Primary School PE Coach
Coaching PE in Primary School
“Physical literacy can be described as the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life.”(Whitehead, 2014)
I have been teaching Physical Education (P.E.) in primary schools for the last number of years. The goal of the PE program is to introduce and develop physical literacy to children so that it can progress as they grow and benefit them all of their life.
I create, co-ordinate and implement the full PE Curriculum over the academic year or specific strands depending on the school requirement.
There are 5 strands to the PE Primary School Curriculum;
- Outdoor Adventure
Every PE class is different from the last! The set-up will depend on the strand we are working on but the basic structure is outlined below;
- Every class starts with a warm up. It’s often a game using some of the skills to be discussed as part of the lesson.
- Next, I demonstrate the skill that we are concentrating on that day and involve the children in a short discussion about the skill e.g. the skill of catching: in which sports do we need that skill, what ways do our bodies have to move, how could we make a better catch?
- Next we practice the specific skill for a few minutes so that they become familiar with the skill and I can coach individually if need be.
- Then, we play a game designed specifically for the skill we are learning. The games are always fully inclusive and sometimes have a little competition thrown in.
Although many primary schools integrate PE with the rest of the class curriculum, there are many benefits in opting for a dedicated PE resource for all or some strands of the curriculum.
- Consistency of Teaching
Lesson plans per strand are developed for a certain number of weeks to allow the student to develop the skills they are learning. This helps the children to see progress in their ability and to start to enjoy the activity even more. A dedicated PE resource ensures that there is consistency of skill learning for every strand and is maintained throughout the year.
- Continuity of PE Classes
Unfortunately, on some occasions PE classes can be deprioritised in favour of academic subjects (or large class projects). When this happens not only do children miss out on the opportunity to develop their physical literacy, but sometimes they don’t get a break from the classroom which can impact their mood as well as their activity levels.
- Equipment Management
One of the largest challenges for a teacher is getting the PE lesson set up (and tidied away) quickly so that it does not eat into their 30mins of lesson time. Sometimes, teachers avoid using equipment at all which can limit the teaching opportunities. In other cases, availability of equipment becomes an issue as items get lost or misplaced due to lack of equipment management and inventory control. A dedicated PE resource is responsible for managing the sports inventory but more importantly, has the time to set-up in advance of class and can tidy away as the class leaves. This means that every class gets maximum learning time, every time.
- Qualified Coach
A coach qualified in exercise and health fitness will be passionate about developing the physical literacy of the children. This passion will be evident in the quality and variety of their lesson plans and their delivery which will ultimately benefit the children.
- PE Project Support
There are a number of activity related projects that most schools engage in each year such as Active School Flag, Santry Athletics Competition, Active Breaks, The Daily Mile etc. Although these projects are often led by an assigned staff member, a dedicated PE coach can offer invaluable support and knowledge to help bring these projects to fruition.