consuming to produce the files.

The do it be it package also has the facility to receive podcasts though I am not sure if there is the scope to create them. I am also not sure if these podcasts will be produced by the company, with subject specific content or whether they will link to existing educational podcasts. It would be great if the company was considering enlisting the services of subject experts to provide specific content.

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Social networking media!

Posted by drilly on June 26, 2007


My curiosity was tweeked last week when I read a post on our intranet by Ewan McIntosh inviting interested pepople to attend Beer 2.0. I have never been one to shy away from a libation and decided to explore this further. As it turned out it was an informal gathering of people with an interest in IT, webdesign, social media and mobile technologies. I felt a little bit out of my depth but the welcome at Whitespace was warm and the beer supplied by Belhaven was refereshingly cool. It was great to speak to Ewan he is a mine of fascinating information and is web 2.0 educational evangelist.

I also met Tessa Watson a biology teacher and glow mentor who teaches in East Lothian. Tess helpfuly put me on to netvibes a feed aggregator to help me keep up to date with blog posts etc.

However I’m glad I didn’t have too many of Belhaven’s tasty products as Iain from Whitespace showed me a site he had recently finished about alcohol awareness for the Scottish Executive. Try out the drinking time machine its an eye opener. This is a website that could be used in schools during PSE to great effect in my opinion.

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Support Banchory Academy PE Department

Posted by drilly on June 19, 2007

The PE department at Banchory Academy have submitted a proposal for funding through the Norwich Union Join our team initiative. The proposal centers around the sports leadership programme and mountain biking. Please take a few moments to register your vote to support this worthwhile initiative. Simply Click on this Link register and vote for Banchory. Thank you for your support.


Posted in Alternative Activities, Mountain Biking | 3 Comments »


Posted by drilly on June 15, 2007

I visited Lornshill Academy in Clackmannanshire today to observe the brand new activity rock-it-ball . Described by its developers as the ultimate catch and throw ball game – a truly unique concept which can be used from simple throw n catch right up to a full blow combat sport.


I observed an S4 class playing the combat team game and it was fast, furious, fun and engaging. The co-ed class were split into teams and pursued each other round the gym playing the combat version. The object of the game was to strike a member from the opposite team with a ball to score a point a bit of a simplistic description for more in depth rules click here. Each game lasted 4 minutes and believe you me this was more than enough time for the pupils to cope with due to the fast moving intense nature of the activity. I was thoroughly impressed with what I saw and feel that the flexible nature of the activity which can be played indoors or outdoors and has different versions of the game (depending on age, skill level and numbers click here for more info) makes it an ideal activity to incorporate within core PE and offers an exciting new alternative activity which seems to engage boys and girls alike. I will certainly be looking to adopt it within my department.

Whats more Scotland have just been crowned the inaugral world champions defeating England in the final.  Check out the video below from the championships I think this game is England against India.

Posted in Alternative Activities, Physical Education | 2 Comments »

That was the week that was

Posted by drilly on June 13, 2007

This week I visited Scotstoun primary in Glasgow to watch a classroom teacher who has developed a specialisim in PE through the post graduate course at Glasgow University. I have heard a number of negative comments about this whole concept of classroom teachers becoming PE specialists but if the lesson I observed is an indication of the quality of teachers the courses at Glasgow and now Edinburgh University are capable of producing then I fully endorse it.

However it does not really come as a suprise to me as the teacher I observed was first and foremost an experienced teacher who understands the development of primary pupils and the post graduate course has allowed him to develop a better knowlegde of physical education to compliment his pedagogy. It was also heartning to meet someone so enthusiastic about the subject that they have  decided that their future now lies within primary physical education. It is also fantastic that he has an extremely supportive headteacher who values the contribution that quality PE can make to the education of a child. As such this classroom teacher is now a fulltime teacher of physical education within the primary. 

A significant part of last week was also spent marking the SQA Higher PE papers. The general feeling was that this was a fair paper and that the  students seemed to cope reasonably well with it.

Posted in Physical Education, Primary PE, SQA | Leave a Comment »

Highlights of the week

Posted by drilly on June 1, 2007

This week I have been round various parts of Scotland meeting and presenting. Wednesday was a particularly interesting day. The morning was spent at the Edinburgh City PE conference which I have to say was a most enjoyable event. The keynote was presented by Richard Bailey

Richard Bailey from Roehampton University a man whose C.V. of research books and publications is impressively extensive to say the least. I really enjoy listening to Richard speak as his philosophy, insights, observations and research strike a real chord with me. You feel that you are listening to a man who has been there and actually walked the walk and developed his ideas from practical experience. It is refreshing to listen to an academic mind that is not so far removed from the reality of the teaching and learning process that their ideas become obscurely ideological. I also like his style of delivery punctuated with anecdotes and humour. If you ever get the chance to hear Richard speak I would thouroughly recommend it. Teachers in Scotland will have access to Richards keynote delivery from the 2006 National PE conference from a series of DVDs produced by Learning and Teaching Scotland. The set of 3 DVDs also contain Keynotes fron Frank Hadden  head coach Scottish Rugby and Donnie Macleod HMIe and practical workshops from the nursery, primary, secondary and additional needs sectors.

Wednesday afternoon was spent delivering a presentation at the Dartfishusers conference. It was great to spend an afternoon with like minded professionals who have are striving to drive forward the use of ICT in PE and across other area of the curriculum. The whole area of ICT and its use to support the delivery of PE is one that really enthuses me and when used appropriately I feel enhances the subject, motivates the pupils and supports their learning.

On Wednesday evening I met an extremely interesting gentleman Marc Matoza who introduced me to his eCoachingweb based platform. The power of this web based software blew me away it can support live coaching and analysis over the Internet, share training schedules that include video, text, audio and still images and incorporates calenders with similar cababilities to outlook and facilitates an incredible capacity for dialouge between teacher and learner. This barely does  justice to the capacities of this software which is being used extensively in the world of professional golf and tennis. As Marc and I talked it became evident in our opinion that there is also scope to adopt this platform for use within Education.

Thursday I visited Bankhead Primary School in Glasgow to follow up on a good practice lead and I was not dissapointed. I watched the visiting specialist Irene Baker deliver a wonderful basketball lesson. The school also benifits from services of a classroom teacher who completed the initial pilot of the primary post graduate PE qualification in Glasgow. There is now a similar course being run at Edinburgh University as well.

I then spent some time with the Headteacher Elsie Tysen her support and vision has ensured that all pupils receive 2hrs of quality PE per week. What a pleasure it was to visit an establishment that really valued the contribution that PE can make to a childs education.

This evening (Friday) I was out test riding a mountain bike with a view to buying it. Since I have recently retired from competitive rugby I need find something to relplace it to allow me to blow off a little steam and halt the spread of my expanding waistline. I reckon with a little more practice I could manage some of these moves!

Posted in ICT in PE, Mountain Biking, Physical Education, Primary PE | Leave a Comment »