«Developing the Potential of Young People in Sport A report for sportscotland by The University of Edinburgh Developing the Potential of Young People ...»
I think I've said this before as well … basic moves programmes, it's not a particularly new concept. It's nothing new. As a PE teacher, you see certain things like that, I have seen them in the past. But what is new is it's put together in an effective way and in a challenging way, and the card package is very, very good and it's good to use and I think that's the different thing people talk about. ‘What are they, how do you teach them?’ And that's the important thing for me. They've been put together in a good way.
The Integration Between Psychomotor and Psycho-behavioural Elements The seconded teachers felt that the dual curricula of the DPYPS programme provides the most effective way of improving the confidence of children in a physical setting.
That confidence comes from the psychomotor stuff and the psychobehavioural, a combination of the two. If you can integrate those, that would be more effective.
They felt that further integration of these two concepts is a step that will have benefits for the effectiveness of the philosophy. Indeed, for a specialist PE deliverer this may be easy, it is a more challenging concept for primary teachers. The seconded teachers felt that more input, resource or in-service support that targets this area would be useful and beneficial for the programme.
From a personal point of view, I think it's very easy to identify the links with physical areas and the psychological characteristics of development and excellence. I think it's easy to link those into the physical areas. And one thing I would say about the psycho-behavioural, it seems that the teachers have found some difficulty in this and it may need to be made clearer and more explicit as to how these links are made. And, again, it may be links written with the psychomotor work cards as well as the psycho-behavioural. Or the development of a CD Rom, where the links come in.
I think it has had a massive impact on my teaching, in that I think I'm very much aware of the psychological characteristics and I would be highlighting these more blatantly in my teaching than I maybe have done previously.
Practicalities of Incorporating DPYPS in Secondary Schools The set up of the programme in secondary schools produced a range of results from no interest at all to so much interest that classes had to be split into different times of the year. The set up and ‘selling’ of the programme needs to be examined and targeted explicitly as part of the programme if consistent interest is to be developed in the future.
The most effective way would be to incorporate such a programme in a more coherent method with curriculum and other initiatives. Regardless of the broader implications, one concept that may be a factor is involving the parents in what the programme is about.
It was a new concept for the kids, so we held a parents information session and I think we got about 60 parents. A lot of the parents came and a lot of their kids actually came to the DPYPS programme because they (the parents) showed an interest. They're not used to thinking about their attitudes and their behaviours and using these imagery concepts for example in their physical activity. And we didn’t do another parents day for the next cohort. Letters were sent out but no information session, possibly that was one difference.
3.2.4 Teachers The Perceived Importance of Teaching Psychomotor Skills to Primary School children All teachers thought it important that children are provided with the opportunity to develop the psychomotor skills that are targeted within the DPYPS curriculum. As one
of the primary teachers commented:
If you build a house, people never think about the foundations of that house. But without really strong foundations, which these basic skills are, you will build a house which is very weak and lacks structure. And the same goes in sport. We are teaching children in Primary 6 and Primary 7 to play games, to do gymnastics, whatever and when you watch them run, they don’t know how to run. They don’t know how to stop. They don’t know how to change angles. They don’t know how to jump properly. They don’t know how to walk. But we’re trying to teach them more advanced skills and they don’t have the initial stages and that’s where we need to be targeting. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) Similarly, all teachers recognised the psychomotor skills being developed within the DPYPS programme are skills that provide children with the basis to be able to participate in range of different sports.
I guess that’s where this programme comes in with the transfer of the skills. It’s the skills that you’re putting in that can be used in badminton and it can be used in athletics and it can be used in football or tennis or whatever it may be. So that’s the key to this, I think. Your aim is not to have an excellent class of footballers at the end of it. Your aim is to have children who are able to use part of what you’ve taught in a range of different sports. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) Further, all teachers thought that the primary school was an appropriate place for children to develop these skills.
If you don’t address it [the basic skills] here [in primary school], a lot of them aren’t going to get it anywhere else and if they’re inactive children, they’re going to be inactive adults and that’s really the whole philosophy behind it, isn’t it? Trying to improve the health of Scotland. If they’ve not got the skills, they’re not going to have success, so they’re not going to try, if you know what I mean. If you’re not taught how to do a thing properly, then you’re never going to be comfortable trying it. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) However, 100% of the North Ayrshire teachers, 100% of the Bannockburn teachers and 67% of the teachers from the Balfron cluster also highlighted that they thought that children would benefit from introducing the psychomotor programme earlier on in the primary school.
