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Kent Sport Primary PE Conference 2016

January of this year saw Kent Sport host its first ever Primary PE Conference at the Kent County Showground, Detling. Over 150 schools were represented at the event alongside a few sporting superstars and a host of presenters. The idea was born due to a lack of a countywide conference and the additional benefits that schools can gain when discussing issues with schools from other areas.

The event started with a keynote from the healthy weight teams from Kent and Medway with the main message being that the Primary School Sports Premium is not just about increasing sporting opportunities but also increasing the health and wellbeing of all pupils. The keynote provided some damning statistics on how children’s average weight has increased significantly over the years and where it is likely to be in the future.

The key message was that there is an obesity epidemic on the horizon and if we don’t start working together now the future looks very ominous for the county’s youngsters.

Next up was a presentation from Jon Glenn, Head of ‘Learn to Swim’ at the Amateur Swimming Association

(ASA), discussing the recent swimming survey results and the ASA’s new Swimming Charter. Jon wanted to reiterate the fact that Swimming is part of the curriculum and not optional for schools and there are still a vast amount of children who cannot swim the required 25 meters before leaving primary school. He also stated that the Primary School Sport Premium can only be spent on additional ‘top up’ lessons for children struggling and NOT for covering the costs of swimming as a whole. There was general acknowledgement that it is not school’s faults when there are no facilities available but the Government is looking to provide funding to improve and potentially build new swimming pools.

We were then treated to a quick talk from Susannah Townsend, current GB and Canterbury Hockey player. Susannah talked us through the different people who influenced her as a child and what led her to becoming an elite athlete. The talk also included the low point of her career (missing out on the London Olympics) but how she used that as a positive and bounced back as a Euro Hockey gold medal winner.

Gifted and Talented pupils are often hard to challenge appropriately within PE and sport in general, so Richard Little (Senior Lecturer - Physical Education & Sport, Canterbury Christ Church University)

delivered a masterclass in identifying and tweaking current sessions to appropriately challenge all pupils. Richard’s presentation discussed what exactly gifted and talented pupil’s excel in and how you can tell the difference between being good at a sport and actually being a G and T pupil. The presentation also included easy-to-remember techniques for trying to identify G and T pupils and how you don’t need to be an expert in PE to facilitate learning opportunities for all children.

The Conference also delivered sessions on ICT in PE (what apps to use, computer programmes etc.) and a living case study of how a school has dramatically improved their whole school issues via the Primary School Sport Premium.

There was also a marketplace with a plethora of different sports and products specifically designed for primary schools, as well as activities throughout the day (such as squash, kayaking and an inflatable assault course) for attendees to burn off their

lunch. Lizzie Yarnold also turned up to chat and take ‘selfies’ with schools over lunch and the day appeared to be a great success!!

Kent Sport would therefore like to make this an annual event and welcome any ideas of subjects you would like covered. This Conference is for your benefit and as such Kent Sport would love to hear your ideas on whom/what you would like to see at next year’s event.

To get in touch, please email uk or phone 03000 412330

14 The Kent & Medway School Sports Magazine

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