The Sport Wales School Survey

6 May

sw_1A return to child-centric education:

Professor Graham Donaldson’s curriculum review is something of a game changer in how we think about the future delivery of education in Wales. While teachers have always wanted to focus on the whole child approach to learning, they have been somewhat restricted in their ability to do so due to the unintended consequences of national priorities. What we have seen, in particular since 2010, has been an almost singular focus on literacy, numeracy and testing. This has resulted in the curriculum being squeezed.

Of course we must always remember the importance of building competent and assured literacy and numeracy standards, but the truth is that other subjects and skills outside those core areas have been marginalised. What Professor Donaldson has done is establish the platform for a return to an approach that gives teachers the freedom to explore, promote and pursue activities that contribute to the personal and social wellbeing of their pupils, as well as retaining that academic focus.

The benefits of physical activity:

The above is important because this is where sport fits in. We all know the immense benefits that we see through physical activity. From a health perspective it plays a crucial role in tackling issues around obesity and helps develop coordination, strength, fitness and agility amongst other things. It also has a profound social impact on pupils. We see how leadership skills, team working, communication skills, critical analytical skills and problem solving intelligence are developed through sporting activities. These are not only vital in terms of a standalone physical education subject, but clearly crossover and enhance the capabilities of students in a range of school settings.

Of course, an important part of utilising sport as an educational driver is understanding what we are doing right, what we are doing wrong and what we can do differently in future. That is why NUT Cymru fully support Sport Wales’ School Sport Survey.

So why get involved as a school?

Over the years this survey has been one of the best platforms available for pupils to have their say about physical activity in schools. It is also a great source of data for teachers wishing to evaluate how best to plan and utilise resources in their schools and communities. The survey is already the biggest of its type in the UK, possibly the world, and this year it could be bigger and better than ever. The survey offers a revealing insight into how pupils see physical activity impacting on their lives and often even challenges existing stereotypes and misconceptions about the role of sport in schools.

From a purely practical point of view this is worth undertaking as it is recognised by Estyn. Taking part in the survey and using the data to inform school plans is an ideal way to evidence how pupil wellbeing and core skills are being monitored.

Working in partnership with the Sport Wales survey we can not only enhance the sporting opportunities available to pupils, but also continue to deliver wider improvements in educational attainment.

This blog was origionally published as a guest piece on the SportWales blog.  You can see the origional here.

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