VLOG 7: More than the Distance – STAD in Athletics

This VLOG considers how success in Athletics is more than just the distance thrown, the height jumped, or the speed around the track. It challenges the traditional ego-orientated climate in Athletics and considers how a master-climate and improvement can be the primary learning outcome. Student Teams Achievement Division (STAD) is presented as a way of focussing on the improvements students make in lessons and how learning can be focussed on both the physical and social.
STAD is drawn from Cooperative Learning and further information can be found about this model in VLOG 4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nW17a-YJ8R0

The resources shown are with thanks to Leigh Churchward and Ashley Casey – they can be found on Twitter at @LeighChurchward and @DrAshCasey

4 thoughts on “VLOG 7: More than the Distance – STAD in Athletics”

  1. As always Vicky a great post and this more than others really challenges me and my practice. My background is athletics and because of that I think I would be considered a ‘traditional’ teacher of athletics. Athletics is a big focus of our curriculum and extra-curricular provision within the summer term. It is compulsory for all students to participate in curriculum athletics from Year 7 to 9 for the whole term and then optional in Years 10 and 11. We focus around an ‘ipsative assessment’ model where we try to develop motivation and competency through PBs. In all years we record students PB’s in all events we deliver in the curriculum. We share those personal bests at the beginning of the summer term with our students, privately, via their Edmodo accounts. We build a dialogue around the individual and how they can improve their personal bests. This leads to conversations about the physical, technical, tactical and what they are doing out of lessons to support their improvement within athletics.

    In Year 7 we explore all the events, the rules, regulations, techniques and what it feels like to compete. We record all measurements in the first half of term and then in the second half look at ways of improving them.

    In Year 8 we go deeper into methods of training, components of health and fitness and technique. Always with a focus on how the individual can improve their own PB’s.

    In Year 9 students choose 1 track and 1 field event they would like to improve upon. A week in advance they plan their ‘lesson’ with elements of the physical and technical, which they send to us via Edmodo. We as teachers review it and make sure what they are going to do is safe and give them feedback where appropriate. They have a ‘buddy’ they they then carry out the lesson with. This is usually based on who wants to improve the same events. They then have half a term to improve (and help each other improve) on one of their chosen events, before swapping to the next event after half term. This works extremely well and the students love the choice, but has considerable health and safety aspects to take into account so it isn’t always as flexible as we would like it to be.

    It is clear that while our Year 9 provision does allow for social learning and interaction to occur, it is limited in Year 7 and 8 to discussions on how they ‘might’ improve on their personal bests. I can easily see STAD being incorporated into our lessons at Year 7 and 8 – even allowing to have students work on key elements that are important to them and their own personal development in athletics.

    For example in a ‘team of 4’ throwing javelin – after everyone has had their initial throw:
    1. Performs
    2. Measures and collects javelin
    3. Observes and gives feedback on key areas
    4. Practice working on area of improvement
    – everyone rotates round, with performer moving to practice area. The practice depends on the feedback the observer has given the thrower. With a range of practices linked to either physical or technical faults, the student could then spend time working on a personal area of improvement rather than class common faults.
    This then brings elements of personal and social responsibility into the lesson if students are questioned about how effectively they worked as a team to help all members improve in their performance.

    Finally we have a KS3 Class competition based on PBs. For every student who gets a PB they get a point. This is added to the class total. Those totals are then compared between all the class in Year 7, 8 and 9. The class whose overall PB points total is the best gets awarded a certificate and medal at the end of the summer term in school assembly.


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