Youth Sport Trust Curriculum
Where are we now?
Since the last Youth Sport Newsletter the delivery of the TOP programmes
have continued to expand throughout Northern Ireland.
Since the start of the TOPs in July 2000 there are currently 415 primary
schools and 342 community sites utilising TOPs to support the delivery
of PE and local grassroots sports development. This involves all 5
Education and Library Boards and 15 Local Councils with 1708 teachers
and 582 community deliverers trained. Community sites involve sports
clubs, community groups, uniformed organisations, after school clubs
and youth clubs.
By June of 2001 there will be a total of 661 primary schools and 532
community sites using the TOP programmes to support their work.
Where to next
Sports Council Lottery fund have granted an extension of the timescale
for roll out of TOPs in the community to April 2002. this will enable
development of a further 443 community sites, with the intention of
the Education and Library Boards to see TOP play and/or TOP Sport
supporting PE in all primary schools.
TOP Outdoors - use of the outdoor classroom
TOP Play and TOP Sport have been used in education to support the
Physical Education curriculum. In the community setting, TOPs has
been used to provide for local needs and circumstances. The following
are a few examples:-
- Fermanagh Council has concentrated TOPs in in community youth
groups in rural areas, providing training for some 183 deliverers
at 43 sites to provide quality opportunities for young people
in these areas. Many of the deliverers are now keen to pursue
governing body awards, thus aiding sports specific development
in rural areas.
"There is no question that TOPs has helped get
more parents and community leaders involved in a process which
is supportive and offers quality training"
Keith Collen, SDO, Fermanagh DC
- Both Omagh and Cookstown Councils have, along with other uses,
worked closely with WELB and SELB respectively, to provide TOPs
in support of after school activities for rural schools in their
areas. In Cookstown this has meant TOPs supporting the Tri-Country
Schools structure with sport specific bags for coaches who work
with these schools. Omagh Council has included TOPs in their Sport
and Recreation Strategy and are concentrating on rural communities
and rural schools.
" I would like to let you know that the TOPs
equipment and training has proved a very valuable resource which
has been appreciated by out club."
Josephine Devlin, Secretary, Kildress Area Youth and
Community Club, Cookstown.
- Moyle Council identified that there was a limited number of
sports for young people to choose from in their area. A strong
hurling/camogie area, TOPs will be used to support the opportunity
to experience other sports as an after school activity, in the
school and leisure centre setting. There will be the opportunity
to develop multi-sport activities in community association settings
with the training of leaders who will also undertake the Sport
for All Leader Award.
- Magherafelt Council has submitted a plan which will see close
integration of TOPs as a support to the Youth Sport structure.
Currently qualified leisure centre staff coach at local primary
school Youth Sport sessions. TOPs will, be used, initially, to
create ongoing recreation opportunities at leisure centre facilities
as a follow on from the Youth Sport sessions.
Longer term TOPs training will assist to provide a starting point
for the development of local sports leaders, and eventually the
development of junior clubs.
A total of 28 nursery schools/units successfully piloted TOP Start
with 84 Nursery Teachers and assistants who are now using TOP Start
to support their physical play Curriculum. Due to this success each
Education and Library Board is now advocating TOP Start to other
nursery schools/units and drawing up plans for its expansion. In
the voluntary sector NIPPA have trained all of their Early Years
Advisors as TOP Start Trainers. They will begin a pilot in 24 of
their sites in January. It is hoped that the success of these pilots
will see TOP Start as a valuable support to physical play, and that
it will become an integral part of each Education and Library Board,
NIPPA and joint Early Years Partnership Development Plans.
Greater Shankill Partnership in conjunction with the Upper Springfield
Development Trust, have used TOPs to address issues of social exclusion
in North Belfast. The use of TOPs training, in conjunction with
a co-ordinated training strategy has assisted in building confidence
and skills amongst local people who in turn are delivering a quality
sports programme to local young people. The issue of health (smoking)
has also been addressed.