Teaching or coaching in a primary school can be some of the most difficult and rewarding work you can do. As the summer approaches, your thoughts will be on relaxation, but as you take stock of the year, you might want to keep a lesson plan nearby.
Consider what has worked and what hasn’t so you’re prepared for a new year of teaching. Here are some tips to help you re-energise PE and physical activity in your school…
1. Relax and take some time for yourself
As the summer holidays approach, calm and silence will be a commodity you’ve been without for some time! Put off the to-do list that has you preparing for the next year and enjoy some time off. Use this time to get back to some of the activities that you’ve struggled with. Maybe your fitness regime has fallen off or you’ve had more than a few cheeky takeouts. Get back to a love of being healthy and active in your downtime. It will make you a better coach and teacher!
2. Assess what worked and what didn’t
Try not to rehash last term’s activities. It’s tempting to reduce your workload by mimicking your activities from the year before. But with the impact of the pandemic still being felt, there are new targets and goals for everyone to take into consideration.
Look at the goals you have for the next term, not just for PE but across the school. Goals for carbon neutrality can be easily met with cycle training. If you’re looking to provide more in the way of engagement, try some enrichment activities such as Orienteering and Archery.
Go over what worked and what didn’t. Look for reactions, engagement levels, and motivation to get active in classes. Did it take them longer than usual to get up to speed, or did full games not work as well? Use these as your markers for future change.
You’re not just preparing for the next year, you’re preparing to engage those who haven’t been committed over a long summer. Statistically, 70% of a child’s cardiovascular fitness is lost during the summer, so you need to prepare to meet those new challenges.
3. Read, learn and grow
Maybe you have some personal development targets, to be better rounded, more inclusive, or organise better? As the year draws to a close, looking for some personal development will hold the key to re-energising your love of physical activity and teaching.
Use this time to pursue an online course or read a self-improvement book. You can keep it career-specific with articles, books, and courses, but to be a well-rounded person, you can take many avenues. They’ll offer an overview of the skills and techniques you can use on the field, to enhance your career or administer in the classroom. Best of all, you’re at the helm, so if you do what you’re interested in, you’ll be excited to get stuck in and try them out next year.
4. Clean and organise your equipment
Clean and refresh! The term is winding down and you have a cupboard full of loose bibs and deflated balls. With the pandemic restrictions, most departments and teachers got used to thoroughly disinfecting their equipment. Once again, it’s time to get the pumps out and grab some new cloths and give all your equipment, from mats to bibs a good clean.
This makes it a great time to see what state your equipment is in too. Make note of the equipment that is no longer viable, for next year’s budget. It might give you some ideas about activities you’ll struggle to put together without resources. Why not consider bolstering your PE programme with help from First Step PE’s roster of coaches and PE support?
5. Prepare for the end of the school year
You’re definitely in stock-taking mode towards the end of the year but it’s also a time to plan some activities where children can enjoy the good weather. It can be a great time to encourage some free play, where kids can take charge and use those skills that they’ve been learning all year.
If you’re still worried about what your next year’s provisions are going to look like, contact First Step PE for help. Whether you’re looking for small-scale enrichment, active travel, or a full year’s planning based on your goals for the year, look no further. As experienced specialists in PE and Cycle training, we can help you get a little more relaxation and a little less stress this summer.