By Margaret Whitehead

I am pleased to report that there are five teachers who are actively looking at ways of engaging learners in physical education with the intention of fostering physical literacy.

Claire Bannon has conducted a very useful investigation into motivating those who are less interested in physical activity. Her school physical education department has a predominantly ‘Fitness’ focus and she was able to work within this constraint to increase participation and application. Next year she hopes to introduce additional extra-curricular opportunities to support those who are finding aspects of movement competence challenging.

Judith Piggins and her department were initially sceptical about the school edict that all subjects should have homework. However they created a reflective diary for some of their classes and this has proved a very useful tool to chart individuals’ progress in respect of physical literacy. She is considering finding ways to gather information about the range of Movement Forms in which learners are engaged.

Elizabeth Myers who has used the opportunity of partial redundancy to study two Masters courses alongside her teaching has carried out a range of investigations. In one study into Motivating disengaged pupils within core physical education lessons she found that a combination of teaching approaches incorporating scaffolding, co-construction, collaborative learning and appropriate grouping of learners was effective in improving motivation, effort and achievement. Elizabeth has also worked with the school physical education department to embed physical literacy as a goal in all their work. The Department has used national and local schemes and worked to foster physical literacy within these contexts. The next challenge is to create an instrument to chart individuals’ progress in respect of their physical literacy.

Amy Seagrave and Erin McCarthy are also involved and I will share their work after we meet later in August.