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Reflections from the YST Conference 2024

This week we are reflecting on last week’s Youth Sport Trust National Conference and how vibrant and inspirational the brilliant PE community is in this country.  

Our founder, Neil Moggan, had the pleasure to present at the Youth Sports Trust conference last week where the theme was ‘Change the score, change their future’.  

In this week’s blog, Neil discusses his take on the conference.

Inspiring Ideas from Inspiring people

‘We had a super time in Telford for the annual Youth Sport Trust conference. A highlight was listening to Ken Nwadike Junior’ story. We certainly advocate for his message about the power of relationships, human connection, love, compassion and empathy to create a better world for everyone.

I loved hearing from Katarina Johnson-Thompson on how sport has transformed her life and how it continues to fulfil such a special role in Liverpool in developing the quality of people’s lives in the City. 

We could certainly relate from our experiences partnering with brilliant people in the city over the last 15 months. 

We are delighted to announce that we are now partnering with 5 more schools in Liverpool thanks to funding from Liverpool City Council. We welcome our new colleagues to our community and thank Liverpool City Council for their vital support.

Networking with Hero Teachers

One of the best parts of the conference was networking with brilliant like minded teachers and sports development professionals to discuss and debate the big ideas in the PE world at the moment. 

It was fantastic to reconnect with old friends and make new connections with innovative PE professionals. It was inspiring to hear about the great work in their settings to transform outcomes for their young people.  I’d like to congratulate all the awards winners and colleagues shortlisted, there is so much fantastic practice taking place in schools up and down the country.

Despite the challenges teachers are currently facing, there is such a resilient, innovative, and hard working community of hero PE professionals who are committed to transforming children's life chances through the power of PE, school sport, physical activity and play.

Beyond the Buzz: The power of a 'trauma-Informed approach

I had the privilege of leading a session on ‘Beyond the Buzz: The power of a 'trauma-Informed approach' in improving behaviour and attendance’ with brilliant colleagues Kate Reynolds, Jon White and David Saul.

We set the scene by looking at the incredible impact Mr Pigden had on Ian Wright's life as his primary school teacher.

I then gave an overview of what trauma informed practice is and how adverse childhood experiences can impact children in the classroom and long after they have left school.

We focused on the 8 protective factors that stop children going on a predictable pattern from childhood trauma to early death. 

I shared the Trauma Informed PE 7 step roadmap which I created to teach my department why this approach is so important and give them practical strategies so they could: 

  • be intentional about creating psychological safety and brilliant relationships, 

  • use movement to develop a sense of belonging and to help state regulate in a safe and controlled way. 

  • utilise play wrapped in care to develop young people’s mental wellbeing, creativity and relieve their stress.

I then talked the group through my 5 step approach to managing behaviours that we find challenging without retraumatising young people, but maintaining the high standards we need and want so our young people can progress.  

This approach helped me reduce my send outs by 95% in one term, improve attendance by 5% and help my most challenging students improve their predicted grades in exam PE by 2.5 grades. 

More importantly though, the aim was to create the protective factors to transform my children’s life chances.

I finished off by sharing my formula for becoming a transformative teacher in a post lockdown education world, and sharing how we have taken a multi agency approach in Liverpool to support young people by combining with brilliant partners including the Youth Sport Trust.

Students RISing Up

The fantastic Kate Reynolds took over and shared how she had used our programmes at Belvedere Academy in Liverpool to develop her students' psychological safety by changing their PE kit to meet the needs of the students, resulting in a 28% increase of students now wearing kit when they previously didn’t.

Kate talked through how she used Inclusive team festivals and inclusive sports days to develop her students' sense of belonging and to get more young people involved in being physically active.

Finally, Kate explained how she used the the RISEup acronym to create a fantastic whole school Enrichment Programme to develop belonging, mental wellbeing and use exercise to help her children state regulate. 

Sports Sanctuaries Success

The brilliant, Jon White from Clare Mount Special School on the Wirral, outlined how he used the superb YST Sport Sanctuary resources created by Vicci Wells to help children co-regulate, and then how his students had taken it a step further by creating their own wonderful sensory circuits.

Leon and his inspiring story

The excellent David Saul from Orrets Meadow outlined how he uses a range of approaches such as YST’s brilliant Active in Mind programme, the Magic Mile, positive meet and greets, Forest School and much much more to create fantastic outcomes for his young people.

The impact of these combined efforts was epitomised by his inspirational story of Leon who went from school refuser for 5 years to Head boy within 2 years. 

Lessons learnt from a multi-agency approach

I finished off the session by sharing 5 key lessons we have learnt from creating a multi agency approach to Trauma Informed PE in Liverpool, before our brilliant delegates created an action plan of how they could take this work and apply it in their own settings to meet their school needs.

Thank you

We have been blown away with the feedback from valued colleagues who joined us. 

If you would like more information about the session then do book a call here

Alternatively get in contact here if you would like a copy of the slides from the session.

We would like to pass on a huge thank you to Chris Wright and James Walker for the opportunity to present at the conference and to the Youth Sport Trust for hosting such a fantastic conference.

If you would like to know more about the Youth Sport Trust’s great resources then click here.

We would definitely recommend this conference if you are considering coming along next year.’

Do You Want To Take The First Step?

We appreciate that taking the first steps into Trauma Informed Practice can be daunting so we have created some taster resources to help you

We have created a Trauma Informed Frontline Educators scorecard to help support your progress in implementing Trauma Informed practice. 

This scorecard acts as a valuable tool for self-reflection and continuous improvement.  Click here to try our 2 minute scorecard.

You will receive a personalised report highlighting your strengths and opportunities to develop your practice.

Additionally, you will receive a complimentary gift of our taster 'Trauma Informed PE' course for you to develop your knowledge of Adverse Childhood Experiences.

Details of our full 'Trauma Informed PE' teacher training course can be found here,

Thank you and have a great Easter

As we come to the end of another hectic term we would like to thank you for your incredible efforts each day to transform the life chances of your young people.

We wish you a peaceful and relaxing Easter holiday.

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