What is it like to go from part time to full time at Fiesta
What is it like to work for Fiesta?
Working for Fiesta is amazing. The team are so dedicated to getting the best out of the children but also the other staff they push each other on. The children are great to work with the see that you are passionate about teaching the sport and they then want to learn as well they listen to what you have to say and want to do it. Then it comes to camps days full of fun games and challenges these games and challenges depend on what camp you have signed up for we have camps such as; football camps, multi sports, nerf fun, adventure camps, racket camp even mini Olympics. We deliver camps that will suit anyone and work for all ages.
How did you feel when you first started?
When I first started I was nervous but also I was excited. Coaching sport is something I have always been passionate about and something I have wanted to do and as I have got older I have wanted to work within education.And fiesta was is perfect for that. Going in to a new place and meeting new people did make me nervous as it’s something different to what I was used to. The first few weeks I was very nervous but over the weeks I grew in confidence and felt like I had been part of fiesta for years. That is down to the welcoming and friendly team.
What was it like to work part time?
Working part time was good I was able to balance work, college and also personal life all around each other. Being able to work and also complete my college course was perfect. They both worked off each other working for fiesta opened me up to more ideas in which I then took in to my college work and then like wise I was able to use what I learned with college and take it in to Fiesta. After being part time for a quite a while, t I was then given the opportunity to work full time in which I didn’t hesitate and took the opportunity.
How was the transition to full time?
The transition to full time was very smooth, the team where very helpful in telling me what I had to do and where I had to be over the days I wasn’t normally in. At first is was a shock to the system going from 3 days to 5 days but after a few weeks its felt natural. Going from only working a couple of days and being at college the other days to then working full time delivering session is a big change.
How has your work changed?
I have now got a lot more responsibility with leading sessions . When I was part time I was mostly doing classroom work but now I am full time I am leading more sessions and doing different sports, year groups and also schools. I have been given the opportunity to learn new sports most recently a level 2 dodgeball which has opened me up to deliver dodgeball
Do you still enjoy it?
I do still enjoy working for fiesta, I have always wanted to work within sport it has been a passion of mine for longer than I can remember. Being able to deliver other sports it has opened me up to more ideas about sports and now I find myself sitting watching other sports on TV where before it was only football I would watch. The Fiesta team work really well with each other being able to talk to each about ideas and then be able to adapt them to get the best out of everyone. Everyone has their own ideas but then when the team puts them together it all clicks in to place.
What is it like to be an apprentice at Fiesta Sports Coaching?
Why Fiesta Sports Coaching?
When I first heard about Fiesta Sports, I didn’t realise what they did as a company until I completed some further research. They are a sports coaching provider. Delivering in schools, holiday camps and extracurricular activities. This caught my attention straight away. I always knew I wanted to work in a school environment but didn’t know what route I wanted to take. I studied sports at college and have loved sports and physical activity ever since I was 4. My main passion within sports was Football.
The day of the interview
When I arrived for my interview, I was petrified! This was the first Interview I had ever been to. However, the two company directors, John and Vicky, made me feel very welcome as soon as I walked through the door, and I didn’t even have job yet. The interview went well, and I got the job.
I’ve got the Job!
During the signing of my contract, I got to meet the team. They were amazing! They helped me to get to know the school I was based within and understand all the different aspects of the job I would be doing. I can remember my first day like it was yesterday. I woke up nice and early and because I couldn’t drive yet my mum dropped me off. I was nervous about starting somewhere new but the whole team made me feel so welcomed and helped me settle in straight away. I got stuck in straight away and helped in year 2 listening to readers and assisting the director, Vicky, with PE. We delivered the Cambridge scheme of work lesson: Ball, Tall and Wall which is a fundamental movements session in Gymnastics. That first day really opened my eyes to how much I was going to enjoy the job. The children were great to work with and kept me smiling all day long. At that point I couldn’t see myself doing any other job and I still feel the same way to this day!
What I do day to day
My work consisted of mostly assisting PE delivery within school. However, during the half term holidays Fiesta run sport and activity camps and I was lucky enough to be a part of these as well. I love the camps. I get to deliver my favourite sport all day with different children, of all ages and abilities. The CPD and experience I gain from this is astounding. Furthermore, as a company We give children, from the ages of 12, the opportunity to become a young leader. This includes aiding the session coach and being a role model for the other children at the camp. An example of a typical football camp at Fiesta contains, small-sided tournaments, training sessions and of course fun and exciting challenges.
Across the duration of my apprenticeship, the team made sure I was settling in fine and supported me with anything I needed. I had regular meetings with my assessor from my course and my mentor/boss John. The course was really interesting ad progressive, Fiesta gave me more than enough time to complete my tasks for the course and also made sure it was up to a good standard before I submitted it.
