«Developing the Potential of Young People in Sport A report for sportscotland by The University of Edinburgh Developing the Potential of Young People ...»
The seconded teachers highlighted many positives of the resources. These included the variety of sports shown on the supporting materials such as video. The CD-Rom allowed teachers to make their children’s worksheets appropriate for them, particularly in terms of language comprehension. The psycho-behavioural resources appeared to provide enough prompting material to allow the teachers to expand and develop the ideas further in discussion with the children.
The videos were good because the kids got to see different sports because they turn on the television and it's like football, football, football and some horse racing on a Saturday. Whereas there was a little bit of rhythmic gymnastics and a bit of rugby etc. so I think that was good. Kind of more wide ranging than pigeon holing sport really.
I think they were very appropriate for the age group at which they were targeted, like the Primary 7s would start on level one and the secondary kids level one/level two, as well as the fact the teachers got a CD Rom.
So if any of the language was different, they could change it anyway, so it was good. The videos helped.
If you read the first couple of prompting questions, your brain starts to tick over itself because once you've asked the first couple of questions, you start to ask the questions that are underneath, so it's good for both the teachers and the kids to move on a bit.
DPYPS Fits with Current 5-14 Guidelines The DPYPS programme was considered to show strong links with the 5-14 curriculum, whilst at the same time providing a flexible curriculum to deal with different standards of children and a very good transition into the needs of standard grade PE.
5-14, the way it's put in our school, does the observe, record, describe and evaluate but when you only have 55 minutes to try and do a lesson, these things … they do get done but I think using DPYPS is a better way of getting the kids to reflect on what's happening and plan and things like that.
The next similarity is I think it could play a significant role within the framework of the curriculum. It's got a big place that it can meet a lot of objectives within the curriculum and therefore you can only see it as a whole educational programme. I think one of the things it does is it really empowers the children to reach their full potential in sport and therefore these are the goals that the 5-14 curriculum are striving for and these are the goals that DPYPS are striving for. So there's a big match-up there.
I think there's extensive links to achieving targets within 5-14 and I've demonstrated those before in a document but I think one of the things that we look at is the levels of the children that we're working with, different levels of children and this is a key in PE and the programme caters for different levels. It's important that pupils are working at their own level and the programme has the flexibility so kids can work at their own level.
Simplify the Cards and Provide a More Professional Touch The seconded teachers believed that the psychomotor card system initially appeared complex and difficult to the primary teachers. However, once they were supported and were shown how the system worked and how the cards translate into practical situations the teachers liked the way the resources allowed flexibility. They were able to use them with more ease than they initially thought.
Big variation. Some of them were, let me get in there, let me try it on my own. Other ones were, no, you need to do it and we'll watch you for the first 5 weeks. Just confidence I think more than anything else. The actual resources themselves, once they got used to them, they liked them.
As a PE trained person, I found the resources very helpful, they were progressive, you could easily see development from one stage to the next. The primary teachers' perceptions were of horror the first time they looked at them but once... it's like everything new, you've just got to sit down and have a look at it and then they could see there was a development from Level One to transitions. I had to give them a little bit of time to pick out where you would put different things but it took time. After a while, they were used to them.
The other one is that flexibility can also be a little bit daunting for some teachers I think, in that it doesn't prescribe lesson one, lesson two, lesson three, lesson four, lesson five. It gives a pack of cards in which you can pick and choose out of what you're going to do and that immediately has certain implications for some teachers that can be quite daunting at times thinking, what am I going to do this week? I'm just going to pick a card out and do that. So there is a little bit of planning implication but with the teachers that I've dealt with, that was cured very quickly and got over that very, very quickly indeed and they actually found the flexibility a real strength.
They knew more than they thought they did. A lot of them, took the cards in with them when they had their lesson, so they had B1 and B2 and then A1 and A2 and they realised that when they were actually teaching it and they thought through their lesson. They didn't need to stand and see the card all the time.
However, even though the majority of the teachers became comfortable with the psychomotor card system, the seconded teachers reported that the resources would definitely need a professional touch if they went nationwide. Examples of suggested upgrades included video footage of skills and activities in action, a more simple numbering system and a more simple and professional outlook to help with the time it takes to use the cards, particularly as a planning tool.
The quality of them as well, obviously if it went nationwide you need a more professional touch to the resources and videos and stuff.
I think the numbering system provides the link between basic moves and transitions. However, it's not the clearest initially and I think that needs to be looked at. Once you get used to it, it's not. It seems straightforward but it needs to be very obvious and it needs to be clearer.
You don't need the whole package put onto video. You simply don't need that. You need clips of little parts of the package because many of the activities and games you can use.
It definitely opened up new avenues for them. PE became different. It just opened itself up to all sorts of possibilities. I think that's what held them back at the start. All but one of the schools, possibly even all of them are all going to continue to use the psycho-behavioural resources definitely and as much as they can, at least maybe the lessons that we have made up together, rather than the actual pack because it is time consuming to use the pack.
The Flexibility and Developmental Nature of Resources
The seconded teachers felt that the developmental curriculum presented by the cards was a real strength. It was understood that the basics could be introduced very early on in development and that even at a sport specific level they could easily be pulled up and utilised effectively. The systematic, developmental nature of the cards was considered essential to provide a balanced educational package, especially for teachers without the pre-requisite PE knowledge.
