This blog has moved….

Thank you for taking some time to check out this blog.

However, as of 26th March 2015 new posts will be found at my new blog..

Moving Physed forward

See you there


Coach’s eye in athletics units and beyond

This  year I brought a nexus 10 to replace my dead iPad and have found it fantastic.

One of the best free apps I started with was coach’s eye. Although I had it on the iPad (paid) I had never got around to exploring its capabilities fully. Mainly because I had such a glut of video analysis apps.

So this year, this is the only app I currently have installed and it has been the perfect tool in many classes.

Although there are many features (which I still haven’t fully explored) its most attractive and useful feature has been the  scrolling playback bar. This allows you to scroll through footage frame by frame both forwards and backwards uitlising super slow mo to a accurately pinpoint all stages of a technique or play for deep analysis.

Recently I used it in an athletics unit where the students could not get enough of performing, viewing, correcting /improving and reviewing. I wish I had more than one tablet to use!

The improvements in all pupils technical understanding and acquisition was incredible and process was quick enough not to impede on lesson flow.

If you don’t have it already, do yourselves and your pupils a favour and download coach’s eye.
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My K-12 Phys Ed Curriculum

Having been involved in some curriculum changes in our high school PE program over the last few years,I feel we are beginning to see the fruits of our labour.

Firstly we decided to wholeheartedly adopt the TGfU model of instruction in Years 7 and 8 with a view to improving the game intelligence of our pupils. In layman’s terms – it was frustrating to find year 9 pupils with no concept of how, for example, to create space or form defensive systems even though their skills were fairly good.

Secondly, in Year 9′ we changed to a SEPEP model of instruction (Sports Education in Physical Education Program’s). This involved using single gender class divisions (our school is co-ed) and then running our lessons in line with a Sports Club Season e.g. Having a grading day, preseason training, in season training and finals competition. This was largely pupil led as all pupils are given a role akin to being a member of a sports club, manager, board member, publicist, statistician etc. The results were fantastic – all pupils fully engaged in lessons! Something that had long been missing with our Year 9’s, especially among the girls. This year we have extended the model into Year 10.

So it got me thinking….how could we remodel our junior school program to fit with the senior school program to ensure maximum progression of skill, game intelligence and social / emotional intelligence (i.e. FairPlay, respect, team work) from Kindergarten to Year 10.

My thoughts: (n.b. these thoughts are dynamic and a product of a particular time in my thinking – by the time I press publish they may well have changed. I am also a trained high school PE teacher and my thoughts are based on my own experience rather than thoroughly researched material)

This is only a representation of how I would devise the games section of the curriculum – obviously, movement, composition and performance, aquatic activities, Outdoor Adventurous Activities, Athletics, Health Related Fitness would also be included.

K , 1 and 2 (stage 1)

– concentration on gross motor skill development, coordination, fundamental movement skills.
– object manipulation – throw and catch – kick and receive – bat and ball
– game play – tag / chase – evade games, target games, striking and fielding games
– explore basic tactical concepts of target games and striking and fielding games

Year 3 and 4 (Stage 2)

– Extend gross motor skills and fine motor skills, coordination and fundamental movement skills (introduce racket manipulation or similar e.g. Lacrosse with large projectiles)
– Extend object manipulation (throw catch and kick receive) – introduce net games and invasion games
– extend tactical concepts of target and striking and fielding games
– explore tactical complexities of net and invasion games through throw and catch games and kick and receive games (e.g. creating space, communication, when and where to pass, creating width)

Year 5 and 6 (Stage 3)

– Refine gross and fine motor skills, coordination and fundamental movement skills
– Refine tactical knowledge of striking and fielding games
– Extend tactical understanding of net and invasion games (utilise new object manipulation methods e.g.invasion games –
Kick from hands – Gaelic football / AFL. Net games – head, feet – sepak takraw) (e.g. systems of defensive, dictating an opponents play, systems of attack, counter attacking, breaking down defensive systems)

Throughout k-6 there would be no need to program a specific sport at a specific time. Instead program categories of sports at specific times and objectives within that category.

For example, instead of having Year 3 play Netball for a unit on your program have Invasion Games – throw and catch. Then use generic / modified games to explore concepts such as creating space, when and where to pass. Potentially playing a ‘recognised sport’ towards the end of the unit to give context.

