«Developing the Potential of Young People in Sport A report for sportscotland by The University of Edinburgh Developing the Potential of Young People ...»
When we were doing the sports [in our old PE], once you started it, you just like, stayed on the same thing you know, it didn’t really help you and all that. But now [within DPYPS] that you start off small and then you build up to it, it helps... it helps you more. Everything is better [in DPYPS] because before we didn't start at the basics, we just went into a game. (North Ayrshire Primary pupil) It's better than what we used to do because you’re doing more simple stuff and you just work up on that and then you go to the harder stuff and then you get better and better at it as you go along. (North Ayrshire Primary pupil) In DPYPS we also would play games that we had not really played. In DPYPS we would be shown how to shoot on target but we also did games where we didn’t realise we were learning and they were fun.
Before we would just end up trying to basically aim on target but we actually had to play games in DPYPS as well to help us learn. (Stirling Primary pupil) When we did it, we started off on an easy level, then we built up. Harder and harder and harder and harder. So it’s kind of... we got a good variation of different things unlike in the PE sessions that we used to have, they were quite boring. Every time before we did DPYPS, we did the same thing each term and it wasn’t any different. We’d done that for two years and it wasn’t challenging any more. (Stirling Primary pupil) Finally, there appeared to be substantial support for continuing the programme.
It should carry on because it’s educational and it’s a lot more fun than our old PE, but maybe we could have it every second week or something and then you’ve got the benefits of both PE and DPYPS. (North Ayrshire Primary pupil) In DPYPS we were helped more than before and it was more fun because we got to do loads of different things as well. (Stirling Primary pupil) I thought that this programme has been good and I think it should go on.
(Stirling Primary pupil) Pupils certainly felt that DPYPS compared favourably with other initiatives which they had experienced.
I think we should get more of this [DPYPS] in the school. I think it was really, really good and they should make it longer and start it earlier in the school. (Stirling Primary pupil) It was more fun than other programmes we’ve had before because it gave us the chance to do more sports because in the programme we had before you just did like a couple of sports and didn’t do much in it. So I really enjoyed it. (Stirling Primary pupil)
5.2 Front Line Professionals 5.2.1 Seconded Teacher Perceptions of the Programme Impact The seconded teachers were surprised at the impact that the DPYPS programme had had on children even in such a short time span. This was particularly pertinent with regards to the children’s attitudes towards PE, and their development from their new experiences.
I think the feedback I've had from childrens’ interviews, and I wasn't present in the childrens’ interviews, but the feedback from the childrens’ interviews has shown a substantial impact of the programme on their attitudes and how they perceive PE and sport. I was surprised that in such a short time it could have an impact like that. It surprised me. I know the teachers have been very, very positive in the impact the actual DPYPS programme has had, certainly the psychomotor. The psychobehavioural as well, some of the teachers have fed back and said ‘it's been very positive’ but more surprising for me is the impact that kids have responded too, you know, and they've said ‘this has been great’, you know, not just ‘This is brilliant. I've changed in this way or I've tried this now or I've done this now, I'm confident at going and doing this’. So that's been really positive for me.
I can only say from speaking to the head teachers that they've been absolutely delighted with it, you know, and they've been really positive about the whole programme. I know I think ‘Local Council Representative’ was going to formally approach the head teachers from a council point of view and get that specific feedback because I know he's had it on an informal basis that one of the meetings … the cluster meeting, I think … just with the head teachers, he'd asked informally and they've been very, very positive.
The seconded teachers highlighted that the children’s co-ordination has seen a big improvement, as has their openness to learn, their awareness of what they can and
cannot do, and their confidence to try new things and participate more:
The co-ordination is so important. In lots of the team sports I've seen a huge improvement. More at primary but they are at quite a fast kind of maturing level anyway but it's been definitely more explicit. I've had more contact with the primary kids, so you would expect to see more of a change.
They're more able to absorb what you're saying to them because we haven't completely changed their attitudes. Again, I don't want to say that. We haven't completely played or messed with their heads or anything, but I think they're more open to learn.
Awareness and confidence have improved. The awareness leads in, so the kids have more confidence to try things.
They're a lot more confident, a lot more ballsy, they're more willing to put their hand up and say, hold on a wee second, why don't we try it like this.
Primary 7 would be like, go for it. They're very happy. Just go for it.
Confidence is the main thing.
I think confidence certainly. Confidence at just trying things and just giving it an attempt or not being afraid to fail, not being afraid to, you know, you're not going to succeed all the time or first time, that you're going to make mistakes. And that's something that DPYPS can bring in.
That, you know, it's something a good teacher will do but maybe not … you know, maybe not think about it a great deal. But I think DPYPS does give a lot of confidence and I think that's certainly something I've seen.
Just awareness. When I ran the DPYPS stuff at the secondary level with kids in S2, I asked them to … part of one of the cards was what do you know you're good at, pick one skill you know you're good at, pick one skill you need to improve on. And that one sheet took an hour because the kids just said ‘I don't know what I can do’.
The programme has also had an impact on the philosophies behind the final coach in-service that was carried out in Stirling. DPYPS helped act as a guide for an overall club structure and philosophy.
I mean, other advantages about the Stirling Rugby … obviously that they're all part of the same club and that there was one coach in particular driving a lot of that and it seemed that they were going to try and use that structure as a kind of philosophy for the whole club; the structure of the coaching in the club.
