Game Changers: Revision with a difference

We’re all at that point in the year when revision, revision, revision takes hold and most year 11 classes are looking through exam question after exam question. One thing we must remember is that most students choose PE because they LOVE PE so why do we sit them in the classroom? Will they remember it like the lesson they scored 3 goals/ got 2 wickets/ beat their PB?

We looked at how we could make exam practice more practical and adapted some old favourites:

1. Multiple choice ball
Basically this is a game of dodgeball 4 v 4. Each player wears a bib with an answer written on it (same for both teams). The game starts with a multiple choice question being read out. The whistle goes and students play regular dodgeball. The team who hits the player with the correct answer on their bib wins. The players then swap with the next 4 players now with different answers on.

All this game requires is the preparation of the answers. Once the students are briefed on changing the bibs / answers in between games it all runs smoothly. As an extension task while the next set of players are waiting to come on they can be brainstorming what could their multiple choice question possible be??

The game can also be extended to include more players at a time by using an 8 mark question. Some answers on the bibs would be correct / some incorrect. Teams must hit the players with the correct answers during a timed game. At the end of the time the win goes to the team with the most correct answers. A time-out element can also be added to the lesson to formally practice writing down the answer.

2. Connect 4 / Connect All
Asda sell connect 4 for £6. We have adapted a number of game sets, each relevant to a pe topic (e.g. Training methods). Each piece has key words / phrases stuck to it. The game plays out similar to how solo hexagons are used. To be able to place a piece in the frame you must place it next to another word and verbalise the connection of each. For example ‘interval training’ / ‘rest’. Because each set is specific to one exam area there are lots of connections to be made. Winner is the player to use all of their pieces.

So set your classroom up as a ‘connect all’ tournament with students visiting each topic area on a rotation.

3. Jenga

Another bargain game- £4 on ebay. On each block write questions. Students play the game in tables of 4. As they pull out a block they have to answer one of the questions on it. If they get the answer correct they are allowed to place the block back onto the tower. If they answer the question incorrect the block is removed from the game. The winning team is the team who has the tallest block at the end of the allocated game time. With 4 large sides on each piece, 4 questions can be added to each block so questions aren’t always repeated. Use the ends of each piece to identify the difficulty of the questions by colour coding.

So what games can you adapt to create a game changer?

Candy crush saga brings independent learning and increased participation in KS4 Aerobics

So….after a constant fight against the drop in girls participation it was time to hit it head on and challenge them with what matters most.

There is only one thing that matters for year 11 girls….PROM!!!!!!!

We have renamed our Yr11 girls core fitness lessons Prom Prep (for those who have chosen this pathway). It all started off great, everyone had their kit and students were engaged with aerobics lessons…long may it continue.

It was during one lesson that I realised that this was not extending to the girls’ everyday lives when one girl said I’m never going to hit my target doing this once a week. Yes I can tell them that the nearest aerobics class uses our school 3 nights a week, but money, time and image is precious to them…and to exercise in public..god forbid!

Instead I had to bring the sessions to them: This is where the PROM CRUSH SAGA began!!!!

Each student has been set specific lesson targets, whether this be related to working heart rate, completing the whole core section of the workout or even producing a bead of sweat!!!!! (we’re all different)

If a student reached their personal target they were given the first stage of the prom crush saga (the dress). The reward slip contained a QR code with a home workout on it. This allowed students to access physical activity at home.


The creative QR codes are created using

As a class we then used this workout the next week, with renewed / reviewed personal targets. Having done the workout also helped students to set SMART targets….and then…. If you’ve got the dress you then need the shoes and so on.

Giving the students the workout a week in advance actually contributed to the girls actively accessing the video, and in most cases up to 3 times in that week. Students used the video to ensure they knew any new moves and to enable them to set more challenging targets because their bodies were beginning to respond to regular exercise rather than being inactive between lessons.

The Prom Prep class is still going well, and engagement and participation is high… We will be getting our spray tans and hair done soon….hahaha

QR Coach

I have previously spoken about how coach my video has helped transform the way we analyse performance in PE. Analysis makes up a fundamental part of GCSE coursework, and my year 11s are now beginning their practical analysis module in preparation for their coursework module.

