Sports-mad youngsters get help

YOUNGSTERS at a Felixstowe school are getting to grips with PE and sport – thanks to their PALs.Langer Primary is celebrating a series of remarkable achievements which have seen the school chosen to take part in a national physical education pilot project, a teacher win a national award, and the school awarded the Active Mark Gold.

YOUNGSTERS at a Felixstowe school are getting to grips with PE and sport – thanks to their PALs.

Langer Primary is celebrating a series of remarkable achievements which have seen the school chosen to take part in a national physical education pilot project, a teacher win a national award, and the school awarded the Active Mark Gold.

One of the initiatives has seen older pupils at the school become Playground Activities Leaders (PALs), coaching the younger children at lunchtimes.

PE co-ordinator and years five and six teacher Alison Coates said the school was one of eight initially chosen from around the country by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority to take part in the PE project.


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The aim was to ensure youngsters had the opportunity for two hours high-quality PE every week through work on the curriculum and after-school clubs.

One of the first projects when the scheme began four years ago was basketball with the aim to improve sports skills.

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"What we ended up with though was so much more – a group of children whose self-esteem was boosted so much that they wanted to be coaches to the younger children," said Mrs Coates.

"We also noticed that behaviour improved, skills improved and so did SATs results, so we had all these excellent and unexpected spin-offs."

This led to the creation of the PALs who work with the young children for half an hour in a designated area of the playground at lunchtimes, helping them with basic skills and making up sporting games for them to play.

"This has helped their leadership skills and given them responsibility and we have had some very positive results," added Mrs Coates.

Mrs Coates has just received the national Gerald Murray Award by the Physical Education Association for her work in PE by promoting a quality programme of PE and school sport; developing the curriculum and leadership; and her own continued professional development.

Head teacher David Leney said: "An immense amount of effort has gone into sport and recreation because it teaches the children social skills, leadership and also fitness. I am delighted and very proud of what is being achieved."

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