Children’s stories help school children get active

Jayne Rowell, reception teacher at Eppleton Academy Primary School.
Jayne Rowell, reception teacher at Eppleton Academy Primary School.
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CHILDREN’S stories are being used to help get Wearside primary youngsters active.

Jayne Rowell, reception teacher at Eppleton Academy Primary, is one of the most recent graduates of the Principles of Coaching Sport programme run by Black Cats’ charity the Foundation of Light.

The scheme is designed to help integrate PE seamlessly into education and to make it more enjoyable and engaging for students of all ages.

As part of her six-week course, Jayne was given the opportunity to learn how more creative teaching methods could benefit her young students and help them to become more active participants in their weekly two-hour PE lessons.

She initially observed two sessions run at the school by coaches from the Foundation of Light, who used references to characters such as Spider-Man and the Minions from Despicable Me, to help the four and five-year-old pupils understand and develop basic physical movements.

After that, Jayne developed her own sessions based on this technique, which have proved so successful that the whole school is using them.

Jayne said: “I’ve been teaching for more than 10 years and have never seen the students as engaged or happy in their PE lessons as they are since I completed the Foundation of Light’s Principles of Coaching Sport programme.

“The six-week scheme really encouraged me to be more creative in the way that I teach basic skills and, by incorporating popular stories such as Jack and the Beanstalk and The Emperor’s New Clothes, I’ve now expanded that to include the use of high-level apparatus, as well as floor work, while also incorporating the use of ICT in lessons.

“The best part is that this can be adapted to suit changing tastes and each child’s personal interests, which probably explains why even the quietest of students are now keen to volunteer to demonstrate their ideas to peers.”