Crossbar's PE challenges helped keep pupils active during lockdown

A Shropshire company which delivers PE in a number of the county's primary schools is looking forward to keeping pupils active after returning to the classroom.

Crossbar Coaching Education in Sport has been providing PE sessions across the curriculum in Shropshire schools since 2008.

Its team of coaches delivered PE classes to children of key workers who continued to attend school throughout lockdown, while also introducing ways to engage with pupils studying at home since January.  

Kevin Sandwith, Crossbar’s head of education in sport, said: “We were still able to deliver PE to the children of key workers at school and we also encouraged our staff to provide some online activities for the pupils at home, various weekly challenges which were uploaded to platforms that the schools use.

“It meant children were still able to see a familiar face in a PE capacity, with some form of activity provided for pupils working from home.

“It included a variety of fitness challenges, circuit-based bodyweight exercises like press ups, mastery of a football, and other fun activities.

“The online content was very well received by head teachers and a lot of parents, so it worked well in difficult circumstances.

“It’s been good to see that pupils have stayed active at home, as well as the pupils that have still been going to school.”

Kevin added that Crossbar, based at Lilleshall National Sports Centre, is proud how its team managed to adapt to a challenging situation for schools and pupils.

Crossbar’s coaches will now be supporting teachers in helping children settle back into school after last week’s return.  

Kevin said: “Situations like this you can never plan for, but you just adapt and work around it as best you can. We couldn’t be any prouder of our staff and the team of coaches and apprentices we have. 

“They have been absolutely first class and it’s testament to them that they are receiving some really good feedback from schools about their flexibility and ability to work in a different capacity. 

“Some pupils returning to school might have a little bit of anxiety around it because they’ve been away for so long, so that’s where our coaches will show their enthusiasm and empathy to guide them in the right direction and get the fun element of PE into their weekly structures to get everybody active.”

Meanwhile, the Crossbar Foundation will be funding free Maths on the Move sessions for Shropshire primary schools during the summer term.

Another exciting way to get children active through education, it’s a programme that provides support to schools in enhancing the performance of pupils in maths and sport.

With the aim of helping children develop their maths skills and confidence, it’s produced impressive results since being introduced by Crossbar’s coaches.

The range of fun activities is designed to get children moving and learning at the same time. 

Kevin added: “It’s a combination of physical activity and maths work, which can positively impact different ability groups through being actively engaged in maths. 

“The Crossbar Foundation is funding places for schools to take part during the summer term and we are looking to increase the levels we deliver the programme. 

“We have had excellent feedback from schools where we have already provided Maths on the Move sessions.”  

Pictured: Crossbar Coaching Education in Sport has been providing PE sessions across the curriculum in Shropshire schools since 2008.

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