DfE Primary P.E. and Sport Premium Programme is well-timed for Pupils' Well-Being during Covid Lockdown
With children and young people home learning during the on-going Covid lockdown, the Department for Education's Primary P.E. and Sport Premium programme is particularly well-timed.
Last October more than 50 leaders from 30 schools met together virtually for the project launch session.
Engagement in this first session was high, with schools glad to be part of the project, given physical activity and well-being are all the more important during these difficult times. Mentor sessions are now underway and are scheduled to be completed within the DFE timeline of March 2021.
Active Devon have provided a wealth of resources to support Mentors and planning is underway to sustain the programme in Plymouth, Devon and Torbay beyond March through established P.E. networks. It is hoped that a number of activities and mentoring can be offered to other schools in the region, with a number on the reserve list and new schools registering their interest.
Other activities include Swim England Accreditation where 60 places have been assigned to teachers and support staff within the schools in the local area/ project schools. This is a blended approach to ‘Teacher of Swimming’ accreditation and all participants have now started the online learning modules. It is anticipated that face-to-face sessions to complete accreditation will take place in the summer.
In accordance with current Covid social distancing guidance, it was decided for the planned Less Active/ Disadvantaged Pupil Events that it was clearly impossible to run these two group events of up to 100 before the project end date in March. However, in partnership with Active Devon, a P.E. specialist has been deployed in each of the 30 schools for one day of professional development.
This will involve working with a teacher, Teaching Assistant and 10 less active/ disadvantaged pupils from a school bubble. The aims of this session are to place the pupils at the heart of improvements in physical activity and well-being and to develop staff participation and confidence and the session will be disseminated to all stakeholders across the schools from the attending staff, with the support of the allocated Mentor. Provision for pupils in school should be strengthened, and sports premium planning improved.
The DFE are currently in consultation to move these events to the summer and schools will be contacted with more information.
It is rewarding to commend schools for the hard work and commitment of their staff in supporting pupils' well-being and physical activity.
Report by Deputy Director of PTSA, Donna Briggs