Matthew Barnes (Nov 2014)
A life in the week of Matthew Barnes, lead teacher of boys' PE at Tudor Grange Academy, Worcester
My alarm wakes me at 6am. I gather my laptop bag and rucksack and head to David Lloyd, Worcester. I get to school at 7.45 after the gym and go straight into G&T fitness training in the morning. My first lesson is year 11 GCSE PE and the infamous joints lesson using door hinges as props. As per usual it is greatly received and students master the terms flexion and extension. I spend the next lesson marking their three mark questions and signing off PM documents. After school, the year 10 rugby team travel to South Bromsgrove for the first round of the county cup and get edged out 34-29 after a string of injuries to key players.
Straight over to U15 county squad training after this for a talk with coaches about attacking structure. Then I lead a session with the backs before moving on to run the squad run through.
A light teaching day allows me to plan our annual trip to Twickenham for the Six Nations. Also I put together the structure of the KS3 inter-college cup to be held at the end of the half term. This is a new event we are running where students are off timetable all day competing in a sport of their choice, from rugby, football and netball to dance, fitness boot camps and wheelchair basketball. This is in addition to our summer sports day and allows students to experience and demonstrate their ability for selection in school teams in competitive sports. At the end of the day I deliver a whole staff CPD session focusing on low stakes testing, a strategy I frequently use with GCSE PE groups to refresh and build on their knowledge of the many concepts covered in the course. I always find it refreshing to share practice with others and get back some valuable strategies that can be utilised by the department.
My BTEC sport and exercise science sixth formers get a treat today as I introduce them to H.I.I.T (high intensity interval training). The challenge I set them is to work at 80% of their maximum heart rate for over five minutes, measured with the Polar chest straps. After this my assessment-only student has an observation from two university mentors. He teaches a solid good lesson, again, delivering interval training to my year 11 GCSE group. Feedback and assessment of his teaching is thorough and I am proud of his responses to mentors questioning. Every Wednesday afternoon sees KS3 off timetable to take part in an area of interest to them. I have some keen year 7 rugby players and we master the arts of scrummaging. After school I take my year 8 rugby team for a game against a local school. A great performance by our big forwards pack gives us a 17-5 win.
My sixth formers walk in a little sluggishly this morning so fittingly I am delivering a session on cool downs, removal of lactic and carbonic acid leading to delayed onset muscle soreness. At lunch I take my four year 9 badminton players in the sports hall for training before the Worcester schools competition. Two students are very efficient tennis players so require their reliance on shoulder movement coached out. After school the badminton team are back to train with trampolining club taking the other half of the sports hall. I then attend our joint leadership meeting where we go over prediction data and e-safety.
I have been looking forward to today for a long time as our annual 5km and 10km races take place. We have 192 students taking part and some great performances see an U16 athlete run 38mins in the 10km. For the 5km, an U14 boy runs 20 minutes and a U12 girl runs 23 minutes. The top students will be selected for county cross country competitions. After the race finishes we have enough staff stay for four-a-side football, the best way to finish any week. It is my partner’s birthday so we go out for an Italian with her family and I indulge in a couple of G&Ts (please drink responsibly).
Up early for bootcamp at the gym. I get myself around the session albeit at less intensity than usual. After this I get on the M5 up to Coventry to assess a year 11 GCSE student taking part in water polo. This sounds easier than it is because, with all the players in the same coloured cap with very small numbers, it is difficult to follow. An accurate assessment is made nonetheless.
Sunday starts with circuit training in the gym followed by clearing the garden of old kitchen worktops, which got replaced in the week, and other rubbish to the tip. I get back home from to hear hissing from my back tyre and find a huge puncture. Two new tyres from Kwikfit and a lighter wallet. Sunday evening is my marking catch up and filling in my teacher planner for next week. I do the latter whilst watching catch up TV from the week. The Great British Bake Off is this Sunday’s programme of choice. Then it’s early to bed ready for a really busy week ahead with two rugby fixtures, a badminton tournament and year 11 parents evening.
A LIFE IN THE WEEK OF