Physical Education: Sixth Form Students Organise Primary School Coaching Day

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On Tuesday 14th January, a cohort of Bede's Sixth Form students, including Tom Ogden, Ed King and Johnny Phelps from Dicker House, visited Hellingly Primary School for a coaching day they had organised  for the children.

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The Bede's students, hosted the children, who were from Years 1-5, as part of their coaching as part of their Level 3 BTEC Sport qualification's assessment assignment.

"The day was quite challenging," explained Tom, who also plays 1st Team Cricket for Bede's, "although it was very fun."

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"We were each assigned a group and a choice of activity," he continues, "and I was given Year 3. I ran a throwing and catching exercise for 40 minutes, with the focus for the session being having fun, that the children understood what was expected of them and that they each achieved targets particular to them."

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"One of the main objectives," explains fellow BTEC student and 1st Team Cricketer Johnny, "was to ensure that we all remained composed and in control whilst also emphasising the enjoyment for the children. That involved thinking about small but important factors, such as adjusting tone of voice and using eye contact to maintain engagement."

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This coaching element of the BTEC is being studied in tandem with a unit on anatomy which, as Johnny details, is all but identical to that studied in A Level Physical Education.

"There's a lot of Biology involved. The only difference between the courses is simply down to exams versus continual assessment. This kind of learning process suits me so much better, and is accepted by all of the UK's big sporting universities apart from Oxbridge and UCL."

6Ed, who has a history of playing Hockey and running for the Bede's Cross Country team, adds, "This kind of experience, of coaching children we've never met, is invaluable. It's not so much about improving their performance level, which is what we're more used to, but rather that the children can be quite unpredictable. You have to adapt."

All the boys acknowledge that one of the keys to success is health and safety, ensuring that the children are all notified of potential risks. Elsewhere, the games they prepared had to be not only safe and worthwhile but also time-efficient.

"In the classroom," Ed continues, "practicalities such as how long it takes to organise and actually complete certain tasks can be hard to quantify, so we gained great experience there. It's a great qualification. We've had a massive amount of experience preparing athletes for different sports while also gaining qualifications such as lifeguarding, which are invaluable in the fitness industry."

When asked about careers, all three boys list of a number of possibilities, but one which seems to capture their collective imagination is Sports Marketing.

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"There's so much you can do on that side of things," says Tom. "The business is huge. And we now understand a massive amount about regulations aside from just the techniques, although for the moment the biggest thing I notice is about how we are being coached."

Johnny laughs in agreement, adding, "We can see, all around us, the characteristics, roles and responsibilities of an excellent coach. Take Alan Wells for example - what better example could there be? Although we do like to point out the odd loose ball and remind him of potential health and safety issues…"