Free Scottish Physical Education app launched


An innovative free app for national 5, higher and higher advanced physical education students in Scotland has been downloaded more than 10,000 times in its first school year.

So far, pupils at over 350 Scottish secondary schools have registered as having used the ‘PE Cycle of Analysis’ app in pilot or mainstream form since its launch in August 2020.

Developer John Millar, who heads the faculty of health and wellness at Newbattle High School in Dalkeith, Midlothian, has secured £ 10,000 funding for staff and postgraduate researchers to commercialize his idea of the University of Strathclyde.

A man holding an ipad

John, who previously led the PGDE physical education course at the university, spent over 14 months developing the app from concept to release in partnership with design agency Wigwam Marketing.


He said: “As a physical education teacher, I wanted to celebrate and promote equity among students, so it was essential that all schools and students could download for free on IOS and Android platforms. .

“The app is an example of sustainable, technology-based, student-centered and highly interactive learning. The response has been incredible. It is designed for National 5 to Advanced Higher levels and is truly innovative in what it can do in terms of teaching and learning.

“When students sign up, they put the name of their school, so I was able to determine where that has the most impact. “

John says the app has proven to be even more useful with the advent of COVID-19 and added, “No subject has been affected by the pandemic like physical education. But one thing we have all learned as teachers is that technology platforms must become the norm in everyday practice if we are to advance excellence.

The app complements all of these technologies and the interactive work can be done at home, while test results and training logs can be shared with the teacher.

The app was originally designed for higher level studies only, but John wanted to support as many young people as possible and made sure it was multi-level in the Scottish senior phase program.

Sports performance

He says his app puts more emphasis on mental, social and emotional factors that impact performance, as well as physical sports performance itself, and adds: such as the ability to analyze and analyze. evaluate progress, work independently and as a team, solve problems and make decisions under pressure.

“All classes at all levels challenge to think about how mental, emotional and social factors play an important role in a young person’s ability to develop and excel in sport and in life. So in that sense, the app has encouraged classes to become much more student-centered and organic.

The app uses interactive data collection technology so that students can collect data specific to them and their sport or activity. Background coding also allows users to compare their results against standardized standards to identify their development needs and set clear and achievable goals.

Training agendas

Students can also design and implement approaches to develop their performance, as well as monitor and evaluate their holistic progress through a variety of built-in interactive tools, such as training logs.

Teachers and students have been asked to provide their input, with plans in place to launch a second improved version of the app in August 2021.

John added: “I want to thank the University of Strathclyde for supporting me in the application, especially the IP and Marketing team who have helped me move it forward. I hope it made a difference for a lot of schools and students.

Dr Olga Kozlova Director of Innovation and Industrial Engagement at the University of Strathclyde, said: “Strathclyde has a proud history of fostering entrepreneurship among staff and students.

“Our Strathclyde Inspire program, launched last year, provides every student and staff member with entrepreneurship education and opportunities to develop their ideas into products and services that could be used by society. It will be very exciting to see the physical education app used by students in Scotland. “

Advanced college student and footballer Katy says app is top class

Katy Pollock, 18, is an S6 student at Newbattle High School in Midlothian and an amateur footballer taking advanced higher physical education classes. Last year, she obtained an “A” for higher physical education and plans to study physical education teaching at university.

Katy said, “I really enjoyed the Advanced Higher course this year as the essay assessments are very similar to the first year university standard so it’s amazing preparation. The course also allowed me to properly investigate, analyze and improve my own football performance – I play with Hibernian FC.

“One thing that makes the Advanced Higher course so accessible this year is the PE Cycle of Analysis app. It can be used in National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher courses. It’s easy to use, has lots of important content, and literally walks you through the cycle of analyzing the four factors that affect performance.

“I think the best thing is how convenient and interactive it is. It can be used in both hands-on and theory lessons and is so much more fun than pen and paper, or even Google Classroom. All the data you enter is automatically saved, and background coding determines all of your test results and data collection statistics. Built-in videos and training logs also let you brainstorm using your phone, there’s no need for paper or booklets. The reflections can be captured live in class, during your next theory session, or even on the way to your next class elsewhere in the school.

“It’s an incredible teaching and learning resource. “

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