What I have achieved with Fiesta
I loved being an apprentice. I have never been a person who can sit in a classroom and learn through pen and paper. I was always the type of kid to learn practically and through lived experiences. Fiesta provided that for me. When my apprenticeship finally came to a conclusion, I was ecstatic! This was because I could have my own independence and deliver sessions by myself. Even though completing the course and receiving the qualification was down to me, Fiesta gave me the support, guidance and experience I needed to lead my own sessions and have a positive impact on children’s health and wellbeing. The qualifications I have obtained through the support of Fiesta are a Level 2 Teaching Assistant, Level 2 Multi-skills. Level 1 Football, Paediatric First Aid and Level 2 Dodgeball.
In the first episode of our new podcast series, The Primary PE Huddle, hosts Dan Hays and Andrew Stanton are joined by Dr Andy Daly-Smith, Children’s Physical Activity Researcher.
Who is Dr Andy Daly-Smith?
Dr Daly-Smith’s passion is supporting schools, teachers and children to embrace physical activity.
His practice driven research focuses on the impact and implementation of physically active learning.
Key themes within his work include physical activity across the segmented school-day, whole-school approaches to physical activity and the efficacy, effectiveness and implementation of physically active learning.
As Senior Lecturer in Physical Activity and Behavioural Science at Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University, Dr Daly-Smith oversaw the physically active learning research project which featured the Aspire, Maths on the Move programme and evidenced the programme’s success in driving activity and improving maths attainment.
Dr Daly-Smith is currently a Reader in Healthy Childhood at the University of Bradford.
TedxEducation talk: https://youtu.be/tARSCzHLF5g
What’s covered in the podcast?
Available to listen from 12:00am on 23/06/2021 wherever you get your podcasts.
8 reasons why children benefit from Physically Active Learning
Indoor break is no fun for teachers. This is partly because it’s harder to set up the classroom for the next lesson or get some marking done, but mainly because teachers instinctively understand that children need the time to move around and prepare their brains for learning.
A growing body of research by cognitive neurologists backs this up, showing that there is increased brain activity and improved on-task behaviours when tackling cognitive tasks following a period of being physically active.
Even with these known benefits, it can be difficult to provide children with regular opportunities to be physically active within the school day, and even harder to ensure they achieve the recommended 30 minutes of in-school moderate-to-vigorous activity every day. One solution is physically active learning (PAL) – an innovative teaching and learning approach which integrates movement into the learning experience.
Maths on the Move (MOTM) is an example of PAL, and covers the KS1 and KS2 National Curriculum for Maths in a physically active manner. In 2019/2020, Leeds Beckett University (LBU) carried out an independent evaluation of the programme, with the following themes emerging through their research.
1) PAL boosts physical activity and reduces sedentary time
Unfortunately, reports suggest that physical activity levels in children are at an all-time low. In order to combat sedentary behaviour, PAL sessions integrate curriculum-based content with physical activities.
The LBU evaluation showed that a single 45-minute MOTM session allowed children to accumulate 6.4 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity and 19.8 minutes of light physical activity, whilst reducing sedentary activity by 9.5 minutes. This meant that 28% more children met the recommended amount of activity on a day which includes a PAL session.
2) Facilitates learning and understanding
The LBU evaluation of MOTM was unique in that it examined whether children made progress in a defined area of the KS2 Maths National Curriculum.
By undertaking the MOTM Year 5 Fractions and Decimals programme for 6 weeks, children who attended improved their test scores from 11.3 out of 25 to 18 out of 25. In contrast, the children who continued with their normal classroom-based lessons improved from 10.1 out of 25 to 11 out of 25 – a marked difference.
3) Increases concentration and time on task in other lessons
Many teachers already use brain breaks or energisers to reinvigorate the children in their class and even a short amount of physical activity has been seen to have a positive impact on concentration and attention.
Teachers felt that MOTM sessions provided a similar reprieve to an active break: “They come back in really calm, and it’s nice to see actually they’ve had that energy, but they’ve concentrated.” This indicates that embedding physically active learning sessions in the curriculum can benefit other timetabled lessons in the day.
4) Increases confidence and reduces anxiety
For children who fear maths or have low self-esteem in their ability to think mathematically, changing the learning environment can have a profound effect. By placing the emphasis on learning through games in PAL sessions, children feel more at ease getting involved, allowing them to grow in confidence.
Back in the classroom, children were able to make links between the understanding gained in the PAL lesson and classroom-based learning. Children expressed that they now had more confidence in answering questions, feeling that they knew the answers.
5) Improves resilience
Building resilience in children is of vital importance and there are many advocates for the role of physical activity in supporting children in becoming resilient.
Teachers observed noticeable changes back in the classroom for pupils who had attended MOTM sessions: “In terms of their attitudes towards learning, they seem more resilient and a lot more confident, and they don’t have any tears if they can’t answer any of the questions. They just persevere with it.”
