Featured PE Teacher – Tom Erskine

This week for the Featured PE Teacher section on the PE Central Facebook page, the spotlight is on Tom Erskine!

Tom Erskine PE teacherAbout Tom:

I am the head of Physical Education at Fulbridge Academy in Peterborough, England. We teach from reception (3 year olds) to year 6 (11 year olds). We currently have 864 children within our school and we teach all of these children twice a week. We teach 60 children at a time, in two classes. We have 6 members of Specialist PE staff that cover all PE across the school, as well as two fulltime dance teachers that teach the children dance throughout there school year. I have been teaching now for 10 years at Fulbridge.

Physical Education Program:

We deliver different units to different age groups each term. This is how we structure our set up for PE. We are also incredibly lucky to have had a lot of funding from our school to develop our facilities to enhance out PE curriculum. We have a soft play room, caving system, 3G astro pitch as well as a wide range of equipment and resources. As we teach from reception to year 6, we split our year groups into phases and each phase has a different approach to PE.

Our FUNdamentals approach is delivered in the Foundation Stage, with the main focus on a play-based learning approach. The aim in this stage of their development is to give the children lots of physical experiences through a range of activities. We want all of our children to start to develop specific skills like, running, crawling, climbing, jumping, skipping, and balancing.

featured PE teacher

Years 1 and 2 have a focus on multi-skills. In this phase, we work a lot around children’s ABC’s (agility, balance and coordination). This phase still has a big focus on play in the way we structure the lessons. In year 3 and 4, we have a skills approach to their path on our development journey. In this we cover a wide range of sports. Each of these sports we teach through a skill-based approach. We take the skills from a specific game and teach these skills through fun games. This continues in our philosophy that we want physical exercise and sport to be enjoyable, but with a deep focus on developing skills in specific sports.

The final stage of our children’s development is in years 5 and 6, where their lessons are based on teaching games for understanding. We place our groups into modified versions of each sport. We introduce the children to how the skills they have previously learned apply to a game situation. This also starts to introduce the children to the tactics involved in playing games.

featured PE teacher Tom Erskine

PE Focus for 2018:

This year we had a big focus on our assessment model, as we felt traditionally as a subject we tend to over assess the physical i.e. skill development, thus getting the peaks and troughs in our assessment profiles. However if we just assess the physical aspect, are we truly assessing learning within a lesson and over time? As a department, we looked at the other areas we believe are important to developing our young learners. We then formed these 3 areas to look at when assessing our children, which are their Head, Heart and Hands.

  • Head – thinking/ creative side
  • Heart – social/ emotional/ health
  • Hands – physical ability

Favorit Lesson Plan/Unit: 

I love working with all the different age groups at our school, but I love doing the FUNdamental work early on as the children have so much enthusiasm and energy. They are also like sponges at that age and for me this is so important as we have to get the teaching right so they form good habits in terms of movement. Otherwise, this makes our job harder as they get older if they develop bad habits early on.

featured PE Tom Erskine

What is your favorite part about being a PE teacher?

My favourite part is the interaction with the children and trying to install a love of exercise and sport. I also love seeing them develop over the years from where we start with them to how they leave us to go on to secondary school.

If anyone would like any more details or would like to visit our school. My email is: [email protected]
Twitter: @fulbridgepe

PE teacher Tom Erskine

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