This way tactical concepts and game intelligence is developed as a primary goal and the skills required (which should be concentrated on throughout stage 1) are developed as a secondary goal. Pupils begin to understand what skill they need and when. If, for example, that skill has not been fully developed in Stage 1 then it would be revisited at this time to help enhance the pupils game play because they have identified that they need that skill to succeed i.e. don’t teach a shoulder pass in isolation then expect it to be used in the game effectively. Where it is likely (anecdotal evidence from 16 years of teaching here) that the receiver will stand still with their arms aloft shouting ‘to me, to me, to me’ gradually moving closer to the thrower and when the thrower does release the ball with a shoulder throw, it fails because no one was in space to receive it.
Rather have the pupils move into space, the thrower throws a pass which is not powerful or quick enough to reach the intended target. Stop and ask ‘how can you change the way you throw the ball to give it more power?’ – then look at the skill of the shoulder pass and introduce it to the pupils skill repertoire.

I know these concepts are not trailblazing. Plenty of schools are already structuring their curriculums this way. It’s just if I had the chance to change ours or start my own school this is the way I would go.

1:1, onenote and video analysis in the PE classroom

Since our school went 1:1 I have been looking for opportunities to utilise the laptop tablet device in the Physical Education setting effectively and to add value.

This term I feel I have found a unit that lends itself perfectly to this. (Although there is ample room to accommodate the laptop into practical classes, it has been mainly lack of time in my own prep and lack of available time in the lesson that have been my main barriers).

The class is Year 10 PASS (Aus equivalent of GCSE PE), the unit is Enhancing Performance which requires pupils to develop a deep understanding of rules, techniques and tactics of a chosen sport.

The sport we have chosen to study and participate in is 2 v 2 volleyball (Beach volleyball without the beach) played on a badminton court.

What we’re doing.

I have a set up a shared onenote that all pupils have downloaded to their laptops. The onenote has an open section viewable to all pupils where all information for the lesson is laid out. Pupils (in their pairings) also have one section each that is password protected. This stops other groups from writing in their space but allows me access for assessment purposes.

Volleyball onenote screen shot



Our first two lessons have been focusing on technical skills required in the game.

When pupils come into the gym they go to the shared onenote page. On that page they find instructions for the lesson

e.g. Lesson 1 had a video embedded of how to perform a dig and a set correctly. Students were required to watch the video and then construct a marking rubric that highlighted the main points of the technique (e.g. Watch the ball, correct body position etc). Students were then required to video themselves, utilising the record video feature in onenote, performing the technique. When completed, pupils watched their video back, compared their technique against their marking rubric and self assessed themselves. Noting areas that needed to be improved.

This format was repeated for the basic ball hitting skills in volleyball.

Our next progression was to record video of the pair playing a game of 2v2. This was achieved by placing the laptop on a chair and once again using the record video feature in onenote.

After playing the game pupils were asked to review their video and analyse their technical skills within the game answering questions such as…..Does my technique change in a game environment? If so how? And why? What steps can I take to improve my technical efficiency with in the game? Are there any techniques that need improving to improve my success in the game? Are there any further skills / techniques that I need to give me an advantage in the game?

All questions can be answered directly into the onenote page next to their video.

Once this is completed the process of checking both their technical proficiency and their self-evaluation of their technical proficiency is simple. I am also able to leave comments and feedback either after the lesson or in real-time.

Future lessons will be based around tactical comprehension and gamesense and we will also utilise kinovea (a video analysis software which allows annotation of videos) and go pro cameras to get a players eye perspective to give a critical eye to decision making processes within the game.

Thus far the unit is progressing well and pupils are beginning to build a much deeper understanding of their own abilities within the game and how to improve them.

I’m excited to see where the unit goes in the next few weeks.


Global Instagram Challenge

My Year 8 class is currently studying a theory unit entitled Health Matters. Within this unit we have, so far, explored perceptions of health and the concept of good health.

We have enjoyed great debate around the 5 dimensions of health and, which, if any, is the most important dimension to attain / maintain good health – physical, social, emotional, cognitive or spiritual?

