Monthly Archives: January 2013

The new @SkySportsLFS advertisement featuring my students & @J_Ennis

The linked video is the official Sky Sports Living For Sport advertisement involving the students I teach and Jessica Ennis. It was a fantastic day and experience for myself and the students creating the advert and I feel very privileged to be involved with such a fantastic initiative. PE geeks out there get signed up!!


Collaborative Literacy in PE project by myself @davidfawcett27 @MrWickensPE @MrMacPE @PE_SOC @peter8green @kevjones27 @PEeducator @bod83 @TheBenHorbury @TeamTait @Mat6453

In October time fellow PE Geek @davidfawcett27 devised a cunning master plan to create a piece of collaborative work based on improving literacy through PE. Below you will find many of the examples that were suggested and developed by ourselves. I hope through reading you are inspired to try some out, please report back on how you get on.

Fact in Fiction writing tasks – An excellent task for PE theory. It is a task where students have to incorporate factual topics into fictional writing. Really challenges their writing skills and demonstrates a clear understanding of the topics. As a teacher you will have to write the opening few paragraphs of a fictional story and the students take over and finish it, incorporating the key points of whatever topic you are covering. The need to include a list of points and key words which all must be underlined. It also helps to develop extended writing and check for SPAG. A good explanation of Fact in Fiction tasks can be found here. I have also attached an example here:

PEED/IDEA – We have also developed a ‘PEED’ (Point, Evidence, Explain, Develop) type strategy in our department called IDEA (Identify, Describe, Explain, Apply) which worked really well last year in the exam. Really helped those who struggle to structure a scenario/long answer. I have linked it here:

SOLO Taxonomy – SOLO to help students structure long answer questions (picking out a fact, giving the definition, linking it to an example and bringing in other topics/aspects – going from pre-structural to EA). Really links to the scenario and 8 mark questions in the AQA spec which students often find difficult to write. Paul McIntosh has an video example of this at A level PE

Student speak – We also teach our Year 7’s & 8’s how to give effective feedback through Sport Education so they can verbally structure it. By teaching students how to give feedback to peers we are helping them how develop to use their verbal skills, choosing correct and specific terminology and thinking about how to give descriptions/instructions. I have attached the resource here:

School sports newspaper – Happened a few years back. Lasted 5 editions. Had a team of sports reporters, writers and editors. The team went to fixtures, wrote reports and then published them in our paper. Printed copies were distributed to tutor groups and displayed outside the PE block and in the library. Cost and time meant it had to stop. Could this be a blog page now? An example of our front page from 2007 is above.

Key words/quotes – displayed around the department for students to develop terminology – increased exposure to these words can only help develop their use.

Articles – Using carefully selected articles in lessons which students can analyse and dissect. During our cycling project we have used a number of online ones where students read them, analysed them and pulled out key information linked to the topic we were covering. These rich resources explained what we were learning in such a clear and detailed way and contextualised the content that we were learning

Analysing articles – Here is a sheet I used with Yr 11 GCSE students when we read and analysed 4 cycling articles:

Unit glossary sheet – A simple sheet which students can transfer key terms, key words and specific terminology from any given topic:

Evernote – Using Evernote or similar voice note taking application to allow students to verbally explain written text, then share back with students to write up their explanation. Completes a cycle of thought process and gets students to improve initial draft.

Blogs – Using Student blogs to access literacy. Students write a blog post that reflects on their learning. This is shared with their teacher who can give feedback both on the reflective part to aid progress but also on the literacy of the writing. Here is an example of our student class blog that we are writing up for our cycling project

Reflection blogs – To encourage reflective writing all students will have access to either Edmodo or Posterous and will review their learning after each session. This is aimed at getting students to write about what they have done and look at targets to improve. The impact on literacy comes through the extra practice at writing and enhanced through modular focuses looking at writing structure. A guide to this strategy from Matt Pullen can be found here:

Questioning – ‘Pose, Pause, Pounce, Bounce’. You ‘Pose’ a question to the class; ‘Pause’ for an extended period of time (10-15secs); ‘Pounce’ on someone to answer the question; ‘Bounce’ to someone else to build or contest the original answer. May target lower ability for the immediate answer, and use higher ability students to extend.

Comic Life – Great for students to improve literacy in PE or any subject, the app costs £1.99 but is worth every penny. Students are fully engaged using the application and produce some fabulous pieces of work. Jon Tait explains Comic Life further here.


