How to create a School Sports Organising Crew

Stacey Howard

Stacey Howard is a specialist teacher (supporting SEND children in mainstream PE) at Holy Family School, Carlton, Yorkshire, and is the winner of Sky Sports Living for Sport Teacher of the Year Award.

Follow @SkySportsLFS

Website: www.livingforsport.skysports.com Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In April 2013, the Government announced new funding of £150 million for Physical Education and sport. This funding should be used to improve the quality and breadth of PE and sport provision. The typical Primary school receives on average £9,250 a year and, schools have been very creative in which they have effectively used the funding. Initially Ofsted offered schools some examples on good use of the money, including:

  • Providing training and payment for midday supervisors to introduce playground games at breaks and lunchtimes.
  • Establishing a house system to enable regular, inter-house sports competitions for pupils of all ages.
  • Introducing new initiatives such as basic movement skills in the Early Years Foundation Stage, or developing young sports leaders in Key Stage 2.

In my role as Selby District school games organiser, I could see that many Primary Link teachers were feeling the pressure of more workload on top of their roles as teachers, subject leaders and the many other hats they have to wear! So I was tasked with training the pupils with helping the PLTs to help the whole school be more active.

Along came a Schools Games Mark initiative called School Sports Organising Crews (SSOC), where pupils can be fundamental in leading school sport and intra-competitions for their schools trying to incorporate everyone. I offer to go into schools to train a group of enthusiastic pupils who will then help the PLT plan and organise everything from playground challenges, to intra-competitions, to sending teams to inter-competitions.

How to train your pupils?

I split the training into five areas, for each area there is a task it’s hoped that once they have completed a task the pupils will understand if that is a role that they would like to take on as part of the crew.

1. Marketing & Promoting

I first demonstrate an advert but deliberately make it sound really boring, with very little animation. I then ask the pupils if they would buy what I was advertising, which is usually no. I then repeat the advert with lots of exciting gestures, making it as fun as possible. This time when I ask if they would buy the product, the answer is usually yes.

I then ask the pupils to work in groups to design an advert for a new sports club. They can decide the sport, the time, the dates, and are then tasked with designing a poster to go with it. The pupils then perform this to the rest of the group.

After they have performed, we talk about how much the pupils enjoyed the activity. We then discuss who would feel confident enough to do an ‘advert’ in assembly to promote school sport for new clubs, new challenges, new teams and any competitions. From this, you can choose a few pupils who then become the official marketing and promoting team.

2. Fact Finding

Discuss the different types of surveys and decide which type is the quickest and easiest. I usually guide them gently towards conducting a survey in person using a tally chart and a show of hands. Once this has been decided for task two, the pupils in their groups put together a survey to ask year groups what sports competitions would they like in school. Once designed, we discuss what we can do with the information collected and, just like before, we find out who would like to do that task in the future.

3. Notice Boards

Schools can apply to achieve a Schools Games Mark, which means the school has achieved a minimum set of criteria which shows effective use of the PE funding. One of the tasks in order to achieve the Games Mark is to have a School Games notice board. For this task I ask the pupils to design a notice board. They can include a picture of themselves with a description of the SSOC, local club links, school clubs, competition results, school teams and the spirit of the games – Teamwork, Self Belief, Honesty, Respect, Passion and Determination. Hopefully, by the end of this task, the pupils will know if this is something they would like to help with.

4. Blogging

Schools have to provide evidence of how they are spending the PE premium money on their school website. What better way to do this than having pupils write about their school sport experiences? This task is as an individual and I ask them to write about a sporting event that makes them happy. This can be something that they have achieved or something they have seen. They then all share their experiences with each other.

Even those pupils who are less active can normally write about something they have watched; being based in Yorkshire, many of the pupils witnessed the Tour de Yorkshire last year and this often gets mentioned in the blogs. And yes, you’ve guessed it: at the end of this task I yet again ask the pupils who enjoyed that and who would like to now become the school blogger to write match reports. In some schools we have even recorded a school sport news report where they interview participants. It’s surprising how this seems to come quite natural to some pupils and they love pretending to be new reporter.

5. Organising a competition

This is probably the most important task, as it’s where the pupils can be deployed to help with the event itself. What do the pupils need to be able to organise a competition?

  • Date and time.
  • Which sport (use the fact finding skills to find out)?
  • Where will it take place?
  • Do they have enough equipment?
  • How many teams?
  • Advertise it on the School Games Board.
  • Who will umpire?
  • Make an order of play.
  • Make a results sheet.
  • Is the reporter available to take photos and write a report?

I always encourage the SSOC to start small, perhaps with playground challenges such as keepy-uppy with a winner announced at the end of each week. Not only is this something the pupils can do independently, but they should find this easy to advertise in assembly (and easy to keep score, as well). From here, the knock on effect is that there are more activities taking place during lunch times and breaks. This in turn should see an increase in participation, especially targeting children that are disengaged with school sport. The key when giving the pupils training is to keep it fun; the more enjoyment they get out of it, the more likely they are to help PLTs with their roles.

The whole point of a SSOC is to reduce the amount of work the PLT does regarding Level 1 Intra-Sports, engage non sporty-students and to increase participation. Playtimes can often benefit from distractions for the pupils, and what better way of doing that than handing some of the responsibility over to the pupils? We even ran a challenge with England cricketer Katherine Brunt:

YouTube link

www.yourschoolgames.com does have some resources such as power points and worksheets to help you set up an active and positive SSOC. Good luck, and enjoy.

How do you get your pupils passionate about PE? Let us know below.

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