Last Updated: 02:25pm 05/12/2011

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A few years ago at a Scottish Schools’ conference two young teachers asked our Association if there were a syllabus for the teaching of Athletics. They had been appointed as probationer P.E. teachers to the same school, and as well as being in awe of what was ahead of them in terms of teaching the broad curriculum, they shared a common interest in Track and Field. However, not only did their chosen school not have an athletics syllabus on file, there appeared to be no intention among the male P.E. staff to disrupt the summer term’s football and rounders. 
Well, in terms of their request, there was, and there wasn’t, a syllabus.
There was a syllabus in many individual schools, but there was no national syllabus available. Firstly, our sponsors were amazed at this revelation, and secondly, they offered funding for the material that would support the promotion of Athletics in Scottish schools. And that was how Sandy Robertson, a long-standing member of the Schools’ committee and a national athletics coach, was asked to translate his school’s programme into a national document. Kay Cherry and the other Sandy Robertson provided the critique and the teaching support, and David Peat was engaged to film the result. The result was a syllabus for Secondary pupils in years 1-4, in book form and video [now DVD] .It concentrated on the broad range of running, jumping and throwing, demonstrating the basic skills and their progressions towards recognisable Track and Field events.
 It also showed how to engage as many pupils as possible with games-based warm ups and the use of mass involvement and return activities, with repetition as the mother of learning. Both book and DVD flesh out the broad range with specific lessons that can be shown to a class before and after their session.
When we consider that a coach is defined by Chambers as ‘one who tutors, instructs, prepares for an exam’, then the importance of the teaching element in this material should not be lost on those club coaches who have not had the benefit of a 3-4 year teacher training course.

A.C. Robertson, BAAB Master Coach.

Scottish Schools' Athletic Association (SSAA) at IFAC 2011
The SSAA will present the following workshops:

Sun 30 Oct
SSAA – “On Your Marks” Practical
Sun 30 Oct
SSAA - “foundations for the developing athlete: a school’s perspective” with Kelvin Giles