Tagxedo – turns words – famous speeches, news articles, slogans and themes, even your love letters – into a visually stunning word cloud. Great for introducing new topics and keywords associated with it. Good to use with GCSE PE to act as prompts when students working independently on topics.


Word Replacement – When getting students to describe things adopt the “forget the first word that comes into your head policy”, basically the student must forget the first word they think of and replace it with another word this exercise extends students vocabulary.

Desk Writing – Encourage students to write on desks using whiteboard markers (an engaging alternative to their books) Students will love it trust me and not want to put the pen down.

desk 2

Seek N Spell – Fantastic application for android and apple that not only gets students active, but encourages and develops literacy skills as students run to collect virtual letters and spell different words for points, students become really competitive.

Media – Develop a school media team and have students run it. The blog our students run and update can be found at Students are responsible for creating match reports and various articles and uploading them to the blog.

Audioboo application – This software allows students to create short & sharp podcasts to listen to as a quick revision of certain topics. Students create their own podcasts and broadcast them through the departments twitter site in lessons, this once again allows us to instantly listen to the work created within the lesson and provide instant feedback on the work. The podcasting is a great way to improve students literacy skills without them really knowing. The students really enjoy making the podcasts and have come up with some sensational work. Once the files are uploaded to twitter, they are there for everyone to listen to and refer too for extra help during assignments and exams etc….

Skimming & Scanning – Students are shown a piece of information that relates to the upcoming lesson for 8 seconds, it is then removed. This exercise encourages and develops students ability to scan and skim pieces text.

Skype – We have used Skype in lessons to aid revision of subjects. Colleagues and myself have set up Skype between classes and got students to ask the other classes questions through a live video feed to the other classroom. This can be further developed to skyping to another school, this is something I did with success last year. Enhances students communication skills.

Explain Everything – is an easy-to-use design tool that lets you annotate, animate, and narrate explanations and presentations. GCSE students can use this software to create tutorials and display their knowledge on specific subject areas. By creating these, students have to carefully think of what to say, how to say it, what terminology to use and so on.

Explain Everything II – I use the above method to record student discussions in class for them to review later in their own time, it is expected that students make notes about the discussion after the lesson rather than during it to help with engagement in the discussion.

Literacy key words – Not very ‘revolutionary’ but this week when using an indoor facility, I have my objectives up, my success criteria, any techniques PLUS a designated section on the whiteboard with a minimum of 5 specific key words which they will learn/use in that practical lesson. Learners encouraged to use these whenever possible during peer/self assessment, reciprocal teaching etc.

Physical Literacy – A number of research articles into Physical Literacy, online ( and also one shared in the Dropbox folder (

Comic Life – Using Comic life on iPad for non doers, take pictures of sessions and comment on students and what should be improved. Can then share these or use as displays.

Reading corner – We developed a literacy reading corner, with a section in our sports centre on some comfortable chairs and on the table we had sports magazines, books about different sports stars.

Newsletter – We also have our Sports College newsletter which we produce every half term for the students to read and designed by the students. This did work well and was commented on by Ofsted. We are now as a whole school developing literacy even further. This is through having one literacy and numeracy co-ordinator in each faculty area. This then ensures the whole school is focusing on literacy.

Key Word Booklet – All key words for each department area will be collated in a whole school booklet which will be in each classroom and students can refer to.

Marking – When marking work teachers will circle under the spelling mistake (no highlighting or underlining) and students will put in the correct spelling. Dictionary in each classroom to help with this.

Focus Day – We had a suspended day with Year 7 in our area for the day and the students had to write and present a broadcast on one Olympic story from this year. They then linked to Art and Drama with the performance.

News Display Boards – Having an ‘articles’ board in our Sports Hall entrance. The board is split into various topics from our GCSE course and each week we print off an article from a newspaper that relates to it, enlarge it, pull out key paragraphs/quotes and then have QR code links down the sides to similar articles online we have found. Trying to encourage reading with all years and also supports our GCSE from Year 7. I’m already tweeting articles out on my GCSE PE Twitter feed to my Year 11’s. Matt Pullen looked at this and developed this further by adding in augmented reality to bring words to life. Simply record yourself talking through the article (or get students to do it). This then makes it accessible to students that struggle to read English but understand spoken English. Take photo of article in Aurasma, record voice on iPad or iPod using camera, link the two in Aurasma. Voila. Matt produced a post with a downloadable guide here which is an essential read.

