My name is Matthew Dunford and I have always had a love for sport. I am a qualified PE teacher and have gained a great deal of experience working across a number of secondary schools in the local area. I wanted to use sport as a way to give young people the opportunities and enjoyment that I had when growing up, and now as an adult. I had always considered that as a PE teacher, I may be able to have a greater influence in primary schools as children need to be inspired from an early age.
"Teachers and coaches in schools are best placed to stimulate pupils’ early interest and enthusiasm for play, physical activity, PE and school sport. Ensuring that the quality of PE in their school is good or outstanding will make a significant contribution to maintaining a legacy of sporting success up to and beyond 2016. This opportunity must not be missed"
Beyond 2012 - Outstanding Physical Education For All - Ofsted Survey - February 2013
After two years at Allertonshire School, I revisited the idea and ambition to one day work with primary school children. With the growing need for increased physical activity in young children, and the new Sport Premium Funding for primary schools, I decided that the time was right to make my move.
I am currently teaching PE at Hummersea Primary School in Loftus, and Alverton Community Primary School in Northallerton, having taught at both schools throughout the previous academic year. I am also a School Sport Coordinator for the Redcar and Eston School Sport Partnership. In both roles I provide CPD and make recommendations on how to best improve curricular and extracurricular PE, competitive school sport, and promoting healthy active lifestyles among children.
Motivating young people to progress and reach their potential is a challenge that I find greatly rewarding. Through sport and Physical Education, I believe that young people can learn essential life skills, such as teamwork, leadership and communication. Giving young people the opportunity to experience new activities can provide them with a hobby for life, and an increased desire to lead a healthy active lifestyle.
In my opinion the subject is a vital part of a young person's education and development, and therefore high quality PE should start from a young age. Having taught in secondary schools, I understand the importance of high quality PE at primary schools in order to provide children with the necessary skills and an enthusiasm for sport. Without this, children can become disengaged with PE and sport, and could miss out on all of the benefits that it brings.
I strongly believe that PE can provide great opportunities for young people to learn the skills that will help them to succeed in life. Children become used to making decisions, often in pressurised situations in a competitive environment. Good decision making can help children to make informed lifestyle choices, allowing them to stay physically and mentally healthy. Mental capacity can be increased, making young people more resilient to the challenges that they will face in life.
Children can also develop analytical skills through self assessment and watching their peers. Leadership and communication skills are developed creating more confident individuals and team workers. These skills are not only transferable across the curriculum but can help children to fulfil their potential beyond education. PE is a subject that can build the confidence and self esteem of those who need it most.
Team work is vital in most areas of PE; being a reliable and hard working team member should be encouraged from a young age as these qualities will prove invaluable as children grow up. Positive values such as respect and sportsmanship are promoted through PE, and above all, PE should be fun and enjoyable.