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!!!!