I was asked at the end of last year 'How I plan a sequential curriculum for physical education in K-2' by a colleague in another school. I found it initially tough to answer as I knew how the cogs worked upstairs but had not really ever mapped it into words. This, like many who read this blog, is a very common trait. We are confident with the flow that is created in how we get from point A-Z but then ask to explain it to someone else and its like finding two halves of different jigsaws, at some-point the other party will be lost and revert back to what they know. Why wouldn't you, its comfortable, its controlled and it doesn't require a lot of work. However at some stage it is time to jump and fail at being successful in your brains wheelhouse. The creation of a fresh flow will make you hungry for knowledge and thirsty for the creative juices that keeps you addicted to Physical Education. With this in mind below is the exact email I wrote to this colleague explaining our I plan for a sequential curriculum in Physical Education. (keep in mind, it is ok to disagree with what I have written as this is what I do, my leap of faith is just around the corner in order to level up a notch).
(Context: This educator is teaching Physical Education but with a strong Personal, Social and Emotional focus rather than a physical outcome focus. The outcomes are based on the Victorian Curriculum Guide)
Thank you so much for your return email. I hope you are ready and please ask any question you need to at any stage. My suggestion is read this a few times and if you chose to implement this style of planning do so slowly. One bite of the pie at a time. Here goes.............
Achper supports teachers professional development growth and understanding of the curriculum provided for teaching. They acknowledge the importance of Health and Physical Education and encourage all teachers to ensure they cover all domain areas across the growth area named. For example.
In Personal Social and Community Health your Year 1 and 2 students can be focused on: Being healthy, safe and active. Within this section students are to: Describe their own strengths and achievements and those of others, and identify how these contribute to personal identities
You will notice the ELABORATION tab that then gives you an example of how your students can demonstrate this indicator in ANY Physical Activity. It is vitally important to demonstrate this indicator in a wide variety of experiences so that strengths and weaknesses are identified and reported to parents. Throughout these experiences students can demonstrate BEING HEALTHY, SAFE and ACTIVE through the following elaborations.
- describing personal achievements such as doing something on their own for the first time and sharing how they felt and how it influenced personal identities
- accessing stories where characters demonstrate strengths, sharing how these strengths helped the character be successful and recognising which of these strengths they possess
- participating in games and physical activities and describing how others’ strengths contribute to successful outcomes
During your Grade 1 year students can demonstrate this using 4-6 units of work comprising of 6-8 weeks each. You would be working with students to understand this indicator and would be working towards the achievement of. However in year 2 your students would be required to know the indicator and be able to see the elaborations in others as well as themselves to achieve this standard.
This above though is only one indication for BEING HEALTH SAFE and ACTIVE. You also have
- Describe physical and social changes that occur as children grow older and discuss how family and community acknowledge these
- Practise strategies they can use when they feel uncomfortable, unsafe or need help with a task, problem or situation
- Recognise situations and opportunities to promote health, safety and wellbeing
As indicators that need to be measured in order to achieve the standard. Your rubrics can be a combination of all 4 descriptors to show students progression within the standard or you may select only two in Year A and the other two in Year B to concentrate on.
Your PERSONAL, SOCIAL and COMMUNITY HEALTH Domain then as also:
Communicating and interacting for health and wellbeing- Which has 3 indicators within it
Contributing to healthy and active communities- Which has 3 indicators within it
So you can see then how broad you can really take this standard. It would be my advice that the best outcome for your students would be to reflect the Physical Literacy ideal of community engagement into your Physical Education Program. This works like this:
1. Identify in your school community what students have access to in their own communities. Make a priorities list out of this. For instance if Soccer is a large community sport in your area then in Years K-2 you would teach a lot of kicking, running, dodging, throwing, etc. (Work with your Grade 3 and above PE Staff here as they will have done this already and your skills will lead to their success and flow)
2. Take these PL opportunities and now priorities that top 8 activities or sports.
3. Break down these sports into Fundamental Motor and Locomotor Skills which lead onto Grade 3-6 Game Sense and Understanding models of Physical Education.
4. Create your units of work based on 6-8 week blocks. Repetition is major so allow students to know what success and the skill looks like before they learn it.