These skills need to be learned as early as possible and that's why a developmental curriculum comes in, that you start introducing these concepts early on and gradually you get more complex and more in-depth in these concepts.
Especially when it comes up to your transitions level, you know, your scanning, your decision making, your pre-scanning. That's very, very important and you can break that down into numerous sports. If you look at your decision making and you have one practice from DPYPS and you can put that into a basketball practice, into a football practice, into any invasion game. It's the same with most of the practices we have.
When you talk about structure, it's developmental. That's absolutely essential. There's no point in just having a stand-alone project that doesn't go anywhere. It's developmental all the way through the stages. So at the moment if we've got a Primary 4 class, we can make the programme fit them equally as well as it does to those in Primary 7. You can set it to a level that the pupils are at and that's very important. Flexibility is a strength to the programme in that you can very much pick and choose out of the pack what aspects you're going to work on and what you're going to develop and that's important when it comes to your skill learning.
The seconded teachers reported that the psycho-behavioural cards were seen positively, more so in North Ayrshire. They were well presented, clear, developmental and much needed.
Wonderful. I'm not trying to be funny. It's really good. It sets out everything really well because it's not a new concept but something new that teachers have to do in their PE connected work. It's really good that it's presented the way it is. It's very clear. The teacher's cards are good where they've got a copy of what the kids are doing in front of them, so they don't have to have two bits of paper. Well presented. Again it's developmental, so you can have one kid pushing them a little bit and another one staying the way they are, so I really like them.
Methodology and Context of Learning
The seconded teachers highlighted the essential role that the development of teaching methodology had in the programme. This methodology is driven through an understanding of what the philosophy is trying to achieve and it allows deliverers to input and incorporate knowledge they have from their own experiences and learning in keeping with what is most important for the children.
When I actually teach the programme, I add in a lot more than is actually on the cards. But the reason I do that is because I understand the philosophy behind it and I use them in accordance with that philosophy.
And one of the best things I've found I do is I highlight to teachers in games that they're already comfortable with and use a lot how they can use DPYPS if they highlight and emphasise different things.
Indeed, the seconded teachers highlighted that, since content can be picked up from anywhere, the DPYPS programme allows teachers to utilise content or methodologies they are already comfortable with and still apply appropriate emphasis to the lessons that they take. This allows other programmes to be utilised alongside DPYPS and provides a sound base from which to work.
I could go to the library and pick up a package and teach a series of lessons and what have you. The main thing for this is that it's important that the teachers know what they're trying to achieve and what the programme's trying to achieve in that they can then adapt, they can use their strengths, they can use their own teaching methodologies, they can really be flexible with it. They can choose where they're going to put it in the curriculum and that's the importance. If they've got an understanding of the philosophies, then they can be incredibly flexible in how they use it.
And that's the important thing to me, as well as following the philosophies and understanding them whereas TOPS or other packages are: ‘there you go, there's a programme of lessons, go and teach them’.
I've been encouraged because some of the members of staff found some of the TOPS cards to give to the kids a little bit better, so I just encouraged them to use them, but it was only a part of DPYPS. It was a good add-on to DPYPS rather than a course on its own.
I think you develop a greater understanding of what the programme's all about when you can pick and choose what you do, as opposed to picking up a series of lessons on basketball off the shelf. But what this does is it gets you to think about how you're going to present that basic skill, the context you're going to put it in and one of the best things I heard from one of the staff is that next block they've to go on to move on from DPYPS into basketball but they'll be using the same philosophies of DPYPS although it's called a basketball block. They'll still be doing basic moves, they'll still be running, jumping, throwing, catching. But it'll be in the context of basketball. Because of that flexibility, it gives that ability to do that.
The seconded teachers highlighted that methodological issues are extremely important in order to encourage skills to be effective within a games context. This includes issues around decision making and teaching in context as well as practice structure that is set up by the teachers. DPYPS explicitly hits these areas and provides an understanding of how to teach and why.
When it comes to the transitions package, it's important to develop basic moves into the context of games and I think that's where the transition is excellent. Emphasis on importance of decision making and scanning and you've got even the pupils who have got a high skill level, high competence in basic moves who will struggle in game situations because they don't have this almost a cognitive process of decision making. And that's where your transitions programme comes into its own.
It's an important feature with your research on skill learning and retention, your random versus your block and if you can pick out and randomly select the skills that you're going to work on and keep emphasising them and keep highlighting them, then I think that comes in part of your block versus random practice.
The seconded teachers feel that without an understanding of the methodological issues then teaching becomes a descriptive, one size fits all process where children do not necessarily get what they need to develop and move on. There is certainly no progression or individual attention involved.
The Borders Council physical education pack. It takes you through lesson by lesson and it's very descriptive, which is also a good thing. Lesson number one, lesson number two and the stuff that's in there, the practices are good but the teachers just follow them no matter what, even if these kids aren't ready to do this practice, I don't think the teachers take that on board, that's next on the lesson plan, so they do it.
The fundamental skills and concepts presented in the DPYPS curriculum are not new, rather it is the emphasis on the methodology and philosophy that represents the important original contribution. This provides teachers with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions and cater for individual children in order to provide a sound, appropriate and developmental experience in schools.