Highland’s first PE Conference – report

Highland’s First Primary (and Early Years) PE Conference
Nairn Community Centre, 23 March 15 

Well it’s not every day that I’m encouraged to blow ping pong balls across the floor with a straw or lay on a body board (yes, on wheels) and pull myself along with a rope! Might have made the rest of the week look a bit dull by comparison.

Theresa Campbell was keynote speaker and workshop leader and spoke passionately of the need to make sure that physical education was of a high quality, not just a box ticking exercise. She highlighted the importance of differentiation of activities so that every child could experience success and the need to ensure that teachers and early years practitioners had the necessary;

  • Competence
  • Confidence and
  • Motivation

to deliver PE for children.   The conference certainly helped with that.

We were given an understanding of learner’s needs, by Danny Lavery, which raised awareness of possible barriers to learning such as;

  • Preferred learning styles
  • Dyspraxia (Developmental coordination disorder)
  • Lack of experiential learning (learning through trial and error)
  • Obesity
  • General developmental stage

There was lots of information about the development of children’s senses and the importance of the vestibular (look it up!) and tactile development and how these impact on a child’s behaviour.

We were generously provided with a copy of the excellent South Lanarkshire ‘Connections’ pack to take away and use in our work with early level children to add variety and progression to our energetic play. Look out for more as CALA begins to think about how we can promote this learning more widely.

Thanks to Highland Council and Steve Holmes, PE Development Officer, for an inspiring event. Also to Mairi MacKay and Pat Richards for letting us share their pictures.

Stephanie Bruce, CALA Executive Manager