Practical and simple, literacy, numeracy and oracy starters

I have started the ‘Middle leaders development programme’ (MLDP) and as part of that I had to create a proposal on how I intend to make an impact on an area of teaching and learning within my school.

I’ve shown prior interest in developing literacy, numeracy and oracy in my PE lessons, but now I aim to lead others in my department to improve their lesson planning and delivery .

Part of my challenge is to implement literacy, numeracy and oracy opportunities in PE lessons but as a PE teacher I know how frustrating it is to devote time in practical lessons to this. Therefore I have devised these starter activities that can be shared in the changing rooms and/or the ‘hook’ at the beginning of the lesson.

I’ve developed generic and module specific starters to incorporate at the beginning of the lessons.

Here are a few examples.

If you would like an electronic copy, please contact me via twitter @chris2theB and I’ll be more than happy to forward you a copy.


Table tennis examples:

Badminton examples:

Fitness examples:

Generic examples:


Women’s self defence, numeracy, literacy and SMSC in PE

My most recent observation for a Directorate review was scheduled when I had an Instructor delivering self-defence lessons to my class.

Not wanting to cancel on the Instructor or interrupt the SoW I went ahead and planned a lesson that ran along side the Instructor’s.

You will see how I incorporated numeracy, literacy, SMSC and technology into the lesson to achieve a grade 1 judgement,

I’ve made the mistake before by trying to fit my lesson around numeracy and literacy opportunities, this time I incorporated these different aspects where they naturally occurred.


The students had to study the different newspaper headlines and identify any similarities.





After a quick discussion, the class agreed that they were innocent people who had been attacked by other people who didn’t care about hurting others.
Doing this put the lesson into context, to reinforce to the students why we were doing self-defence.

Sharing the key words for the lesson with a numeracy add on, worked well. Quite simply the students had to add up the point score for each word.


A little work on my behalf, allowed a for a very powerful numeracy task to be completed



Lesson objectives:

I produced the slides into a non participant worksheet and also added some observation WWW and EBI questions.

Through the lesson I recorded the girls performance which generated a WWW and EBI discussion in pairs and on the back of my iPad, I created sentence starters for the students to use (which automatically showed progress/ improvement on performance). This allowed for self and peer assessment opportunities.

Progress check and plenary: students wrote on the board whether they were bronze, silver, gold efforts. If they awarded themselves with bronze or silver then that was they extra learning objective/ focus to improve on for the rest of the lesson.


Shot Put, SMSC, numeracy, science, peer assessment, twitter and youtube

Follow on twitter @chris2theb and @broadwayPE

Having to plan for my last PM lesson observation in the last half term was made that little bit more bearable after using @teachertoolkit’ s 5 minute lesson plan.


Again it helped me to structure my ideas quickly and effectively and it also stopped me from ‘over planning’ and over complicating the lesson.

Spending 5 minutes on the plan allowed me more time to create my learning resources which generally for me are the last things I do!

Rather than setting ‘normal’ homework’ I set a twitter competition whereby the students had to use the internet to find the answers to set them up for the lesson observation.

Shot put vivo competition to use

The lesson starter linked with the competition as the students had to estimate the distance the Olympic recorder holder threw the shot put.
Using a video from videojug sport and fitness (YouTube) on technique the students had to write on the board the TP’s for the feet, body position and arm/elbow.

Using the TP’s students used a basketball to develop technique (easier and safer to use, plus all students took part rather than in pairs.
Then using the shot put, in pairs, students then worked together in developing an effective technique and recorded the estimations on the worksheet.
The worksheet also provided visual and written prompts for the students to work from



Any feedback would greatly be appreciated to continue developing effective and efficient resources.

#PE watching others work

Developing fielding skills, independent numeracy and a lot of fun!

Developing fielding skills, independent numeracy and a lot of fun!

I decided that I would make a change to how I teach throwing and catching skills today.

Rather than write up the lesson/ learning objectives, I posed a question. The answers to the question would then be the focus for the lesson (and possibly moving into next week’s lesson).

As a class the students decided and wrote on the board what the most important skills you would need to be an effective fielder would be then we completed activities that would work on improving them.

To consolidate the learning of the skills and the need to be accurate I set up a coconut shy/shie style game.

I split the class into two groups who all had two tennis balls. I marked with a line of cones along the middle line of the gym and placed different sized balls on them (as though they were coconuts). As a team competing against the opposition they had to knock over as many balls as they could and at the end of each game total up the amount of points they scored (simple and easy way to include numeracy). We played a few games and the students worked together in two’s to total up the scores.
Most importantly, students helped each other to find the answer and students corrected incorrect answers themselves and demonstrated how to get to the right answer.


#PE watching others working.

Hassle free, time effective, Numeracy starter in PE created in comic life

Hassle free, time effective, Numeracy starter in PE

The copied this idea from @mat6453 on Twitter.

This poster will be displayed in the changing rooms so when the students are getting changed they can start to work out the answer.

The idea is to get them engaged in what is traditionally seen as wasted/dead time at the beginning of the lesson and the answer discussed once they are changed.

The idea is to slot numeracy into my lessons without taking up any extra time.

Every week a different poster will be displayed with a numeracy focus linked to sport.


#PE watching others working.

Minimal planning… maximum impact… Numeracy in PE

Minimal planning... maximum impact... Numeracy in PE

On reflection, numeracy opportunities that naturally occur within lessons are the most effective ways to highlight how much numeracy is involved in PE and Sport.

There are lots of opportunities where numeracy can be put into context and references made to different sports and how important a good grasp of maths is required without too much planning and delivery from the teacher.

Here is a simple but effective example:

Indoor cricket.

Each student batted individually and had an over each to score as many runs as they could (including boundary scores and runs made)

The tournament had 3 innings and to keep it simple we recorded;

The amount of balls faced
Amount of runs achieved
Who on the fielding team either bowled or caught them out.

At the end of each innings we had a discussion about performance and setting targets to improve on for the next innings.

At the end of the lesson, at first with little direction from me I asked the students to study the board and come up with any facts or statistics they could see.

On the photo you will see that students created results/ statistics based on:

The runs on each innings
The runs made overall
The number of students that completed a whole innings without being out
The most effective fielders

Not a bad start to say it was our first attempt!

So with our analysis we’re going to use this information to look more tactically at our batting game to become more effective batters.

If you’re focussing on developing numeracy within a unit of work, first look to where it happens naturally and make the most it! as it doesn’t have to be in depth or the whole focus of your lesson.