Working with students to lead a healthier lifestyle
Working with a small group of students who struggle with obesity or mental health issues, Saffron Walden County High School (SWCH) introduced pupils to non-curriculum physical education via fun and interactive game sessions.
The programme was delivered by an outside PE specialist who had the knowledge and experience of raising self-esteem and confidence skills over a 20-week period to showcase the benefits of getting active, in a fun and non-judgemental environment. Sessions took place 4 evenings per week and during their PE lessons, for those who had become disengaged. Activities included game sessions, as well as Yoga to focus on strength and mental wellbeing, and time in the fitness suite to understand how to use the machines and encourage pupils to develop their own fitness health plan.
Students were from year 7 and 8, as well as from the sixth form, and were referred to the programme by their Heads of Year, Learning Support and the School Councillor due to their inactivity and the need to support their mental wellbeing.
The PE specialist created strong relationships with the students through a relaxed atmosphere and further enhanced the relationships between the group, by utilising Microsoft Teams to communicate reminders, feedback, tips and praise. This helped encourage students to return to the sessions and change their behaviour in between.
Clear communication has been vital to the success of this initiative and regular interaction has helped change bad behaviour patterns among pupils. Due to many students having additional mental health issues, the PE specialist was attenuative and understanding which helped keep pupils involved in the activities.