Getting creative with remote Health and Physical Education

We know that whether it be in everyday life or in our work environment, we have all had to make significant adjustments in the way we live our lives. It has been no different at Carey, where all faculties across the School have had to change the way in which classes are delivered and engaged with by the students. Online teaching and learning feels like it has been the mode of operation for some time now, with our second full term of government restrictions.

The Health and Physical Education (HPE) team have had to get creative in the way we deliver our practical subjects – Physical Education, Invent a Sport (Year 8 Elective) and Total Sport (Year 9 Elective). The normal delivery of these units has not been possible in the online learning space due to limited resources and facilities that students have access to at home. We know the importance of physical health and wellbeing during these difficult times, so we put a plan in place to ensure students could still get the most from their physical education.

During the first period of online teaching and learning, the HPE staff worked hard in developing a vast array of exercise resources in the form of recorded videos and workout templates that students could access during their scheduled PE classes and at any other time throughout the week. These assisted students in achieving the pre-determined physical activity goals they set at beginning of the lockdown, while developing the E in PE – education about the importance of being active, the recommended amount of physical activity per day and why reducing sedentary behaviour as much as possible is important. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive from students and parents during this time, however the feedback showed us that there was an aspect missing: the strong connection between students and HPE staff we would normally develop in onsite learning.

With this feedback in mind, we designed a curriculum for Term 3 based on the delivery of live exercise sessions for our classes with some autonomy given to staff regarding the theme of the sessions, for example, body weight workout, flexibility/stretching/yoga session, core workout, skill session or a cardio session. Classes were delivered through Microsoft Teams, where staff and students are able to see each other on the screen, or through Canvas for conference sessions. Students also have the capacity to deliver components of sessions, which gives them a sense of ownership and interactivity in the classes. Students have expressed that they feel a far greater connection in this new mode of delivery, and, as teachers, we can see they are certainly more engaged.

There has been a range of other great initiatives that the HPE team have built with the shift to remote teaching and learning:

  • Invent a Sport and Total Sport have developed a Recreational Games Competition Bonanza which also addresses the student and parent feedback. In this component of the unit, students explore a range games or activities they played in their younger years with their family and build a competition for their family to participate in at least once a week for the remainder of term. The students will be the competition planners, and will establish the rules, equipment, player profiles for their family members, scoring systems and the round-robin tournament structure. The aim is to bring students and their families together for a fun physical activity competition, to engage whole families in PE, and to help keep everyone active during these challenging times.
  • In these elective subjects, we have also developed weekly Skill Isolation Challenges (pictured below) where students film themselves attempting weekly challenges and upload to a program called FlipGrid, where they are able to view other students’ attempts and receive feedback from staff.
  • Our Senior School VCE classes have created a number of videos on Canvas that has enabled them the option of delivering flipped learning – students watch videos on specific topics or concepts in their own time and then in conference classes discuss and apply their learning.
  • Morning Movement is a whole-community initiative that started back at the beginning of the first remote learning period. The HPE team deliver live movement sessions that cater for a wide variety of ability levels, getting student, parent and staff bodies moving for the day ahead. Increasing one’s mobility, flexibility and body weight strength and just some of what these sessions aim to achieve. These sessions continue to run every Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings 7.45–8.10am through Canvas. Why not start the day off the right way – with Morning Movement! Look out in your inbox for the links to each session.

Feedback from staff and students has been extremely positive in response to our new Health and Physical Education delivery, with credit going to the amazing HPE team, who continue to work tirelessly presenting their unique and engaging sessions every week.

To all the Carey community – stay safe and keep active!

Jack Joslin
Acting Leader of Learning – Health and Physical Education

Feature image: Screenshots from a few Morning Movement sessions from before the Stage 4 lockdown.

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