My #Top5 for 2014

I love the process of drawing up lists, and there is something deeply satisfying about ticking them off. Here are a few of my #Top5 lists for 2014. Feel free to share yours with me!


My Top 5 Blog Posts of 2014

Has PE lost its way? Easily my most popular post. A hopefully optimistic one about public health organisations, senior school leaders, PE teacher and parents all working together to promote the same message of a lifetime of health and activity to children.

Seating plans for core PE. Obviously not a seating plan, but a way of organising pupils that might help improve the pace of your lesson and  behaviour management.

Evidence of progress in practical core PE. A growing trend in PE is the need to over ‘evidence’ practical progress within lessons. I share my current practice for critique.

The stigma attached to PE. My thoughts on how both PE teachers and Physical Education are viewed and the issues this might raise.

Progress in PE is never linear. Assessing progress in PE is difficult and subjective, add the fact that students are expected to make linear progress makes the the whole process farcical.


My Top 5 Blog Posts I Wish Were Read More in 2014

Three wise monkeys of research.

The platitude of excellence.

True Grit.


What teaching philosophy teaches me: Planned Obsolescence.


My Top 5 Blog Posts I Wish I Had Written in 2014

The Growth Mindset: Telling Penguins to Flap Harder? by @disidealist A brilliant riposte to the fad of growth mindset. It isn’t against the idea, but questions its use and how to approach it.

Athena versus The Machine: Values-led Leadership in a Time of Change by Martin Robinson @SurrealAnarchy I love Martin’s writing and read everything he produces, even his excellent book Trivium, however this is an extraordinary post on value based leadership.

The key to coaching success – love by @The_W_Address I’ve only recently come across The Whitehouse Address, one man’s thoughts and opinions regarding football. This post however goes beyond football and one that teachers, coaches and leaders should read alike.

Q and A with Dr Martin Toms by @propelperform An in-depth Q and A that explores Dr Martin Toms views of sport and children. His key message – “diverse sporting experiences and skills that can lead to lifelong participation and enjoyment at whatever level the participant chooses

What if we started trusting teachers? by @learningspy Perhaps they might be happier, healthier and potentially better at teaching? A simple plan, so why can’t it be implemented?


My Top 5 Books I’ve Read in 2014

How we learn

How We Learn by Benedict Carey No other book has had such a immediate impact on changing my teaching. He expertly shares research on memory and strategies that can be used to assist both teachers and students. So good I’ve now read it three times and plan to blog about what I have implemented into my practice. Highly recommended.



The Ethic of Excellence by Ron Berger Ron shares his years of experience and the journey of how he has created a culture of critique within his classroom. It has inspired my teaching and learning project this year and something I want to replicate within Physical Education.



legacyLegacy by James Kerr I’ve been obsessed with the All Blacks since 1987 when I saw John Kirwan’s solo run against Italy in the Rugby World Cup. James Kerr got to spend time within them in the build up to the last world cup and shares their philosophy. All PE Teachers, coaches and leaders should read this book.



geneThe Sports Gene by David Epstein An excellent counter argument to the ’10,ooo hour’ rule brigade. Well written and well researched, as it should be by a Sports Scientist. It clearly distinguishes the difference nurture and nature can have on sporting success.



perfectPerfect Practice by Doug Lemov I’ve not been tempted to read Teach like a Champion, but Perfect Practice is a great reference book full of ideas. 42 examples of intelligent practices that are easily adaptable to put into your own teaching or coaching if you wish to do so.



My Top 5 Blogs I Followed in 2014

The Talent Code by @DanielCoyle This blog is a continuation of Daniel Coyle’s excellent book ‘The Talent Code’. It is a collection of ideas and practices from sports teams, teachers, musicians, artists and talented people from around the world. He hasn’t been keeping it up to date recently, but if you invest some time in his older posts their is a wealth of knowledge and experience in many fields about improving performance.

Physical Educator Practitioner Research Network by @DrAshCasey There is a strong grass roots movement for teachers using educational research to empower their own teaching. Ash has been trying to make research accessible for PE Teachers via his blog long before this. Once again, if you engage with him on Twitter, he is hugely kind and generous with his time, knowledge and experience.

Propelperform by @propelperform A blog with a wealth of information for coaches, athletes and parents. I’ve already used some of these ideas in my rugby coaching to great effect. Well worth a regular visit.

Talking Education and Sport by @DrDickB Richard Bailey is an author, researcher and speaker about sport. He blogs regularly about education, sport, science and developing expertise in a very accessible way.

Move Live Learn by @MoveLiveLearn Amanda Stanec is a passionate advocate of physical literacy and wellness. Her blogs are thoughtful and challenge quite a lot of what I thought PE should be about when I was a younger teacher and are helping me shape my current thinking.


My Top 5 People I Follow On Twitter in 2014

@TheSportInMind tweets about sport psychology and shares blogs posts that are great for a PE teacher, sports coach or students studying sports psychology.

@PE_TotD If you want a practical activity for your core PE class, then this is the twitter account to follow. Just remember to give as well as take and definitely no Tech!

@PEmattersRST Want to run a PE Departmental Twitter feed with a focus on GCSE or A-Level PE, then this is a perfect example. Also shares excellent info everyday.

@davisonpe Michael is a PE teacher that wants to make the main thing in PE, moving, the main thing. He is hugely generous with his time and advice if you engage with him.

@ckbergland I’ve only recently found Christopher Bergland. He only tweets links to his posts on Psychology Today, but they are focused around health and activity and very informative.


I would love to know your #Top5 lists (blogs, websites, books etc) of 2014. Leave it as a comment below or share via Twitter with the hashtag #Top5.

Happy New Year – I hope you all have a brilliant 2015.

3 thoughts on “My #Top5 for 2014

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