A Different Approach to Teaching P.E.

YCIS_Beijing_PE_Project

Have you ever heard of Pickle Ball, Hoover Ball, Tchoukball or Circle Rules Football? These are some of the weird and wonderful games our Years 10 and 11 students are learning to play before developing their own! We speak to P.E. teachers Mr Michael Warner and Mr Matt McEwan about the project.

 

Please introduce the project

This is the second year we have done this project. It is about approaching P.E. from a different angle – not playing the same old games every week but understanding what it is that makes a great game. Based on the British curriculum, “Teaching Games for Understanding”, we are teaching our students about what all games have in common and the categories that games fall into. They are then going to start developing their own games and teach them to their classmates.

We have been inspired by the story of Circle Rules Football – a game which was invented as a school project ten years ago and is now beginning to catch on around the world. Its inventor has devoted his career to the spread of this game. It’s inspiring!


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What is the purpose of this project?

It’s a different approach to P.E. designed to challenge students of all ability levels.

In an international school, students haven’t always learned to play the same games and the ability can be quite mixed. In teaching everyone a brand new game that they’ve never played before, we can level the playing field and that’s great for the confidence of our students who may never have learned to play football or volleyball, for example.

The additional challenge of inventing your own game means students have to think creatively based on what they’ve learned and they may find that their diverse experience in other sports comes in handy.


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What do you hope students will get out of this project?

This project is all about creativity and turning creative ideas into something real that you can play and enjoy. This kind of creative problem-solving is a great skill for life.

We also hope that students will enhance their team working skills as they work in groups to develop their games. And when they teach the games to other year groups, it will be good practice for their communication and leadership.

 


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What do you think students have learned from playing these unusual sports?

These sports come from all over the world. Getting students to engage with them is all part of our global curriculum.

 

What advice do you have for students who feel they are no good at sport?

A lot of the time, this perception comes from students who have not been taught a particular game as well as their peers. This doesn’t mean they aren’t good, it just means they haven’t put in the many hours of practice! Rather than comparing yourself to others, we advise you set yourself achievable goals that you can work towards.

It’s also important not to set your sights on a level that is out of reach. All sports operate at different levels – there are social clubs, school teams, city teams, provincial teams, international teams. Not everyone can reach a provincial or international level. Instead, enjoy the level you’re at and work towards improving in an environment that suits you.

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