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Schools Case Studies

Frankley Community High School

Date Added: Thu, 20 Jan 2011

Related tags: Key Stage 4 Girls, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 2, Extra-curricular, Funding Ideas, Indoor League

Frankley Community High School situated on the outskirts of Birmingham is a relatively small school with just under 500 pupils on register ranging from years 7-11.
Since the introduction of the Concept2 indoor rowing machines in Nov 2006 the PE DEPT has seen a noticeable positive effect in PE lesson/KS4 girls PE lessons and extra curricular participation levels.

PE Lessons

The PE department introduced a unit of HRF (in corporating the use of the indoor rowing machine) to KS3. The pupils not only learned how to operate the machines and improve technique but also gained a far greater understanding of there own personal fitness through recording heart rates/graphs and setting performance targets.
Coinciding with the Concept2 internet league each class was split into teams of 8 and entered into the internet league. Challenges were rowed once a week in lessons and teams returned at break/lunch and after school to improve there times. The unit of HRF was a huge success and is once again been implemented into the 2007/2008 KS3 curriculum activities.

KS 4 girls PE lesson participation levels

In what seems to be a nationwide problem of girls taking part in PE at KS4 and an issue we as PE teachers are forever trying to solve I was amazed the effect the rowers had on yr10/11 girls. Not only did the girls who wouldn't normally bring kit start to bring it, but they also started to take part in lessons!
KS4 girl's lessons were based on teams of 8 taking part in wireless races against each other. Not only did participation levels increase so did competitiveness and noise levels. It was deafening at times but it didn't matter as it was the first time I'd heard these girls shout about anything to do with PE!
A ladder system was set up for lessons and teams would gather round to see what position they were in. Teams would form huddles and decide the best formation to row in and how to beat the opposition. At times it really was comical, when I rose my voice one day during a race to say "Girls, it's the taking part that counts. You're trying to improve your own times, whether your in first of last place" it was met with "Miss, I'm not getting this sweaty just to take part, I'm in it to win!". The rowers brought an exciting challenge to the KS4 girls and also formed a sense of team spirit throughout the year group.

Extra Curricular

Girls participation levels have always been low in clubs and teams in our school so it wasn't hard to spot why all of a sudden girls were coming to clubs. The rowing room was been used at break/lunch and after school and a rota had to be set up for year groups to have use of the room. Many boys who perhaps weren't keen footballers also found that rowing offered them a chance to try something new and of course to try and beat the Head of Department times on the rower!

The rowers led us to hammersmith in London for the National Indoor Rowing School Championships. Frankley sent 32 girls and 16 boys to the event and an enjoyable day was had by all.
The highlight of the year came after much hard work when the year 7,8 and 9 girls all won first place in the Birmingham Schools Indoor Rowing championships at Nechells on 12th July 2007.

What next for indoor rowing in Frankley CHS?

Having spent the last 8 months experimenting with the rowing machines the PE dept is excited at the possibilities of the use for the indoor rower.
Through the national SSCO programme some of Frankley's feeder primary schools have already been introduced to the machines in the form of breakfast rowing clubs and this will continue in the next term also been supported by the year 11 sports leader pupils. The year 10 girls LIVING FOR SPORT PE group has already started planning to hold a Frankley CHS fundraising rowing event 'Rowing the English Channel' a total distance of 35,000m. The event will be held before Oct 2007 so watch this space!

Miss Jenny Quinn
Head Of Girls PE/SSCO
July 2007

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