Pupils from Grenoside Primary were amongst the first to try out a brand new PE lesson with a difference this week.
Almost 50 year six pupils took on the challenging Greno Woods obstacle course and smashed the course record, clocking up five whole laps as a team.
Described as ‘epic’, ‘extreme’ and ‘muddy’ by pupils, the obstacle course includes a rope challenge, log carry, wire crawl, balance beam and slackline traverse along an off-road woodland trail run. Located at Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust’s outdoor learning site in Greno Woods, the course also benefits from the site’s new facilities – a composting toilet and, coming soon, an outdoor classroom.
The course is at the heart of the Trust’s new Wild PE experience, a six-week course for Key Stages 2 to 4, designed to inspire young people with a love of being active in the great outdoors. The launch of the Trust’s Wild PE experience comes on the back of Sheffield’s Move More Month and the Trust’s own 30 Days Wild campaigns. Chris Smith, the Trust’s Outdoor Learning team leader, thinks it is an excellent way for schools to inspire kids to stay active outdoors.
He said: “A lot of children really struggle to engage in mainstream sports. Getting out in the wild, getting muddy gives them a sense of freedom from the rules.”
Phil Tuffin, Year Six Leader at Grenoside Primary School, was delighted to see the impact the experience had on the children.
He said: “It really reinforced the school’s core values of resilience, resourcefulness and determination. The children worked brilliantly together and everyone was keen on the activities on offer.
We wanted the children to have this experience because we know how engaged they become with tasks out in the wild, and we know that they take this positive attitude back to their work in the classroom and attack their school work with renewed vigour.”
The full six-week Wild PE course includes weekly one-hour PE sessions and is designed to allow pupils to track their own progress. Pupils first pit their skills against the Greno Woods obstacle course and record a baseline measurement of their performance, then build their physical skill, strength and stamina through targeted in-school sessions before returning to the woods to try the obstacle course again and see how they have improved. The obstacle course itself is designed as a team challenge and caters to a wide range of physical skills, allowing every pupil to contribute to their team’s score.
The Wild PE experience is proving popular with schools, and there are just two subsidised places left for Sheffield and Rotherham pupils, which the Trust have been able to make available thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
For more information about Wild PE and other opportunities on offer for schools, please visit wildsheffield.com/outdoorlearningopportunities or contact Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust’s outdoor learning team on 0114 263 4335 or email firstname.lastname@example.org