Introduction To The Ncpe 2008 Education Essay

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The common format for each of the programmes of study will make it easier for schools to make connections between the subjects and look for ways to make the curriculum more coherent for pupils. As part of this coherence, some underlying ideas that are relevant to many subjects have been built in. For example, all pupils need to develop critical understanding of communications, of the environment and of themselves, and to reinforce this there are currently references to critical understanding in almost all subjects.

Other key ideas include providing opportunities to enhance the curriculum. This includes developing pupils' creativity and adaptability and enabling them to see how their studies relate to the world beyond the classroom.  To achieve this, it is advised that pupils should learn outside the classroom - in museums, art galleries, sports centres, theatres, and through fieldwork in different localities - and to work with artists, scientists, sports people, mathematicians, musicians and writers, as well as a range of people in workplaces. Where relevant, there are also references to our diverse cultures and how they can be recognised and valued.

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Alongside the subject programmes of study there is a clear shift towards varying the approaches to whole-curriculum design, through looking at overall aims, skills and the outcomes of Every Child Matters. There will be ideas for embedding such dimensions as diversity, sustainability and global perspectives across the curriculum.

Competence in physical activity and the sense of enjoyment brought about by being active and successful engenders a sense of confidence and self-esteem in pupils and enables them to become increasingly independent. This confidence encourages them to get involved in physical activity for its own sake and as part of a healthy lifestyle choice. Experiencing a range of activities, roles and contexts helps pupils gain the confidence to try new things, make the most of opportunities, recognise their talents and develop ambitions. Taking on responsible roles and being responsible for their own and others' safety also gives them confidence.

Working in groups and teams in different activities provides opportunities for pupils to learn to work with others and form good relationships. In PE pupils engage in competitive, creative and challenging activities that require them to become self-aware and deal with their emotions, for example when winning or losing or when being supportive of others.

Responsible citizens

PE encourages learners to be enterprising and work cooperatively with others. Taking on the roles of leader or official helps develop a sense of respect for others and the ability to apply rules fairly and act with integrity. When placed in a situation where risk is involved, pupils must learn to ensure their own and others' safety while still maintaining the challenge. This is critical for the development of a set of principles for distinguishing between right and wrong.

PE encourages pupils to be active, making regular physical activity part of their lives. PE encourages pupils to consider the impact of their lifestyle choices on the environment and sustainability.

PE provides opportunities to explore physical activities from across the world. This helps develop an understanding of others' cultures and traditions and provides a strong sense of their own place in the world.

The importance of Physical Education

PE develops pupils' competence and confidence to take part in a range of physical activities that become a central part of their lives, both in and out of school.

A high-quality PE curriculum enables all pupils to enjoy and succeed in many kinds of physical activity. They develop a wide range of skills and the ability to use tactics, strategies and compositional ideas to perform successfully. When they are performing they think about what they are doing, analyse the situation and make decisions. They also reflect on their own and others' performances and find ways to improve them. As a result, they develop the confidence to take part in different physical activities and learn about the value of healthy, active lifestyles. Discovering what they like to do and what their aptitudes are at school helps them make informed choices about lifelong physical activity.

PE helps pupils develop personally and socially. They work as individuals, in groups and in teams, developing concepts of fairness and of personal and social responsibility. They take on different roles and responsibilities, including leadership, coaching and officiating. Through the range of experiences that PE offers, they learn how to be effective in competitive, creative and challenging situations.

PE, personal development and Every Child Matters

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The revised programmes of study for each subject are designed to provide greater flexibility for teachers, greater coherence for the curriculum as a whole and increased personalisation of the curriculum for learners. The revisions will provide opportunities for schools to renew their curriculum based on greater flexibility to meet pupils' needs and enhanced by newer priorities such as: the Every Child Matters agenda, personal, learning and thinking skills the aims of the curriculum.

Enjoy and achieve

PE gives pupils the opportunity to participate and achieve in a range of activities as performers, officials and leaders.

