The PE and Sport team have developed a ‘GREAT’ delivery model to support the new RGC 3 - 18 Pathway. Keeping passion and trust at the forefront, Mr Harper and Mrs Hardie break down the new model to explore how it will strengthen the connection between pupils and physical activity.
Where did the idea of GREAT come from?
Mrs Hardie: In order to deliver our pathway effectively we thought it important to brainstorm what we wanted to achieve and how we could deliver the best lessons possible for our pupils. We wanted something simple that made it easy to self reflect after every lesson and also a model that was a good planning aid for lessons - a toolkit!
Mr Harper: Finding a way to engage pupils and staff in the learning process is key to the success of the pathway we’ve developed. We have confidence that the use of GREAT within everything we deliver will help pupils understand what goes into their sessions and give staff the chance to focus on different things that will contribute to the success of our pathway.
How did GREAT evolve?
Mrs Hardie: We spent a lot of time as a department discussing, What makes a GREAT lesson? What shapes a lesson that makes pupils want to spend more time in our subject and come back for more? How do we build trust with our pupils so working hard becomes the norm? This process was hugely rewarding and provoked a lot of debate amongst teachers and coaches. We tapped into the pupils' thoughts and ensured all of our pupils were at the forefront of our planning from 3 - 18. By developing a delivery model that we all believed in, we would effectively be on that journey to deliver our pathway to the best of our ability.
Mr Harper: We started to focus on the end goal of PE and Sport, what would lifelong involvement look like in our pupils and how could we equip them with the skills and tools they need to achieve that within a PE lesson or Sport session at RGC. When planning this we didn’t want the pupils to focus solely on the outcome, it’s easy to get attracted to winning and losing for example. We want everyone to have faith in the process of learning and teaching, if we can get this aspect of every session right, then pupils will come back for more, want to get better and it will encourage staff to deliver the best lessons possible.
What are the benefits of GREAT?
Mr Harper: Developing our delivery in PE and Sport to make sure we can keep our lessons engaging was a big focus for us. We’ve always wanted to keep the process of improving at the forefront of how we teach and then how we evaluate our lessons as staff. GREAT helped us break this down into areas of a lesson we felt should be a key focus when pupils are at any age and stage of learning, this could look different at various stages throughout the school, but the principles are the same in everything we do across PE and Sport. It also gives staff much clearer guidance on what we look for in a session, they can talk and compare experiences from anything in our GREAT model and share good practice.
Mrs Hardie: Improvement and high quality lessons! As a department this is a brilliant tool not only for planning but for lesson evaluations, learning walks, informal and formal observations of teaching. We have a model of reference that the whole dept has been part of developing and we all value its importance and relevance. GREAT is what our team believes is important in order to deliver excellent lessons. Not all of this graphic can or should be achieved in every lesson, but the word GREAT and the extension of words on the graphic should help teachers and coaches build exciting, engaging lessons where learning takes centre stage. This is a commitment to self improvement and reflection as a department where we are prepared to challenge each other to deliver for our pupils. That, for me, is very exciting and makes me feel extremely proud of our team.
What was the thought process behind PE and Sport uniting in a delivery model?
Mrs Hardie: We wanted to unite further PE and Sport in our delivery and have a delivery model that overarches and supports what we already do through Curriculum for Excellence in PE and Governing bodies in Sport. We strongly believe if we can deliver GREAT in PE to build on Fundamentals and Physical Literacy, we will effectively support and elevate Sport. We are the building blocks. We also believe as a department that shared values and ethos across PE and Sport leads to mutual understanding of what we are all trying to do, which in essence is the same thing - motivate pupils to focus on their physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing as well as be involved in physical activity for life - “Be all they can be”.
Mr Harper: The link between PE and Sport means that we can give all RGC pupils the best possible experience. There are at times certain differences, but as we move through the pathway we want the message to be the same, and the same is applicable to GREAT. We want the message to be the same whether you’re following a PE or Sport route. In the early stages PE takes the focus as it’s such a key time to give pupils a broad experience. As pupils get older they gravitate towards things they like or show talent in which we can guide them, but still follow the same fundamentals that got them to that point. It’s all about learning from each other and taking the best bits of both experiences, for the benefit of everyone at RGC.