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  • Writer's pictureESPFA


With the first term of the academic year behind us, we look back on what has been an unusual and challenging time for the education side of the programme. In the first half-term of the year, a lot of new practices were brought in that would have been alien to a lot of people. Now with more of an understanding of how to deliver the education course while adhering to government guidelines in terms of social distancing and to reduce the risk of transmitting Covid-19, how have the tutors coped in the second term of the year?

Tom Anderson, who is the tutor from Belper Town was lucky enough to stay in the classroom and teach face-to-face all term. He said: “In terms of teaching, it’s been fairly simple really and there hasn’t been much of a difference, as we’ve been in education face to face the whole time. Since I have started there hasn’t really been much difference, aside from all of the learners being a lot more spaced out in the session and temperature checks on arrival. I would say it’s been pretty positive, as the students now have a lot more personal space for their work.”

It has been an exciting term in the classroom for all of our students with them learning some very engaging and interesting Units. When we spoke to Belper Town tutor, Tom Anderson he told us about the units his students he has been teaching this past half-term. He said: “during the latest half term, the 2nd years have been working on Unit 17, which is Psychology for Sports Performance. We have looked at key elements, such as stress, motivational theories, group dynamics and theories of arousal, trying to understand how they can have an impact on sport performance. For first years, they have been learning Unit 5 which is anatomy and physiology, with a main focus on the cardiorespiratory system and how it works and the role it plays in exercise. Unit B is health, wellbeing and sport, trying to understand how sport and other physical activities can have an impact on both your physical and mental health. For Unit C1, which is Developing Coaching Skills, they have been looking at the role of the assistant coach, understanding the roles and responsibilities they have and the tasks they would need to undertake if they were in that position.”

This year the education programme has undertaken a new model of teaching, which splits first-year students and second-year students up to allow them to focus on specific units. Tom Anderson told us how his students have responded to this change in teaching. He said: “The first years I would say it has been more of a struggle, as they are dealing with a different unit every day. The second years have it slightly different, as they focus on one unit at a time, unless they are in extended sessions as well. I feel that they manage it a little better than the first years.”

Whilst Belper Town may have been lucky enough to be able to maintain face-to-face learning all year, this hasn’t been possible for a lot of team due to some students having to self-isolate and revert back to online learning. Despite this Sam Shaw, regional manager for the North thinks that students have coped really well this these disruptions and managed to keep up the high standards set in the classroom. He said: “The constant back and forth with restrictions and periods of self-isolation has made it really difficult for students to maintain any sustained consistency, however I have to say they have responded superbly, and all of our teaching staff have adapted to any challenges incredibly well.”

He added: “Students have been brilliant in the classroom this term and I've been really impressed, even when the added motivation of football matches hasn't been there. They've continued to adapt well, work more flexibly and I've no doubt they'll take this into 2021 and beyond.”

From everyone at the ESPFA we would like to thank all our tutors and students for their hard work and determination over the past challenging term. The students work that has been submitted has always been to a high standard despite many distractions and obstacles throughout the term and tutors have conducted themselves in a professional manner to accommodate students during these difficult times. Keep up the good work!

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