With all analysis tasks, as a class we have investigated why we analyse, what use it gives us, and how it can impact on improved performance. In the past students have all been keen to be the performer, but not always wanted to sit and be the observer….not when there is an iPad in the room. – “I’ll do the videoing miss, when is it my turn miss”

Step 1
The students were set a task of videoing short periods of activity and identifying positives and negatives in technique for the overhead clear in badminton. Examples of which are below.



Step 2
The analysis pictures were printed out and students were asked to annotate the pictures, making reference to the perfect model.
How do they know what the perfect model should look like?
* prior learning
* peer coaches
* Internet links – this is whe the QR codes come in. Using the website I generated QR codes linking to photos of the perfect model, ‘how to videos’ etc etc.

For example:


The same process was then followed for each technique of badminton, with an aim to compile a portfolio and identify key strengths and weaknesses for each individual.

Coach my video also encourages maths, as it enables you to talk about angles and distances etc. Our school has implemented a cross curricular maths symbol that is displayed during activities involving maths. We have used this symbol to focus student ideas. When the symbol is on display we are concerned with identifying and explaining aspects of the technique specific to maths. When it is not on display we are looking at generic evidence.

QR codes are definitely the way to go, and this Xmas, Santa definitely appears to have equipped more and more students with the smart tools they need to utilise the QR codes. Definitely more to come!!!

Carousel Feedback in Peer Assessment

As part of our whole school plan to improve T&L we run Effective Learning Teams (ELTs), run by staff – for staff. This half term we have been focusing on the purpose, benefits and techniques of feedback. Each individual completed a learning trials testing out each of the techniques identified as good practice.






My favourite- carousel feedback

After lots of prep work and taught lessons, my Y10 group were given an task to complete a presentation or leaflet about lifestyle factors that can affect your performance. This prior learning and ‘completed’ work was brought to the lesson.

The tables were set out in long lines of 4 and students were asked to place their work down and sit in one of the other lines at somebody else’s work. Also on the desk was a feedback critique sheet.


The students then followed a staged critiquing process, building depth at each stage.
The first section of the sheet started simply by asking was the success criterias of how the document was set out and the minimum requirement of 4 lifestyle factors met.

Once this had been completed the students moved along to the next piece of work and completed the next part of the critique.

The final part of the critique focused on the quality of what was written within the work and judged against the solo criteria for that specific learning verb. Each lifestyle factor was given its own grading depending on the level of description. I fund at this point that students also pointed out things that other students had missed during their critiquing time on that specific piece of work.



At this point the students had seen 4 pieces of work other than their own. This in itself created ideas for how to develop their own piece as well allowing them to understand how their own work had been critiqued by their peers.

At this point in the lesson. Students returned to their own piece of work. They were given 5 minutes reflection time to digest the feedback given and to write their own plan for improvement.

The student then used this feedback to immediately go back to their work and make the suggested improvements, following their own plan of action.


Using carousel feedback, either in teams or as individuals is a great way for students to see the work of others, compare themselves and their work (who wouldn’t!?), generate new ideas, find out how to improve…and all this before the teacher marks it!!!

Most importantly the students were engaged and enjoyed the process – finding it less intrusive or embarrassing (as some had described gallery and in depth critique). They liked the way it got progressively harder, and suggested they would have found it difficult without the feedback writing frame and examples on it.

Give it a go!!!!

Dance to Success

Dance lends itself to in depth analysis, create / review / re-do. By the is more to just watching the dances of others. Self assessment can be very powerful in influencing progress in dance choreography and performance skills.

Year 8 students have been completing a programme of work based around the film Grease. The group within this post were a low ability group, some with poor movement and coordination.

The connect activity involved brainstorming words that linked to the video of the track grease lightening.

We then looked at learning a chorus routine. The movement base was teacher led and students were asked to replicate movements. After a number of practice runs the group were videoed as a class.

This video then formed the basis for personal and group feedback. As a class we analysed the video spotting ares of strength and weakness using coach my video.