Pupils enjoy being physically active as individuals, in groups and in teams. They also enjoy solving problems and performing in creative, competitive and challenging activities.

Be healthy

PE gives pupils an understanding of the important role physical activity plays in a balanced, healthy life. By experiencing a range of activities and developing their skill, competence and confidence, pupils can make informed choices about how they want to get involved in physical activity both at school and in the community.

A high-quality PE programme helps pupils appreciate the positive effect being physically active can have on their overall feeling of well-being. They come to regard it as a vital ingredient in their lives and choose to be physically active on a daily basis. They learn that being active can have a positive impact on stress, anxiety and depression, can increase social opportunities and, when combined with a balanced diet, can lead to the maintenance of a healthy weight and an overall feeling of well-being.

Stay safe

PE gives pupils the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to participate safely and effectively both as individuals and when working in teams. They learn how to create safe environments and how to use safe working practices. This includes wearing appropriate kit, warming up safely and effectively, knowing how to lift and carry safely and ensuring that they and others are safe.

Pupils learn about the risks associated with different activities and how to mitigate those risks while still providing challenge and excitement. They become safety conscious in all that they do without being fearful of attempting challenging activities.

Achieve economic well-being

Through PE pupils learn how to work both as individuals and collectively to achieve success. They learn to solve problems by devising plans and discussing, commenting on, reviewing, refining, repeating and carrying out these plans to completion. These are all vital skills that will help equip them for the world of work.

PE helps pupils understand that physical activity can stimulate their minds, give them a sense of well-being and have a positive impact on their lives. Knowing the importance of balancing the demands of a job with physical activity, leisure and social interaction is the key to achieving in the world of work while remaining mentally and physically fit.

Make a positive contribution

PE provides many opportunities for pupils to get involved positively in the life of the school and in the wider community. Pupils gain the confidence to further develop their skills and specialisms outside school by joining local clubs. They may also do voluntary work at school and within the local community, assisting in clubs and other social settings.

PE also provides opportunities for pupils to work collaboratively in a range of settings. They learn how to overcome difficulties, to appreciate their own and others' strengths and weaknesses and to develop their understanding of fairness and personal and social responsibility.

Personal, learning and thinking skills (PLTS)

QCA has developed a framework for describing personal, learning and thinking skills (PLTS) that applies to all young people aged 11-19. The skills are embedded in the revised Key Stage 3 and 4 programmes of study so that they form an integral part of subject teaching and learning.

The aims of the curriculum are that young people should become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens. The development of PLTS is an essential part of meeting these aims. PLTS have considerable impact on young people's ability to enter work and adult life as confident and capable individuals who can make a positive contribution.

The personal, learning and thinking skills framework

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The framework comprises six groups of skills:

Independent enquirers

Creative thinkers

Reflective learners

Team workers

Self-managers

Effective participators.

These generic skills, together with the functional skills of English, mathematics and ICT, are essential to success in life, learning and work.

PE and Personal Learning and Thinking Skills

The PE programme of study provides a context for developing pupils' personal, learning and thinking skills (PLTS).

Independent enquirers

The key process of learning how to be successful in different competitive, creative and challenge type activities and situations requires pupils to plan what they are going to do and how to go about doing it as an individual or as part of a team or group. Pupils need to make informed and reasoned decisions that, when applied and carried out, will contribute to the success of a performance while taking account of their responsibility to themselves and others.

Creative thinkers

PE requires individuals, groups and teams to use their imagination to arrive at their own solutions to performing tasks and activities. They need to come up with their own ideas, selecting and applying the most appropriate in order to be effective and successful. Often the more creative and innovative the skills, techniques and tactics applied, the greater the success of the performance. In most activities, the need to respond to what is happening around them requires a degree of creative improvisation.

