North Town Primary School, Taunton real gym case study
real gym is an innovative approach to support teachers to deliver high quality gymnastics in school and create rounded learners. This vibrant programme develops Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) via gymnastic activities providing children with a springboard for future opportunities.
real gym shows practitioners how to:
- create enabling environments that include, challenge and support all children
- progressively develop gymnastic skills
- apply skills in competitive and cooperative applications
- explore space, apparatus, sequences and floor work
- use large apparatus effectively in curriculum lessons
North Town Primary School
- Town: Taunton, Somerset
- Number of pupils: 440+ (5 - 11 year olds)
- PE Teacher: Mark Templeton
Mark Templeton was originally a class teacher at North Town Primary School before changing roles to deliver PE across the school. The school has been using the real PE approach for three years to develop the whole child. Mark supports the teachers to continually embed real PE and, more recently, real gym across the school.
- All year groups have a real PE lesson delivered by a teacher and a real gym lesson delivered by Mark each week throughout the year.
- Mark attended a real gym Foundation Stage/Key Stage 1 course and a Key Stage 2 course in Somerset in January 2016.
- North Town Primary School has a hall without gymnastics apparatus and some of their PE and real gym lessons take place outside on the playground (due to lunch being set up).
real gym lessons in action:
Why real gym?
"Gymnastics was an area of PE we needed to address; we were ball games and team game orientated and we felt we needed to address other areas. Following the success of real PE at our school, real gym has made it easy to embed the multi-abilities across the whole of PE. We don't teach sports, we teach real PE and real gym with the same cogs to embed learning behaviours in a holistic child-centered approach." Mark Templeton
The impact of real gym on the child
"It has blown apart the children's ideas around gymnastics. By taking part in different 'aesthetic' based activities, many of the children now have a 'sport' that they really enjoy. They feel that their efforts are appreciated and valued, and they take time to share their skills and knowledge with others. The higher ability children can be stretched by gymnastics activities and are able to link real gym to their sports. For example, when we take the balls out to do a real gym lesson, the simple action of adding the ball to leaps, jumps and balances engages them. We talk about the techniques of jumping and catching or throwing a ball and relate them to those required of a goalkeeper. And I can't stop them!
The children learn not only gymnastic and wider PE skills but also life skills via the cogs. They share successes through helping and supporting each other and gain the ability to transfer these skills and attributes to the classroom." Mark Templeton
Why would Mark recommend real gym to others? Watch the video below to find out more.
"I have learned timing, so when we were jumping off the benches, Theo would jump and then we would jump. I also received my reward stickers for teamwork today." Oscar, aged 8. Favourite sport: football
"We get to do harder stuff and have fun while learning. We got to jump off the benches, did a sequence and I get to work with all my friends." Millie, aged 8.