Sport & physical education is at the heart of life at Black Firs. We include in this: Dance, Gymnastics Outdoor Pursuits & Adventurous activity. We use the word ‘sport’ but it implies all these areas. At Black Firs we have an ‘everyone opts in’ culture. We always strive to-be-the-best-we-can-be, we never take a step backward, we are comfortable with competition and we have a clearly owned and articulated philosophy for why, as a collegiate community, we invest in sports.
We are very lucky to have very well qualified Staff in School – ECB cricket coaches, ASA swimming coaches, FA coaches, RU coaches, BCU kayaking instructors and UKCC netball coaches; we don’t have to buy these skills in. We take the children swimming for 3 terms and for two years to ensure they are very competent. We also use some of our funding to develop kayaking in School; all our yr5 & yr6 children complete BCU certification. Some of our grant funding is used to off-set the cost of the adventurous activities we do at Conway with all junior children. Participation for Conway from yr3 to yr6 is 97%.
Sport at Black Firs is important for two key reasons; firstly, it’s great fun & we all enjoy it - children & adults; it develops positive healthy lifestyles and gives us a context to discuss what this means; it allows us to develop closer links with our local community clubs and ‘catches’ children in good-habits-for-life when they are at their most impressionable. If we get children involved now particularly within the ‘the 5-hour offer’ we know they will stay involved with sport for life. We are the base of the performance pyramid; we inspire the children to make their dreams a reality!
Secondly, we use Sport at Black Firs to develop children’s multiple intelligences particularly their emotional intelligences – their interpersonal intelligence, how we interact with others & intrapersonal intelligence, having a deep understanding of the self. Similarly, it develops personality - the “Big Five” factors of personality; in contemporary psychology there are five broad dimensions of personality that are used to describe human personality.
Sport at Black Firs
PE and Sport continue to be strengths of the school. We use a variety of sports as a mechanism to deliver national curriculum physical education knowledge & skills both in terms of teaching and learning in lessons and in inter-school competitions. As a result, the school is seen as a leader amongst the local community, with members of staff taking on the responsibility of organising many of the competitions. We are an active member of the local Congleton Schools Sports and Sandbach Sports Partnership.
We have competed in all available competitions this year, both at town, partnership and inter-partnership, regional & national level. The children have achieved great things.
Achievement in swimming continues to be very good with the large majority of children able to swim at least 25m by the end of Year 6. Safe self-rescue in different water-based situations including inland kayaking & sea-based dingy sailing is also prioritised. We have some outstanding swimmers, many of whom are also club swimmers.
High quality teaching and learning results in “strength in depth” when competing in competitions. Staff continue to provide an ever-widening selection of after school clubs which are well attended by the students. Several ex-pupils are also delivering activities such as netball and multi-skills, under the guidance of the teachers. This is particularly pleasing as they are acting as good role models to the children, as well as developing their own coaching skills. The school is very well resourced in order to ensure high quality P.E. can be delivered throughout.
Participation in out of school clubs
We have an excellent staff who are well qualified and deliver a range of sporting opportunities. There are 13 after school clubs running 3.30pm – 4.30pm in any term; 75% are sport based. Participation during the taught curriculum is 100%; participation at after school clubs is 70% of juniors; not an issue but we always want to encourage more!
We do have real issues December through January, when it becomes too dark to run clubs after school. We are experimenting with a portable floodlight; these could be a real advantage.
The all-weather playing surface has massively improved both accessibility and the quality of the sport played. As well as football and rugby, hockey has now been introduced. The surface enables us to coach and play more cricket and tennis during the summer. Playtimes & lunchtimes are also much improved with access to the playing field all year round.
Sport Philosophy at Black Firs
Sport is a formalised form of structured-play and we believe that learning through play is a key lifelong learning activity. Play is how we rehearse real-life scenarios; sport is about how we learn to control our emotional intelligences.
It is now well accepted that humans have multiple intelligences; Howard Gardner identified nine: - musical–rhythmic, visual–spatial, verbal–linguistic, logical–mathematical, bodily–kinaesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic, existential-moral. Physical education & sport develop most of these but bodily-kinaesthetic - the control of one's bodily motions and the capacity to handle objects skilfully is the most obvious.
Emotional Intelligence, as defined by Daniel Goleman, highlights intrapersonal & interpersonal intelligences. Intrapersonal intelligence is learning and knowing about what your own strengths & weaknesses are, accepting them and learning how we can improve them; it’s about learning what makes us unique but also valuing the strengths of other individuals and realising that it’s as a team, with different unique individual skills, we succeed.
Intrapersonal intelligence is also about being able to predict your own reactions & emotions and learning to control them. Managing defeat and success, as Kipling tells us “if you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same”. Sportsmanship - knowing how to lose with good grace but also knowing how to win. Knowing that winning is not about beating other people, but about being the best you can be; about personal best. This area has to do with introspective and self-reflective capacities.
Good Interpersonal intelligence is characterised by sensitivity to others' moods, feelings, temperaments and motivations, and their ability to cooperate in order to work as part of a group. According to Gardner “Interpersonal intelligence is often misunderstood with being extroverted or liking other people..." Those with this intelligence communicate effectively and empathise easily with others, and may be either leaders or followers. They typically learn best by working with others and often enjoy discussion and debate. Gardner believes that careers that suit those with this intelligence include sales persons, politicians, managers, teachers, counsellors and social workers.
The “Big Five” factors of personality
In contemporary psychology there are five broad dimensions of personality that are used to describe human personality. These traits are broad domains used to categorise personality. The Big Five factors are conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, openness, and extraversion; the acronym CANOE is used to focus on application of personality. Beneath each factor, a cluster of correlated specific traits is found; for example, extraversion includes such related qualities as gregariousness, assertiveness, excitement seeking, warmth, activity, and positive emotions.
Our Physical Education Mindmap
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Physical Education Earwig Timeline
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