We need to teach children [the psychomotors] earlier. I think primary school is the right place to teach these skills but I’m not convinced that upper stage primary is the right place to teach it. If we teach the basic skills necessary for development, we could start them in lower school, teach them in middle school and refine them in upper school before they move on to secondary. I think we need to realise that if you teach young children the basic skills, then the children at a higher level can build on those. If you assume that they get to Primary 7 and they don’t have the skills, you re-visit the skills, you spend a year teaching them the skills and then they move to S1, where they will not be touched again. I know what the PE programme is in S1, certainly in the High School our children go to, and it does not touch basic skills. They are assumed to have those. That is a big fault that they don’t have those skills. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) In support of the ability to move the psychomotor curriculum down the school, two teachers reported using the activities successfully with children from further down the school, one with Primary 5 children and one with Primary 6 children.
Last year I had a composite class of Primary 7, 6 and it worked equally as well in the Primary 6. I think the programme should start further down the school. I think if the programme was started further down the school obviously by the time it got to Primary 7 I would be moving onto something else. Probably it could go down as far as Primary 5 because they are starting to become better and you want to get there before they start making mistakes rather than trying to fix them just to teach them properly. (Primary school teacher from the North Ayrshire cluster) The belief that the psychomotor curriculum could be introduced earlier in primary school coincided with, and may have been partly as a result of, a consensus by the teachers (100%) that psychomotor curriculum was developmental and therefore able to cater for the differing needs of the children they had in their PE class.
The cards [psychomotor cards] made it clear again that different levels of ability exist, people at the start [of the development continuum] and people in the middle [of the development continuum] and the programme enabled you to work with the different levels [of ability]. Also you could extend the tasks with people who were really competent within the skills. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) The targets for the 5-14 curriculum are extremely woolly but I would say what we’re basically doing with this programme [DPYPS] is effectively starting off working with level A and then eventually working up to level D and E with the programme but, because it’s so flexible, you can target children who are at different levels. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) I have found the psychomotor activities to be quite flexible because it’s a composite class of Primary 6 and Primary 7 working together that we have so obviously we have to differentiate between them. (Primary school teacher from the North Ayrshire cluster) You can see that there is a progression coming through... it is adaptable to the needs of your own particular group of children. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) I think, because of the simplicity of the psychomotor curriculum, it means that the children can develop whatever they’re doing at their own level. In other words, for the less able children they are still able to access that. And my most able children were very much involved in what they were doing throughout the lessons. (Primary school teacher from the Balfron cluster) Many of the teachers (64%) highlighted that the recognition of the importance of teaching children the basic skills to enable them to be competent in a range of activities, was something they had developed as a direct result of being involved in the DPYPS programme.
I had not really considered actually revisiting all the basic skills [before being involved in DPYPS], but my philosophy now is that we have to cover that [the basic skills] before we cover other things. I hope the funding actually comes through and continues because I think your programme will have an effect on our nation’s wellbeing and health.
(Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) What the DPYPS programme has actually taught me is that you don’t have to over complicate things. That, in actual fact, it’s simple. You can break it down into lots of little simple activities but these activities are important in themselves to actually develop the skill. Not just lunging straight into the game when you haven’t actually worked on any of the skills to enable them to play the game. (Primary school teacher from the Balfron cluster) It wasn’t actually till I started doing this programme [DPYPS] that I realised that it was keeping possession that won the game because you couldn’t score a goal unless you had possession. So it is about teaching children that really what you want to be doing isn’t trying to score a goal or shoot a basket just from anywhere, but that it’s keeping possession that matters in order to make the opportunity to score a goal. And that was like a basic tactic that hadn’t even occurred to me. So I had never even tried to teach the children that, that possession was the key thing.
And the programme has also broken down this tactical stuff into steps just like it has the basic skills. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) I think right from the training course it gave me an awareness of how important honing the basic skills is, because previous to this [programme], I don’t think it would have occurred to me at all. In the past years I would have children, say, doing hockey or netball when they couldn’t throw a ball, so I think it’s given me an awareness of how the basic skills weren’t being taught and you needed to be teaching them.
So I think that’s one of the biggest things for me. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) Probably as a direct result of recognising a need to teach the basic skills to children, and having a specialist teacher help with the delivery of PE, all teachers (100%) thought that the psychomotor sessions delivered within the DPYPS programme had made a significant contribution to the needs of primary school children, and compared favourably to the previous PE system employed in the schools.
PE caters for children’s needs much better than it did before [the DPYPS programme]. I wouldn’t say it’s perfect. To make it more perfect you would give the programme to someone who understands more of the PE structure. I would be interested in giving the programme to a primary PE specialist and let them actually evaluate the effect of it.