Kilcreggan Primary School, a rural school with 78 pupils, has been recognised at national level as an example of best practice in the field of PE Disability Inclusion Training.
Training provided by the Commonwealth Games Legacy 2014 programme has enabled the school to increase and extend the PE opportunities to two pupils with quite significant support needs, as well as boosting staff confidence and improving PE experiences for all pupils.
In recognition of the school’s success, head teacher Frances Bretman and Argyll and Bute PE co-ordinator Rona Young were invited to speak about the work they have done, at Scotland’s first Legacy 2014 celebration in Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium.
Three teachers received Scottish Disability Sport training and were able to use their learning to benefit all the pupils in their classes.
Head teacher Frances Bretman said, “It was a great honour to be invited to speak at the Legacy event and to have our achievements acknowledged. We pride ourselves on being an inclusive school where all our pupils are part of our school family. Teachers teach their own class PE lessons; we have no specialist input and the staff are always keen to access any training which will further their skills.
“The course has affected teaching approaches in all areas of the curriculum, making us think clearly about hidden disabilities as well as those very obvious ones.
“The training has also had an impact on how pupils view each other; they are aware of how our disabled pupils are fully included in PE.
“The village community wish to develop the local play park and consulted the children, many of whom thought of facilities for children with disabilities or in a wheelchair.”
For Ollie, aged six, and Kevin, seven, who have some mobility problems, the training has paid off very well, and staff confidence in supporting the pupils has been increased.
Ollie is a typical six-year-old who relies on his wheelchair and support from adults. With help from his support assistant, Ollie is now able to get out of his wheelchair and explore the gym apparatus.
The quality of learning for Ollie is very important and his teachers’ confidence and ideas add to this growth and development within physical education and through play with his classmates.
Kevin needs a walking frame to move around the playground and lacks some fine motor control in his hands and arms. His teacher had no practical experience in working with disabled children.
However, the training gave her the confidence to begin every lesson with all the pupils on the floor so Kevin is at the same height as everyone else. Tennis lessons have been adapted to allow him to take a more active part, with each pair of pupils playing with one seated.
“The training we received has had an impact on those pupils with less obvious disabilities. For example, wearing special glasses during training which limited my vision helped me understand the difficulties face by a pupil who has no vision in one eye,” said Frances.
“It helped us support a pupil who had a leg in a plaster cast following a fall, which would normally have prevented participation in PE. However, we were able to adapt games so the pupil could take part while seated.”