An improved version of the Norwich Union shine:awards was launched at last week's Education Show in Birmingham.
Designed for use at all key stages of the PE and ICT curriculum, the website programme gives opportunities for children to try athletics and develop proficiency through a programme of enjoyable physical activity. For schools they can be used to plan a year-round athletics programme, a scheme of work, PE modules, extra-curricular activities or be dipped into for individual lessons.
Subject matter is much the same as the old scheme - a developmental approach favoured by UK Athletics, catering for all ages and abilities.
Level one, play and learn, introduces running, throwing and jumping to three to eight-year-olds. This is consolidated and extended at level two, participation, before specialism is introduced at level three, between the ages of 11 and 15.
A performance level is also available for talented athletes over 14 and a new Judging Award has been introduced to enable A-level pupils to qualify as a UK athletics assistant official. All activities and awards have been adapted to cater for pupils with special needs.
The awards are a great planning aid and resource bank for teachers. Backed by teaching notes and attainment tables to monitor achievement, activities are clearly explained in terms of objectives, lesson organisation, resources and facilities. Perhaps most impressive of all are the video clips which allow demonstrations to be given quickly and without the need for specialist expertise by the teacher. The clips include athletes Iwan Thomas (right) and Jo Wise talking about the awards, their careers and why children might get involved in athletics themselves.
The Norwich Union shine:awards are a great example of how technological innovation can enhance the curriculum. If used with imagination, they could have a big impact on PE and sport in a school.
UK Athletics Tel: 0121 456 5098www.ukathletics.net