«Developing the Potential of Young People in Sport A report for sportscotland by The University of Edinburgh Developing the Potential of Young People ...»
There are some PE specialists who I know would like to get hold of your programme. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) Absolutely, I think children’s needs are being catered for better. I wish it was continuing for us because I definitely do think it has helped them and my worry is that ten weeks and it stops and then it [PE] could easily slip back again. I mean, I obviously will try to maintain the progress made with the programme, but it could, in many cases, slip back again and the work that’s been done could be forgotten about. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it [the DPYPS programme] and I know the kids have enjoyed it and I’ve got to say that this has been the best PE that certainly this school’s had. (Primary school teacher from the Balfron cluster) I think the kids here have got a good grounding in PE anyway but I think being involved in this programme has improved it even more. So I think it [PE] has got even better with going back to basics. (Primary school teacher from the Balfron cluster) We tended to do blocks of activities before because it matched the four terms so you did gymnastics for a term, then you did active health whereas you are mixing it all up together and I think maybe that’s what’s more interesting for them.
(Primary school teacher from the Balfron cluster) I think what the programme has done, is given children quality. Quality PE lessons. Which means obviously, at the end of the day, that the children are learning new skills, building on skills they have, and also they are pleased with what they do rather than a sort of dissatisfied situation. I’m not saying I wouldn’t do a good PE programme for the year, I would put a lot of thought and time into it and I’ve been quite satisfied with what I did, for example, last year with P7. But I’m not a trained PE teacher and I can’t teach that level of skill. (Primary school teacher from the Balfron cluster) Within the school, we use two things called TOP play and TOP sport. All the staff involved in these programmes have had about an hour of training, which is ridiculous. It involves a pack, not dissimilar to what you’ve got. But, although it focused on skills, it did not focus on basic skills. So, for example, in Primary 7 we would do touch rugby and hockey. Many of the children didn’t even know how to walk and do the most simple things. They could not control a ball walking with a hockey stick and that, for me … that’s going right back to the basics. I’ve got a four year old who can do that, we taught her how to do that. She can walk with a ball whereas I’m talking about 11 year old children who found that a struggle. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) Before this programme, we didn’t address so much the actual broken down skills. If you take the TOPS sport 5, you do a run of basketball but it’s very much basketball. It was hailed as, right, we’re doing basketball, it was ball skills of some sort but they were not broken down. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) The teachers also expressed a general consensus (93%) that the DPYPS programme enabled them to hit their 5-14 targets and that the links were apparent.
I would say you touch on every single part of the 5-14 [PE] curriculum, so I would say that your programme is geared to the right level. (Primary school teacher from the North Ayrshire cluster) I’m fairly happy with how it [the psycho-behavioural curriculum] is linked to the 5-14 curriculum. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) It [the psychomotor curriculum] covers what we have to cover within 5the areas we have to cover. But I think it’s up to an individual teacher to take the information out of it and fit that in with the programme perhaps that already exists. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) One teacher highlighted how they felt that being involved in the DPYPS programme had
facilitated them achieving the 5-14 targets:
The resources allow me to achieve my targets far more easily than before. Because, before, I would look through the 5-14 and think “Right, what am I teaching?” And I knew I was teaching a sport rather than a skill, you know. And it was like, well, what skills come into that sport? So it’s far easier and you can just say ‘I’m doing that and doing that’ and it’s easy to see where it fits in with the 5-14 targets. (Primary school teacher from the Balfron cluster)
However, two teachers who were team teaching the psychomotor and psychobehavioural programme within one of the North Ayrshire schools commented:
We found it quite tricky to marry up 5-14 and PE [the psychomotor curriculum]. We found we could have done it but it would have taken a while. We have to forward plan everything we do and when it comes to the PE we have just been putting in we are following the DPYPS pilot programme and have put in our worksheets and a little about DPYPS and what it is. We have got away with that so far and that’s fine. Nobody at the school has been asking for anymore but in a few years time if the inspectors came back we are laying ourselves open in a way. So if that could be sorted out [the 5-14 links made explicit] and linked up then it would be useful.
Additionally, one teacher highlighted they would like the programme to be expanded so that it hits the 5-14 targets within dance, an area currently not incorporated into the
The only thing is of course there are other areas of 5-14 that come in, like dance, that wasn’t covered. So, for example, traditionally you do a block on dance at Christmas, for their Christmas parties and things. I know it [the programme] is about basic skills, but it would have been good to have a unit about dance, so that you didn’t feel you were leaving the programme for a block. Because, there must be some basic skills needed there [in dance] as well. But, apart from that, it [the programme] tied in pretty well [with the 5-14 targets]. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) Perceived Importance of Teaching Psycho-behavioural Aspects to Primary School children All teachers (100%) recognised the value of incorporating psycho-behavioural development within the primary school curriculum.