Team workers

The key process of using tactics, strategies and compositional ideas often requires pupils to work with others to plan and perform creative, competitive and challenging activities. To be effective and successful when working together, pupils need to learn to take account of each other's strengths and weaknesses and to take responsibility for the part they play in the team's performance. Pupils learn to listen to and act on each other's suggestions, reach agreement on ways forward and take collective responsibility for their performances, successes and failures.

Self-managers

PE fosters independence by encouraging pupils to take responsibility for their physical well-being and to select which activities they enjoy and wish to get involved in. They then can begin to make informed choices about how physical activity will play a part in their daily lives both in and out of school.

Pupils increasingly set goals and challenges for themselves. They take the initiative to organise and manage all aspects of an activity, including determining priorities, managing risks and working safely to achieve their goal.

Effective participators

Becoming competent in PE naturally requires the active participation and engagement of pupils. The programme of study allows them to choose the activities they get involved in. The competence and confidence pupils develop can help them to play a full part in the sporting life of the school and to engage in their chosen activities in the wider community. Pupils also have the opportunity to listen to others and to share and discuss their work. They learn how to provide constructive feedback and realise how their contributions can play a part in the success of others.

Reflective learners

In order to improve, pupils need to be able to evaluate their performance and that of others. In PE, pupils learn to ask themselves a range of questions when analysing a performance, to evaluate strengths and weaknesses and identify and find ways of refining the quality of a performance. These are ongoing processes which underpin learning, improvement and success in physical activity.

New opportunities in PE

A broader range of roles

The revised programme of study now identifies the need for pupils to develop skills in a wider range of contexts as leaders and officials as well as performers.

A new categorisation of activities

Greater flexibility has been created by focussing curriculum opportunities around the different ways of thinking that contribute to success in PE. These are:

Outwitting opponents

Accurate replication of actions, phrases and sequences

Exploring and communicating ideas, concepts and emotions

performing at maximum levels in relation to speed, height, distance, strength or accuracy

Identifying and solving problems to overcome challenges of an adventurous nature

Exercising safely and effectively for the benefit of health and well-being.

Within KS3 it is necessary for at least 3 of the above categories to be covered, however within KS4 this is reduced to 2 areas of study.

This gives departments much more choice when selecting the activities that most suit the aspirations and preferences of their pupils. For example, activities that require an understanding of outwitting an opponent range from fencing to hockey, water polo and karate. Departments are free to select the activities they teach in order to develop pupils' physical competence, their ability to perform and their understanding of healthy, active lifestyles.

A curriculum that contributes to healthy lifestyles

An additional opportunity focuses on developing pupils' understanding of the concepts that underpin effective and safe exercising for personal health and well-being. The stronger emphasis on physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle provides opportunities to work across the curriculum with subjects such as science, food technology and PSHE. It also contributes to cross-curricular themes such as sustainable development and the outcomes of Every Child Matters.

A greater emphasis on increasing specialisation

There is now an emphasis on providing clear opportunities for pupils to follow pathways in physical activity in and beyond school, enabling them to specialise and develop specific skills and techniques relevant to their chosen preferences and interests. This is further supported by the need to provide opportunities for all pupils to perform as individuals, in a group or as part of a team in formal competitions or performances to audiences beyond the class or school.

Planning for inclusion

Planning an inclusive key stage 3 means thinking about shaping the curriculum to match the needs and interests of the full range of learners.

These include:

The gifted and talented

Those with special educational needs and disabilities

Pupils who have English as a second language

The different needs of boys and girls

Pupils in the school will also bring a range of cultural perspectives and experiences, which can be reflected in the curriculum and used to further the pupils' understanding of the importance of the issues of diversity.

An inclusive curriculum is one where:

different groups of pupils are all able to see the relevance of the curriculum to their own experiences and aspirations

all pupils, regardless of ability, have sufficient opportunities to succeed in their learning at the highest standard.

You may find that a useful starting point to planning for inclusion could be to consider your own school's Disability Action Plan, Race Equality Plan and other equality policies alongside a comprehensive overview of the data available on pupils from various groups. This can then used to draw up a useful framework for curriculum review. You will also be able to identify appropriate points to involve the learners themselves in some of these developments.

