Every year Crazy Catch are delighted to sponsor the School Sports Magazine ” Sports Teacher of the Year” award – This year it was won by Roy Tucker from Cheshunt School. Roy has been at the school over 35 years and we went along to present him with his certificate and a few Crazy Catches which we demonstrated for a group of PE students…
Interview with Roy Tucker …
Congratulations on winning School Sports Teacher of the Year Roy – you must be very proud of your achievements at Cheshunt School Thank-you… Proud is one of the word’s I would use, I would also say immensely flattered. I’m honoured and slightly humbled as I am very aware that throughout the UK there are hundreds of PE teachers doing a job in exactly the same way as I am and for me to be singled out from that group to receive this award is extremely humbling but also a very proud moment in my professional career.
You have been at Cheshunt for over 35 years now, are there any particular highlights that stand out during this time? Apart from being awarded Sports Teacher of the Year! I am very fortunate that over the years I have been able to work through many, many highlights. Both from normal curriculum teaching right through to winning national titles and national awards with my boys, girls and sports teams but probably THE highlight was winning the national schools rugby 7s way, way back in 1985 at Oxford Universities ground in Iffly Road and that will stay with me for a very long time because not only did we win that national title but it was with a very nice group of boys who id built a relationship with from the moment entered the school in year 7 right up to the sixth form when they won that national title.
What is the secret to your successes at Cheshunt School ? It’s not just my teaching success -I have to acknowledge the work of my rest of my department as well and also the work of the students here at Cheshunt. I firmly believe in embedding key skills from the moment students enter in year 7 and we practice and we drill and we practice and we drill so those skills become embedded. We also have built up a rich heritage of success and students now, they go to competitions and they almost expect to succeed and it’s that through that confidence that gives them that extra edge. As we know from the experiences of the likes of Dave Brailsford at British Cycling who talks about the accumulation of small gains and small margins and exactly the same thing applies when teaching in secondary school students as well. I would say the key is the embedding and then further nurturing of those skills.
We have seen what a fantastic year 2012 was for British sports and you are less than an hour from the Olympic park here but have you noticed any impact or changes in your students and perhaps their desire to try new sports or their attitude towards taking part in sport more generally?
The effect that the Olympics in 2012 has had on students here , we noticed immediately coming back to start the new school year in September that the buzz words were success, Olympics, gold, Mo Farah, Jess Ennis and the Paralympics. Immediately we sat down and we started looking at ways in which we could build on that success and we interview our students and gave them questionnaires and we have been trying to identify activities they particularly want to introduce into the curriculum that aren’t already there at the moment and we are looking to get people who have got wider experiences than we have got here within the PE faculty to help start off and deliver those activities.
It seems you have some fantastic sports leaders here- can you explain their role in engaging other students in sport at Cheshunt School ? The Sports leaders scheme that I run here at Cheshunt School – If I had to actually identify one area of current success and one area that makes me more proud than anything else of my students, I would actually identify the work of the Sports Leaders. We identify students with appropriate qualities from the moment they come to us in year 7 and in their very first PE lesson we will give some students some responsibility for leading other small groups of students and over the course of their first few weeks at Cheshunt School, every student will have had an experience of leadership and from observing those students, we start to identify those who we think are going to possess the correct qualities, the right attitudes, the right values that we are going to be able to develop into successful sports leaders. From then they start to come out with me, and they start to officiate and organise local activities, local competitive events with KS1, KS2, KS3 – As they go up through year 8 and year 9 , they start to take responsibility for the managing of activities, the managing of district events as well as the officiating and by the time they get into year 11, 12 and 13 we form a different group of what we call “elite sports leaders” and they actually work with National Governing Bodies and they organise and manage national events all throughout the UK and for me to take them from activity to activity, venue to venue and watching them work really is a hair standing up on the back of your neck moment when you see the quality of their work and the confidence and accuracy that they fulfil their duties.
If you were prime minster for a day- what policies would you bring in to improve sport in schools? We are talking cloud cuckooland here and a nirvana situation but it would have to be unlimited funding. It would have to be unlimited outside coaching. It would have to be a fleet of bulldozers coming into schools with dilapidated facilities, getting rid of them and rebuilding them with state of the art facilities so a few million would be needed!!
Finally – Today Flicx UK have been here demonstrating the Crazy Catch. How do you think the product has been received by students and how you think PE teachers could benefit from using the product going forward? I’ve never seen they Crazy Catch systems working before and I know if your communications you promised the session would be interesting and fun! And I was surprised and impressed with the equipment that the students have just been using. Initially I made the error of assuming it would be a very cricket based activity but watching the students in action – then the range of different activities that I can see it being used for and the range of different skills that it will develop in students who use it- the obvious one is co-ordination but just watching the students over the past half an hour being used it in our gymnasium we have been able to see and I have been discussing it with Amy one of my sports leader we have seen it developing the students speed, agility, co-ordination, reaction times. One of our key issues that we breed in every lesson is the have to both succeed and enjoy and in the course of the time I’ve spent watching them use the Crazy Catches, I’ve been able to see every single student both succeeding and enjoying using that piece of equipment so I can see it having absolutely limitless different opportunities here for our students to develop.