New Government teaching resources backed by Leeds Beckett University expertise
In September this year, the Government introduced a new compulsory curriculum for all primary and secondary schools in England around relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education. To support them, 11 training modules have been created for teachers with a team of Subject Experts from across the country – including Leeds Beckett.
The Leeds Beckett team included Paul Ogilvie, Dr Tom Van Rossum and Kate Bancroft – all from the Carnegie School of Education. The team contributed to modules on physical health and fitness, health and prevention, and healthy eating.
Paul Ogilvie, Senior Consultant in Physical Education, explained: “We have contributed to an extensive set of presentations that teachers in every primary and secondary school in England now have access to. They can use the information to adapt to their own school’s needs – for training teaching staff and sharing with pupils during lessons.
“Children are under a great deal of stress – they are not playing outside as much as previous generations did, they spend too much time on devices, they are under pressure from social media, and they have easy access to poor dietary choices. These new resources will support schools in addressing these challenges and providing children with the information they need to make healthier lifestyle choices.”
The resources prepared by the Leeds Beckett team cover areas including: improving fitness, planning a healthy lifestyle, the types and varieties of foods that young people need to live a healthy life, allergies, vaccines and immunisations, choosing to give blood, and the need for regular self-examinations.
The bank of resources will be used by schools to help them develop and plan their new curriculum, and to improve their knowledge and confidence in the subjects. As part of this, each school will have an RSE and health education champion.
Paul added: “By providing children with the information that they need to make healthy lifestyle decisions, we hope that they will use this to influence what they eat as a family at home and the choices they make in the future – for example planning to give blood when they turn 18, and continuing to engage in regular physical activity after leaving school.
“We are very pleased to be involved in something which will be used throughout the country. As a school of education, our ultimate goal is to help educators and pupils and to improve children’s life chances as a result.”
The research team from Leeds Beckett University are all founding members of the new Research and Innovation Hub for Physical Educators and their Pupils (RIHPEP). The aim of the hub is to bridge the gap between academics and teachers to give children the best opportunity to achieve physical and mental wellbeing through PE and sport, collaborative research, training and consultancy.
To help achieve this, RIHPEP members include collaborators from Leeds United Foundation, Spiral PE, Guiseley Secondary School, The Academy at St James and Morley Victoria Primary School.
Current projects within the hub include: working with Nike to develop a games-based assessment of children's movement; investigating the impact of moving PE lessons from the traditional afternoon slot to the morning; and surveying the attitudes and levels of physical activity in girls before, during, and after, the March 2020 lockdown. A total of 2000 Leeds schoolgirls are currently taking part in the survey – with the aim of including new ideas and preferred types of physical activity into future PE lessons.
Visit the Government website on teaching about relationships, sex and health to access the resources - and for more information about the RIHPEP research hub, please email PEeducators@leedsbeckett.ac.uk