Students then used photo babble to give personal feedback to peers. Each student had to give verbal feedback on the app to their partner to go away and improve upon from the aspects discussed as a group. Students were then given the opportunity to improve their work.

Time for SOLO
Using solo criteria students were asked to grade themselves using solo criteria.


Students who graded themselves as relational or above we’re allocated the role of support mentor to those who had graded themselves pre / uni or multistructural.

Prestructural and Unistructural students were given a video to follow showing the perfect model of the linked movements and given time to practice


When they felt confident in the movements they moved onto station 2 – multistructural where they had a support mentor to help them apply the movements to the correct timing and refine any small aesthetic points ( e.g. Tension of limbs / performance features).

At the end of the independent study time we videoed the class again and went through the whole analysis process again.



After watching the video and listening to the second analysis feedback students were then asked to record which solo level they were now working at.

From this point it’s creative freestyle and the process starts again # lovefeedback #loveprogress

The cross curricular edge of gcse circuit training

There is growing pressure on departments to contribute to whole school improvement by including reading, writing, communication and mathematical skills into all lessons… and PE is the perfect place to start.

Today’s blog looks at the use of cross curricular skills during an outstanding lesson while maintaining a high level of activity.

The objectives of the lesson were to accurately replicate specific exercises to a high standard; perform to maximal capacities towards set goals and be able to evaluate the movements of others, specific to their strengths and weaknesses.

Connect – The lesson started by the students being set into 3 differentiated teams (teams set from their physical performances during the previous lesson). The starter activity began with students moving exercises from their unknown to their understand columns.

Activate – Teams took part in a warm-up relay, re they were required to pick up their tools for learning (pictures of exercises, names of exercises, whiteboard pens and plain whiteboards. The task was a competition based activity. Each team had to collect the tools, match the pictures and exercise names and then on the plain white boards add the points for performance or points of safety for that particular exercise. Examples of the group work are below.




Demonstrate- students were shown the perfect performance of a range of exercises from the lessons circuit. Using the notability they were asked to take a picture and compare it to a pre- saved picture of the perfect performance. Students were then asked to evaluate the technique using both the written and verbal features on the notability app.

From here it was time to work to maximal capacity following a circuit of 8 exercises. We did not follow the traditional move from exercise to exercise. The whole class did the same activity for the same amount of time, with each individual counting their own personal reps. After each exercise the number of reps was recorded.

It is at this point we must remember that technique was one of our key objectives… Students were appointed to be spotters, specifically looking for good and poor technique. If throughout the 30 seconds a student displayed poor technique, a spotter would tap them on the shoulder – remove them from that set of exercise and offer them advice on how to perform the technique correctly.
This worked a treat!!! In previous weeks students had reverted to poor technique in an aim to improve number of sets, however this monitoring process maintained quality of technique.

In between circuits students were able to attend a coaching class from another student who had been identified as having good technique in any given activity…and then it was time for the second set of exercises.

We’re does the maths come in? After each exercise we were recording the number of reps. As part of the consolidate activity students worked both individually and as a team to analyse performance, look at performance patterns etc. One student from each of the differentiated groups were also wearing a Heart Rate monitor, and graphical data was produced as a group – which once again was compared to other groups and allowed for themes and explanations to be generated, linking to gcse theory.

Numbers, words and sweat!!!!

Apps the way forward: My Top Apps of the Month

Since getting our department iPad we have been testing out a range of apps. I have already posted about the use of Comic Life, Socrative and Coaches Eye, but here is a quick fire list of our favourite apps this term.

1. Easy Portfolio

This app is the first in a line of useful apps from thepegeek apps.
Easy portfolio allows you to make groups and set up a virtual portfolio of evidence for each individual student. You an add video, image, audio, notes, URL and documents.
Ideal for both practical and theory elements of PE. We now have videos of each student performing in each activity, together with teacher documentation of the assessments and pictures of any work completed, all in one place!

2. Easy Assessment

The next step for the PEgeek team. Easy assessment allows you to set up rubrics and criteria that allow you to track and record assessments. This has been set up to record our GCSE final practical marks as well as monitor exam practice question performance and record KS3 knowledge PBL home work.
Easy to use; students can add in their own scores and once again all the mediums of video, audio etc can be added just as in easy portfolio.

