Welcome to episode 197 of The PE Umbrella podcast, the ONLY dedicated Primary PE Podcast in the world!
Joining me Under the Umbrella this week is headteacher of The Academy at St James in Bradford Chris Tolson. This episode now completes the hat-trick of headteachers who are trailblazing the way for a stronger and broader PESSPA offering in their school, recognising the longer-term implications on their pupils and community. If you haven’t heard those episodes, I encourage you to go back and take a listen to Ian Holmes and Chris Willan respectively.
Most recently you will be familiar with an interview with the excellent Niall O’Brien and the wonderful work he is doing. From my experience, behind every PESSPA success story there is a dedicated team of individuals who help carry the flag and support the vision. Chris Tolson is the Headteacher at Niall’s school and for him, achieving his current setup has been quite a journey. During this episode we dive into what it is like from a school leaders perspective when it comes to placing PESSPA at the heart of your school vision. We venture down many rabbit holes but the main talking points you can expect are:
– What is the importance of PA in its widest sense in your school?
-How does your offering impact on the wellbeing of your pupils?
-How have you shifted your approach and what changes have been made?
-Has your offering improved whole-school outcomes?
-What advise would you give to any PE leads who want to go on a similar journey and need buy-in from SLT?
All of this and so much more is waiting for you in this weeks episode!
One thing that really stood out for me was the humility and self-awareness that Chris has about his own journey and willingness to be a lifelong learner. He openly talks about how much of this way of thinking is very new to him, but how he was and is happy to learn and take this journey regardless.
I feel like in many areas of the current education system and life in general, people are looking for quick fixes and quick wins to make progress, but not many people are willing to put in the actual work and look at improving by that 1% each and every day. Ian and Chris Willan alluded to much the same. This isn’t something that will give immediate returns on investment, but, like the life cycle of the bamboo plant, over time the impact will be remarkable!
What are you waiting for? Grab your note pad(s) and a fancy pen, then come and join us Under the PE Umbrella.
Twitter – @christolsonHT
Don’t forget to subscribe to The PE Umbrella on Apple Podcasts by following the link above, as well as your other favourite podcast providers. I would love for you to rate and review the show there, giving me insight into what I can do to further improve the quality of the show for you! Until next time though, have a great week motivating, engaging and inspiring the children that you teach, and I’ll see you soon, ‘Under the Umbrella’.