6) A more inclusive approach
Combining maths and physical activity allows children to become more immersed in both the physical activities and the maths challenges. Teachers felt that children who usually engaged with physical activity but not maths, were more involved and vice versa: “Those that don’t like Maths, they’re hooked by the moving, and those that like Maths anyway, they’re just happy to do Maths as well as something else.”
Some pupils who usually believed they were “not that good at sport” felt that they were included more than usual. With that in mind, PAL can prevent isolation by “allowing everyone to get involved and take part in the sessions”.
7) Allows for collaboration and team work
PE lessons often provide opportunities for children to work together but maths lessons tend to involve less teamwork. By grouping children in PAL sessions, you can offer the chance for children to discuss and share their maths understanding, allowing them to give and receive feedback and understand different perspectives.
It also provides healthy competition between teams which draws out the importance of working as a team: “We had to work as a team because you had to interact with other people to know what they got.”
8) Fun, exciting and enjoyable
Any intervention that is not well received by the children will struggle to maintain its position in a busy timetable and is unlikely to have a positive impact.
Children who took part in the MOTM programme really wanted to continue with the sessions after the programme had concluded, saying: “I think it would be really good if it continues because it’s really fun and always gets me awake for the day” and “If it continues, it will help us learn more Maths, it would help us generate even better grades”.
In summary, the data to support physically active learning is compelling, and the accompanying feedback from both children and teachers provides a deep and insightful exploration into how this can work in schools practically.
If you would like to know more about the research conducted on MOTM or would like to see how it could work for your school, you can find more details at
or contact us on 07733 156764 and firstname.lastname@example.org and our team of experts can discuss your options.
It sounds good, but does physically active learning actually work?
Learning maths whilst being physically active. It definitely sounds like fun, but does it really work? The short answer is yes, it does. A six-week study conducted by academics at Leeds Beckett University has concluded that the Maths on the Move (MOTM) programme both improves maths attainment and increases physical activity levels.
The study, conducted prior to lockdown at the end of 2019, compared outcomes for children taking part in a MOTM programme against control groups who continued with traditional classroom-style maths lessons. All MOTM sessions were delivered by experienced Aspire-trained educators.
Children wore accelerometers during the school day to measure their physical activity.
This enabled researchers to find out how MOTM affected children’s chances of meeting the in-school activity target of 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day.
Compared to the control group:
Even prior to lockdown, less than half of children were achieving the Chief Medical Officer’s recommendations around physical activity and the figure has worsened throughout the pandemic. The results of this study show that physically active learning can help to fix this problem.
So, we can increase activity, but what about maths performance?
Researchers measured maths performance using tests before and at the end of the programme. Maths attainment test performance significantly improved over time for children on the MOTM programme when compared to the control groups.
The scores for children on the MOTM programme increased from a baseline average score of 11.3/25 (45.2%) to 18.1/25 (72.4%). The scores for the control groups increased from 10.1/25 (40.4%) to 11/25 (44%) over the same period of time.
These findings support our own year-long study across the academic year 2019 – 2020, where
You can read more about that study here: https://www.aspire-sports.co.uk/blog/how-do-you-boost-childrens-maths-confidence-and-attainment
Researchers found that MOTM was an overwhelmingly positive experience for schools.
Here’s what some of the children and their teachers had to say:
“I feel excited and happy, I feel this because we get to do fun activities and learn about Maths.” – Aisha, Year 5
“I like sports but … I also like Maths a bit… I like them all together and it’s really fun because you … challenge each other” – Sana, Year 5
“If Maths on the Move is part of your curriculum, it would have an impact on the general enjoyment of Maths” – Shannon, Teacher
“In terms of their attitudes towards learning, they seem more resilient and a lot more confident, and they don’t have any tears if they can’t answer any of the questions. They just persevere with it.” – Zuri, Teacher
Why do we need physically active learning?
Pandemic or no pandemic, all schools face the dual challenges of keeping children healthy through physical activity and ensuring their academic success.
Structured, active learning programmes enable teachers to cut the time children are expected to sit at a desk whilst still covering the academic curriculum.
Children respond positively to an active learning environment. It can boost confidence and improve academic performance.
Physical activity in school can be integrated into daily routines rather than positioned as an optional extra.
Why is Maths on the Move a good choice?
Following the success of MOTM, Aspire, MOTM programme creators, are now developing English on the Move. We expect that this programme will be available in schools from January 2022.
Find out more
We’re running a free webinar on Thursday 17th June at 4:30pm for anyone who is interested in hearing more about the latest study. The webinar, featuring Dr Jade Morris who carried out the research, will look at how and why to introduce physically active learning into your primary school.
Reserve your place now.