To lead the pursuit of excellence in learning underpins our KLASS vision, mission and belief statement. Our teachers are leaders in learning; they thrive through collaboration and research; through creativity and innovation; through taking risks in their teaching and being reflective in doing so. This week, our Director of Sport, Lewis Keens, shares with us the innovative learning and teaching approach being taken by our EP PE Department in their Year 7 concept-based PE lessons.
Since we transitioned back into school for face to face learning, we turned our focus to the school value of connectedness and, since the Christmas break, integrity and resilience.
Through the exploration of connectedness, we looked at how collaboration and communication can impact our success across activities such as problem solving, teambuilding and also an introduction to Sport Education.
In our recently completed integrity enquiry, students became members of an orienteering team and were faced with all sorts of challenges to test their skills and their ability to demonstrate our anchoring concepts of honesty and responsibility and how these could be transferred to influence decision making outside of PE lessons.
Our student voice data from Year 7 students indicated that this approach for one lesson a week has been a hit so far:
- Over 95% of students thought the lessons were fun
- 80% said they were learning lots
- Over 95% of students said they were enjoying the lessons
- Over 93% of students said they felt happy in lessons
Whilst the data collection is only from a single year group, it was encouraging to see students suggesting ways they could transfer the concepts we encountered in lessons into real life.
Here are a few examples of how students described how they can apply the concept of connectedness in other areas of school life:
‘I try to make others feel comfortable and if anyone is sitting alone, I would ask them to sit with me.’
‘When we need to work in pairs or teams, everyone needs to be involved.’
‘We work as a team and don't argue.’
‘When I’m in a team of people, I could respect them and collaborate with them.’
‘Make new friends.’
Whilst transfer is a key part of the learning process, physical activity remains a consistent vehicle for delivery. In our current unit, we are acquiring, connecting and transferring our knowledge and understanding of resilience, focusing on failure and our ‘ugly zone’ through scenarios and challenges in a range of traditional and non-traditional games.
Within our lessons just this week, as part of the ‘acquiring’ phase of learning, students were asked to define what they understood by the term resilience. Here’s what they said:
‘Keeping going - even if it’s tough.
‘Trying our best.’
‘Not giving in.’
‘Not letting mistakes get you down.’
During this same lesson, students were asked to tune into how they felt when they were labelled ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ and given tough tasks and scenarios to deal with. Already many students are becoming more aware of their emotions as we move forward to investigate ways to develop our resilience and connect how failure and resilience are linked.
We are very proud of wonderful examples of values in action shown by our Year 7 students so far, we are seeing high levels of engagement, rich discussion and a huge dollop of enthusiasm.
Well done Year 7!
Wishing you a wonderful weekend,
Dr Maria Osowiecki