The skills within the psycho-behavioural curriculum should be taught because it comes into all areas of their social and personal skills. That was the great thing about the goal setting. Goal setting wasn’t new to them in the respect that we’ve been doing it for years with their class planning, but I think it was good for them to see how you can use goal setting in every aspect of their life. The imagery one, that was new, so that was good for them to see how that worked. I’m not aware of having taught self imagery before, so that was a good concept, something different. Self awareness, again that’s something that comes up in their health programmes, in their personal and social development. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) I remember the training course where we looked at the difference between a good athlete and a world class one and it’s purely what’s up here (pointing to head). And, what’s the difference between a child who is a keen athlete and a child who isn’t; it’s something up here (pointing to head). Now, it’s [the psycho-behavioural curriculum is] one way of targeting that. And we need to target it because there is no point in us putting money into creating a great physical environment for the children if they’re not going to use it. So, yes, this programme is a mode we can use to target that. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) As with the psychomotor programme, the inclusion of the psycho-behavioural programme into the school curriculum was perceived as positive. All teachers (100%) perceived that the skills being taught were skills that should be taught to children.
Almost all of the teachers highlighted how the psycho-behavioural curriculum within DPYPS complemented the emphasis that occurs within their primary school on personal and social development. However, teachers highlighted that the degree of emphasis on ‘psycho-behavioural’ type skills that typically occurs within the personal and social development curriculum within the school is largely dependent on the individual teacher.
It’s more up to individual schools and individual teachers what they’re actually doing and how much PSME [personal, social and moral education] stuff occurs. There has been no set programme in place but in recent years we’ve seen much more things like circle time. And these things need to be targeted at primary school, it’s too late by the time they go to secondary school. The DPYPS takes it from a slightly different angle [from PSME] because it’s mainly sports based, and that also kind of engages the boys a little bit more because it’s something that they’re generally more interested in. And it’s quite often the boys that are the ones that are disinterested in PSME stuff. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) One teacher highlighted how it would be of value to dovetail the psycho-behavioural
curriculum within the personal and social development (PSD) curriculum:
I think it’s important that they have that knowledge and ability [to use the psycho-behaviours] and I think in the long term it [the psychobehavioural curriculum] needs to be looked at and dovetailed with the PSD curriculum, so that the two run together. Because a lot of what’s in it [the psycho-behavioural curriculum] might be stuff that’s addressed through circle time session, for example, or could be addressed through that [a circle time session]. So the two [circle time and the psychobehavioural curriculum] can link in together. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) The majority of teachers (93%) highlighted the importance of having a programme that could be adapted to the differing developmental needs of children within a class and highlighted that this flexibility was a positive element of the psycho-behavioural curriculum.
The flexibility was very important in both the psychomotor and psychobehaviour resources. If there hadn’t been that flexibility, it would have been very, very difficult, so that was a definite plus. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) However, one teacher felt that some of the pupils within P7 could have coped with
activities that stretched them a bit more:
I have actually got quite a good Primary 7 group. My top group are very able, and I think from the philosophy aspect [the psycho-behavioural aspect], they probably could have taken on a bit more. Possibly for my P7s it [the psycho-behavioural curriculum] aimed at the middle and the lower end [of ability]. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) It may be that some children at Primary 7 will be able to complete some of the activities from the Level Two psycho-behavioural curriculum that has been developed. In fact, as with the psychomotor curriculum, there was a general consensus (100% of the North Ayrshire teachers, 100% of the Bannockburn teachers and 67% of the teachers from the Balfron Cluster) that children would benefit from being introduced to the psychobehavioural element of the DPYPS curriculum earlier on in primary schools. This earlier introduction to the psycho-behavioural concepts should then enable the Primary 7
children to focus on the activities contained within the Level Two curriculum:
It [the psycho-behavioural curriculum] could have been used quite effectively in a Primary 5/6 class. (Primary school teacher from the Balfron cluster) I’m not sure that the content just now would work down the school but it could be adapted. A lot of it is simple enough for down the school and they would enjoy it too and there is a lack of that sort of thing in school and it [the psycho-behavioural development] works in with health as well. (Primary school teacher from the North Ayrshire cluster) I think they [the psycho-behaviours] are life skills and I think it [their development] should have been started before, earlier in the school.
(Primary school teacher from the North Ayrshire cluster) Using a Seconded Teacher to Facilitate the Implementation of the Programme The role of the seconded teacher in facilitating the implementation of the programme was seen as key by all primary teachers (100%).
I found it [the support from the seconded teacher] invaluable. I think, for me, that was more a competence issue because he’s a specialist … he’s a PE specialist, so I would watch what he did. I found that much easier to watch him doing a lesson and then I followed on with the lesson the next week. Otherwise I might have found it difficult, just because PE isn’t my speciality subject. So it was a kind of a competence thing. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) I think because I’ve spent weeks and weeks and weeks reviewing someone doing the programme … I think that’s where you learn. I mean, picking up a card, and we have got similar types of cards [from other programmes], it’s difficult to actually imagine what is meant. But now I can pick up cards and go, “what do they mean?, Oh yeah, that’s what they want, that’s what it means” and that’s where [having the support of the seconded teacher is] the programme has come into its own - teacher observation of this programme over a period of time has been one of the highlights for me. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) It was an absolute highlight to have somebody who’s a specialist in PE, and I’ve taught for years and years and I’ve seen loads of key specialists, some great, some mediocre, and he was really good.