Welcome to the first instalment of our Meet the Publisher series, where we interview the creators behind the schemes. We kick off with Sammy, co-founder of PE scheme of work The PE Hub, also listed on our PE scheme page.
Scheme Support: Hi Sammy, can we start off by asking about how PE Hub started?
Sammy: Mim and I spent several years in schools teaching PE, and we had first-hand experience of the challenges teachers face in planning and delivering effective PE lessons. Mim delivered CPD in schools, and she recognised a need for teachers to have access to high-quality planning. That started discussions between us, and we set about writing some lessons. We both love teaching PE and knew that teachers needed an easy to navigate website that they trusted.
I can relate to the challenges in planning PE, and I’ve been lucky in that most of the schools I’ve worked in have a dedicated PE teacher. What advice can you give teachers who are teaching the subject themselves without any previous training or subject expertise?
Be prepared and organised. Make sure you know what you are teaching and, if possible, have your equipment ready before the start of the lesson. As part of your preparation get to know the sport or activity area in more detail so you know the main aims and objectives, language, concepts and skills that will be covered.
At the start of the lesson, get children on task as quickly as possible, go through any spoken elements such as objectives in the classroom. A good PE lesson can be differentiated using the STEP method. If we change the Space, Task, Equipment or People involved in an activity, it can increase the chances of success for those taking part. For example, modify the space by increasing or decreasing the area where a task is to be performed or changing the areas you can score within.
I love the idea of that STEP method; easy to remember. Something else I’ve found that comes up a lot when talking with colleagues is that behaviour management when teaching PE can be so different from classroom management - and that’s with the same class! Are there any tips about how to best manage behaviour and expectations so PE sessions run smoothly?
Again, organisation is key and try to keep children on activity as much as possible. Also, have clear expectations and do any preparation in the class before going to the PE area, so every moment is spent on activity. To move an activity on, you don't always need to stop the whole group; you can move smaller groups on one at a time. This can help with behaviour management, and it helps children have maximum learning time. From your planning, make sure you know what is coming next; teaching PE can be challenging, and behaviour can deteriorate quickly, so it is always best to be prepared rather than trying to think on your feet.
That's really helpful. I've taught in some inner-city schools which have very little outdoor space. If the school just has a small dining hall to use and no real outdoor space, are there ways PE lessons can be adapted?
This is always tricky and something we try to bear in mind when we are writing PE Hub lessons. Children can play successfully in small areas, so I always think it’s best to have lots of small-sided games. If more space is needed, have more teams than pitches and rotate the children in. If this is the case, keep game times short and set a task for players, not on the pitch, e.g., fitness challenges that they can do in a small space or an observation task.
Have plenty of equipment so all children can play; the equipment may need to be adapted to sponge balls, low bounce balls etc., for safety.
Thank you so much for your time Sammy. Does PE Hub have anything exciting coming up that you’d like to tell us about?
No problem! We have lots of exciting things coming up. We're expanding our video content; we have recently added videos for hockey, and are in the middle of adding videos for football. We're also working hard behind the scenes to improve our assessment features to bring it online soon, so watch this space.