The Activator Takeover!

One of the key ambitions of the School Sport Partnership is to use high quality PE and school sport to help change the lives of young people.  Below is a case study of how the deployment of lunchtime ‘Activators’ has achieved just that for one 10 year old boy from Edward Field Primary School, Kidlington.

Prior to the programme the boy concerned was described by his teacher as ‘being on the large size and not a natural sportsman’  and as 'regularly using a range of excuses to avoid taking part in PE lessons'.  Socially he was described as ‘often squabbling with other children’ and in the classroom ‘quite difficult and having days where he did not want to do work at all’.  Consequently K was ‘a little behind most of his class’ in all aspects of his learning.

This is what K’s teacher wrote following the Activator sessions:

In January this year we had the Activators team come in to our school. They set up games in our hall for a small group of Year 5 and 6, targeting children who struggled to gain success in PE. K initially felt it might not be the thing for him, but thought he would give it a go, as he did want to be more successful, not only in PE, but in school and life in general.

Right from the start I was very pleased to see K taking part in the games and all the children getting involved and having fun.

As the weeks went by, I noticed that K was taking more and more of a lead in the sessions. It made me smile to see K's face bright red from the amount of activity he'd done in the session. During the next few sessions in PE, we were working on K's favourite sport, netball. I hoped that the positive attitude he had gained during the activators sessions would continue in these PE sessions. And boy it certainly did!

K’s PE sessions

K had an extremely successful time in learning the game of netball and being part of our successful school team. His energy and effort made him a respected member of the team. But this was not the end to K's successes.

He now shows a more positive attitude in PE.  He has the respect of all the other children.  K has lost weight.  He has more friends.  Parents report that K is happier at home.  He is more confident.  His grades and schoolwork have improved.

Summary

K is a completely different child from the one I knew in January. He has grown in confidence so much, that he no longer sees himself as inferior to the sportier boys. K is quite happy to compete with them in any sport and has certainly gained their respect.  Due to the difficulties that he has experienced in PE, K has great empathy with less able children. He actually makes a good coach, encouraging the others to try new things and improve their skills.

The real success however, is the impact upon the rest of his life! In class he has gone up a whole grade in each of his subjects over the last three months. He feels equal to his peers and has a wider group of friends both in and out of school. His supportive family are so proud of the changes he has made and the positive feedback that they receive from the school. K understands what he has achieved and is motivated to maintain this progress into secondary school. He has a whole new outlook upon life.

Graham Nutt, Sports TA, Edward Feild Primary School.

If you would like information on how your school could become more involved in the Change 4 Life or similar targeted programmes, then please contact your School Sport Coordinator.

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