Andrew Mourant looks at an online resource with advice on PE and sport
For teachers and students going through the hoops of PE, help is at hand in the form of PowerPoint presentations that deal with GCSE, AS and A-level topics. Available as either individually downloadable files or CDs filled with entire units, the presentations are easy on the eye and straightforward to navigate.
To view the whole course, browse through each slide using direction arrows. Otherwise, use action buttons labelled with topic titles on the contents slide to move where required. Each slide has a "home" button that will take you back to the topic's lead slide.
Content comprises the body (subdivided into skeleton, muscular, nervous system, and so on), technology and PE, movement, health, training, drugs, fitness, social and cultural factors affecting participation (school, age, gender etc), and sample exam "Qs" and "As".
The quality mirrors the uneven demands of the course. There is good, clearly tabulated anatomical information alongside the facile, such as a stating of the obvious description of what leisure time is.
The OCR AS contemporary studies and A-level comparative studies material is also available to download and easily navigable. The former is divided into 17 sections - "issues that surround sport and PE as they develop" - anything from tribal cultures to the administration of sport; national governing bodies to grassroots participation.
Some sections are better than others. The one on sports' national governing bodies is a lucid journey through their various functions, and the guide to grass roots participating bodies will be useful. Less satisfactory is a flimsy section on tribal cultures and a pseudo-academic deconstruction of what play is. Some areas are flawed by aberrant apostrophes, notably a recurrence of "it's" instead of "its".
A-level comparative studies divides into 11 sections. It begins with an introduction to the sporting worlds of four countries - Britain, US, Australia and France. It then considers their approaches to PE, sport and excellence.
It comes with images of current icons - excellence in Britain is accompanied by Kelly Holmes and Paula Radcliffe. Each culture is studied with reference to background, PE in schools, ethnic sport, mass participation, sport and the pursuit of excellence and outdoor recreation.
Interesting ancillaries include thumbnail histories of the origins of the national flags and there are lessons worth learning from the section on sport in Australia - "commercial gain as a main priority is removed by imposition of salary caps by the various governing bodies".
The central contract system under which Australian professional sport operates has been adopted by English cricket with gratifying results.
Among plans for the website's future is the creation of a free download section that will include essay-style exam answers and short Qs and As.
Content will be developed to make it more comprehensive and detailed. The BTEC section will be removed as the content will be available directly from Edexcel.