5. Now engage your FOCUS into your Physical Education Lessons one at a time. Unit 1 Focus can be Describe their own strengths and achievements and those of others, and identify how these contribute to personal identities
6. Now plan Unit 2 and have the some FOCUS as Unit 1. The BEING HEALTHY SAFE AND ACTIVE is very much your questionings of the students, how do they know what a strength is? Did anyone get a better result on your second turn? Why?, Did anyone see another member of the class doing something amazing? If so can you share this with us all. (Students will buy into this BIG TIME!!!! And it then creates a system of what they notice in themselves to strive to achieve.)
7. Secondary to this is the assessment of your skill knowledge. This obviously from what you have told me does not have to be reported on but for us as Physical Education teachers is essential as we are preparing students for the next phase of school which in your case is grade 3-6 and Game Sense Units and Games where the demands of the skill practise is higher and more complex.
8. Plan for Unit 3 using this same Standard. You will then have 3 units to develop and enhance the Indicator of Being healthy, safe and active
9. Go about and set up Units 4,5,6 using the Indicator of Communicating and interacting for health and wellbeing
10. This would extend your skills based program and a new set of questions and language will come in to tie this together as set out in the elaborations.
11. Finally set up Units 7,8,9 using the indicator of Contributing to healthy and active communities
At the completion of the two year cycle your students would have demonstrated multiple times over their understanding, strengths and weaknesses of the Standard and with reflection each week should have this embedded knowledge in their development and construction as young children. You can also see the breakdown of what the agreed standard looks like when assessing here: https://australiancurriculum.edu.au/resources/work-samples/portfolios/health-and-physical-education-satisfactory-years-1-and-2/
Yours in Happiness
I reflect back to the start of the 2020 school year with my main three goals.
Well, like most of us in Term 1 I started really well like an eager participant in school cross country race but just as I saw the front and was ready to attack the wheels fell out underneath me and I faced a reality of teaching behind a screen, not once but twice this year in Victoria, like thousands of my fellow colleagues around our country. It was a reflecting that was pivotal in our history and as a teacher I had to make a one of two decision extremely fast.
I chose option 2. Not sure how I was going to do it but I looked back at my goals which concreted my WHY for the year. Despite the pandemic that was occurring around us it was my goal as an educator to feed students daily Physical Snacks, as I like to call them, that created an addiction to movement and skill practise. With many hours drafting in my journal I was ready to create Physical Snack number 1 for remote learning. This was called: Broom Ball, a game inspired by shuffle board on cruise ships. 50 Physical Snacks later and nearly 100000 views the addiction to movement was obvious throughout my school as well as the wider Physical Education world. www.youtube.com/c/mrhairphysed
Goal setting is extremely important within our industries. Thinking about 2020, I met my goals but in a different way and was forced to RETHINK what education meant to everyone. Was I just entertaining or were my lessons setting students up for a greater advancement in academic rigour and personal care for future years? For my entire career teaching has been formed around building blocks each packed tightly in with the one before it. Despite not knowing if I will ever finish my building, these building blocks gave me purpose to look back on and see where I have been. As we move into the 2021 school year, I would love you, the reader, to consider these questions:
It must be remembered that your Physical Education program is not about the quantity of equipment you have in your storeroom but rather the variety of equipment you have. As quality program tests the ability of skills in a number of settings to ensure that learning sticks. Our direction towards a physically literate student means that we as educators need to expose our students to as many variables, opportunities and movement experiences so they develop a love for being active in their own neighbourhoods and carry this physical love with them for life.
Above all, love what you do and be confident in who you are as a teacher. There is so much to be proud of from the work you have achieved and taking the lessons you have learnt from 2020 and embedding them into your 2021 year and behind is critical. We are all searching for the ultimate lesson and I personally hope that I never find it as I love the search and bettering myself as an educator each day.
At Leopold Primary School, Geelong, Victoria where I have been teaching Physical Education for 20 years, our community is embedded in our Physical story. I invite you to visit whenever you feel and become a part of our program. You can connect with me on Twitter @mrhairphysed or via www.mrhairphysed.com.
Finally remember that your journey in 2021 starts tomorrow. Plan for the future and be a risk taker to tackle something new. Connect and chat with as many educators as you can and find a style that you respect and admire. Above all remember to just have fun!!!
Physical Education Teacher and Coach
Leopold Primary School, Geelong Victoria.
