As you are probably aware, the Wellcome Trust have produced a sports themed Science kit to compliment the Olympics year and sent them out free to all schools in the country. There’s a great website too which is well worth checking out, even if you don’t have the kit to go with it.
We were lucky enough to be able to request a Primary box – one look at the contents of the Secondary box was enough to show that it was too complex to access, even for our most able students and would just sit and gather dust. The box that we did receive has been used by at least five classes, and our lunchtime Science club.
Brilliant Bodies – we all had fun trying to put the bodies together and name the various body parts in the Brilliant Bodies game on the whiteboard. Our less able students were helped by the words being read out loud and for our more able students we turned the sound off to make things harder. The flashcards with different activities to try were used with three different classes, right across the age range of the school. Some pupils found activities harder than others but all joined in and were able to recognise the talents and difficulties of their friends. One pupil enjoyed the session so much that he asked Fizz the puppet if he could do it again the following lesson. Unsurprisingly, the pupils found the balancing part of the section the hardest. Many of them could not stand on one leg for more than a few seconds, and a lot of them struggled to walk along the ‘balancing tape’. This has highlighted some areas that we can focus on in PE lessons next term.
Stupendous Steppers – the pedometers have been the most attractive part of this unit, with one of pupils insisting on wearing his every day to see how far he has travelled.
Super Athletes – we tackled this session in our Science club. Pupils enjoyed drawing round their feet and using these templates to ‘measure’ other parts of their bodies. They also enjoyed comparing their foot sizes with their friends. This, and the other measuring activity, produced a lot of discussion and use of comparative language. The jumping activity also prompted discussion. Of course, as the person with the longest legs in the room I was expected to jump furthest. The second longest jump came from one of the pupils with the shortest legs! Again, it comes down to coordination and many of our pupils seemed unable to complete a two-footed jump.
Heart Beaters – I’ve not taught this topic myself, but it was great to see that two of our KS3 teachers did. Pupils could be seen marching around the playground, trying to complete a set number of steps on their pedometers before seeing what had happened to their heart rates. With support from the school nurse they were used the stethoscopes to listen to both heart and breathing rates and I suspect they used the school pulse meter as well.
Overall, the pupils have enjoyed and engaged with the resources in the box, which arrived just in time to compliment our Olympic themed curriculum. They have remembered what they have learnt from one week to the next and have been keen to share with other staff what they had learned. More able pupils had a chance to record results using a table and then talk about what they had found out. It was lovely to see some of them helping a peer who has PMLD to draw around his foot and measure parts of his body with the template. Staff have enjoyed using the resources provided and have also been talking about what they and their class have been doing. I shall make sure that the resources and activities are written in to the appropriate schemes of work so that they can continue to be used to inspire our pupils.