QCA is currently developing materials to support planning for inclusion in subjects.

Revised Levels of Attainment within Physical Education

Levels 1 - 3 remain unchanged; however there are a number of revisions within the remaining levels. Most of the changes are as a result of the revised expected content of lessons and the acceptance that pupils may exhibit their skill in other areas than simply 'performance'.

Underlined text within the 'Modified Level Description' column indicates where changes have been made.

Level

Current level description

Modified level description

4

Pupils link skills, techniques and ideas and apply them accurately and appropriately. Their performance shows precision, control and fluency, and that they understand tactics and composition. They compare and comment on skills, techniques and ideas used in their own and others' work, and use this understanding to improve their performance. They explain and apply basic safety principles in preparing for exercise. They describe what effects exercise has on their bodies, and how it is valuable to their fitness and health.

Pupils link skills, techniques and ideas and apply them accurately and appropriately. Their performance shows precision, control and fluency, and that they understand tactics and composition. They compare and comment on skills, techniques and ideas used in their own and others' work, and use this understanding to improve their performance. They explain and apply basic safety principles in preparing for exercise. They describe what effects exercise has on their bodies, and how getting involved in regular physical activity is valuable to their fitness and health.

5

Pupils select and combine skills, techniques and ideas and apply them accurately and appropriately, consistently showing precision, control and fluency. When performing they draw on what they know about strategy, tactics and composition. They analyse and comment on skills and techniques and how these are applied in their own and others' work. They modify and refine skills and techniques to improve their performance. They explain how the body reacts during different types of exercise, and warm up and cool down in ways that suit the activity. They explain why regular, safe exercise is good for their fitness and health.

Pupils select and combine skills, techniques and ideas and apply them accurately and appropriately, consistently showing precision, control and fluency. When performing they draw on what they know about strategy, tactics and composition. They analyse and comment on skills and techniques and how these are applied in their own and others' work. They modify and refine skills and techniques to improve their performance and adapt their actions in response to changing circumstances. They explain how the body reacts during different types of activity, and why regular, safe activity is good for their fitness and health.

6

Pupils select and combine skills, techniques and ideas. They apply them in ways that suit the activity, with consistent precision, control and fluency. When planning their own and others' work, and carrying out their own work, they draw on what they know about strategy, tactics and composition in response to changing circumstances, and what they know about their own and others' strengths and weaknesses. They analyse and comment on how skills, techniques and ideas have been used in their own and others' work, and on compositional and other aspects of performance, and suggest ways to improve. They explain how to prepare for, and recover from, the activities. They explain how different types of exercise contribute to their fitness and health and describe how they might get involved in other types of activities and exercise.

Pupils select and combine skills, techniques and ideas in a widening range of familiar and unfamiliar activities and contexts. They apply them in ways that suit the activity, with consistent precision, control and fluency. When planning their own and others' work, and carrying out their own work, they draw on what they know about strategy, tactics and composition in response to changing circumstances, and what they know about their own and others' strengths and weaknesses. They analyse and comment on how skills, techniques and ideas have been used in their own and others' work, and on compositional and other aspects of performance, and suggest ways to improve. They understand how the different components of fitness affect performance. They explain how different types of exercise contribute to their fitness and health and describe how they might get involved in physical activity for the benefit of health and well-being.

7

Pupils select and combine advanced skills, techniques and ideas, adapting them accurately and appropriately to the demands of the activities. They consistently show precision, control, fluency and originality. Drawing on what they know of the principles of advanced tactics and compositional ideas, they apply these in their own and others' work. They modify them in response to changing circumstances and other performers. They analyse and comment on their own and others' work as individuals and team members. Showing that they understand how skills, tactics and composition and fitness relate to the quality of the performance. They plan ways to improve their own and others' performance. They explain the principles of practice and training, and apply them effectively. They explain the benefits of regular, planned activity on health and fitness and plan their own appropriate exercise and activity programme.

