Case Study: The Get Set Go Programme
(Fundamental Movement Skills for Kiwi kids)
Get Set Go provides educational, developmentally-appropriate fun activities that build and develop the basic skills that children need so that they can choose and enjoy being more active through sport and play, and participate in sport and recreation for life.
Of particular importance in the assessment associated with Get Set Go's involvement in the Fundamental Movement Skills project, is the focus on identifying what elements contribute towards generating effective impact, in terms of on-going effect and the effects if any on the wider sporting community.
In an attempt to capture this wider more valuable information, assessment data for terms 3 and 4 of the 2013 Get Set Go Programme in primary schools has focussed on:
- student achievement
- teacher participation
- wider community impact
For schools involved in the programme in terms 3 and 4 of 2013, students from a cross-section of 25 classes from five schools were assessed on four fundamental skill areas: Skip, Throw, Run and Jump. Students were assessed using a 'Global assessment' technique whereby children are engaged in a realistic environment, playing a specific Get Set Go game designed to focus on a particular skill.
Children were identified and classified into 3 groupings as determined by the Get Set Go developmental sequence skill criteria:
- Discovering stage
- Developing stage
- Consolidating stage
The consolidating stage is considered as children being fully competent in using the identified skill. As the aim of Get Set Go is to support all children to this mastery level of fundamental skills, the class percentage operating at consolidating level was recorded.
Children and teachers were then involved in the Get Set Go activities and games designed to further develop the fundamental skill based on current skill levels. Children were encouraged to integrate the skill into a number of activities at school and at home. Teachers were given tools and ideas of how to include the skill development in simple everyday ways.
Students were then reassessed using the same realistic game setting and results were compared.
Discussions were held with classes that showed significant improvements, which identified these key factors as determinants of skill development:
- daily activities involving the skill
- children being aware of and understanding skill criteria and skill usage rationale
- teacher enthusiasm and involvement
- involving the Get Set Go Home Link resource
All areas showed an improvement in skills. As the pre and post tests were within a reasonably short time frame, with the programme being of only eight weeks duration, we would expect this improvement trend to continue. This expectation is linked to the teacher feedback highlighting their increased confidence and competence to continue developing children's skill levels.
Next steps would be to revisit the schools and gather data to confirm or reject this assumption.
Teacher Confidence and Competence
All Teachers involved in the Get Set Go Programme commenced the programme with a one hour professional development session. Within this session, initial self-reported levels of confidence and competence in teaching fundamental skills were identified. Following the eight-week programme whereby the class teacher and Get Set Go coach work together with students, teachers are again asked to identify levels of confidence and competence.
Specific areas addressed were:
- understanding of the classification and significance of fundamental skills as opposed to basic sporting skills
- ability to determine and recognise skill criteria of fundamental skills
- ability to teach/coach the development of these skills
- confidence in continuing the teaching of fundamental skills without outside provided assistance
100% of teachers involved in the programme in this reporting period reported their confidence and competence around the teaching of fundamental skills had improved.
Some of the comments and feedback from teachers are outlined below:
- "Ideas, games and resource packs are brilliant - makes it so easy to continue the programme after coaches are gone"
- "It was great to see how simple it can be - you don't need lots of equipment"
- "It is incredible to see the improvement in the children, once you know what to work on"
- "It is really easy to include children with disabilities in the programme"
- "The ideas for indoor activities are excellent"
- "We've seen a big improvement in our children's skills and we felt very valued and included as teachers".
Wider Community Links
A significant success associated with the Get Set Go programme in the FMS project has been its flow on impact into the Athletics Clubs community. From the Get Set Go inclusion in schools, the programme has spread to clubs and the wider community, with after-school programmes being run co-jointly by the coaches involved in the FMS project and Athletics Club parents and volunteers.
Similarly to the school programme approach where the focus is on Teacher professional development, the five-week club programme focusses on up-skilling and empowering parents as coaches. The success of this approach has been highlighted by the experience of the Lower Hutt Club programme held at Eastbourne. Initially this was coordinated and managed by the Get Set Go school coaches with parent support, however the ownership and responsibility for sessions has now reversed and the programme is continuing in 2014 with parents leading and running the sessions and the Get Set Go coach involved in a monitoring and support role.
In addition to this club-school link around coaches, a Get Set Go festival was held at Newtown Park whereby children from the general public and schools participating in the Get Set Go FMS programme had the opportunity to attend and find out more information on how to join an Athletics Club involved in Get Set Go.
Having all key partners involved and working together has been a highly effective modal and an excellent start to fostering further club-school links. This is a focus we will continue to strengthen and develop.