• A
  • A
Switch colours to view the site as you prefer!

Physical Literacy in the Secondary School

By Margaret Whitehead

I am pleased to report that there are five teachers who are actively looking at ways of engaging learners in physical education with the intention of fostering physical literacy.

Claire Bannon has conducted a very useful investigation into motivating those who are less interested in physical activity. Her school physical education department has a predominantly ‘Fitness’ focus and she was able to work within this constraint to increase participation and application. Next year she hopes to introduce additional extra-curricular opportunities to support those who are finding aspects of movement competence challenging.

Judith Piggins and her department were initially sceptical about the school edict that all subjects should have homework. However they created a reflective diary for some of their classes and this has proved a very useful tool to chart individuals’ progress in respect of physical literacy. She is considering finding ways to gather information about the range of Movement Forms in which learners are engaged.

Elizabeth Myers who has used the opportunity of partial redundancy to study two Masters courses alongside her teaching has carried out a range of investigations. In one study into Motivating disengaged pupils within core physical education lessons she found that a combination of teaching approaches incorporating scaffolding, co-construction, collaborative learning and appropriate grouping of learners was effective in improving motivation, effort and achievement. Elizabeth has also worked with the school physical education department to embed physical literacy as a goal in all their work. The Department has used national and local schemes and worked to foster physical literacy within these contexts. The next challenge is to create an instrument to chart individuals’ progress in respect of their physical literacy.

Amy Seagrave and Erin McCarthy are also involved and I will share their work after we meet later in August.

comment avatar
About me
On Friday 14 September at 12:14 Darren Leslie said
Margaret, this is very interesting. I am also keen on developing physical literacy. As a new installment to the profession i find it very hard to understand how pupils reach high school and through high school are not very 'literate' in term sof their physical ability. I have though about 'Run, Jump and Throw' athletics clubs, running clubs for fitness and also increased gymnastics to improve on basic moves. How would you or anyone else approach improving physical literacy in th ehigh school and also promote the idea of improving physical literacy to the wider community and wider school network such as feeder primaries?
comment avatar
About me
On Saturday 15 September at 09:08 Margaret Whitehead said
Darren, it was good to hear from you. Needless to say there is no easy answer, which is why we set up the Physical Literacy in the Secondary School 'research' group. There are three other teachers also in the group. I am meeting two of these in a few weeks and will report back. Pointers to answer your questions are included in sections of two books, Physical Literacy throughout the Lifecourse (2010) and Debates in Physical Education (2012) (both Routledge) I would be happy to discuss issues with you if we could set up a phone or Skype conversation. Please note the International Physical Literacy Conference from 12th-13th June 2013 in Bedfordshire. Information shortly on the physical literacy website www.physical-literacy.org.uk and the ISPAR section of the University of Bedfordshire website.

In order to add your comments, you must login or register as a member

You can login or register here