4 ideas for GCSE PE classes

This guest post was written by Rachel Campbell @PEenthusiast1.

Engaging a GCSE PE class of 18 testosterone fuelled competitive boys isn’t easy and continually forces me to think outside of the box and to try innovative and fresh ideas which challenges me on a weekly basis during the ‘planning hour’ on a Sunday night. It was my first lesson with this class in September that made me realise I needed to adapt my teaching. A simple height and weight measurement to calculate BMI led to a shouting match and fiery arguments about who was taller and who had the biggest muscles. These competitive boys needed something to motivate them so here are a few of my top tips to engage learners in the classroom:

1. Create a class football league table.

Each lesson students are awarded points for behaviour in lessons, attitude, homework and punctuality. Those who work hard are rewarded and stay in the premiership but students are soon relegated into the championship and football leagues below when they fail to meet expectations. I started to see a change straight away, students were running to the classroom at the end of break to avoid being late, homework was finally being completed and the unveiling of results created a positive end to each academic term.

2. Teach as many practical lessons as possible to promote learning and progress.

Put instructions in an envelope for each student under a cone on the field at the start of the lesson. Students arrived to the classroom based lesson and had to race their peers to the field, find their envelope, follow the instructions and run back. Sometimes the instructions asked them to perform a sport specific warm up, design an exam question, answer a question or even just read the learning objective. When the students arrived back they were excited to learn and ready to discuss the lesson topic.

3. Invest in a football alarm clock.

Encourage students to answer questions and perform tasks with a time limit. Students love to compete against each other and are motivated to work together.

4. Buy some department morph suits.

They have been used by my colleague Mr Roberts to teach muscles and bones. One of the students wears the costume whilst the other students labels. It brings the subject alive and students remember it.
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