#achper2017 International Physical Education Conference Canberra
Canberra was the landing place for the Achper International Physical Education Conference kicking of 2017 with a little of a week before teachers returned to school. 320 of Australia's finest educators as well as a sprinkling of overseas guests was enough to create an enormous atmosphere in our countries Capital City. I was here this year for the first time as a guest of Cricket Australia as part of their Schools Ambassador Program where I was given the opportunity to present on behalf of CA to energetic teachers ready to confirm confidence and build a data bank of fresh ideas to give growth and life to their personal PhysEd classrooms.
After assisting the Taxi driver with navigations to reach University of Canberra I was greeted with fresh familiar faces both via personal connections with in the past but also through Twitter and Voxer. The Aussie PhysEd family was here: Sean, Mark, Pat, Shannon, Christina, Kristina, Lizzy and Andi. It was also amazing to turn a corner and run head into my bosses for this year Dick and Rohan Telford for whim I have been entrusted with the role of PEPL Coach- (Physical Education Physical Literacy). Our chats are always too brief with so many faces to see and hands to shake. (Sometimes my thoughts are the best way to truely connect with other professionals is 'not' at conferences!) Bernie Holland and Shane Pill, legends our of game, were also conversations I love having but all too frequently. These two have so much experience and passion for our field that sometimes I would love to tap their brains for answers to some of my hardest questions. But again not at conferences so the conversation could flow for days and weeks on end. A quick 15 minutes spent with Mark Collard and Sean De Morton from Playmeo had me buzzing. This was the medicine that kick started my 2017. It was the awakening I needed to come out of Summer Slumber and to kick start the brain into drive for creative passion to be developed for the year ahead. Mark does this to me every time. His passion over 25 years of connecting and building relationships is so infectious and contagious as an educator. There is not excuse not to be an isolated individual in a school with more than 1 person.
My final Day 1 connections were with the team for why I am in Canberra. Wayne and James from Cricket Australia. We had brainstormed the 'What is possible?" in past weeks but this conference was when the keys were passed to me and confidence was given to represent one of the most influential and power brands in Australian Sport. One of the highlights of Day 1 was meeting then attending a coaching session held for Samuel Badree from the West Indies Cricket World Cup Champion Team member who was going to be presenting with us. (The team was awesome)
Planning is always tricky when tapping into PhysEd minds for workshops but trying to harness the thoughts of multiple PE minds is crazy. Getting ideas onto one page has been incredible and finally at 3am the final draft of Day 2 Achper had been developed and a game plan agreed upon. Models had been built and tested, prizes had been packed and scripts written to empower the 20 keen PhysEd Teachers brave enough to put them before 4 individuals described as 'children with sugar highs'. The package for the day consisted on the following:
1. Intro lanes bowling- Landing the ball at a consistent length
2. Target Throw down and variations
3. Scorcher Ball variations
4. Yes, No, Wait- Cricket Communication and varying it with a couple of fielders simulating an actual event
5. Build It city with learning Intentions focusing on Batting and Striking, Bowling and fielding
6. Anywhere Cricket- Piggy backing from Backyard Cricket
7. Modified T20
The explicit nature of this then gave delegates the opportunity to vary the activities according to their knowledge bank. This is the key to engagement and ownership by students in the classroom. Let them drive the lesson. Step back, be a facilitator and watch engagement and confidence exceed your wildest expectations.
So as I sit here in the Canberra Airport capturing what was an unbelievable day I watch as businessmen and businesswomen walk to the connecting planes in their suits, ties and business dresses. My reflection is very similar to that of the story of Stenson, told my Martin and Hugh from The Resilience Project. I think HOW GOOD IS DIS? I am so fortunate to be connected with so many motivating and passionate teachers from all over our great country and throughout the world. When asked what I wanted to do in life when I was 16 I was confident I wanted to be a Physical Education Teacher. Lifes goal ticked off right here and into the future. Living the dream everyday.
Thank you @achpernational for what you do and allowing me to be a part of your conference. Thank you Cricket Australia for allowing me to represent you and your brand in the world of empowering students with self belief and confidence.
