Organisation

Folkestone Academy

District

Folkestone and Hythe

Impact

Keeping students active during COVID-19

Overview

Folkestone Academy is part of Turner Schools Multi Academy Trust, and is dedicated to the delivery of quality education for all, supporting social mobility and regeneration of the community through education. Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, Head of PE and Director of BTEC Louisa Eede has ensured both core PE groups and exam groups continue to learn remotely through a wide range of opportunities.

Staying Active at Home

Throughout lockdown core PE students have been involved in both theory and practical remote sessions twice a week. To keep students active, the PE department have recorded their own workout videos and have signposted students to a range of workout websites including Joe Wicks. Theory sessions have involved students creating posters on the topics of health and safety and sports rules and regulations, all relating to the BTEC specification. Students in the exam group are required to complete their coursework using Google Hangouts to enable lessons to still be delivered. Mrs Eede notes that whilst initially there was poor turnout this has now increased with good engagement from most students.

Keeping Active in School

Like many academies that are part of a trust, all five schools have combined throughout this period. Due to there being a mixture of both primary and secondary schools, students do not wear uniform and are seen to complete both theory and practical sessions including posters, workouts and dancercise dependent on year groups.

Large photo of Folkestone Academy PE staff in the centre with 4 smaller images of school sports teams displayed vertically to the left hand side of it and 4 photos to the right.

Challenges

Engagement of students has been a challenge during this period, although overall the school has been doing well. Students work is tracked and there is constant communication between pastoral staff and parents to deal with any issues that arise. Planning the lessons on Google Hangouts has involved greater preparation to ensure students fully understand. Although many teachers comment they hate listening back to their own voice it’s been a useful tool during this period.

CPD Opportunities

Mrs Eede is part of the continuous professional development (CPD) team within the school, this involves staff creating content for one another on various topics such as giving feedback and managing behaviour, all of which will be useful once schools return. Amongst the PE department, staff have attended webinars delivered by AfPE, the FA, and England Netball, something the school will look to continue as previously utilised in-house CPD.

Learnings

Like all schools, COVID-19 has been a massive learning curve for Folkestone Academy. Mrs Eede hopes to continue using Google Hangouts when the need arises as it enables them to deliver meaningful lessons while keeping external students engaged.

Advice

“In PE we do such fantastic things it is going to affect us massively, probably more than other subjects if we can’t throw and catch balls for another year. Work with your team to think of some really creative and innovative ideas to keep the students active.”