PE Sport and Physical Activity in Scotland and beyond

Archive for November, 2007

SQA Physical Education Course Report and Principal Assessors Reports

Posted by drilly on November 27, 2007

The SQA has published Principal Assessors reports and the course report on PE you can access the reports here. Below is the general summary from the PE subject report.

There is a very encouraging uptake trend at all levels of courses in Physical Education, candidate entries have increased in 2007.

Evidence shows that Centres are becoming more comfortable with the demands of the question papers at all National Qualification levels and candidates’ responses are demonstrating improved performances. At all levels, the Principal Assessors’ reports have commented on the difficulty that candidates have in giving full responses to questions about applied knowledge. This is an area where there could be improvement

The Practical Performance at all levels continues to be a great strength of the course and many candidates perform at levels above the course entry. Visiting verifiers commented on the very high standard of teachers’ understanding of national standards and commend them for the professional way in which they hosted the events. Central Verification of Analysis and Development of Performance Unit (NAB) showed that candidates’ work was better than in previous years.

We continue to provide support centres and have published new exemplification of candidates’ responses to (NABs) at Intermediate 1 / 2 and Higher levels on the website as well as candidate responses to the NABs and Report at Advanced Higher level.

New material at Higher, Intermediate 1 / 2 levels is currently being produced for the Understanding Standards Website.

Posted in Higher, Int 1, Int 2, Physical Education, SQA, Standard Grade | Leave a Comment »


Posted by drilly on November 27, 2007

The SQA have made their past papers available for download for free you can access the PE papers here

Posted in Higher, Int 1, Int 2, Physical Education, Resources, SQA, Standard Grade | 1 Comment »

Video Lessons online

Posted by drilly on November 16, 2007


TV Lesson an all-encompassing library of “how-to” content online, lesson content covers most conceivable topics though I was obviously drawn to the sports lessons. These seem to be dominated by golf and dance at the moment but that could change as the site allows users to upload content. Whilst this is great you may want to take some of the lessons with a pinch of salt from the self professed experts but there are some real gems as well. 

The technology lessons also look like they may be a useful source of information and learning.

Posted in CPD, ICT, ICT in PE, Resources, Sport, web resources | Leave a Comment »

The simplest and quickest podcasting tool ever? And its Free!!

Posted by drilly on November 16, 2007

Here is something for anyone who wants to create an audio file and publish it online easily and quickly. Say and Post is so simple to use even I managed and I have never podcast anything before listen to my dulcet tones. To create all you have to do is download the software record your clip and upload it to the Say and Post server all done via the simple interface below. You are provided with a link to the audio file to copy and paste in your blog or website and thats it. Easy or what?


Posted in Education, ICT, Podcasting, Resources | 4 Comments »

Physical Activity, Exercise and Learning through the Lifecourse Conference workshop summaries online now

Posted by drilly on November 16, 2007


I attended this conference at the end of October and it was thoroughly enjoyable and informative. The workshop summaries and PowerPoint’s are available online here. There should also be podcasts of the main presentations and panel discussions to follow.

Posted in conference, fitness, Health, Physical Activity | Leave a Comment »

Using Dartfish at Stirling University

Posted by drilly on November 16, 2007

I spent a really enjoyable morning working with the PE students from the Stirling University. I was invited along by Will Kay and Suzanne Hargreaves to enhance the students understanding of Dartfish which the department has recently purchased. Will and Suzanne are keen for the students to use the software within their studies and to enhance their teaching whilst on placement. I also showed the students a few other gems like the LTS PE website and this blog where I promised to post some links and a simple Dartfish user guide for them.

We started off with a presentation then moved in to the Gameshall for some practical hands on experience. See the photos below.

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In the Gameshall the Students had to design a simple gymnastic routine  and capture it and analyse it with the dartfish software. The video clip below was captured and edited with dartfish (though titles and audio were incorporated via moviemaker). The video shows a group sequence then individual students comparing themselves to the model performer. The video also highlights a few from the vast array of tools that can enhance the analysis such as text input, tracing the path of an object (feet in this instance), the clone tool to extract one part of the video and lay it on another and the time clock. You will also notice that we are able to compare 4 videos at once.

The students really seemed to enjoy it and felt Dartfish is a tool that could enhance their teaching, some even improved their own performance as a direct result of using the software which really brought home to them the power of this resource. However the biggest cheer of the day was when I asked them if I could use some of the videos from the day to put something together for YouTube so I could share it easier via the blog. I should not have been surprised by this as I would imagine many already had uploaded clips to YouTube or various other video sharing sites. This may also be an indication of how comfortable the next generation of teachers will be with using social media and web 2.0 (or whatever we are calling it now). That however is a post for another day.

What came through from the day for me was the students enthusiasm and willingness to embrace the technology.  I wish I had more time to show them the vast array of other resources that are available for using within their teaching. Another day perhaps.

Posted in datrfish, ICT in PE, Physical Education, Resources | 4 Comments »

National PE Conference Places Going Fast

Posted by drilly on November 15, 2007

You will need to be quick if you want to book a palce at the PE conference booking is due to close on the 30th of November. I have had a number of enquires about what exactly body combat is watch the video to get an idea of what it is.

