There is no doubt that the Guernsey Sports Commission’s team of specialist PE and Sport Development Officers are having a positive impact on Guernsey’s primary school children.
Over the past 18 months the team has expanded and built on previous work to further develop the support provided.
In broad terms, the role of PE and Sport Development Officers is to support children having a fantastic experience of sport, PE, and physical activity in school. In addition, they also try to signpost and facilitate access to high quality experiences outside of school. They do this by supporting teachers, running clubs, working with individual children, gathering actionable information and being a point of contact for sport-specific development officers to help coordinate the provision in the schools they represent.
Nowhere has this support been more welcome than at Le Rondin School.
Pupils at Le Rondin have a range of special educational needs and previous experiences of sport and PE were fairly limited.
‘We were delighted to be in a position to further expand our schools-based team and in particular extend our provision to Le Rondin,’ said Jeremy Frith, Performance Director for the Guernsey Sports Commission.
‘We look forward to further developing opportunities for pupils at the school to access a fantastic provision of PE, sport and physical activity, both in and out of school. This is as a direct result of the core funding we receive from the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture, now being supplemented by some direct support from school.’
This co-funding means that PE and Sport Development Officer, Lucas Barker, is able to work with Le Rondin pupils four days a week.
He has been working with the school since September 2019 and has already had a big impact.
‘You have to think on your feet, but I try to keep the activities the same as in any other school,’ said Lucas.
‘The children absolutely love it; that’s the best part of working up here at Le Rondin. They clearly enjoy the activities, but I can see that they make developments really quickly.
‘I try to keep my instructions quite basic and move on quickly to keep them engaged, especially with the little ones. We have a game first and then work on the skills later in the session, that’s the plan. It’s fun first, but with a goal in mind.’
The children certainly seem to enjoy their PE sessions.
‘I like all of it,’ said Reception pupil Leo during a fun session with Lucas.
‘Today it’s all about running technique; helping them to use their arms, but if they enjoy it that’s an even bigger tick,’ said Lucas.
‘Le Rondin pupils have benefitted from Lucas’ continuous PE input following the lockdown period,’ said Christine De Kock, Deputy Headteacher.
‘All pupils have thoroughly enjoyed the lessons whether working on developing ball skills outside or gymnastic skills inside. It has been amazing to see how the pupils’ confidence in trying new skills have grown. Lucas has worked with every child in the school and developed great relationships which we look forward to continuing next term.’
Lucas has big ambitions for the school.
‘As of the next school year, I want Le Rondin pupils to be taking part in athletics events, football tournaments and cricket and tag rugby festivals as well as joining in and creating teams with pupils from across the road at Forest Primary.’
His efforts have certainly been welcomed by the school.
‘Lucas is a well-respected member of our team and we thank him for everything he has done for our pupils and staff,’ said Christine.