WellyED: Classrooms Across Wellington – Day 4

Today’s post comes from Aotea College.

Year 11 Sports Studies – Aotea College

18 people spending 12 hours or more together sounds like a drag doesn’t it? Well not for Aotea Colleges Sports Studies 101 class. The programme is in its second year of running since it was introduced at Aotea. Sports Studies is where Physical Education combines with Maths and English. People say that Sports Studies is for ‘dumb people’ or for ‘people who are slack with work’ or ‘people who get easy credits’ but when for a fact that last year being the first year of Sports Studies majority of the class finished at the top of Year 11/5th form because people told them they wouldn’t be able to do it, they wouldn’t be able to pass Level 1 being in that class so they worked their hardest, no matter what else they said and they prevailed to not only pass Level 1, but some to pass with an Endorsement in either three subjects.

Learning in Sports Studies is different to most classes; because we spend more time together we get to know each other better and we can help each other learn. It builds more trust within our class. We learn more about each other – our strengths and weakness help us to gain confidence in each other. We bonded faster than other classes because we spend more time together which helped create a better learning environment where we can share our ideas and thoughts freely. Relationships are important for learning to take place. This class gives us the opportunity to build and strengthen relationships more and this strengthens our learning. Participation is high in this class because of how much time we spend with each other and because we are comfortable around each other. We all like coming to sports studies because it has a good learning environment. This class feels like family. The class is not segregated – at the beginning of the year everyone was in their little groups, but now everyone know each other and works with everyone. We get to learn more about the diverse cultures that make up our class. We use our strengths to strengthen others. We help each other out and want each other to achieve and to strive for excellence.

Teachers put learning in a context that we understand (sport) and help us to develop the ideas. The whole class has a passion for sports and being in this class enhances it more. We have fun and learn at the same time. We enjoy the opportunity to be active more than in other classes. We get to work at a different pace from others in the class; we get to work at our own pace that suits our learning – some doing externals and some doing internals. The learning in Sports Studies is more flexible than most classes; the hours per day or per week that we spend on each subject can change according to priorities within a subject. The learning is more in depth – in other classes the teacher will go over it, but then not go over it again. If we get stuck in sports studies the teacher will help us. We feel more comfortable asking for help – we have stronger relationships with the teachers in sports studies because we spend 6 hours per week with them instead of 4. The teachers give clear instructions that help us to do the work more clearer.

“I have achieved more credits from this class because I listen due to the class being interesting. I am more focused when I’m in this class because of it.”

This is a quote from a student in our class that everyone agreed summed up our class. Everyone in our class is committed to gaining their NCEA Level 1 Certificate, and many are aiming for endorsements. We all support and encourage each other to achieve this. Our class may not seem like much and we may not be the smartest people in the world but to us we don’t really mind if we are or not because we have gained knowledge whether it’s from English, Maths, Physical Education or just knowledge of gaining friends and how we treat others which can help us when we’re older and past school.

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