Posted in Alternative Activities, conference, Physical Activity, Physical Education, Primary PE | Leave a Comment »

Wii Fit

Posted by drilly on November 10, 2007

An interesting post on Ollie Bray’s blog about Wii fit  you can watch a video demo too.

Posted in Alternative Activities, computer games, Physical Activity, Physical Education | Leave a Comment »

There are more questions than answers

Posted by drilly on November 7, 2007

This Johnny Nash song (see post title) kept popping into my head as I read the following Parliamentary questions about physical education.

Jim Tolson (Dunfermline West) (LD): To ask the Scottish Executive whether there are plans to increase the amount of physical education in schools.

Response from Maureen Watt: Schools are working towards achieving two hours PE. The Scottish Government is clear that learning through quality physical education and physical activity makes an important contribution to young people’s development, both in promoting their health and wellbeing and enabling sporting success. Physical education will be an important element of the outcomes for health and wellbeing which are being drafted as part of the work on Curriculum for Excellence. However, the curriculum is not based on statute and it will be up to local authorities and schools to decide how they take forward the outcomes.

Jim Tolson (Dunfermline West) (LD): To ask the Scottish Executive how many primary schools provide the recommended two hours of physical education per week, broken down by local authority.

Jim Tolson (Dunfermline West) (LD): To ask the Scottish Executive how many secondary schools provide the recommended two hours of physical education per week, broken down by local authority.

Response from Maureen Watt: A baseline study was undertaken in 2005 with results published in 2006 in a paper called Progress towards the recommendations of the Physical Education Review Group which can be found at The Scottish Government is clear that learning through quality physical education and physical activity makes an important contribution to young people’s development, both in promoting their health and wellbeing and enabling sporting success.

Unfortunately Johnny Nash’s even more famous song “I can see clearly now” was nowhere to be heard.

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

Competition without it we are all losers

Posted by drilly on November 4, 2007

I was reading the latest edition of Connected the publication produced by Learning and Teaching Scotland . As I started to read the article All in good sport I felt my hackles start to raise as competition and inevitably sport in schools was lambasted. Thankfully the article provided a balanced view with both sides of the argument for and against competition discussed.

I think you can guess where I stand, I regard competition as an essential element within education and sport and physical education. Within education and physical education the key for me is that competition is one element not the driver but not to be avoided either. George Lenorad said “Competition is the spice of sports; but if you make spice the whole meal you’ll be sick”

I think that when competition becomes the “whole meal” in education then it is a problem as we focus on outcomes we celebrate and recognise only winners we become elitist. My take on competition is that it cannot be avoided. For those of you who were at the National PE conference in 2006 you would have heard Frank Hadden SRU national rugby coach talk about this very subject “life is a competition if you get out of bed feeling good that is one -nil in my books” For those of you who were unable to make it you can still experience the conference through the DVDs available  from Learning and Teaching Scotland.

Don Ledingham recently wrote Competition – a dirty word in education?  During the recent Association of Headteachers and Deputes Scotland conference he noted the unease of the audience as one of the speakers explored the idea of competition. However the speakers message according to Don if we want to be good (or “excellent” in education) then we must refer to how others do”  In my opinion this is important if we are going to develop and improve whatever we are doing. There are always going to be organisations, groups or individuals who are trailblazers at the forefront and the pinnacle as they strive to be the best they can. If we are to improve we need to know where we are in relation to them and then plan and implement a programme of improvement.

As competition cannot be avoided in life then we have an obligation to expose our pupils to it but more importantly teach them how to deal with competition. How to compete in appropriate manner and how to deal with the outcome of competition graciously. Competition is a spice and it drives humans to incredible feats of endeavour, commitment and effort and this must surely be valuable. For me the most powerful and rewarding form of competition is the intrinsic form,  however I also find the need to look outside and gauge my performance against others so I truly understand the level I am performing at.

In my mind it is not competition that is the problem it is failure. I can hear the sharp intakes of breath already, but before you deride me as one of those PE teachers who has no time for losers I actually mean something different.  The problem with failure is how we perceive it failure is something that must not happen, it is to be avoided at all costs, failure means weakness. In PE failure has an added dimension in that it is very public, potentially everyone in the class can view it. In a maths class failure can be contained within the pupils jotter and only needs to be between the teacher and the pupil. The upshot of all this is that we have a culture of trying to avoid failure.

Richard Bailey has explored this theme extensively within physical education basing a lot of his thinking on the work of John Holt and his book How Children Fail (a must read). Bailey alludes to children in physical education and the strategies they adopt to avoid failing. They become risk averse and afraid to take chances (“the cautious seldom err” Confucius), they stay on the periphery of the class to avoid being noticed and they become experts at guessing the response the teacher wants. What we need to do is turn failure on its head and view it as the basis of a positive learning experience. Basically from birth we learn by trial and error and if something  doesn’t work (a failure) we modify our approach and try again and the process continues until we achieve. Therefore if we fear failure and try to avoid it are we truly learning? In my view we should possibly be celebrating failure as by failing the learner has taken a risk, they have tried to do something that they do not have mastery off, they have moved out of their comfort zone and tried something new and this should be applauded. Mistakes are the portals of discovery” James Joyce. Don Ledingham has explored the value of this with the idea of a permission to learn card that encourages learners to take risks and embrace failure as a means to move forward. I think Winston Churchill sums it up perfectly “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”

Posted in Physical Education | 3 Comments »