Leadership Training at King's Ely Junior School

Success comes in numerous ways.  I hope that Joe doesn’t mind me saying that his writing isn’t his greatest strength; that he doesn’t enjoy classroom work; that studying languages in particular is a real challenge.  However, what I saw on the five weeks of training to run a Power House Games, was a different student entirely.  His ability to grasp the practicalities of inclusive and adapted sports, his enthusiasm for setting the equipment up and explaining it to his peers, and his empathy for alternative learning styles, was little short of extraordinary.  Joe graduated in our first course of Leadership Training as the first ever “P2I Young Leader”: a great success!

The course ran for five consecutive weeks in the last lessons of a Tuesday at King’s Ely Junior School. Each week we had 10 students from Year 8 come and try out a different pair of inclusive and adapted sports. Joe, Jack, Krish and Cyrus – though it was Joe who helped every week – came in rotation the lesson before and learnt the games themselves and then had to teach it themselves to the 10 students. Learning to teach is an invaluable skill, and requires totally different tools than those we typically acquire in a classroom setting.

The sports are new to most: sitting volleyball and visually impaired football; boccia and floor lacrosse; new age kurling and target games; kwik cricket goalball; and zonal wheelchair basketball for a whole session to finish.

Visually impaired football requires becoming familiar with being blindfolded and guiding a blindfolded partner and for our leaders, then working out how to train their peers in a short time how to do this.  It requires empathy; anticipation – is that guide going to allow a partner to walk into an obstacle?; and tact, as some find it much harder than others.  But the students love it and they learn trust and communication in bucket-loads.

Joe was a star at boccia, happy to flex the available space, a sloping area on play-area-fake-bark, to make the games inclusive and fun, and constantly reminding his peers why they were learning this game: it is the most inclusive game there is, played to the most phenomenal standard imaginable by people with profound impairments at the Paralympics.

We finished with wheelchair basketball, in a zonal configuration. This is one of the most popular amongst non-disabled athletes: all the participants wanted to be in the four chairs rather than running around in the centre of the court!  As we had only four chairs (all that I could fit in my car!) we had two play two at either end of a shortened court, so one defender and one attacker in a chair in each team.  The others played non-disabled basketball, but were denied access to the “shooting zones”.  Even Mr Andrew Marshall, King’s Ely Junior’s First Deputy Head, joined in – it was such fun!

If you wish to have such training at your school, please get in touch – click here to contact us.