Combining resources across 8 Schools to maximise opportunities

Date: 25 June 2020   Author: Energise Me

Combining Resources across 8 Schools in Gosport, Hampshire, to maximise the opportunities provided by the Primary PE and School Sport funding.

Children enjoying PE - Using combined resource of PE Specialist

A cluster of high performing schools assessed a deficit of PE expertise amongst them. They wanted to be ambitious in maximising the opportunities provided by the Primary PE and School Sport funding. They believed the best solution was to collaboratively pool their funding to employ a qualified primary school teacher who had a specialism in P.E. to work across all schools. Steph Greenwood, Headteacher of Alverstoke Infant School steered the group of headteachers to share the teaching contract and oversee the professional development and monitoring of provision provided across the schools.


PE Specialist Deployed in 8 Schools:

The PE Specialist was deployed to each school for half a day per week with an additional leadership afternoon assigned to schools on a rotation. Allowing flexibility for additional needs for each school. This would enable staff across all schools to have high quality CPD through a continual cycle of modelling, team teaching and observing in order to raise the confidence and subject knowledge of teaching staff. The impact upon raising standards through this process was recognised by schools:

The provision of a PE specialist has significantly enhanced the CPD of teachers across the school. All teachers have had the opportunity to regularly observe good practice and standards of teaching of PE have risen considerably as a result. We have been able to target CPD to those who have the greatest need, particularly newly qualified teachers who generally only have minimum input on teaching PE when training.

Graham Cutter, Headteacher, Alverstoke Junior School

In periods of staff turnover, the benefit of having a constant PE specialist in place enabled newly employed staff to be quickly identified. They were prioritised for receiving coaching, ensuring that the improved standards did not fall or have an impact upon the children.

It also enabled specific school projects to be put in place in schools wherever there was a need. For example in raising the physical activity levels of pupils who needed greater support or for children with specific educational needs:

Improved PE provision has had a positive impact on the engagement and enthusiasm of pupils and has provided increased opportunities for the children who were previously less interested in physical activity.

Anne Wake, Associate Headteacher, Leesland Federation.

Embedded sustainable practice:

An essential part of the role was to embed sustainable practice. This involved training P.E. leads in each schools to be able to competently manage each of the areas required of them. Including; organising timetables, ensuring curriculum provision provided breadth and depth with good skill progression and cross-curricular links, providing extra curricular opportunities for pupils,  reporting to governors,  preparing for Ofsted, organising sports leaders, providing updated health and safety training for staff, organising children for competitions, auditing resources and preparing action plans and budget bids. Quality time was given to each subject leader in each school to ensure they felt well equipped with the confidence. As well as competent to manage the role successfully.

Gemma Wright, PE Lead at Elson Infant School, said “being new to subject leadership, the guidance and support has been invaluable”. She feels there is a distinct lack of training of how to teach PE in all teacher training programs. Stating that “having the opportunity to work alongside a PE specialist and coordinate coaching for the staff in school has benefitted the children”. This can be seen through the data analysis comparison where there was a significant increase in children achieving greater depth.


Supporting Resources:

In order to provide sustainability in the embedded practice of CPD provided in schools, The PE Suite was developed and used by all schools. This is an online resource of over 700 videos that model key PE skills and give exemplar games, dances, sequences etc. across the full curriculum for all key stages. The resources on The PE Suite use real life examples of children demonstrating the modelled examples and animated technology to make them engaging for the children.

Gymnastics resources, for example, are particularly useful for staff as this is a common area of weakness in staff subject knowledge. There are examples of gymnastics sequences on the floor, apparatus and wall bars. These provide a really good starting point for the children to begin generating their own ideas. As these are modelled by children of a similar age to those learning, children enjoy trying to be as good as the modelled examples they see.

The benefit of The PE Suite being available to all schools is that it gives teachers the opportunity to update their knowledge in terms of delivery if they swap year groups at the end of a year . It is a quick point of access for staff members joining the team who can easily access the resources to find the requirements for their class. Having seen the PE Specialist deliver example lessons using the video resources. Teachers then understand the pedagogy and requirements of how to structure the lessons and feel empowered to emulate the same delivery themselves by using the video model examples to deliver themselves. The development of this resource has been received favourably by schools:

High Quality CPD opportunities have been provided by our PE Specialist, in particular staff have benefited from sustained modelling of good PE practice. The PE Suite online resources provide teachers with up to date ideas for best practice which also saves considerable teacher planning time.

Anne Wake, Associate Head, Leesland Federation

More competitive Opportunities: 

The employment of a shared qualified PE specialist teacher also opened up the opportunity for providing competitive experiences for KS1 and KS2 schools. With the PE specialist being available as a point of contact in each school on a weekly basis it enabled her to coordinate and manage competitions for the schools. Being available to address any issues the PE leads had in terms of organising teams and transport, organising staffing and ensuring there was budget provision available. For the children this provided the benefit of meeting and interacting with children from other schools within the local community. As well as learning to experience the feeling of competition, but with the underpinning of the expectation of them needing to demonstrate sportsmanship:

Children at Leesland benefit from a variety of collaborative experiences involving children from other schools including tennis and football.  This has increased opportunities for sportsmanship and experiencing an element of competition.

Anne Wake, Associate Headteacher, Leesland Federation

Raising standards: 

The unity in bringing schools together collaboratively helped provide a drive to encourage all schools to push up standards when hearing best practice shared across the schools. This led to ambition for all schools to seek the very best standards. The school games mark for KS2 and kitemark for KS1 was pivotal as a point of assessment to ensure that provision in schools was maximised, in terms of physical activity, physical education and school sport provision. All schools achieved gold kitemark collectively with the vast majority of these schools maintaining this period throughout a five year period. This has led to 5 infant schools and 1 junior school to be recognised with the Platinum Award in recognition of outstanding provision across the schools. The remaining 2 junior schools still achieved Gold status and will hopefully go on to continue to reach the Platinum status in the years to come.

The strength of the collaboration was felt amongst PE leads. Laura Brett, PE Lead from Lee on Solent Infant and Nursey School, said “The PE specialist has created a community of schools working together to support one another”.

As a PE lead, I was able to discuss latest research and share good practices with other schools. The PE Specialist also worked with us to co-ordinate festivals between other local KS1 schools.

Sharon White, PE lead, Alverstoke Infant School

In terms of sustainability, schools have done all they can to ensure the embedded practice will remain despite fluctuations in government funding and as the educational landscape changes over time.  Although the benefits of the CPD will continue if there is not a period of high staff turnover. There is however a recognised need for continued funding in order for particular aspects of the program to continue.

The training of teachers has improved skills which is sustainable for a period. This is an ongoing need. The sports competitions and collaborative work does need funding to be sustainable.

Debby Marshall, Executive headteacher, Gomer and Elson Infant School.

Vanessa King, Primary PE Specialist

Read Next

How to join the Healthy Schools Rating Scheme

Scheme to help schools rate their health & wellbeing Provisions

Niton Primary School running The Golden Mile

Niton Primary school wanted pupils to enjoy being active .

Pupils taking part in daily running initiative

Swanmore CE Primary School daily running initiative

Swanmore CE Primary School launched a daily running initiative.

Our Partners

Helping us tackle inactivity to boost health and happiness

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get energising ideas direct to your inbox