So, what are core tasks? They are tasks that provide both teachers and pupils with an authentic context in which to teach and learn in each unit of work. Core tasks can be pitched or targeted at different levels of ability so that all pupils make progress. They allow pupils opportunities to demonstrate what they know, can do and understand in authentic contexts. The core tasks allow clear outcomes for pupils to achieve and for teachers to standardise, evaluate and assess against. The core tasks can be used throughout a unit of work. The task can be recorded at the start of a unit and then again throughout and at the end to provide an assessment opportunity for teachers to engage in dialogue with pupils. The core tasks provide a focus and in which to perform and gives the pupils something to visualise and compare their performance against. The core task provides the learners with an authentic context that is both challenging and differentiated. It provides a complete piece of work in which can be celebrated.
The core tasks provide a framework for assessment for learning as pupils and teachers can use them for discussions in order to improve performance. An adapted game/task can be used to teach knowledge, skills and understanding through where individual techniques can be taught. The core tasks I have adapted allow areas such as evaluating and improving, knowledge of health and fitness, performance, decision making and leadership to be developed. They can then provide a platform for teaching, assessing and reporting.
How to use core tasks to make and monitor progress in P.E
Demonstrate and share the task with pupils, show them a good example to work towards. The core tasks that you set pupils could include clear outcomes and success criteria for pupils to refer to. Pupils can be given responsibility to set up a task using pupil friendly task cards. Progressions are included to make the tasks harder to challenge the more able or variations to make the task easier. pupils are given responsibility to set up and lead the core task where the teacher acts more of a facilitator. If for example pupils are working on a pairs play task in cricket where they have to show fielding, batting and bowling skills, pupils who are struggling to bowl overarm can be pulled out and worked with one to one or in small groups. A mini coaching activity can be given to pupils through the task to improve a specific skill using resources in which the task is then performed again to see any progress.
The core tasks provide an environment to have dialogue with pupils and tell them HOW to improve without the need to keep giving them a label/grade/level all of the time. Targets can then be set based on the outcomes of the core tasks. Each lesson, week or every series of the lessons the core task can be revisited to monitor improvements. The initial full core task can be adapted throughout the unit and then revisited again in full at the end. iPads could be used to video core tasks to provide a bank of tasks and monitor progress over time, however these should only be used if the are going to aid teaching, learning or assessment.
I am currently adapting a teacher resource pack to move in line with new assessment model at school. I have produced some of my variations to include both teacher and pupil resources, but I like the endless possibilities core tasks can provide.
Have you used the resource before? Could you suggest some ideas on its development? Have you got an image tweet you can share with the PE4Learning network of the resource in action?