Schools across the country are currently benefitting from extra funds being granted to spend on PE and sport in an attempt to make ‘additional and sustainable improvements’ in that particular sector of education.
However, the Department for Education has provided clear guidelines that must be adhered to and identified by schools to ensure they are spending their extra funds in the most beneficial ways. The five key indicators read as follows:
- The engagement of all pupils in regular physical activity.
- The profile of PE and sport is raised across the school as a tool for whole-school improvement.
- Increased knowledge, confidence and skills of all staff in teaching PE and sport.
- Broader experience of a range of sports and activities offered to all pupils.
- Increased participation in competitive sport.
Despite recent research by the Teacher Development Trust suggesting schools spend an average of just 0.7% of their income on staff training, it is the continuing professional development that schools across the country are spending some of their sports premium funding on to ensure their staff are upskilled in the delivery of PE and school sport.
Point number three on the DfE guidelines is arguably the most important as developing the knowledge, confidence and skills of teaching staff will ultimately breed success in the other four areas. And a number of schools are leaning on the expertise of Evolve Health Mentors to provide such CPD support.
Jane Hyde-Walsh, Founder and Director of the Staffroom, specialises in CPD for teachers and has come up with a five-point best practice approach to the key area. It is this process of reflection, planning, action, evaluation and reflection that aligns with the Evolve approach to school staff CPD.
On the outset of the programme, teachers are invited to spend a few minutes filling out a Google Form. This then flags up required areas of support and the Health Mentor works with the teacher to plan how this support will take place accordingly. The process is then put into practice through dual teaching before evaluation after every session and then a final Google Form to analyse the level of success at the end of the programme. This is combined with a unique Impact Report provided to the school to show Governors, teachers and parents how Evolve have supported the desired objectives set at the outset of the programme.
One school in Lincolnshire stated such support provided ‘more confident and competent staff evidenced through planning scrutiny and lesson observations’. Another outcome was the ‘enhanced quality of teaching and learning as a result of quality CPD’.
Staff CPD is also a key focus for Evolve staff themselves and not just the teachers they work with. The company have implemented a unique Level 4 training programme in association with Newman University and also have their own Masters degree. Staff are also supported by regular team meetings, training and development sessions within the school setting.
To find out more about how an Evolve Health Mentor can support your school CPD needs, contact Josh Cronin on firstname.lastname@example.org.