Special needs school children excel with Active IQ

Year 10 and 11 students at the special learning needs Shapwick School near Bridgwater in Somerset are delighting staff by excelling in the new Level 2 Certificate in Health, Wellbeing and Physical Activity provided by Active IQ.

The new certificate is designed to be studied over two years alongside GCSEs and has been carefully constructed to ensure the learning and assessment processes are accessible to students of all abilities.  It covers fundamental health and wellbeing elements including how the body works; principles of health, fitness and wellbeing; lifestyle behaviours for health and wellbeing; exploring healthy eating; emotional health and wellbeing; managing health and wellbeing, developing leadership skills and assist in planning and leading an event to promote active, healthy lifestyles.

Roger Petch, Faculty Lead of PE and Humanities had a leap of faith to bring the opportunity for trialling the new Certificate at the School. “Our students have special learning needs and face certain barriers to education,” he explains.  “Modular, practical, course-work based study is generally more accessible for our students, many of whom have reading, writing and processing difficulties.  A linear course with one or two big exams based on long essay type answers simply doesn’t suit the students: they are able to learn and assimilate detailed knowledge but may not have the ability to get it all down in writing in exam conditions,” he says.

The Active IQ Level 2 Certificate in Health, Wellbeing and Physical Activity examines students via multiple choice answers and assesses their practical skills and case study work face-to-face.  This suits them very well and makes the course fully accessible.

The new KS4 Level 2 Certificate in Health, Wellbeing and Physical Activity Leadership is being welcomed by schools who want to enhance their personal, social and health education (PSHE) provision. Furthermore, it offers a robust alternative qualification that carries with it the many social benefits for the individual pupil, the school and the wider local community.

Roger likes the emphasis on leadership in this Certificate. “Our kids struggle with the written word but many make fantastic leaders and coaches.  Taking them to primary schools to run sports festivals builds their confidence and self-esteem and gives them relatable life skills,” he says. 

“Leadership and interaction with others has largely been removed from GCSEs: the Active IQ Certificate brings these skills to the fore and is proving hugely successful in helping build interpersonal and social skills among our students and the local community,” says Roger.  

The leadership module in the Certificate entails the Shapwick School students going to other schools to run physical activity programmes for younger children.  “Although some of our children have difficulty initially with social skills, the practicality of this programme and their sheer enjoyment running activities brings out the best in them,” says Roger. “Before they know it, they’re running a physical activity session with a class of younger kids and the confidence boost they gain is immeasurable.”

Roger and his team deliver the training themselves and have an internal verifier checking the standards are being met. He believes the Certificate stands out for the following reasons:

The workload and paperwork are more manageable than a similar BTEC

The course is straightforward to teach and learn

Coming from a leisure industry start point – not an educational one – he feels Active IQ is more professional, slick and focused; there is less red-tape and bureaucracy

The professional tracking, assessments and moderations are friendly in their delivery

The paperwork is efficient and the Active IQ support is excellent

“We can tailor this Certificate to each individual student to suit their personality and way of learning – be that on a laptop or paper, seating or standing, individually or with partners. None really respond well to ‘chalk and talk’ teaching: they are more responsive to flashcards, revision aids and mind maps,” he says. “Our students respond well to practical stimuli, role play, assessments and physical activity – all this can be done with this Certificate.Special needs schoolchildren excel with new Active IQ Level 2 Certificate in Health, Wellbeing and Physical Activity

“This Certificate can be a pathway to a career in physical activity, coaching or training but is also a great way to teach students about their own health, fitness, wellbeing and social skills,” says Roger. “Presenting this essential healthy lifestyle knowledge in an accessible way makes this Active IQ Certificate a valuable addition to KS4 timetables,” he believes.

For more information or to speak to Active IQ or Shapwick School, contact:

Katherine@actionpr.co.uk 07787 533143



June 27, 2018

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