5.2.2 Teacher Perceptions of Programme Impact Teachers’ comments paralleled observations made by pupils. The structure and progressive nature of the DPYPS system was identified as a particularly positive
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) Watching the children, I don’t think this year I have had anyone worried about gym, which has happened in the past, because they have really worried about this gymnastics before, it gets to them you know, maybe some children that are physically challenged – they don’t have the worry that they had before which was a real problem for some children if they were big. They are not conspicuous now because its all mixed you know they don’t dwell on that for too long, they go onto something else they can do so they are more ready to take part in work. (Primary school teacher from the North Ayrshire cluster) I think they think more about their progress now [rather than results] because they have to. They are made to think about what they are doing you know because you are always giving them direction about how they have to move and watch how their hands are and make sure the feet are in the right position and I do see a marked difference in their throwing skills especially. (Primary school teacher from the North Ayrshire cluster) Teachers also acknowledged positive changes related to the psycho-behavioural elements. Children appeared more determined, and willing to try new things.
I think it [the psycho-behavioural programme] is good for them because they have to recognise that there are some things they can’t do as well as other things, but they can do other things better so it helps them there.
(Primary school teacher from the North Ayrshire cluster) For the ski sit task [goal setting] – oh my goodness I don’t know how they did it some of them I mean they started off very poor but their determination and willpower made them do really well in the last part of the task and they thoroughly enjoyed that, challenging themselves and timing themselves, they love a challenge. (Primary school teacher from the North Ayrshire cluster) I think the programme (DPYPS) has impacted the children. I think once a child understands that they are not totally lacking in other things they perk up and think ‘Oh well I’m not that bad but I’m good at that’ so they can say that to people... ‘I’m rubbish at that but look how good I am at this, I’m better than you at that or not as good as you at that’, maybe not good at running but they are good at throwing and being part of maybe a netball team. (Primary school teacher from the North Ayrshire cluster) I would say they [the children who’ve done the DPYPS programme] try other things around what they think they are good at because they have had a taste of all sorts of things that they might not have tried before. So they might think that now I’ll have a go at hockey or I might be good at basketball because they can see that they can shoot, or they are good at defending or whatever and they might have just considered only football before so you are bringing other areas into their lives that they might not have tried before so when they go to the secondary school they have got more choices and they might try more. (Primary school teacher from the North Ayrshire cluster) These changes had extended to perceptions of others, representing a very positive and broader impact on moral cognitions.
They [the children] are more willing I think to accept people into a team now than they were before. It used to be quite frustrating sometimes … for instance if you were playing maybe football 5-a-side and they knew that that person wasn’t very good at that they wouldn’t want them in their side. They don’t question it now they just all get stuck in. I think it’s an evolving result … I mean I wouldn’t say it’s perfect all the time but I think they are more willing to cooperate with each other in general than they were before because they understand what’s happening and I think they are willing to adopt the programme because they want to be more confident. (Primary school teacher from the North Ayrshire cluster) I think being happy to take part in sport is all to do with your self esteem and your confidence. As they get successes at things, you know, they learn that they can’t be good at everything but they’ve got talents and they’ve got maybe weaknesses that need to be worked on. Then they’re more likely to try things or take up a challenge. It [the DPYPS programme] also improves co-operation in the classroom too. They’ve got better at working together because they’ve done it in a sport or they’ve worked with a partner in gym, you know. In a lot of the psychological activities that they did as a group, they had to share their ideas as well so it’s [the programme is] good in that way. (Primary school teacher from the Balfron cluster) Getting the children to look at themselves or analyse the behaviours of others, you know, there were characters that they had to analyse and there was a confident person, a nervous person. That was actually quite good because they weren’t judging themselves. They were starting from judging someone else and then putting it back to themselves, how would I feel in that situation and how would I react. And I think that was … they got quite a lot from that and quite surprising answers from some of the children. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) In general, confidence had improved for all participants. Notably, however, many teachers commented on the specific improvements exhibited by girls and less confident individuals.
They’ve changed in the last ten weeks and they’ve changed the way they’ve reacted in terms of they go into the gym and they don’t expect to be playing a game. I don’t think I’ve heard them once saying, when are we going to be playing a game, they’ve fully accepted what’s been done and I think it has changed the way they’ve looked at it. (Primary school teacher from the Bannockburn cluster) I see more change in girls than I do in boys. And it’s... most... a lot of the class are quite keen on sports anyway and quite keen on fitness in that kind of way but the boys will always go out and be running around, playing football, playing whatever. A lot of them will do that anyway. But I know that when the girls knew that they had a PE lesson before, they went ‘PE!’ because they knew that meant rugby which is quite a dominating kind of thing. Or football, which the boys can all play and they know they can’t play as well as. So you saw a difference in attitude but, when they knew that seconded teacher was coming, it wasn’t ‘Oh, you know, I don’t want to do this’ because they knew it was something that they could all... they could all manage to do, or something that they might all be, you know, as good as each other at doing. (Primary school teacher from the Balfron cluster) A group of girls in my class, their attitude to PE is better. (Primary school teacher from the Balfron cluster) Teachers expressed support for the role and contribution of the seconded teacher, but also highlighted the need for commitment to the DPYPS approach, to ensure its place in an already hectic programme.