Literacy mats – We’re going to create some mats which have things like generic PE key words, connectives, verbs etc. We’ll use them predominantly in indoor lessons to help students verbalise their ideas and give feedback. Bigger versions of them will be printed off and displayed on our walls to refer to.

BTEC Verb progress mat – A colleague who leads the BTEC is going to create a mat that has key verbs, their meanings and how they relate to pass, merit and distinction (it seems most of the same verbs are used in the pass criteria, merit criteria and dist criteria). The mat is designed to support at that level and show how to move onto the next level

Extended from idea above. Student news blog. Group of students write a blog post based on things going on around school. Share this with students and get students to comment on posts. Could be good for sharing positive things going on around school and also gives a student voice as they get to comment if they enjoyed things or how they could be improved. This will start of focusing on 4 areas, digital literacy and use if devices in the classroom, sports news, from match reports, inter house and general PE news, house news, what is happening around school and finally post 16, integrating post 16 life into the rest of the school. An excellent example from City Academy can be found here.

Ebook – Create an ebook that contains all the keywords needed for each subject. These can then be simply shared with students to access when they need. Using iPads this is quite easy to do using book creator app. Within the ebook can be lots of links to other literacy ideas as well. This is now being started using word salad to create keyword pictures contained in one book, engaging and useful`. An explanation of this can be found here and an example of a BTEC ebook from Matt Pullen can be found here:

Marking Policy – A literacy marking key which teachers use on students work. Simply add a symbol or code where there is a literacy mistake and students refer to the key to see what needs improving. Things on the key could be ‘sp’ for spelling, individual ‘P’, ‘E’, ‘E’, or ‘D’ for point, evidence … which can be used in AQA scenario or long mark questions. Key can be on A4 and stuck in students books.

Literacy peer marking – When doing extended writing, swap work and get peers to mark for spelling, punctuation or grammar errors (content can be checked at same time or in second round of the peer review).

Voicethread – Use voicethread app to build students confidence in public speaking. Take a picture and get them to write about it, then record just voice talking about it, then video self talking about it, then hopefully have confidence to present live.

Critique and drafting – Getting students to create multiple drafts of work which has set dates when it will be critiqued. During this critique session, students use the rules ‘Be kind, specific and helpful’ and analyse the work. They then provide feedback and feedforward for the writer. The writer then acts on it. By drafting and critiquing work numerous times, students are constantly developing their literacy skills.

Get in some experts – As part of the Cycling project we got in journalists who gave a literacy master class. These experts gave valuable pointers for writing articles, speeches, persuasive arguments etc. The top tips they gave are summarised here.

Whole school literacy focus – Each half term the whole school can have a literacy focus. This could range from using capital letters correctly, using apostrophes, quotes, specific terminology and other SPAG points. Students could then self assess or look for these foci within their work to further reinforce it.

Sport specific literacy booklet – For the particular sports that you teach you can have students fill out a literacy booklet which encourages them to use their relevant skills and learn specific terminology. An example from Ben Horbury can be found here:

So there you have it. These are just a simple list of ideas for developing literacy in PE but they could easily be transferred across any subject with small adaptations. Obviously a more powerful strategy as pointed out by Peter Green would be to have a whole school drive or focus. But, what we have here are a list of manageable and realistic literacy ideas that can easily be embedded at the start of the new term.

If you decide to use any of these please let us know using the #literacyinpe hashtag.

So finally, who were the main contributors to this PE literacy project? Here are a few (and must follows!):

Matthew Pullen @Mat6453 – All round good guy. Big influence on me within PE teaching & learning. Great advice on developing technology within PE. Follow this guy at all costs.

Jon Tait @TeamTait – Not only a huge inspiration but a great Twitter friend. Having collaborated with him both on Twitter and behind the scenes, this man knows his stuff and is motivated to develop T&L in PE further.

Ben Horbury @TheBenHorbury – The first PE teacher I followed of interacted with on Twitter. Collaborated with Ben on a number of projects using SOLO, moderation, exam prep and now literacy in PE. A must follow!

Glenn Martin @bod83 – An ex Bedord/De Montfort graduate (who I spent most of my time at Uni with). Now a Director of Faculty but still very much a PE teacher at heart. A great collaborater and knowledgable teacher.

