A Sporting Chance for Wilstead Lower School

Wilstead Lower School at the University of Bedford Sport DeptWilstead Lower School staff and students have been building up a sweat recently as part of a drive raise levels of physical activity during the school day.

We were awarded a grant to support this which we have spent on equipment, training and special activities.  The new kit is used every day by the children both in PE lessons and at lunch/breaktimes.  External coaches have been into school to help us get inspired and staff have had special training sessions on a range of sports and activities.

Part of this ongoing drive has involved our Year 3 class making regular trips to University of Bedfordshire  Education & Sports department, which benefits both our students and theirs.

Microteaching at the University of Bedfordshire

Students studying on the BA/BSc (Hons) Sport and Physical Education degree are delivering 6 Physical Education lessons to Wilstead Lower School pupils as part of a unit of microteaching.  University students work in small groups to plan and deliver lessons based around a range of physical activities.  All sessions are taking place at the Polhill campus of the University of Bedfordshire in their new purpose built sports arena.

Initially the students are very nervous about teaching the young pupils

Wilstead Lower School at the University of Bedford Sport DeptThe aim of the unit is to develop the students’ basic teaching skills including:

  • the use of voice,
  • movement and positioning,
  • use of praise,
  • use of demonstration,
  • organisation and safety
  • self-presentation.

The university students gain experience of working within the structures and professional expectations of teaching through the planning and delivery of lesson content, working with peers and creating purposeful physical learning experiences for their classes.

The microteaching experience may inspire some students to pursue a career in teaching.  For others, it will give them the responsibility of working collaboratively in a structured context which demands high levels of preparation and application, giving them the opportunity to develop important life skills.  Ultimately, they will also have the opportunity to engage young people in a learning environment which will inspire them to pursue physical activity throughout the life-course.

Sophy Bassett, Senior Lecturer at the university told usInitially the students are very nervous about teaching the young pupils and they are fully aware of the expectations of both the University of Bedfordshire  and the schools, teachers and pupils who attend.  It is wonderful to see students gain confidence as they interact with their class.  The pupils are always so cheerful and enthusiastic when they arrive at the University and always work very hard in their lessons.  It is a pleasure to see both the pupils and the students learning together.

The six week course has shown a rise in our childrens’ individual skills and team performance.  Arguably more importantly their self confidence has noticeably increased week on week!  We would like to say a huge thank you to Sophy Bassett, her team and the students at the university who have been enthusiastic, passionate and patient throughout the course.  If PE teachers should be a sporting role model, these guys have got it in the bag!