3. Pick Me is a great app for questioning whether in the classroom, sports hall or on the field.

You can upload your class lists manually or by importing from Dropbox to save time. The app selects a student to answer your question. You can the record whether that student got the question correct or not using the green ‘thumb up’ and red ‘thumb down’. The programme allows you to choose whether that student remains in the hat for further questions or is taken out as they have already answered. This allows you to ensure you have not always got the same students answering questions.
A the end of the session it gives a count up of their question success.
We have found this great for revision purposes and allowed students to visually track their successes in a lesson and across a number of lessons.

For the PE teachers among us the infamous cross country season is upon us where we run on mass around the fields looking to assess cardiovascular endurance, race tactics, personal target setting and resilience amongst other things. App number 4 allows us to quickly time and record every students time in a cross country / swimming/ athletics race.

Webscorer is our new god!
It times the race, allows you to pre populate the names of race runners or add them afterwards. Each time a runner comes in you press the stopcock which gives you their split. The results can also go live on webscorers web page so students can go and check out their performances at a later date. and a tweet to the link never hurts!

5. A great complimentary app to this is PBGo which allows you to log PB times for any swimming or athletic events (including jumps and throws). It allows each student to create a PB card that records event, time, venue and date to track progress in cracking their PBs. It even allows them to add a mugshot of themselves!



This virtual PB card is being used with GCSE students to track their cross country running. It can give you top 5 times over the chosen distance. This evidence can then be updated to Easy Portfolio as their personal evidence!! Can’t wait to roll it out with more groups.

‘hAPPy APPin’ from EV Sport

Socrative sets the standard for Solo Stations

For those of you looking for an engaging app… Socrative is your answer. It can be accessed on iPads or via the Internet on computers, and allows students to take part in interactive questioning; with instant feedback for both them and you. This is the icon you are looking for


On this occasion I used socrative as a starter and evaluation tool to assess which solo station students should start at within the lesson. As part of my planning I had pre set a multiple choice quiz, reflective of a unistructural level, asking about indifferent methods of training. Students logged into my ‘room’ and began to answer the questions at teacher led pace – each time I received feedback that all students had answered.

Here is a preview of the Socrative home screen that displays all the possible set-ups you can run.


At the end of the starter I had a clear picture of what methods of training students had understood in from the practical lessons proceeding this lesson.


This is where our solo station journey began…
All students who had got all the questions correct started the lesson at station 2. .

Those students who had not answered all the questions correctly started the journey at station 1. This was set up as a teach station where students could revisit the specific area of training methods where their mistake had been.
On this table there were a range of sources available to suit a range of student learning styles.
* textbooks for those who wished to read information on specific training methods.
* sheets with pictures and QR codes linked to videos that could be viewed using the ipad.
* teacher input / teaching.

When they felt comfortable that their understanding in this area had improved they went back to the starter activity – this time answering the question at their own pace (a setting within the app). Only one student had to revisit station 1 twice before moving on to station 2.

At station 2 Activities and questions were pitched at a multistructural level and contained practice exam questions using the verb describe.

At station 2 their was a self assessment sheet linked to the exam questions that consolidated the learning at this station.

Station 3 allowed students to progress to relational thinking, where the ideas and knowledge generated at both the uni and multistructural stations had to be related to a specific sport.


This writing frame allowed thinking to develop, while acting as a stepping stone for an extended writing piece linked to a BTEC Sport assignment meeting assessment objective P2 in Module 1

‘Describe 3 different fitness training methods used to achieve excellence in a selected sport’

The plenary for the lesson once again used socrative as an exit ticket was set up and all students must complete this task before leaving the room.

The solo stations allowed students to build and expand their knowledge at their own pace, feeling success and progression as they moved through the stations and the different activities. I feel the set up of these stations encouraged students to be independent, and in someways resilient (especially those who started at station 1) and also resulted in more work being completed.

Get the fat controller out and get Thomas the tank and friends flying from station to station!! Whoo whoo!!!