Ben Leornard @PEeducator – PE teacher at Westfield Sports College. A big driver of PE in the curriculum and using technology within lessons. A great guy to follow and collaborate with.

Kevin Jones @kevjones27 – A PE teacher who is making a difference. Keen on T&L and a great guy to chat to on Twitter. Knows his stuff.

Peter Green @peter8green – Along with Ben, this is one of the first PE teachers I followed. A great guy who I have collaborated with many times. A great source of inspiration and well worth the follow.

Stephen O’Carroll @PE_SOC – Lead teacher of boys PE in a London Academy. A PE teacher through and through. Full of ideas on driving the subject forward.

Paul McEvoy @MrMacPE – Teaching & Learning Coach, PE teacher,TES top resource contributor and football coach. A great source of ideas and inspiration on Twitter.

Ross Wickens @MrWickensPE – Trainee PE teacher at Loughborough University. Key resource on Twitter and sharer of many great links and articles. Has a great blog covering many aspects of education, particularly technology in the classroom.

Year 9 OUTSTANDING Swimming Lesson #pegeeks #edchat

Swimming Year 9, 28 students, 4 non participants. (see bottom of post for linked video and pictures)

A recent swimming lesson of mine will go down as one of the most successful, enjoyable lessons I have taught. The lesson started by dividing the students into 4 groups of 6 based on swimming ability (groupings were pre planned using assessment data from the groups swimming unit last year, group 1 high ability to group 4 low ability). Each non participant was then assigned a specific group to work with throughout the lesson. The non participant was solely responsible for tracking progress (describe/explain level 4, demonstrate/create level 5, analyse/evaluate level 6) within the group and recording any new information the group had learnt. alongside this task, as another group of 4 they had to produce a comic based on the lesson using comic life on the iPad.

I didn’t set learning objectives or outcomes at the start of the lesson as I wanted the students to be independent in their learning and come up with the objectives and outcomes themselves. The first task each group had was to work together for 1 minute and identify anything they knew about the backstroke technique, this was then noted down on a specific group window in the swimming pool area with a whiteboard pen. This would then provide the base from which progress throughout the lesson could be measured against as hopefully information will keep getting added to the window each time they learn something new.

Through initial assessment of the windows the groupings I had pre planned were spot on with regards to ability against work output. The higher ability group identified 3 teaching points and features of the back stroke as opposed to the lower ability who only identified that ” the stroke must be done on your back”. Any further, improved knowledge by the group would now be recorded by the non participant who would note down the initials of the group member suggesting the information.

The first water based task that also provided the literacy links to the lesson was a card sorting relay game. I had pre laminated and attached to specific objects, some weighted and some that would float, some of the correct and incorrect teaching points of the Backstroke. What students had to do was swim out and retrieve the different pieces return to their group and place them in order to make a correct sentence (teaching point), groups 1&2 could only collect the pieces that were on the bottom of the pool and groups 3&4 could only collect the ones floating on top of the pool.

The students did this successfully and upon competition I gave the groups a further 2 minutes to discuss any new knowledge gained and work with the assigned non participant to record their information. Through these exercises and the use of a group window, progress was rapid and clear to see both as a group and as individuals due to comments being Initialled.

The next learning episode focused on peer assessment and analysis of the stroke, each group had to nominate one swimmer to perform a width of backstroke, whilst other group members assessed their technique against the teaching points already identified. This exercise worked really well as the differing abilities and techniques were clear to see. All students were able to identify the stronger techniques of individuals with some students specifically identifying what needed to be done to correct the stroke technique. The use of open ended questioning was crucial here to ensure progress was maintained and encourage more detailed answers, questions such as “WHY is Tom not moving through water as good as Daniel?, HOW can Tom correct his technique to perform better?” Before answering specific questions I got students to use the Think, Pair, Share concept I had learnt about through reading the work of @headguruteacher. The concept was a great success with a hive of discussion taking place between the groups and when I came to ask the questions around 90% of students suggested answers as they felt secure in my opinion and had the opportunity to rehearse what they were going to say with their group.

Students were then responsible for their own learning throughout the main lesson task. Each group had specific teaching points to work with and develop their own technique independently as a small group. Group 1 focused on all aspects of the back stroke whilst also looking at turning, group 2 focused on all aspects of the technique alone, group 3 focused on the correct body position, arm action and leg action during the stroke and group 4 concentrated on just the arm action and leg action of the stroke. By setting up the groups like this it once again facilitated rapid progressions, each group had something they could move onto and focus on next once they had perfected their initial tasks, with Group 1 progressing onto coaching and helping Group 4 out with their basic technique.

