Learning through play- GCSE PE Top Trumps

This guest post was written by Dave Woodward @dwoodward11.

I was invited to write this blog after tweeting about using tops
trumps with a Year 10 GCSE PE lesson. Everyone is familiar with the
concept of top trumps mainly used for long car journeys as a child.
The familiar looking cards are over 35 years old with well over 30
million packs sold. Top trumps cards range from Spiderman to Doctor
Who, from SpongeBob to Bart Simpson and from Hello Kitty to Koala
bears. So why not have some GCSE PE cards!!!

Lots of talk going around regarding lesson observation is about the
‘hook’ that inspires, motivates and enthuses students in your class.
What better way to enthuse but though playing games that the students
are already familiar with.

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The idea is simple. I had a template for the top trumps which I
adapted (from TES resources) to contain the 5 Health related components
of fitness. I then added stars from a variety of sports (I even
included myself 20/20 for everything of course…), and added the
components of fitness out of 20 for each athlete.

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I have found that students don’t like being put on the spot for
definitions but when it is on their terms (within the game) they don’t
mind failing and then trying again………it is after all what games teach
children to try again and again and again.

 

I wanted to make the components of fitness (both HRE and SRF) in to
the sub-conscious of the students. So the keywords and the key terms
are second nature to the students, and they are recalling them without
realising almost by accident. I have been pleased with how well the
idea is working. The students have been most surprised with how much
they do know, and are now making up their own rules for what happens
when people have the same score. I want to build on this top trumps by
doing a set for Skill Related Fitness components. I always try to draw
on real life games/situations to enhance the learning experience for
the students, even as I write this blog I have seen a Christmas advert
for the board game ‘5 second rule’ I wonder how I can implement that
into my teaching……..

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I hope you have found this blog useful and please do get in contact in
you want any more information

11 weeks in….. What have we been doing.

My last post was all about the classroom side of GCSE P.E and some simple ideas that could be used to engage and make lessons that little bit more fun. I will endeavour to do this this again towards the bottom of this post but this time I will focus on a few practical elements.

 

Although the practical element is worth 60% of the total course myself and my colleagues do not spend a huge amount of time on it. Most of our pupils have at least two good practical elements with the majority having three. What we focus our attention on when we do is the fourth element to maximise the score as best as possible. The options I have looked at recently and how we teach them are:

 

Health Related Fitness

 

As much as I shouldn’t say this, HRF is looked at by many as an easy option to be able to secure a relatively high score. How we teach it;

 

With no explanation apart from it must be a circuit of 8 stations, loads of equipment such as cones, ropes, stop watches and some very light dumbbells are left in pile. Pupils divided in to pairs, given a plain piece of paper and given 20 minutes to create it. After 20 minutes they must submit their plans to another pair who will then give feedback based on a success criteria sheet. Once feedback has been received pupils adapt and improve, then complete it for the first time with their own suggested timings.

 

This completion allows them to assess the quality of the circuit, timing, stations and exercise issues. Homework is then completed to improve the quality of their circuit based on their own self-assessment. Within 3 lessons the circuit is completed to a high standard, completed around 6-8 times, proformas completed and for some a good quality practical assessment in the bag.

 

Officiating

 

Can be used for various sports but we firstly concentrate on a very generic football officiating scheme to find those that show the confidence, communication, personality and other characteristics to become an official (pupils can be taught to be an O.K. standard official, but I am a firm believe they need certain characteristics to access the higher marks for any sport)

 

We ask pupils to learn the rules of football prior to the scheme being taught. We then place them straight in the role, officiating their peers in small sided games for around 5 minutes each. At the side of the pitch an assessor (another pupil) writes down general comments about performance, this is completed until a good number of pupils in the lesson have had a go. At the mid-point we then feedback the general points made and talk about what makes a good official, key aspects and what we need to start focusing on. This helps both the official and the assessors gain a much better understanding. Over the period of around 5 lessons every pupils is then given the opportunity to officiate, assess, receive feedback and officiate again. During this time I will ask certain players to cause problems of the pitch, talk back to the ref, surround them (I do not condone this!!), appeal for everything, break certain simple rules and generally be a pain, putting extra pressure on the official and testing them. This gives us a very good indication of those that could potentially become an official in other sports as well as football. This does also helps some pupils practice and enhance some elements of the skill and game based parts of the football assessment.

 

I do not focus on the skill elements of any of the practical elements of a sport in GCSE P.E until later in year 11 as I believe this should be enhanced outside of school, playing regularly for teams both school and weekend clubs (although we will look at it a little in the pupils core P.E lessons.

 

A few more recent theory ideas

 

Secret A-Level Lesson (very good for challenge)

 

As some of the topics inevitably cross over from GCSE to A-level I decided to take a gamble and teach my group A-level content on stress and arousal without them knowing. I started with an A-level 7 mark question, brain storming on the table. This developed on to a video of the Haka vs Wales and the thoughts, feelings and emotions being felt, developing further on to cognitive and somatic signs etc.. We took it further by analysing graphs linked to Drive theory and Invented U-theory to discuss the issues that it has with performance. We then attempted the same A-level question, peer assessed, used a visualiser to show model answers (from the group). I then built a tiny bit of suspense about having a secret to tell them, revealed they had just completed an A-level lesson, meaning the content learned was almost above A* standard. I then asked them to complete some four mark GCSE questions on the same topic, safe to say they all nailed it, even those that quite often struggle to access the higher marks. This was a very worthwhile exercise and one I will most definitely will do again as I was really surprised by the response of the group to the challenging content.

 

Circulatory System

 

Cone Task

Although I have blogged previously about the homework linked to this lesson topic I also have a few very simple ideas to teach it. Firstly, ask pupils to draw on a whiteboard what they think happens to blood in the body. You then move this on by getting lots of different ideas from you group. I have always found that verbalising the whole process (almost for a whole lesson) with the direction of whiteboards and pupils works better than insisting on note taking for this topic. I then go out to the field or gym or any space available, give groups blue and reds cones and see if they can then set up the circulatory themselves. There is always the odd inevitable issue but the process on verbalising then visualising seems to work well. It is also very engaging, especially in the middle of winter when it is turned into a competition to get it completed correctly as fast as possible to avoid frostbite!

 

Play Dough Films

A colleague taught the lesson through the median of play dough. Once he had taught the theory aspect he then set a task of completing a short film using play dough, pipe cleaners and any other median to show understanding. Very engaging, very detailed commentary and good quality films showing clear understanding were produced.

 

Red and Blue Words

Very simple task to complete and set up. A series of key terms on laminated A4 sheets related to the circulatory system are coloured red and blue (oxygenated or deoxygenated). In small groups of no more than four, they are given the task of sorting them in to the correct places on a make shift circulatory system, usually a series of tables. This can then be turned in to a competition with time limits, knock out comps or just a simple recap starter or plenary.

Hope these ideas help, any questions feel free to contact via twitter @doverno10