In this weird year, questions we never imagined asking such as “What is an R rate?”, “Do you promise you’ve really used hair clippers before?” and “Can people see I’m still wearing PJ bottoms with my shirt when I’m on a Zoom Call?” echoed the world over.
There is also another burning question continuing to do the rounds more locally …
What are the guidelines around spending last years carry over and this years PE & School Sports Premium Funding?
And the simple answer is … You have until the end of this academic year, July 2021.
On the 16th March, DfE announced the carry over from 2019-2020 now can be used until July 2021, rather than the end of March 2021.
The updating of this deadline may feel like something you can move down your ‘to do’ list but don’t get caught out. In order to achieve sustainable change, you will still need to plan strategically to meet your school’s needs. It is still not the time to go ‘rogue’ and spend on something you think pupils might like or something you feel staff may want.
Happily, even when spending strategically your pupils may very well still like it and your staff may very well still want it!
It is about establishing where the gaps are in your Physical Education (PE), School Sport (SS) and Physical Activity (PA) plans; about supporting the fulfilment of your school’s vision for PE; about meeting your staff CPD needs; about providing opportunities for ALL pupils to be physically active each day; about using the power of PE and physical activity to support whole school improvement, and about delivering high quality out of school offers and access to competitive opportunities.
I always find a cup of tea (Yorkshire obviously), builders strength (what else?), yoga style deep breaths (yes, really) and consideration really can help us to make good decisions. Consider sustainability. Consider investment in staff. Consider impact on ALL pupils. Consider the 5 key indicators. Basically, grab a cup of tea, take a deep breath and consider where to allocate your remaining funding (2019-2020) and with only a few weeks left until the end of March, work out your strategic quick wins.
Let’s focus on increasing the daily physical activity levels of pupils.
There is an expectation (Childhood Obesity Plan 2019) for schools to provide at least 30 mins of physical activity for ALL pupils each day. [The other 30 mins to fulfil the Chief Medical Officers (2019) 60 daily minutes of physical activity recommendation, falls to families outside of the school day.] The key thing to note here is, that it is for ALL pupils.
Are ALL your pupils accessing 30 minutes of physical activity each day at school? Many pupils at your school may not be active at break or lunchtime. They may choose to sit and read or stand in groups chatting or maybe simply observe others. This may be due to low social skills, small friendship groups, lack of confidence or under developed fundamental movement skills. Establish why they are not active and plan to meet their needs.
Consider supporting these reluctant movers with playground equipment that encourages fun and engagement such as the Physical Development Equipment and Activity Cards . Introduce a Craze of the week/month and invite this target group of pupils along to join in.
Accessing 30 minutes of activity during the school day can be hard for these pupils and schools to achieve when break and lunchtimes are about choice and free play. Even if you do provide many fantastic resources or opportunities.
But there are some simple ways to increase activity for ALL through the rest of the school day.
Does physical activity feature in lesson time?
Active learning can be introduced into lessons, reducing the time spent seated and providing opportunities for pupils to move around the learning space. They can investigate answers, walk and talk when discussing in pairs, hunt for clues around the classroom or introduce active storytelling, acting out key verbs or movements for characters as they hear them read out. Be creative.
You could take your Maths or English lessons outdoors to ensure movement and learning go hand in hand. For KS2 Maths, take a look at the Maths Outdoor Grab and Go pack or for English check out Get On your Feet- Outdoor Literacy Activities.
Spending the PESS premium on active learning is an eligible funding spend and will provide a long term sustainable way of integrating activity into lesson time.
Do you have a variety of simple brain break activities at hand?
When pupil concentration is flagging, having a few brain breaks up your sleeve to re-energise can be effective. Some schools have used PESS premium funding to create small ‘active learning’ boxes for each classroom, filling each with small equipment for each pupil such as chiffon scarfs, bean bags and pompom balls (you can include whatever you want).
This box can then be used in a variety of ways to introduce more activity into the day, such as creating an active register.
Pupils stand and march on the spot behind desks holding a pompom ball. When their name is read out, they could pass it round their body 20 times, throw it up and catch it 20 times or stand on one leg and balance it on their knee before marching again until the register is completed. This keeps them focussed, supports fundamental movement skills development and raises heart rates.
Alternatively, pupils can hold a scarf between a finger and thumb and write their name in huge letters in the air while the register is being taken. When they hear their name they throw the scarf up and catch it five times, then continue to write their name until the end of the register. This may only take 3-5 mins, but it all adds up. Helping fine and gross motors skill development and core stability at the same time as being active.
What is your vision?
PE, school sport and physical activity continue to enjoy one of the largest single subject investments ever and we must continue to use it effectively. We need to build on the solid foundation already created to bring about sustainable change through school policy, ethos and values so that every child develops a love of moving, enjoys trying new activities or sports and understands how to live healthy lives.
Plan strategically. Spend wisely – make a difference and create a legacy.
Thank you to Philippa Youlden for writing this blog for us.
Philippa Youlden is a freelance PE, sport, wellbeing and education consultant. She is passionate about the power of movement, activity and high quality PE and school sport opportunities for all children. Philippa works nationally delivering CPD, developing educational campaigns and writing resources for a range of organisations and school networks with the aim to support children to enjoy, thrive and fulfil their potential through PE, sport and physical activity.