Top Teacher Wins Sport Scholarship

Head of Physical Education and Health Jenny Bloom has earned several professional accolades this year – including being finalist for Coach of the Year at the Waikato Secondary School Sports Awards and in the Hauraki/Thames-Coromandel District Sports Awards, as well as being nominated as one of New Zealand’s Most Inspiring Teachers.

She also won a scholarship to look at Sport in Education (SiE). That gave her the opportunity to visit schools involved in SiE to see how they put the programme into practice. Jenny wrote about her experience for us.

There were 11 recipients. We all met in Auckland and traveled to Howick College. There, we had workshops with the lead teachers from Howick College and Papakura High School. We then travelled to Tauranga Boys College, and on to Te Kuiti High School. We flew down to Dunedin and visited Queens High School and Kaikorai Valley High School. 

Each school has a slightly different approach to SiE but the success of the programme is consistent across all of the schools. Sport in Education is a highly effective model which requires a change in teaching pedagogy to improve student achievement. Research has shown that students work well using sport as a context. SiE involves adopting a similar teaching style to Physical Education. Learning becomes a lot more active, which has had a positive spin-off on student engagement, achievement, attendance and retainment. 

We were asked to bring all that we saw and learnt back to school with the hope of implementing SiE at Thames High School. We are advised to start small, and to get a small interested team together and ‘having a go’. We have expressed an interest in being anSiE school and hope to receive an invitation to be one of the 15 schools invited to be part of the programme for the next 3 years, with the intention of making this a permanent approach to teaching with specific targeted group of students.