Pupils select and combine advanced skills, techniques and ideas, adapting them accurately and appropriately to the demands of the activities. They consistently show precision, control, fluency and originality. Drawing on what they know of the principles of advanced tactics and compositional ideas, they apply these in their own and others' work. They modify them in response to changing circumstances and other performers. They analyse and comment on their own and others' work as individuals and team members, showing that they understand how skills, tactics and composition and fitness relate to the quality of the performance. They plan ways to improve their own and others' performance and act on these decisions in order to bring about the improvements. They explain the principles of practice and training, and apply them effectively. They explain the benefits of regular, safe and planned physical activity on physical, mental and social well-being and plan their own appropriate activity programmes based on their choices and preferences for activities and roles within activities.

8

Pupils consistently distinguish and apply advanced skills, techniques and ideas, consistently showing high standards of precision, control, fluency and originality. Drawing on what they know of the principles of advanced tactics or composition, they apply these principles with proficiency and flair in their own and others' work. They adapt it appropriately in response to changing circumstances and other performers. They evaluate their own and others' work, showing that they understand the impact of skills, strategy and tactics or composition, and fitness on the quality and effectiveness of performance. They plan ways in which their own and others' performance could be improved. They create action plans and ways of monitoring improvement. They use their knowledge of health and fitness to plan and evaluate their own and others' exercise and activity programme.

Pupils consistently distinguish and apply advanced skills, techniques and ideas, consistently showing high standards of precision, control, fluency and originality. Drawing on what they know of the principles of advanced tactics or composition, they apply these principles with proficiency, flair and originality in their own and others' work. When adapting and responding to changing circumstances and other performers they maintain the quality of a performance. They critically evaluate their own and others' work, showing that they understand the impact of skills, strategy and tactics or composition, and fitness on the quality and effectiveness of performance. They use this information to plan and monitor ways in which their own and others' performance could be improved. They use their knowledge of health and fitness to plan and evaluate their own and others' exercise and activity programmes. They take on different roles within an activity and have planned pathways into performance, leadership or officiating based on their choices and preferences.

EP

Pupils consistently use advanced skills, techniques and ideas with precision and fluency. Drawing on what they know of the principles of advanced strategies and tactics or composition, they consistently apply these principles with originality, proficiency and flair in their own and others' work. They evaluate their own and others' work, showing that they understand how skills, strategy and tactics or composition, and fitness relate to and affect the quality and originality of performance. They reach judgements independently about how their own and others' performance could be improved, prioritising aspects for further development. They consistently apply appropriate knowledge and understanding of health and fitness in all aspects of their work.

Pupils consistently use advanced skills, techniques and ideas with precision and fluency. Drawing on what they know of the principles of advanced strategies and tactics or composition, they consistently apply these principles with originality, proficiency and flair in their own and others' work. They critically analyse and judge their own and others' work, showing that they understand how skills, strategy and tactics or composition, and fitness relate to and affect the quality and originality of performance. They reach judgements independently about how their own and others' performance could be improved, prioritising aspects for further development. They consistently apply appropriate knowledge and understanding of health and fitness in all aspects of their work. They understand the contribution physical activity makes to their physical, mental and social well-being and participate in PE, sport and/or dance activities regularly both in and out of school.

Promoting progress through approaches to assessment

Assessment is part of normal teaching and learning. It's how learners get feedback on the success of their endeavours, and it's how teachers find out how well their learners are doing. Assessment can happen in many ways, not just by teachers marking written work. When planning teaching and learning, teachers need to address how learners are going to get feedback, for example through discussion, self-assessment or peer assessment.

The character of the assessment should be determined by what the assessment is for. For example, is the intention of the assessment to:

 Inform the learners about themselves?

or

Inform others about the learner?

Produce personalised feedback so that the learner knows what to do next?

or

Produce standardised feedback so the performance of one learner can be compared with others?

Promote success and increase achievement?

or

Gauge success and document achievement?

