What Does Physical Education Truly Mean during Online Period?

Pivoting to online provision, Physical Education (PE), which most ‘sports’ involve two people, can become difficult to find meaning and or ‘deliver’. Students in their own room with a pair of socks, teddy, or wrong shape ball and in the worst case no water for swimming. There are many schools who do not deliver PE when they are forced to provide an online learning environment.

At DCSZ, the PE department is very passionate about the benefits of physical activity and sport in later life. We see the positives in developing confident students who can choose the type of activity or sport that they enjoy or want to give a go. How many parents reading this would have the confidence to walk into a new sports club and know how to act or draw on the transferable skills developed at school to thrive in this new environment. For example, if you have a good knowledge of basketball, does that mean that you can play volleyball? Those are very important questions parents and teachers need to ask. To equip students with the knowledge and concept about work out how to play a game, is as important as training them about the sport skill itself.

Our department vision has this at its centre, developing student's understanding of how skills can be transferred to a range of situations.

Whether this is our graduating Year 13’s going to Michigan State and a new friend says, ‘fancy a game of paddle tennis?’ or at Oxford and they want to try out for the rowing team having never rowed. All the way until they are retired and to keep active, they join a walking football team.

For Key Stage 2 this has involved completing introductory lessons on a range of topics, giving students the opportunity to spend more time developing and refining individual skills, as well as experiencing different categories of sport to find their favourites and develop a breadth of motor skills. The topics covered so far in PE lessons from Year 3 to Year 13 include:

Games for Understanding (Rugby, Basketball, Football, Badminton, Volleyball, Handball,  Netball);

Swimming, Gymnastics, Tactics, Leadership, Teamwork and Fitness.

This online environment might not provide each student the opportunity to develop their skills in a competitive situation, however, it does allow them to access much deeper learning and look at the tactical aspects of the activity. Therefore, have a deeper understanding, ready for when we return.

There are too many great examples of students work that can be shared; the photos we share here are just some excellent examples.

There are many things we aim at achieving. But most importantly, we would like to support our community in the concept that sport is a life-long practice; it is a social culture. We are very proud of the department and their ability to react to the challenging times by developing and designing a curriculum that is COVID proof and one that does not involve the students only receiving fitness lessons through High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout sessions. Although these have their place for developing fitness and keeping students active, there is a reason why our lessons are called Physical Education and not Physical Activity – it is the Education behind the activity that we focus on.