Thursday, 13 November 2014

One Goal for personal development

We advise all our students to gain as much relevant work experience as they can during the course of their studies.

For the past few months Jess White has been working for One Goal - a company specialising in providing high level sports coaches across Manchester.

Her role includes helping to develop children's physical literacy, fundamental movements and sport specific skills, encouraging teamwork & team-building and improving self-esteem and self-confidence.

Jess takes KS1 & KS2 classes, covering core movement and motor skills, which are important during a variety of activities she teaches including dance, gymnastics, invasion games, cricket and athletics.

By creating adaptable and flexible sessions, Jess assists teachers to help them develop their own knowledge and experience which will enhance their skills in teaching these activities.

Jess said: "My role is predominantly practical-based, however I also manage and facilitate a programme called 6 habits which can be classroom or practical.

"The programme encourages children to develop and display positivity towards school and home life. Each habit forms a fundamental skill in building a positive character and once embedded becomes a skill for life.

"At the end of each term I conduct an individual child assessment which focuses on how they're developing. This includes specific skill development, e.g. how they've improved and performed in gymnastic or more generic fundamental skills.

Jess can be responsible for around 30 children at a time, and admits the role is demanding but also rewarding. "Seeing a child develop not only physically, but also within themselves from a confidence and self-awareness perspective is the reason I love my job so much," she said.

"I feel such a sense of achievement working with children, especially one-to-one, when I can see that with encouragement and support the difference it makes to their self-worth, confidence and teamwork skills. It's great to see them take pride in their achievements and ability, but also to see them want others to do well."

Monday, 3 November 2014

Placement boosts student's career hopes

Student employability is a key component of the UCLan Sport Studies programme.

Ben McGarry has used this to his advantage to secure a role as a Sports Instructor with UKLC at their centre in Chester. We spoke to Ben to find out more.

"UKLC are a language school which uses sport as a vehicle to improve the English of children from different nationalities. I undertook a short term contract helping prepare and deliver various sporting sessions which would engage children and improve the use of English within them.

"This was an excellent experience, as I was able to improve my communication skills and develop new coaching styles to enhance my ability as a coach. Although sport was my main focus, I was also was involved in the majority of the evening activities for the students. These ranged from ghost hunts to fashion shows, all aimed at getting the children talking English to each other.

"This sometimes took me out of my comfort zone and enabled me to engage with students in a non-sporting context, assisting with any issues they may have. The experience enabled me to develop leadership skills, as I was also asked to lead the evening activities with staff assistance for up to 200 children.

"The job also entailed taking the children on excursions to various destinations around the UK. I was asked to lead these on a number of occasions, which was challenging as I'd never visited some of the places before. This allowed me to further develop my leadership and organisational skills, due to making sure I provided a high duty of care in accounting for students at all times.

"This experience increased my confidence and developed my skills, not just as a coach, but as a person, and has helped me move forward with my ambition to become a teacher. The transferable skills I've acquired will definitely be beneficial in future experiences.

"This job has also opened many other doors, including the opportunity to go and teach abroad due to the contacts I made whilst at the centre. I'd certainly recommend this experience to anyone looking to get into coaching or teaching, and this is just another example of the excellent links you're able to access as a student at UCLan."