I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous to deliver my first PE lesson since schools returned in full force this September. However, the overwhelming excitement of being able to start helping children get back into sport was enough for me to put my worries to one side.
The lesson was 90 minutes long which was slightly longer than what we are used to so that we could accommodate the changes in the school's timetable for COVID. The focus of this lesson was Hockey, to see why I chose Hockey check out my last blog post on bringing back competitive sport into schools.
To help you out with some ideas on how you could run your first few PE lessons back, here is a break down of some of the activities which were used in this non-competitive Hockey lesson.
Note, this was a non competitive lesson as children did not have shin pads and gumshields for the first lesson.
Children to stand in pairs, one opposite the other with a 3m distance between them
Children must try and mirror their partner.
If the leader says freeze and the partner isn't mirroring them at that time, the leader gets a point.
The leader can only say freeze 3 times before swapping roles.
The winner is the player that gets the most points.
I demonstrated this activity with one child including movements such as star jumps, bunny hops and burpees. Try adding a bean bag or maybe some equipment you will use in your lesson that day; a hockey stick and ball each for example.
Through The Triangle
If you have ever heard of through the gate, it's that but with triangles instead of gates! Simply put:
I put 10 triangles spaced out around a large area.
I paired the children up
I gave the children one minute in pairs to push pass the ball through as many triangles as possible.
We actually played this game for over 20 minutes, without the children getting bored!
How? It's all in what is motivating the children to try harder.
Too often you hear the educator ask every pair what their record was and then they challenge the whole class to beat the highest score. The class are likely to struggle to get anywhere near the score and so lose motivation. We must remember the variation in ability when delivering PE lessons.
Instead, I asked the children to first see how many gates they got through and then to agree a target between themselves in their pairs. This internal motivation that they then bring to the session makes them want to try harder without trying to compete with the rest of the class.
After each minute I asked children to either:
Increase the target
Stick with the same target (if they didn't quite make it in the last minute session)
I asked them to keep the target but I reduced the time to 55 seconds
Crocodile swamp is a simple adaptation to the traditional passing the ball back and forwards drill.
I lined half the class along the area with their partners opposite them 6m away.
Children had to pass their ball forwards and backwards without the crocodiles intercepting the pass.
The crocodiles had to intercept 10 passes to be freed from the swamp.
I had 2 crocodiles initially but the game was a little slow so I put in 4 crocodiles. After each round, put a new set of crocodiles in.
Now It's Your Turn!
These are just three simple games that you can use to help build your confidence back up in terms of teaching PE. Remember, you need to bring sports back at a level that you are comfortable with.
These three games allow for social distancing and as your confidence grows can move towards more competitive situations. Remember, to check out our blog on bringing competitive sports back to your school and to check the National Governing Body website before delivering lessons on each sport.
If you would like more information on uSports' work in schools, please click here: https://www.u-sports.co.uk/school-coaching