Fizzikal

PE Sport and Physical Activity in Scotland and beyond

Archive for the ‘Physical Activity’ Category

afPE Conference

Posted by drilly on July 2, 2008

I am currently just outside Chester attending the afPE conference “Hitting the targets missing the point”. I am attending both as a delegate and a presenter. Happy to report that our workshop went well. I was presenting as part of a team from Glasgow University and the work they are doing with the PG Primary PE course. My input centred on what is happening nationally with PE in Scotland in terms of Curriculum for Excellence and the opportunities this presents to educators. Secondly how Glow can facilitate CPD, collaboration, sharing practice, learning and debate between educators. Providing a portal for teachers who have completed the PG Primary PE course to continue their engagement and professional reflection.

It was also great to meet Brian Greg who was also part of the presenting team. I have exchanged emails and Blog comments with but not actually met him in person. Brian has recently been appointed as the Head Teacher at Muck school. It was interesting talking to Brian who like myself has a healthy interest in both PE and ICT. He is really excited about the potential for using Glow but has some interesting challenges to deal with. The satellite broadband connection for one which affords little more speed and bandwidth than a dial up connection. The intermittent power to the Island 5 hours of electricity per day. All of which leads to a rather frustrating Glow experience for him. However undeterred he has started a new blog from Muck which he has at times had to save posts on  a flash drive and post to his friend on the mainland to upload as it would take too long to upload from the island.

Tom Wylie’s former Chief Executive of the National Youth Agency from 1996 and retired in August 2007 keynote raised some interesting points and questions. 60% of Children are doing well at school 40% are not doing so well. That 40% can be further subdivided into the disappointed (getting by but not enjoying it), the disaffected and the disappeared (getting nowhere).

Very few young people do not learn a skill for its own sake they learn a skill because it will take them somewhere. This comes from their perception of their identity how they see themselves and where they are heading. Learning has to connect with the real world as young people want to be viewed as adults they want to engage in the real world.

Averaged out young people spend only “9 minutes” of every waking hour at school. What do we know about what they are doing off campus the other “51 minutes”. What do we know about the informal learning world beyond the school and how can we engage with it?

We don’t deliver a curriculum that conveys a prepackaged off the shelf inflexible model. We should develop the curriculum in partnership with the learners so it best meets their needs.

Margaret Talbot Chief Executive of afPE delivered her keynote “Physical education: exercising the entitlement” after a slight delay. One of my colleagues who shall remain nameless (as Margaret is not a woman you want to upset!) accidentally lifted Margaret’s presentation notes whilst retrieving her own from our workshop.

As usual Margaret was not backward at coming forward and voicing her concerns about what is happening around PE and sport in England. One of her points that strikes particular resonance with me is the issue of measuring the time allocated to PE but not actually measuring the quality of that PE. I have raised this before in relation to Scotland what is the point in meeting the target if what you are offering is not high quality.

 

Posted in Blogs, CfE, conference, Glow, Learning, Physical Activity, Physical Education, Primary PE, Secondary PE, Sport, Teaching, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

New Case Studies on LTS PE website

Posted by drilly on June 13, 2008

There are 2 new case studies on the LTS PE website the first is about Sports Leaders at Northfield Academy the second is about Sports partnerships in Dumfries and Galloway.

Posted in Education, Health, Physical Activity, Physical Education, Secondary PE, Sport, Teaching, web resources | Leave a Comment »

Sprint Your Way to a Better Volcabulary: Quick Learners!!

Posted by drilly on June 8, 2008

No this is not a CfE “rich task” but is an article about exercise and learning or more precisely exercise intensity and its effects on learning. Unlike the article I referred to in a previous post this one sites the research source, a definite improvement. The article suggests that research on college athletes indicates that after bursts of intense sprinting they were better able to learn and retain information both over the short and long term. The article finishes by stating

This paper illustrates how we could capitalize on some of that compensatory biology to do a little multitasking. Get some quick exercise in, and while you’re recovering teach yourself a new language. I’m not saying this approach will work for everyone, or for every type of learning, but the possibilities are there; and the combinations will be virtually endless.”

Certainly gives me a new understanding of the term “quick learner”. Maybe that’s where I have been going wrong trying to learn some French for my upcoming trip to Switzerland this summer.

Posted in Education, Learning, Physical Activity, Physical Education, Research | Leave a Comment »

Improves Brain Function: Just One of Many Claims We Hold Dear in PE

Posted by drilly on June 8, 2008

I recently read this article http://itsgoodtoyou.info/2008/06/08/physical-fitness-improves-brain-health/ which suggests findings that most PE teachers have held true for decades. Exercise and fitness has much wider benefits than weight management and physical health. The article states:

“It turns out that physical activity actually turns on hormonal support systems in your brain. The activation of these systems strengthens brain circuits that you already have and helps you develop new ones.

Exercise causes a rise in several growth factors in the brain that are responsible for helping brain cells survive and divide into new brain cells, or neurons. Only a couple of brain regions can produce new neurons and exercise increases the amount and rate of neuron production in these regions.

The hippocampus plays a critical role in learning, memory and attention. Exercise induces new neuron growth in the hippocampus and improves performance on several types of cognitive tasks.

Folks that exercise regularly know that they are much more capable of handling stress throughout their day than they are when they don’t exercise. This is, in part, because exercise and stress have opposite effects on the hippocampus and exercise improves your ‘buffer’ to handle the stress.

Studies also show that in addition to exercise’s protective role, it is a valuable therapeutic tool for brain function. Fitness training improves cognitive functions relative to planning, scheduling, task coordination and attention. ”                                                               Originally uploaded by http://itsgoodtoyou.info

I can relate to many of the ideas suggested in the article I know how great I feel after a doing some enjoyable physical activity and the release I get form a hard physical work out. I only wish the article sighted some of the research that it alludes to so I can confirm the veracity of the claims.

