Student Led Plenaries in PE

sax pe picDHS PE teacher Stuart Axten (@StuartAxtenDHS) has been looking at developing effective AfL strategies to use in his own lessons, but also more widely across the department – as a part of his Learning Innovator project.  At the start of every fortnight a new strategy is discussed and shared across the department – who then all try it out and evaulate it’s usefulness.  The most recent strategy is based on the idea of ‘Plenary Prefects’, but adapted specifically for use in PE lessons.

sax learning quoteThe quote above was the starting principle for developing this strategy.  Alongside this, Stuart picked out some key messages from the criteria for outstanding teaching:

  • ‘Questioning varies to stretch the individual learner.’
  • ‘Questioning is open and dynamic and encourages students to listen and respond to each other and promote collective increase in understanding.’
  • ‘Individual learners understand what is to be learned and why… which leads to clear learning outcomes.’


How does the strategy work?

Let the whole class know at the start of the lesson that someone will be leading a plenary back to the rest of the class at the end of the lesson – but don’t tell them who it will be (keep them on their toes)

Towards the end of the lesson, select someone who will be the plenary student.

Plenary student demonstrates the skill that you have been teaching in the lesson.

At each point they ask a random student why each teaching point adds to the success of the skill.

E.G- “Why must my weight be on my back foot in preparation for the smash?”

Student can build in deeper level questioning by asking how the skill contributes to effectiveness in matches/games.

EG- “What impact will the drop shot have in game situations?”

EG- “What is the purpose of the long serve?”… “Why/How will this increase your opportunity to outwit your opponent?”

Students can put hand up and add any points the plenary student missed or ask questions about the skill to draw out purposes/ skill developments or tactical uses at the end.

Teacher can add final comments if needed.


Students can give incorrect information on purpose and students have to correct when they think the wrong answer has been given.

Students can explain the impact of the teaching point without saying it and let ‘audience’ guess what teaching point they are explaining.

Plenaries given in multiple groups with multiple plenary students.

Purpose of student plenaries

  • Engages all pupils, as anyone may be asked a question about the skill.
  • Encourages students to ask and answer own questions.
  • Helps teachers gauge how well students understood the lesson.
  • Can stretch pupil knowledge through deeper questioning.
  • Develops reflective thinking of the task.
  • Develops confidence and leadership roles in front of peers.
  • Create a sense of achievement.


This entry was posted in Guest Posts and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Student Led Plenaries in PE

  1. Chris Moyse says:

    ‘Criteria for outstanding teaching’ what is the source please ?
    Very interesting post ~ thanks for posting

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s