In April 2015 I was fortunate to be involved in a movement worldwide that gave a new definition to connected educator. My Twitter friends were gaining momentum and adding a platform to their social media swag called VOXER. It was such an amazing few months when VOXER appear on the scene. VOXER gave personality and voice to TWITTER like never before. Rather than tweeting a question we were able to post a voice message in a chat room that then was answered by multiple professionals from a variety of background adding instant depth to my Physical Education Curriculum. Personally I started connecting with my International Colleagues that I had recently engaged with at the SHAPE Seattle conference. I was invited in multiple chat rooms that ranged from Primary School Chat to Excellence in Tech. All lead by some of my Twitter Friends who I admired for their leadership. As I engaged I also noted the lack of local colleagues that were in these chat rooms as well as the separation between different inter-continental curriculums that at time hindered the take up of information.
My passion and drive lead me to the conclusion that as a professional I had a chance to create some unique and different in Australia that had never been done before after which the AUSSIE PHYSED CHAT was born. I encouraged two close colleagues to download the App onto their iPhones and instantly we connected on a more personal level. At this stage one of these colleagues I had never met in person. Voxer had created a link that connected three Physical Education departments in three different schools. We spoke of goals and lessons we were conducting and even had students engage with one another through posting short videos and asking for student led feedback.
The momentum slowly grew through the excitement of my colleagues and were we started with 3 rapidly grew to 9 which exploded to 27. We currently have listed 108 educators of Australian origin active on VOXER in the Aussie PhysEd Chat. The conversations were rapid, explosive and exciting. They entertained and challenged our practises. We have our theorists, practical educators, school leaders, Principals, corporate business owners, experienced teachers, graduate teachers as well as pre-service teachers all connecting on a variety of topics.
The groups excitement grew as we headed into both the Tasmania State Achper Conference and the Victoria Achper two day conference in November where the Voxer Members would meet in person for the first time. This was a surreal moment for those that connected as we had moved from a Twitter handle to a voice and now a physical presence in Physical Education. Both conferences allowed those there to give voice and video access to the Aussie PhysEd Chat via messages which had an exciting flow on affect to all involved. It allowed those not able to visit a chance to still be connected to the conference and receive the benefits of the professional learning so that their students were not left out.
In 2016 Aussie PhysEd Chat recognised that the volume of content being delivered everyday actually had the adverse affect of some teachers and as a result would disconnect from the group. Therefore we realigned what we were doing to create a variety of Aussie Physed Chat rooms to appeal on a differentiated level. These included:
As the creator of the Aussie PhysEd Chat I acknowledge that this passion by all educators had now grown larger than I had time for and I was not able to lead every channel. I created a Facilitators group(leadership team) from around the country that I had appointed as the Heads of each of the Chat Rooms to be able to guide the direction of the chat and lead educators to the change they are searching for.
As a facilitator group we are in the process now of developing a set of values and practises that we will then use to lead our own groups and create a connected platform that is unique and engaging. Educators are able to acknowledge their purpose and understand that their views and opinions are valued not judged. Within this facilitator group made of some of the most experienced and passionate educators across Australia we have three advisors who are there to offer advice and support to each of the Heads.
Some of our notable achievements so far as a network has to be:
The Aussie PhysEd Chat Voxer group are represented in each State and Territory within Australia as well as Singapore, China and Canada. The core connection is simply being passionate.
If you want to be involved in the Aussie PhysEd Chat please visit the following:
Top 5 Reasons VOXER needs to be on your device:
Number 5- Turn your 1 person show into a multi person show
Number 4- Allows you to demonstrate the word COLLABORATION
Number 3- Provides you with a look into someone else’s classroom
Number 2- Helps develop your passion for sharing and receiving
Number 1- CONNECTS you with like minded educators from anywhere in the world.
Sometimes it is well worth letting a blog share with you emotions without words.
My daughter send me this youtube clip of Ezra Frech and it touched my heart as a teacher.
This week I am using the 'Power of Provocation' (Thanks Andy Vasily) with my students to reset their ideal of what they can do with what they have and not what they 'Can't Do'.
Thanks Ezra Frech for the inspiration and motivation to send a powerful message to my students.
I have been so fortunate to meet so many amazing educators over the past 6 weeks. One of those was Joey Feith (The PHYSICAL EDUCATOR). Joey has recently blogged about myself on his website series 'How I teach'.
Thanks Joey- Great to connect and share. Every day is like Disneyland!!
Check out the post by clicking here:
I read a cool article that Joey Feith wrote on creating GIFs then inserting into a Google Form. I enjoyed the process and followed the instructions. The result was pretty cool and I can now give students an action to reflect upon which will change the way I use Google Forms yet again.
I love this stuff.
Check out the post by clicking here