Storyboards in GCSE PE by @TedfordDanielle



Storyboards in GCSE PE

Danielle Tedford is the Assistant Headteacher at Flixton Girls School and now is the inaugural PE TeachMeet National champion 2016 after submitting this video to the national finals held online on Thursday 20th and Friday 21st October 2016.

If History were taught in the form of stories it would never be forgotten – Rudyard Kipling

The capacity of the mind to visualise concepts through stories and pictures is fascinating.
In creating processes that allow our brains to connect a story and an image together, it makes such a connection, unforgettable. In developing the exam storyboard concept I hoped to bring together the power of visualisation and storytelling to allow students to improve their memories & make links between difficult theoretical concepts and express their learning in their extended writing.

As educators we are always encouraged to be solution focused and such solutions only need to arise when a problem presents itself. In my previous school, delivering GCSE PE to predominantly high ability pupils, I had not faced challenges in getting students to write in extended prose on the long answer questions. Previous experiences of students typically achieving A*-A grades with ease left little room for variation in practice, with minimal differentiation needed. However in a new setting, teaching mixed ability option groups meant I had to adapt my teaching practice and support the needs of all pupils within my classroom to achieve their full potential.

One particular student had numerous barriers that were inhibiting her progress. With a reading age of six years and eleven months, an educational health and care plan in place for learning needs combined with her pupil premium status, she lacked the confidence, ability and skill to be successful in GCSE PE. Her reading age was an incredible barrier that prevented her from accessing the exam content. She was of average ability and in most lessons would perform well in practical lessons but struggled greatly in theory based lessons, behaving badly so that she would not have to confront the difficulties she faced.  Rather than writing this pupil off I built a positive relationship with her and we had weekly mentoring sessions and discussed how she could best retain information. We decided upon storyboards to help structure the longer answers which were extremely valuable, allowing this student to make four levels of progress at GCSE and more importantly, grasp PE lessons and develop her extended writing.

The concept of storyboarding is not a new one, yet my idea rather than simply telling a story; #examstoryboards allows the student to focus on the exam question they are presented with and supports them in developing their writing flow through PEEL points (Point, Evidence, Explain, and Link.) Box by box the storyboards use imagery, which gives the student a visual reminder of a theoretical concept or a hint to a key term and its application in a practical context. Three boxes are equal to one paragraph and follow the formula of giving a point, linking an example and then referring and applying it to the set scenario. (See examples below)

Application in lessons
The concept is a simple one and their application is even simpler. At first I would provide the students with structured examples of a nine sequence board and get pupils to work out the links between images. Students were encouraged to develop their own storyboards using various templates provided. If a student picks their own images the memory of them will be far more powerful. We set up an Instagram page for students to share their #examstoryboards. They do not require a template, students can simply draw out nine boxes in their books and begin. Students even used desks to draw out their stories and uploaded them to our PE account.

Where next?
Well it is clear that my idea has gained some momentum on twitter and it is great to see many PE teachers trying to create their own storyboards. I am looking to develop the concept further and I look forward to sharing this with the PE community in the near future.

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