Brays School in Sheldon is a special day school in Birmingham, where 52 children out of 74 have progressed within PE since an Evolve Health Mentor has been employed.
The site in Sheldon takes 112 children with physical needs, severe learning difficulties, profound and multiple learning difficulties, specific communication and learning needs, visual impairment and hearing impairment. Those with a combination of complex medical conditions and sensory level autism may also attend this site.
Health Mentor Tom Pagett has been working with the children for two years. He said: “I offer PE for every ability and adapt the sessions to suit each child. Some pupils are encouraged to push balls to encourage movement and stretch their muscles, experience texture through ribbons and parachutes or enjoy the sound of bell balls to stimulate the senses.
“Games such as dodgeball and cricket are adapted to suit ability and ensure safety. I greet every child and say hello. They respond well to bonding with me to increase the impact of mentoring.
“I have seen a major increase in children jumping up a PE level and some are at National Curriculum level now. But it is not just about levels. Children with degenerative conditions also benefit from the physical activity.”
Brays School head teacher Caron Davis recognises the value Tom brings to the school.
She said: “Tom plays a positive and significant role in our school. His physical workshops and the introduction of exercises in class are having a greater impact than we expected and his work is an excellent addition. He has progressed children’s PE levels. He does all the planning and is an asset to the team.”
Pupil reports compiled by Tom demonstrate the progress of the pupils he mentors. One report said: “He has improved significantly in PE this year. He is able to work in small groups demonstrating good teamwork skills with limited support to encourage him to stay on task.
“He shows some spatial awareness when he is participating in PE. With support he can follow game rules and can aim his kicks and throws towards a target.”
A second said: “He has started to link skills and actions in ways to suit the different type of activity. He can copy, repeat and explore simple skills and actions with basic control and coordination. He has begun to show some understanding of simple tactics within some PE activities. During PE lessons he can talk about how to exercise safely and how their bodies feel when participating in activities. He enjoys all aspects of PE and always puts 100% effort into everything he does. He particularly liked the team game, gross motor and gymnastics topics, and excelled in dodgeball (team games), throwing the foam javelins using the correct technique (gross motor) and sequence making (gymnastics) involving different movements.”
If you would like to learn more about Evolve and the work of their Health Mentors, you can make contact using 0845 519 8446 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.