When opportunity knocks!

  • Whewell, E. (Speaker)
  • Anita Devi (Speaker)
  • Andrew Smith (Speaker)

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsOral presentationResearch


Inclusion: supporting SEN/D Pupils KS3 in Physical Education using the Independent Learning Tool (ILT) – an evaluation of the process.

This research arose from an internal faculty-bid; which was centered on investigating the ways in which relationships between teachers and children impact on learning. The team that won the bid developed a one year research project around the use of an independent learning tool (ILT) for children in key stage 3 and 4 (KS3/4) with special educational needs and/or disability (SEND) studying Physical Education (PE). KS3/4 was purposefully selected to explore the support in options-based and core theory lessons as well as practical sessions. Currently it is uncommon for pupils with SEND to have TA support in Physical Education lessons at key stage 3 and 4. Initial feedback from PE teachers indicated that their perceptions are Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) have little training in this specialist area of the curriculum and so are often not engaged in supporting pupils with SEND in core PE (unless specifically trained in physio/manipulation and working 1:1 with pupils). In effect, pupils with SEND are less likely to choose an examination option (e.g. GCSE or BTEC Sport). The ILT is based upon PLTs (Personal Learning Thinking Skills i.e. independent enquirers, creative thinkers, reflective thinkers, team workers, self managers, effective participators) mapped against the requirements for KS3 and 4. The aim of the ILT Research Project was to identify strategies and teaching approaches that may be effective in supporting SEND pupils at key stage 3 in PE/PE-based courses. An action-based research was developed with schools and trailed by schools. Data was collected though questionnaires. The ILT was designed to define the balance between support and challenge; thus enhancing the positive relationships between the specialist PE teacher, support staff and SEND pupils at key stage 3. In effect, schools reported back on the ‘processes of using the ILT in a learning environment and as professionals seeking to improve inclusivity/QFT, rather than specific pupil-based data emerging from using the tool. Whilst the data demonstrated the positive impact of using the tool, what also emerged were key principles for supporting inclusion and a shift from dependence to independence in Physical Education. The findings resonate with ‘good practice’ principles of inclusivity in other subject areas. Phase 1 of the project is under review and the long term vision is to develop, with a technology firm, an app for hand held devices to be used with all children and teachers.
Event titleBritish Educational Research Conference 2014
Event typeConference
LocationLondon, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • special needs and disability
  • SEND
  • physical education
  • inclusion