For some the GAA’s ability to get into schools and lead the conversation on sport at such a young age is a source of frustration. The reality is though that it has not so much the resource as the understanding of the importance of making itself part of every community.
The strength of the Games Promotion Officer network has now been mirrored in the Association being first out of the blocks to create a full resource ‘hub’ for Gaelic Games as part of the Leaving Cert PE Curriculum.
It is also another clear example of how the GAA is working closely with the Camogie and Ladies Gaelic Football Association to present a joint vision of Gaelic Games in one setting.
The GAA LCPE is an online portal gathering together resources created across a variety of age specific coaching and values driven modules that is being made available free of charge to teachers and schools across the country.
It will put Gaelic games to the fore in how teachers who have taken on the initial pilot of Leaving Cert as an examinable subject, and those who follow them, will look for help in teaching.
When the decision was taken to raise the credibility of PE by making in examinable Sport Ireland brought together a large group of sporting NGB’s to explain the opportunity and the pathway to making a resource like this possible.
We understand there was significant interest but that it faded a little with competing and more immediate pressures on time and funding.
The GAA was the one to grasp the longer term benefits of being there at the beginning and also playing to a strength it has always had in schools.
“To be honest as a teacher and a principal, while I clearly loved sport, the idea of PE was never given credibility in schools,” said GAA President John Horan, an idea backed up by Niall Moyna who walked away from teaching PE for the same reason at the start of his career in education.
“Promoting such a culture of sharing information among teachers, including presentations, lesson planners, class notes and resource, will help everybody to more effectively tackle the challenges presented by this course,” continued Horan.
“The GAA deserve great credit for showing the initiative here to set up this online resource,” said newly appointed Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh who used to teach in Dublin alongside Dublin Ladies Football Manager Mick Bohan.
“The enthusiasm and their engagement with the Camogie and Ladies Gaelic Football Associations in order to create this resource is another fine example of the GAA being ahead of the game.”
“It’s a big positive when you see an organisation with the reach and influence of the GAA taking the initiative to offer extra resources for teachers and students and provide really valuable back-up to the dedicated supports being provided by the Department of Education and Skills for schools who have begun the Leaving Certificate PE course.”
The new resource allows users to enter a fully secure, private community, with teachers linked to each other for the development and sharing of information and knowledge, while learners are specifically linked to their own class.
The portal in turn is then supported by an online resource library giving the user access to the GAA’s extensive portfolio of educational content. It also provides a suite of tools allowing teachers to better facilitate class discussions, track progress through learning outcomes, rate and provide feedback on lessons, assign and correct homework, assist in preparation of class materials and facilitate formal monitoring and testing of learners, while promoting the GAA’s underpinning values of wellbeing and lifelong learning.
“The resource covers the biological, psychological, social and spiritual or values driven elements of what physical education can and should be about,” said Pat Daly, Director of Games Development.
“This resource is available to all and it shares many of the lessons we have learned through the development and growth of Go Games, Cúl Camps, the Five Star Centres and other areas in which we have sought to place our games at the heart of communities.”
Sport for Business will publish a major report on the development of sport and physical activity in education as part of a new partnership with PExpo at Dublin City University on March 6th 2018. If you would like to know more about being involved in some way with this initiative email us today for more information. Please quote PExpo in the subject line.
Image Credit: Seb Daly, Sportsfile