 

Answers to these and other questions will determine the nature of the assessment, its outcomes (words or numbers), how frequent and how formal it will be, what size it is and whether it is standardised, how objective it is and who carries it out - the learners themselves, their peers, another audience or the teacher. By its very nature, most assessment is not one-size-fits-all but must be specific to the learner, personalised and therefore inclusive, that is, relevant to all learners in the class.

Setting up manageable systems for collecting evidence is vital. With care, the same evidence may be reinterpreted for a variety of purposes. This approach has been successfully rolled out in English and mathematics (through the Assessing pupil progress projects) and is being developed in science and the foundation subjects.

QCA is working with schools to develop examples of manageable ways of collecting evidence and providing feedback through assessment for learning and periodic assessments. It is also developing supplementary tasks, focused on key concepts and processes, that can provide supplementary evidence of learners' performance when reviewing progress and making periodic assessments. Drafts of these materials will be available in September 2007.

Summary of Changes

It is clear that the overall purpose and rational for learning within the National Curriculum has been designed to accommodate the varying needs of students in a modern society.

These can be seen in;

An increased need to provide opportunities to make informed choices about the activity areas they study and subsequent specialist pathways for development and learning

Increased emphasis to 'credit' individuals for their ability as an official, coach, choreographer or leader rather to than simply acknowledge it

Less restrictions upon the actual activities that student must participate within to achieve the desired outcomes, moving away from the traditional 'named' games or other activities.

Increased cross curricular and whole school learning - therefore increasing the need for departments to work more closely in their short, medium and long term planning

An increased emphasis on the use of 'assessment' as a tool for learning rather than a 'yardstick' for simply measuring attainment

Underpinning references to the Every Child Matters agenda

Revised level descriptors, with an increased awareness of developing as a 'healthy and active individual'

Introduction of Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS)

The Greatest Challenge

"No change will result in no change!"

Departments who fully embraces the opportunities and flexibility the NCPE 2008 offers have an opportunity to engage a greater number of learners in high quality Physical Education, reducing the number of pupils who choose to 'opt out', HOWEVER implementing these changes will not be easy.

The NCPE 2008 appears to acknowledge the fact that good Physical Educationalist do know what should be offered in order for their students to fulfil their potential, and a 'games bias - one curriculum fits all approach' does not work for each and every pupil. If departments are able to compile a curriculum that in the first stages provides individuals with sufficient knowledge to make subsequent informed choices about where their preferences and skills lie, then it is possible that pupil achievement and enjoyment will soar - however managing this, within the constraints of available staffing, timetable slots and available facilities will be a real challenge. Nevertheless one fact is evidently clear - that by failing to review and modify existing curriculum's and programmes departments will be failing their students!

NCPE 2008 definitely encourages schools and departments to 'think outside the box'. It is evident that as long as departments can justify why they have selected a specific activity e.g. mountain biking, roller hockey or hiking, and that it can be categorised within one of the new activities areas - then it will be deemed wholly acceptable. However such activities do not come without a cost (either in equipment or specialist staffing). In order to fulfil the expectations of the NCPE 2008 schools will have to work more closely with their SSP's and NGB's - accessing local community development programmes where ever possible. This will be more of a challenge for some schools than others.

It will also be vital for ITT establishments to review and modify the activities they offer to training teachers, as it is likely that schools will be looking to appoint PE teachers with a greater range of skills and experience than those traditionally expected from NQT's.

There is also a clear shift to try and get students to lead a more active and healthy lifestyle. Historically, 'leading and active and healthy lifestyle' was simple included as one of the 4 aspects of learning - however NCPE 2008 includes it as an activity area within its own right. Departments can now justifiably offer any of the numerous ways that currently exist to improve an individuals overall fitness. This is also one of the easiest activity areas to make and maintain local community sports facility links and make considerable progress into lifelong learning. Such an area of study will also address aspects of the new Personal Learning and Thinking Skills agenda.