This guest post was written by Simon Bradbury @PeBrado.
I have previously written a guest post on my GCSE PE league that I have introduced to my Year 10 mixed sex class. In this blog I will be explaining how it works and more importantly how it has been received by the students.
I came up with the idea after I saw my class list in July I realised that out of the two classes that we have studying GCSE PE mine was the one with the more challenging students. In particular there was a group of 4 boys (my class has 19 boys and just 4 girls) who although not badly behaved were generally late to lessons and did not work well when put together as a group.
I felt that the key areas to making an exemplary GCSE PE student were in the following areas:
I decided that for every lesson I would give them points based on those 6 areas where applicable. This is what I decided on in terms of the points:
Behaviour – issued every lesson – as expected (2 points), warnings given (1 point) and unacceptable (0 points)
Punctuality – issued every lesson – on time (2 points) and late (0 points)
Kit – issued every practical lesson – full correct kit (2 points), incorrect/incomplete kit (1 point) and no kit (0 points)
Homework – issued every time homework is set – on time and complete (2 points), on time but incomplete (1 point), late but complete (1 point), late and incomplete (0 points) and no homework (0 points)
Progress – issued after every progress test or completed sport – above target (2 points), on target (1 point) and below target (0 points)
Extra curricular – issued at the end of each week – 3+ clubs (3 points), 2 clubs attended (2 points), 1 club attended (1 point) and no clubs attended (0 points).
I created a display in the corner of my classroom, which had students pictures from SIMS, a leaderboard and the poster below, which I created using ComicLife.
How it has been received by the students?
The students have really embraced the GCSE PE league and as you might expect they have become extremely competitive even to the point where if students turn up late or do not have their correct kit their peers make sure I know about it and that points are not given. I also had one student who was in the lead and knew that it was close at the top of the table. He missed my lesson on a Thursday morning due to him being ill but then turned up for football practice after school on the same day. I asked him why he was at practice if he was ill and he said that he was annoyed that he had to miss the lesson in the morning because his parents had kept him off as he had lost points. As he began to feel better in the afternoon he knew he could get a point for attending football practice as an extracurricular club and got his dad to drop him in. This was enough to keep him at the top of the league. It has also made students realise they have to behave around the school and in other lessons. One of my boys missed out on coming top because he spent a day in the school’s internal exclusion room for a fight therefore missing my practical lesson, which cost him 6 points. Students attendance to lessons has generally been good as they know that if they miss my lesson they miss out on points. Homework being submitted has definitely been improved and with the help of the @mypeexam platform, it is easier to track homework and particularly when students are completing it.
What it tells me about my students?
I use iDoceo to keep a tally of all the students points and I will be using that to show to parents at the upcoming parents evening. Running this league allows me to see why students are at the top of the league and more importantly why are they at the bottom of the league. Is it to do with attendance? If a student is not in on a Thursday for any reason they miss out on obtaining 12 points as students have two practical lessons with me on that day. Is it to do with not completing homework? Generally I will set homework most weeks but if students are only completing 50% of it then over the course of a half term that is 6 or 8 points they are missing. Is it because they do not show enough commitment to extracurricular clubs? A student that attends on average 3 clubs a week compared to a student that attends on average 1 club a week will over the course of a 7 week half term score 14 points more. These are all conversations you can have with parents and students and with the extracurricular figures I have actually used these to write letters home to parents who I believe have not attended enough clubs after school. I am teaching the old specification so practical performance is vital being worth 60% of the overall mark.
It is also good to see if students performances have improved as the year has gone on and iDoceo can work this out for you as you can see from the image below.
Now, I was alarmed when I saw the number of red arrows pointing down meaning students had actually dropped from Autumn Term 1 (I reset the scores to 0 at the end of each half term to sustain motivation). However, I set more homework in Autumn Term 1 then in Autumn Term 2 and students also had 2 more lessons in Autumn Term 1 then Autumn Term 2. Therefore if you can I would suggest working out how many points per lesson are students averaging as throughout the year the number of weeks in a half term vary considerably. I am pleased to say that the top 3 from Autumn Term 2 were completely different students from the top 3 in Autumn Term 1 and probably more importantly so were the bottom 3 students. Students that have been successful and have won the half termly competitions over the course of the academic year will receive a gift voucher. Students are very engaged in this competition and as I update the leaderboard weekly they are able to track their progress every theory lesson as it is always on display.
Since creating this GCSE PE league I have seen similar initiatives and one I particularly liked was putting the students into teams of 3 and all their points are collated. You can then have things like top 4 are in the Champions League and bottom 3 are in the relegation zone. This may mean that students are even more likely to want to gain points as it is not just for themselves but for their two other teammates. Students could encourage each other to attend clubs and complete homework together. I think this would work well if you had a number of classes taking GCSE PE and a large cohort.
As always I would be interested to hear if any teachers have tried something similar or variations on this model.