“We wouldn’t expect our kids to learn to write without a pencil each, so how can we expect them to improve their dribbling skills without a ball each?”
Hello PE Umbrella community and thank you for joining me for episode 34 of the PE Umbrella Podcast.
For this weeks episode, I share with you my own MUST HAVE equipment list for any Primary School PE cupboard as a bare minimum to help deliver high quality PE. In my opinion, all PE cupboards should now be varied and plentiful, tidy and easy to access. Sadly, from my own experience, this simply is not the case. With half empty bags of equipment, flat balls, broken objects and lack of order, there are still many schools whose PE cupboards are doing a great job at putting teachers off teaching PE before they even start. As we already know, PE is not always the most joyous of subjects for primary teachers to be teaching and one in which many feel nervous and lack confidence. The least we can do therefore is to remove any other excuses and reasons for a lack of desire to teach it by sorting out our PE cupboards and keeping them in order. After all, we wouldn’t allow our classroom to become untidy and lacking in basic equipment would we?
This episode seeks to simply highlight some very basic equipment that SHOULD be in all PE cupboards, yet in some cases still aren’t! I am sure that I will have missed some things off of this list, and I’m more than happy for you to get in touch and let me know your thoughts. The problem is, if I were to list everything that would be in my IDEAL PE cupboard, the podcast would be at least an hour in length and there simply isn’t enough time. Therefore, my list of basics covers some essentials that have multiple uses and equipment that would allow for units of work in a range of sports, gymnastics or even a sport education model of work if that is a preference.
Below are just a few of my MUST HAVE’S and reasons they need to be in your PE cupboard. Do you agree with none, some or all of them?
- Markers – Cones, rubber spots/lines/hands & feet. I use markers as an Umbrella term a couple of items (perhaps that is cheating?). However, these are number one on the list because without a marked area, a lesson could descent into chaos. Markers guide children around the desired playing area giving them a sense of where to be and what to do. They have multiple uses too, try turning a cone upside down and use it to catch an object in, use rubber lines as balance beams to cross a crocodile infested river, there is so much scope if you put your mind to it. To maximise the benefit of using markers, make sure you are well organised and colour co-ordinate everything you do. I always cone out my areas in white cones (this is habit and the children I teach know this). Other colours are used to designate other zones/areas/mark out activities.
- Bag(s) of Balls (pumped up) – I recommend size 3 and 4 footballs. Very versatile as they can also be used in netball, basketball, benchball etc. At the very least ensure there is enough for one ball each in a lesson. We wouldn’t have children sharing a pencil when learning to write, so don’t have them sharing a ball when learning to dribble. Of course there are activities that can be done in pairs and groups, but maximum contact time is essential for developing skills at the ground level.
- Bibs/Coloured Tags – Most obviously used for designating teams, it is commonplace for these to get lost or there not be enough. Four different colours with roughly eight of each colour should be ample. The best thing about bibs and tags are again the multiple uses they have. Bibs are superb for catching activities with very young children due to the fact they float slowly and are easy to grab/snatch out of the air. Tuck them into your shorts and they become a tail for a number of tag based games (foxes & farmers is my favourite) or throw them all in a central zone to become treasure that children must collect! The opportunities here are endless if your imagination is big enough. Make sure your cupboard is well stocked with these!
- Speed Ladders – These are either the most overlooked piece of equipment, most under used or simply under valued in any primary PE cupboard. Unbelievable for a range of activities and something that really motivates the children. Challenge their co-ordination with a number of awesome footwork combinations. Check out Podcast Episode 23 and listen to some of my favourite speed ladder drills! You can even pick up the FREE PDF!
- Hoops – Versatile and full of uses from designating areas, storing equipment or building hula huts, your cupboard should be FULL of these and LOTS of them! For more information on the BEST GAME YOU’RE NOT PLAYING, check out Episode 20 and you’ll never look back!
Now you have a great set of equipment what next? I urge you to first and foremost, keep it in great condition and take pride in it all been tidy. It can be a time consuming task so why not use young sport/PE leaders in your school to do it for you? This is a sound starting point of equipment that can be built upon over the years until you have a comprehensive set of resources. While the PE funding is still alive and kicking, why not treat your PE cupboard to a new lease of life and have your staff excited to get stuck into some PE again.
So come check out this weeks episode of the PE Umbrella podcast and click above to listen NOW or head on over to iTunes to subscribe to the podcast and listen whenever you choose, at your own leisure! I’ll catch you ‘Under the Umbrella’
I Hope that you enjoy this episode, and I would love to hear your own thoughts on ‘The Perfect Primary PE Cupboard’ Send me answers to the following question on twitter or email, I’d love to hear from you.
What would your dream PE cupboard have in it and why?
Simply tweet @ryansporting or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to subscribe to The PE Umbrella on iTunes or Stitcher radio by following the links above, ensuring you never miss another episode again! It would be amazing if you could rate and review the show there and give me your feedback as it will help me further improve the content and the show that I provide for YOU going forward. Have a magnificent week engaging, motivating and inspiring your children, and I’ll catch you next time ‘Under the Umbrella’.