Children & Young People
Challock Primary School is a one form entry village school whose aim is to not only ensure children exceed academically, but develop individuals who will thrive and make positive contributions to future society. The school is already active, engaging in the Daily Mile, Active Maths and one of the only schools in Kent to run the Junior Award Scheme for Schools (JASS) where pupils can evidence and achieve awards through the Get Active, Stay Active element. During this period, the school has built upon their online digital journals allowing variety in learning, daily contact with pupils and parents and ensuring daily fitness is part of everyday life.
Keeping Active in School
Although pupils are in bubbles, the field and playground set up still gives them a chance to interact whilst staying socially distanced. The school hosts a variety of activities throughout the week, with active music on Mondays, OAA sessions on Tuesdays, Tom from Primary Sports Giants delivers PE sessions on Wednesdays whilst a parent governor leads gardening sessions, and further PE on Thursdays with another sports teacher from the school. Whilst there has been less team and games-based activities the school notes the opportunity to focus on individual fundamental skills and assess where pupils are at with their skills and learnings. Lessons have become more individual centred, a positive change that is welcomed by Deputy Head Teacher, David Lemon. Mr Lemon comments, ‘Pupils have a much greater opportunity to problem solve and communicate with others on their team. We have noticed shy pupils starting to develop with confidence and showing their true colours.’
Staying Active at Home
Setting work remotely has provided an opportunity for the school to think about how they can track and raise their pupil profiles; their own ‘Challock Challenges’ set by staff members, and the Greenacre Sports Partnership’s Challenge Cards have encouraged pupils to design their own challenges and host virtual house competitions. Stepping away from traditional sports and activities to engage a wider variety of pupils, the school engaged in Kent Sport’s My Active Rainbow Challenge and GetSet4PE which involve games and activities to encourage creativity.
Challock Primary School have always had a positive relationship with parents and this period has enabled them to build upon this. Through online platforms Seesaw and Tapestry parents and teachers see what pupils do during the school day through videos, photos and resources. Engaging families with the Challock Challenges and the JASS program for the Juniors (and a similar version called Infant Passport for the Infants and Early Years pupils) allows families to showcase their activities, whilst the school is now investigating using tracking apps to both monitor and celebrate activity, distances and places visited by pupils and parents.
Engaging the Disengaged
Mr Lemon notes that the school has seen pupils who engage less in team games at school enjoying challenges from the comfort of their own home. Active Lifestyles have been promoted with many families now taking part in countryside walks and tailoring activities with their own interests through the Get Active, Stay Active JASS programme. The non-competitive and individualised approach at school using outdoor activities and problem solving has had a positive effect on those pupils who previously were reluctant to take part in team games.
Throughout this period, Mr Lemon has taken part in a number of CPD opportunities. Greenacre Sports Partnership webinars have been valuable, especially their Physical Active Learning webinar which focused on incorporating active learning into any lesson. Working closely with Tom from Primary Sports Giants has provided excellent staff CPD, for example a specialist sport teacher is working alongside Tom to enable him to deliver his own active sessions on another day of the week.
Like many other schools, the main challenges have been the continual engagement of pupils and tracking pupil’s activity. Keeping the activities varied with a positive approach has been key. The Challock Challenges have been a huge success, and to ensure a whole school approach, all staff have set a variety of challenges for pupils and families to complete, from sports to activities like den building.
The online learning platforms have been a great success during this period, enabling the school to track pupil engagement and activity levels. The school hopes to build upon this in the future to track pupils who are both active and inactive. This will allow a more targeted approach whilst using the schools sport leaders and newly installed outdoor fitness equipment to offer a variety of challenges.
Think about the weather and environment you have, plan for the year ahead knowing when and how you’re going to get activity into the curriculum