New approach to PE may be game changer for ‘Team Trident’

Issue: Volume 97, Number 7

Posted: 26 April 2018
Reference #: 1H9iX0

A Whakatane school is using a holistic approach to engage students in physical education.

Trident High School in the Bay of Plenty is using an innovative approach in physical education to try to get better results in student performance across the curriculum by changing the way it runs PE classes.

The new approach has been led by the school’s Head of Physical Education, Jon Stanhope. He says that previously, too many students were sitting out PE lessons or not bringing their uniform. All too often, students were prevented from achieving good grades because, although they were athletic and good at sports, they were often not able to work in teams, could not self-manage, and forgot to wear the PE uniform.

So the school developed a new strategy to align key skills and values with National Curriculum measures and focuses on these curriculum goals:

  1. Identifying and using strengths in myself and others.
  2. Having a positive attitude to succeed.
  3. Being a good team player.
  4. Managing personal fitness and training methods.

The four themes of the strategy are:

  1. Who am I? Who are we?
  2. Attitude is everything.
  3. We can work it out.
  4. Up your gains.

Jon says it is important that students not only succeed in sport but are ‘literate sports people’, and understand the importance of being good team players, socially responsible, resilient, and good communicators. They will be assessed on these criteria, rather than just as athletes.

Jon says, “The focus is now on the PE student as a whole, rather than someone who gains grades due to being able to jump, throw, climb or hit the furthest or highest.”

For the teaching team there have been significant changes. During class no student can sit out, and all are required to participate. A uniform is provided for any student who doesn’t have one; there are clear and consistent rules on the start and end of lessons, and the language used in class has changed to reflect the school core values of quality work, respect for others and Kia Manawa Nui (Have Courage).

The Year 10 programme uses the student inquiry model where students carry out their own learning inquiry in each topic, and follow their inquiry in two different learning contexts in each term. The students choose their own contexts, led by different teachers.

Principal Philip Gurney says, “The results in terms of student participation and creating a ‘Team Trident’ has been exceptional. All students now wear full Trident PE gear and no students ever sit out of lessons, and there’s been a dramatic decrease in the number of students who borrow gear. They are beginning to self-manage and show resilience.”

Year 9 student Charleen Taylor says, “It is helping my performance in sport and teaching me how to become a team player.”

Year 10 student Jacob Bridge says his fitness and technique has improved, and the programme has taught him communication skills and how to work together with other people. “It has helped with problem solving as a group, and it’s showing us how everyone can contribute to team goals.”
The first assessment of the junior programme was done through an ABL context. Jon says, “Staff and students have commented on how focused the lessons are and how clear progress can be tracked and evidenced. Also, students who were not demonstrating the skills and attitudes required soon came around and began to demonstrate the behaviours we were seeking.”

Year 11 student Jake Klimac is aiming for a career in the military and says wearing the PE uniform makes everyone feel the same and part of a group. “I hope to join the Army after high school, so getting a high mark in PE would help me do that.”

It is early days yet, as the changes only began in term 3 last year. The programme’s success will be measured by results at senior school using a combination of measures: student voice, teacher evaluation, retention in PE at Level 1, and success at Levels 1, 2 and 3.

The PE team is also focusing on how the new junior programme is helping the department become more culturally responsive, which is a focus for the whole school.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 12:30 pm, 26 April 2018

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