More imaginative lessons and an inspiring learning environment have motivated students to take a whole new view of PE, encouraging them to take on leadership responsibilities outside the Academy, and improving their performance in external competitions.
Among the new, non-traditional sports on offer are volleyball, dodge ball and general fitness, and a host of new extra-curricular clubs for different year groups are now available. These include football teams for girls and boys, in-door athletics, badminton, rowing, netball teams, trampolining, and a basketball club run by the Birmingham A’s. We aim to give students a range of opportunities to experience things they would not normally take part in. This includes taking GCSE students on a two-day orienteering course as well as putting them through qualifications in sports such as mountain biking, cycling and Gaelic football to make sure they gain a good score for the practical element of their GCSE.
Charlie Le, Head of PE, explained, “The whole aim is to give students a varied curriculum where they have new opportunities to do things they have not experienced before. With two new members of staff, Blaine Wakeman and Jake Upton, we have been able to widen our extra-curricular provision, and it’s great to be working with such a dedicated, enthusiastic team which has created a real buzz among students in the department.”
Charlie Lee said, “There is much greater interaction with the students within PE now with many choosing to be involved within the department in their own time. As well as students attendance in extracurricular clubs improving we are now running a Leadership Academy for the second year running aimed at student from Year 9. Working with Unity, part of Solihull Council, the students have been taking their leadership qualifications and, so far, have achieved qualifications in first aid, in-door athletics, tri-golf at The Belfry, and courses in tennis and hockey are planned.”
Under the scheme, the Academy’s young leaders have been selected to lead in athletics events and a team of students has just returned from leading at local school competitions in North Solihull Sports Centre. They will also be running a tri-golf tournament soon for primary schools, as well as helping at the Level 3 School Games.
There are a variety of extra-special trips planned such as the ski trip to Andorra in February 2018 when 55 students will learn how to ski and enjoy an evening programme of bowling, swimming, and entertainment nights. The PE department is also taking 35 student footballers to Eindhoven in Holland in November this year to join a professional development programme, working with coaches to develop their skills and take part in one fixture against a Dutch team while they are there.
Blaine Wakeman added, “A more engaging PE curriculum has ensured the majority of students are achieving their expected levels of performance in PE and we expect to see further improvement in the coming year. Our priority is to make sure that no students are going under the radar and that all students are taking part in the sport that is right for them.”