This also tends to be the problem with physical education we make a number of claims about the benefits of the subject  most of which are anecdotal and founded on our intuition, observation and belief that it is inherently good. However that is normally as far as it goes research is limited especially in Scotland. Some of us are impassioned about promoting our subject and feel we are having to fight to secure a significant proportion of time in schools curricula. However we have limited proof of the benefits other than the anecdotal. What we need is hard evidence to back up the claims we make about the benefits of PE.

A small minority of enlightened teachers have done or are starting to do some small scale research in their schools. Practitioner based research has the potential to be a powerful medium to inform our colleagues but would it have any standing with the Government or Local Authorities? I would be interested to hear from any colleagues who have or are undertaking any research relevant to PE in Scottish schools.

 

 

Posted in Education, fitness, Health, Physical Activity, Physical Education, Research, Scottish Government, Teaching | 1 Comment »

Non Competitive play leads to more Physical Activity but is it less enjoyable?

Posted by drilly on June 6, 2008

Here is an interesting article that raises questions about the organisation of PE and physical activity for children. The research shows that children who were involved in non competitive games were more active than children who were involved in competitive games. However as you dig deeper you discover that the competitive games were all elimination games e.g. when you lose, or are caught or make a mistake you are out of the game (ie not being active) as opposed to the non competitive games where there was no elimination. I wonder what the results would have shown if the competitive games had been non elimination games?

What was also interesting is that the children were surveyed for self-efficacy, enjoyment, and peer victimisation following both types of games. Results showed that enjoyment was higher following competitive games, although enjoyment scores were high in non-elimination games as well. There were no reports of peer victimisation in either set of games, but were significant increases in self-efficacy after both sets.

The key messages for me are that competition is important for enjoyment, if handled correctly, however we need to promote non elimination games to ensure the highest levels of activity as well. I have expressed my views on competition before in a previous post. The study also highlights the positive benefits from activity within the childrens affective domain and the positive benefits to mental health.

There is also a link within the article to another interesting article ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT HIGHER AMONG MOST ACTIVE KIDS Vigorous Physical Activity Linked to Better Grades The research shows that examination of activity and physical education (PE) compared to academic achievement shows the most active kids more often have better grades.

This begs the question if PE and physical activity (don’t get me started on the difference between them) can have such positive and wide ranging benefits and in light of our appalling obesity and health record in Scotland why are we still having to fight so hard to justify it having a significant time allocation in the curricula of many learning establishments!

Posted in fitness, Health, obesity, Physical Activity, Physical Education, Research | Leave a Comment »

New PE Blog

Posted by drilly on June 6, 2008

Catherine McGourty has just alerted me to the PE blog she has developed for Holyrood Secondary http://holyroodpe.edublogs.org/ Welcome to PE 2.0 and the collaborative environment feel free to help yourself to any of the resources on the Banchory Blogs and wikis, links on the side bar on the left. All I ask is that you credit us as the originators if you use our materials and that you reciprocate by allowing us access to your resources.

Posted in Banchory Academy, Blogs, Education, ICT in PE, Links, Physical Activity, Physical Education, Resources, Secondary PE, Teaching, web resources, wikis | 4 Comments »

Human Kinetics UKPE Newsletter June 2008

Posted by drilly on June 5, 2008

The June edition of the Human Kinetics UKPE Newsletter has just been published and features the following:

 

  • Product of the month…
  • Learn how to use technology to increase physical activity
  • Help your pupils bounce their way to fun and fitness
  • New career guide from BASES and Human Kinetics
  • Largest school sport event in history
  • Protective parents deny children the chance to get on their bikes
  • Government gives green light to National Sports Skills Academy
  • Exercise ‘does not make obese children slim’
  • Design your own play space: Ministers launch website to get kids’ views on play
  • Obesity crisis ‘will lead to children having their stomachs stapled’
  • Posted in Education, Health, Learning, obesity, Physical Activity, Physical Education, Resources, Sport, Teaching | Leave a Comment »

    Mountain Biking at Golspie High

    Posted by drilly on May 28, 2008

    Wim Chalmet at Golspie High School has been doing some great work introducing alternative activities in PE. I am really impressed with how he is taking mountain biking forward. The video below shows some of the highlights thus far.

    Posted in Alternative Activities, Cycling, Mountain Biking, Physical Activity, Physical Education, Secondary PE, Sport, Teaching | Leave a Comment »

    Cycle Friendly Schools Award (Primary)

    Posted by drilly on May 28, 2008

    Cycling Scotland recently launched the Cycle Friendly schools award for primary schools. The aim of the new scheme is to encourage cycling as part of the whole school culture and contribute to increasing the number of children cycling to and at school.  The Award is part of a whole school approach to cycling which can contribute to health promoting school and Eco-School initiatives.  Additionally, the scheme links directly with cycle training that is offered at school in particular the Scottish Cycle Training Scheme and Cycling Scotland’s Ready Steady Bike and Go ByCycle programmes.

     

    Posted in Cycling, Physical Activity, Primary PE, Resources | Leave a Comment »

    Fit For Girls Development manager post

    Posted by drilly on May 26, 2008

    Fit for Girls is a national programme aimed at encouraging schoolgirls aged 11-16 years to adopt more active lifestyles. The programme is funded through the Scottish Government and Sportscotland, in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust.

    The programme requires a Development Manager who will take responsibility for leading the implementation of this programme in local authorities across Scotland.

    For an application pack, please visit the website www.sportscotland.org.uk/jobs or telephone 0131 472 3333. Closing date for completed applications:  Monday 9 June 2008

     

    Posted in Girls PE, Physical Activity, Physical Education, Secondary PE, Sport | Leave a Comment »