MLOL Heart

Katy U’ren, Depute Head Teacher, Smithycroft Secondary School

Oct 09,2018 MLOL Blogs

Week 2 thoughts and reflections:


School reflections 

We completed our 3 days at Blantyre Girls School with Sports Leaders leading sports sessions with no equipment on Monday and with self made balls on Tuesday with Standard 1, 2 and 3 pupils.

We started our 3 days of Sports Leaders training at Chisawani Primary School on Wednesday. All school staff were very welcoming and we were assigned Sports Leaders from Standard 7 and 8. All Sports Leaders came prepared with sports attire and also brought self made balls to be used at the sessions. We were assigned a Sports Mistress to work and share practice with and who would also translate our instructions to Sports Leaders throughout the session. We were allocated a large dusty, stone, rural area to work in and used bricks and large stones to outline the area within which we would be working.



Learning and Teaching

Blantyre Girls School contd.

Myself and Jenny have continued to engage in professional dialogue to reflect on and share practice regarding appropriate learning and teaching strategies for learners. The final two days at Blantyre Girls School focussed upon using peer and self assessment techniques to evaluate and improve upon their leadership, communication and team working skills. Learners were able to use their agreed success criteria to evaluate their own leadership skills within their self made Sports Leaders Diary. It was evident through peer and self assessment that these admirably strong and confident young women felt self assured when leading others. However, as a result of feedback and observation it was clear that they needed to develop their skills in working as a team and communicating clearly when leading sessions.


Chisawani Primary School

We started the sessions at this new school with the same intentions to continue utilising and sharing Pedagogy and Equity strategies. This instantly proved more complex due to learners being less confident with their English speaking and comprehension skills. We have had invaluable support from the Sports Mistresses at this school who have worked with us to ensure that all learners understand the instructions. This has also provided us with the opportunity to share the reasons  behind the use of learning intentions, sharing success criteria and variety of peer and self assessment strategies. The Sports Mistress was aware of some of these strategies and was interested to see them in the P.E. context. When I placed the learners in pairs at one stage she asked if I was going to use Think, Pair, Share. We were able to discuss the benefits and our experiences of using this. As the use of an interpreter can be very useful, yet time consuming, it proved complex to introduce the use of a Sports Leaders Diary throughout the sessions. We made greater use of the group plenary sessions to log and reflect on learning.



Developing our Sports Leaders Course

We have continued to reflect upon the facilities and equipment available when planning sessions and have continued to use teaching and learning using locally available resources ( TALULAR) resources.

As the Sports Leader sessions have progressed, it has become clear to see how we can begin to plan the CPD sessions to ensure that the Sports Leaders course is sustainable and can be developed further within these schools. Sports Masters and Mistresses were provided with the attached consultation sheet to enable us to plan CPD sessions which will ensure progression, sharing of practice and will be specific to their needs.


Young People

I continued to be overwhelmed by and in admiration of the high aspirations and confidence levels amongst all of the Blantyre Girls Sports Leaders. The girls continued to ask me questions regarding life in Scotland and to have discussions about Leaders within their county and their political desires. They sang me the National Anthem and songs about "Beautiful Blantyre Girls" and Nelson Mandela and freedom. These moments were inspiring, powerful and unforgettable.


Both boys and girls at Chisawani Primary School demonstrated an eagerness to learn, improve and lead others. Due to the large numbers in the school, we were developing techniques to ensure that Sports Leaders were able and ready to arrive on time after breaks for sessions. We will share these with the Sports Mistresses during CPD.

I continue to feel amazed and inspired by the levels of resilience which young people are showing during the sessions. Many of them are participating in the sessions in sports attire without any footwear on very uneven, unpredictable and stone covered dusty ground.



Having agreed upon success criteria, all Blantyre Girls Sports Leaders ranked themselves 10/10 for their leadership skills the during the initial self evaluation task. It became apparent that these girls had very admirably high levels of confidence and had clear ideas regarding the traits of effective leaders. It also became obvious that they required greater development in relation to their ability to communicate and work as a team as leadership skills were clear. The focus for learning transferred to this.


It was clear to see that Chisawani Sports Leaders grew in confidence throughout the 3 days of training and leading. Both Leaders and Sports Mistresses agreed that they had a vision on Sports Leader input within P.E. lessons to ensure greater participation and to increase lesson quality.


Next Steps

We will continue to adjust the course to meet the needs of learners and develop the CPD session plans in accordance with the responses from the staff consultation with a clear focus being placed upon developing sustainability of this initiative following the end of our visit.