Once the students had been working independently for about ten minutes, i called all the students together again next to the progress windows. As a group we then evaluated the progress made during the lesson so far by looking who (through their initials) had achieved what level up to this point. This put an indirect pressure on the students to ensure they then went and hit the criteria to meet each specific level within the lesson, by allowing the students to see each others levels and progress I found that it created a sense of competition between the group with each student wanting to better their friends attainment.

The final task in the pool was to peer asses performance once again but only within their own group. Group 1 members then dispersed and help to asses the other groups attainment.

The lesson finished with me assessing once again the progress each group had made through evaluating the group windows, 26 of the 28 students had achieved a level 5 or above during the lesson and I am convinced that this is down to the unique A4L technique I used that stimulated competition amongst students throughout the lesson. By setting the non participants the task of tracking progress, they were constantly involved in the lesson and developed a solid understanding for the success criteria during it. The progress made by them was clear to see in the comic they produced.


Sky Sports Living for Sport Commercial

I was privileged enough to be asked to take part in a behind the scenes documentary and to provide the students for the brand new exclusive Sky Sports Living For Sport commercial featuring Jessica Ennis just before Christmas.

The following video is a short behind the scenes look at how the commercial was created, featuring none other than myself and students from Westfield Sports College.

Media Team

This is a link to the WestfieldPEdept media team blog i have created.

The media team that i have set up at school is run by a group of students from across all years. The purpose is to provide the local community, parents students, teachers with up to date information on everything that is going on in school.

Through developing the school media team we can further enthuse pupils to work, celebrate their successes, reward outstanding pieces of work and provide information for people by publishing all this on our blog page

The media team currently has 46 members signed up, each with a preferred role dependent upon their skills and experience. The students have been split up into small groups and assigned a year group to cover. The students are solely responsible for the looking after the blog and keeping it up to date with all sorts of information from events going on in and around school to match reporting at extra curricular fixtures.

The roles within the media team:

Blog administrator – involved in updating the blog (e.g. putting match reports on the blog)

Journalists – write match reports on various events, responsible for interviewing.

Cameramen – video matches for use in creating highlights for displaying in school or on the blog

Photographers – to photograph various events

Video Editors – to edit video footage and create highlights for displaying in school or on website

Editors – editing match reports written by younger students



I recently used the video analysis app, Ubersense formally Excelade, as a tool to assist in the learning and evaluation of badminton skills in my KS3 lessons. I can’t tell you how amazed I was with how the students responded, how it helped their learning, how it created a student-centered environment, and how easy Ubersense was to use.

Students were working on improving their low serve in badminton; however two students were injured and unable to take part in the lesson practically so I turned them into videographers for the lesson. Their role was to use the IPad I provided and the app Ubsersense to provide video analysis for students who were involved practically in the lesson. I spent no more than ten minutes showing the students how to use Ubsersense and set them on their way. The work they produced was beyond my expectations.

Ubersense created some fantastic discussion and evaluation between students and the progress they made as a result of the video analysis was rapid.

Mobile Technology


Mobiles in the Classroom
Since arriving at my school I have been responsible for leading and driving the use of mobile devices in the classroom to support teaching and learning. I have found that the possibilities for using mobiles to engage learners are endless.

Some of the examples of how i use mobile devices range from simply taking photos and videos to share in class (to support analysis) or recording homework, to creating revision podcasts and using QR codes to link important information or websites..

The benefit for us as teachers is the personalisation and the freedom for students to access resources through their smartphones. I believe that Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is going to be a huge part of the future of education. Many students already have their own trusted devices, which they are comfortable using, it makes sense to use them in education rather than a machine that belongs to school which they leave behind at the end of the day. It is crucial though, before anyone gets hands on their own mobile device in school is that the infrastructure is made secure, that policies regarding e-safety are in place and the teachers are trained and confident about how the mobile devices can be used to enhance their curriculum.

Once that is in place an exciting world of creativity opens up, mobile devices may enable wonderful, creative pieces of art, videos, presentations, audio recordings, research on any topic, various games to motivate learning and worldwide communication for those studying a language. They are available 24/7 so always and anywhere, learning becomes viable.