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