What is PECS?

The acronym PECS stands for Physical Education Curriculum Support. In a nutshell, it is a programme of mentoring for primary school teachers that enhances their knowledge and confidence in teaching PE.

The programme is led by expert mentors on a 1-to-1 basis, focusing on identifying areas where teachers can develop in order to improve pupil outcomes in PE. Teachers are offered regular, ongoing support with plenty of opportunities for self-reflection. The activities involved will include collaborative teaching activities, formative planning and assessment, and expert input for anything related to primary school PE. The whole programme is supported by comprehensive impact data, made available to schools through a cutting-edge online platform.

Something refreshingly different:
The PECS programme distinguishes itself from other professional development opportunities in PE. Itis more than a one-day training course or a standalone activity, and it goes beyond the typical 'team teaching' approach offered by many sports coaching providers. It is a development programme designed to impart good practice that is sustainable and transformative. It has been painstakingly developed by teachers, for teachers, and is recognised by the Association for Physical Education(afPE) for providing high-quality learning for teachers.

An honest look:
PE is as important as any other subject for primary school pupils. The responsibility of educators is to provide professional leadership and management to deliver high-quality teaching, utilise resources effectively and improve the standards of achievement and learning for pupils. Schools need to honestly answer the following questions with regards to their provision of physical education:

  • Are your teachers confident in their delivery of PE lessons?

  • Are your teachers undertaking effective professional development in PE?

  • Do you have evidence of your Primary PE and School Support Premium to present to Ofsted?

  • Are pupils demonstrating real progress in PE?

Measurable progress
In the Dream Big Sports team, we are committed to continuous self-evaluation of our mentoring to improve and optimise our work. As such, we survey participants and ask for feedback to identify the primary benefits as well as areas for improvement. The results show some clear benefits to using PECS for teachers' professional development:

Confidence
- teachers improve their confidence in their own ability to deliver effective PE lessons to their pupils.

Subject knowledge- teachers learn more about PE and gain a robust knowledge that helps them to deliver higher quality lessons for their pupils.

Tracking and reporting- teachers learn how to track the progress of pupils more effectively, and produce accurate, constructive reports for individuals.

Planning - through improved subject knowledge and greater ability to track and monitor progress, teachers are able to develop superior lesson plans for PE.

Too often, PE is seen as an afterthought by pupils and teachers alike, and the tremendous benefits pupils could experience fail to fully materialise. Teachers that have worked with our PECS mentors come away with all the benefits listed above, enabling them to help pupils get the most out of their PE lessons. Ofsted has been quick to heap praise on the programme for helping schools take full advantage of the staff and resources at their disposal to deliver effective, enjoyable PE lessons.

If you would like to learn how your school could benefit from all this, contact our PECS lead Aaron Harcourt today or click here and we will be more than happy to arrange a meeting to discuss things in detail.