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Schools Case Studies

Birmingham Schools Project

Date Added: Tue, 15 Mar 2005

Related tags: Competition, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 2, Extra-curricular, Cross-curricular, ICT Links, Lea, Community, Birmingham

Birmingham Schools Project Report (0.5 Mb PDF)

Why the LEA has backed the project

The City Council are very committed to this initiative and see it as part of its overall education and community strategy. This means it will be used strategically to support school improvement agendas including targeting groups with regard to improving behaviour, participation and attendance, raising self esteem and confidence and encouraging healthy lifestyles as well as developing rowing skills.

There are a number of key drivers, which form the context for the proposal being put forward by Birmingham City Council and in particular by the School Effectiveness Division within the Learning and Culture Directorate. These include: localisation, personalised learning, inclusion, 14-19, partnership, emotional well being of pupils and transforming secondary education.

The project will work through the strategic plan for Physical Education and School Sport, which is a major part of the City Strategy for Physical Activity and Sport. This will ensure clear routes for monitoring the impact and the opportunity for sharing the leading practice that is developed with other schools.

From an education perspective, the benefits for schools are strongly linked to health and fitness, physical education and information technology as well as the sport of rowing. Individual and group competition can be developed and this supports development of teamwork and social skills. There is the potential to link the technology side of the programme through the Birmingham Grid for Learning and it addresses curriculum, Out of Hours Learning and community agendas. There is to be a strong focus on developing IT skills through data analysis, personal profiling and video links enabling competitions to take place on more than one site at the same time.

What has happened so far?

The response from the schools has been incredibly positive. Staff have been creative in the way they are organising the use of the machines.

20 schools have received 5 Model D Indoor Rowing Machines with log cards. Training for teachers has been provided by the Amateur Rowing Association. Concept 2 has also supplied each school with a folder of lesson plans using ideas like Indoor Rowing Golf. Further training is being provided from Birmingham Grid for Learning to train staff in other curriculum areas particularly science, maths and IT. An intranet based site that is accessible to all pupils in the scheme is also being developed. Students will be able to record their own results, record their training, and monitor their improvements throughout the year.

The majority of schools have attended the British Indoor Championships at the NIA and had a fantastic time.

Each school has been asked to produce an action plan identifying how they are using the rowing machines. The focus of these include physical education practical sessions, health and fitness, GCSE teaching and learning particularly around physiology, IT, Science, extra-curricular activities, community use and partner school. Schools are also being asked to monitor the impact and already two schools have sent in case studies of what is happening

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