To start the topic I used the aged old continuum lesson –  giving students a random picture (generally postcards picked up from various cinema’s, shops etc) and asking them to place it on a continuum from good health to poor health and justify why they have placed it in that particular spot – e.g. “I placed this picture towards the good health end because it depicts a couple holding hands. Therefore, they seem to be in a loving relationship and that makes you happy which is good for your health”. You get the idea.

So I wanted to embed some technology in the lesson and I’m also really keen to create a ‘global connection / audience’  for the kids.

So I have asked the kids to take a picture of anything that they believe represents good health. I want them to put it on Instagram with the hashtag #5dimensionsofhealth and then a second hashtag with the dimension/s it represents e.g. #physical

It would be soooo good for the kids to see pictures / comments from around the world on the #5dimensionsofhealth hashtag. So please join us in our Global Instagram Challenge and let’s get the kids thinking good health.

#5dimensionsofhealth #physical #social

#5dimensionsofhealth #physical #social

TGfU Target Games in action

After a summer holiday reading a large number of TGfU related text last year I decided to draft a new scope and sequence for our year 7 practical syllabus. Last year we rolled it out (see previous post for more details). Firstly we started with Target Games as these involve the least tactical complexity and are also an excellent forum for assessing some  of the pupils fundamental motor skills. As I had spent the best part of 3 months on the theoretical aspect and drawing up some very prescriptive units (basically I wrote lesson plans for use by myself in my classes; however I tried to write them in a style that would allow others to, hopefully, understand use and them) I was excited to get in to the gym and try them out. As with all theoretical ideas, the practice didn’t always run as smoothly as I had envisioned and changes were made to lessons on the fly to try to maximise, learning, engagement and enjoyment. On the whole the unit was well received by pupils and I felt that outcomes were reached. Things I learnt along the way:

  • Too much content – most lessons in the unit have too many activities for an 50-60 min lesson. Therefore, I constantly refined, changed and dropped activities as suited the particular class I was working with. After all it is a draft unit.
  • Preparation for success – some lesson’s required a fair amount of time to set up equipment wise and I fully recommend taking the time to do so. On one particular occasion I did not get the time before class to set up equipment. The lesson worked fine but time was lost at the beginning of class which could cause problems depending on the cohort.
  • Student Designed game lesson – although I worked on this lesson in a theory lesson first and then took it to the gym, some pupils still struggled with the concept. However, with more practise they did get better throughout the year. So well worth pursuing.
  • Competition / challenge is motivating – although when writing this unit I thought it would be amazing to play some of these games, they are, by nature, less active than invasion games (for example). Therefore, a fair amount of ‘salesmanship’ was required to engage the pupils at the start. However, as soon as pupils realised every part of the lesson incorporated a competitive element most pupils were into it. This also enhanced their meta-cognitive processes.
  • Questions are key – it can not be emphasised enough how important the right kind of questioning is with any TGfU / gamesense approach. Questions included in lessons plans worked well for me and brought about desired results.

This link will take you to the unit. Please feel free to look, use, critique etc Draft TGfU Games Unit (target only) This link takes you to a short video of a pupil explaining his pairs strategy in the HOOP BALL lesson. This was taken towards the end of the lesson in the 2 v 2 game Video: Strategic talk during Hoop Ball

I will look to post my striking a fielding games unit and observations in the near future.

Not the first cab off the rank (+ bam delay mirror app)

It’s been a long time between drinks……….but reading my old posts reminds me how important it is to reflect and share as regularly as possible.

We might not be the first school but we are now officially a 1:1 school as years 7-10 were rolled out with a rather nifty tablet PC this week.

To say I’m excited by the prospect is an wee understatement. I genuinely cannot wait to see how the pedagogy of myself and my colleagues shifts as we learn to incorporate the tech tools of today to engage our pupils and encourage their inquiry.

I now turn to my global PLN the #pegeeks to help develop my knowledge and practices to ensure my classes are fun, innovative learning experiences. A lofty ideal perhaps but no less than the kids deserve.

As always, I’d like to finish off with something to share…….so my favorite app for practical classes in 2012 has to be Bam Delay mirror.

This app allows you to film students with your iPad and delay the replay so pupils can get immediate feedback of skill execution. For example, set the iPad up at the end of a crash mat when doing vaulting in gymnastics. After a pupil completes their vault they can then walk to the iPad and view there technique making appropriate corrections with the guidance of the teacher or a peer coach for their next vault.