What it's all about
The 2012 Olympics may seem like a distant memory but Games fever continues to inspire and motivate pupils, writes Samantha Mitchell.
At Watford Grammar School for Girls, we have been running a programme for key stage 3 (S1-3) that gets everyone to explore their character, ideals and values through a poster template and web-based resources. Called Inspire Aspire, it is based on Olympic and Paralympic values and has proved a powerful way to encourage pupils to examine their beliefs and goals.
Pupils began by studying an athlete who inspired them, examining their motivation, major challenges and key factors that helped them to succeed. They then reflected on their own motivations, ambitions and beliefs. After this, they explored a set of values in more depth, before choosing one to focus on for their own self-improvement.
The project concludes with pupils producing posters on their findings. Gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded for the best posters in regional ceremonies across the UK.
Taking part in Inspire Aspire has produced some surprises. While many pupils chose athletes who competed in the 2012 Games, one pupil opted for track-and-field gold medallist Jesse Owens, the star of the 1936 Berlin Games.
Another unexpected boon was watching pupils become more excited about taking part in PE and other extra-curricular activities.
Last year, about 90 pupils on our gifted and talented register for PE participated in Inspire Aspire. This year we are expanding it to more pupils after incredibly positive feedback. The programme has also had a particular impact on less motivated pupils, whose attendance and performance has improved. www.inspire-aspire.org.uk.