Posted on Monday 22nd January, 2024

PNZ’s Seeing is Believing education website offers a range of captivating lesson plans and activities. They explore the history of the Paralympic Movement in Aotearoa New Zealand and abroad, Paralympic values, and a range of Para sports. All resources link to the New Zealand curriculum. Plus, they don’t require specialist equipment, so they are easy to implement in the classroom (or at home). PNZ has aimed the resources at primary school students (years 1-6) but teachers can adapt them to a range of learning contexts.

“I was really impressed with the wide range of lessons provided on the website. They provide a huge amount of variety and sources of information from the Paralympics to the values that athletes live by.  I like that lessons are stimulating and varied, a lot of visual stuff there as well which is good for oral discussion.”

Participating teacher

Seeing is Believing includes the International Paralympic Committee I’mPOSSIBLE toolkit which PNZ has adapted with New Zealand learners in mind. It is a great resource for teachers which includes 13 easy-to-use activity guides. These cover two themes: Paralympic values and Para sports. Use each activity guide as a lesson plan or use them flexibly alongside existing teacher materials. They include ready-to-use, learner-facing resources, activities, quizzes, challenges, PowerPoints, and stories about Para athletes. The activities also include discussion questions that challenge perceptions of disabled people.

“Teachers like how accessible the resource is, there are lots of visual prompts and YouTube clips. The questions and planning are all done for you. ​You can pick and choose the activities that you want to do, ​ and it aligns with our school values too.” ​

Participating teacher

It’s easy to filter the resources. You’ll find materials aimed at the youngest learners in years 1-3, or materials which may suit those in years 4-6. Use the activity guides as individual lesson plans or to form a unit of work over a term or longer.

The impact you’ll see

Several schools around the country have already participated in Seeing is Believing. Participating schools notice the impact of the values-based learning on both learners and teachers! Learners engage in ‘real life learning’ that impacts their thinking and perceptions. Many classes become aware of the inclusivity and accessibility of their own learning environments.

“One class of Year 5/6 learners found, through these investigations, that there were areas of their own school that needed improvement and wrote letters to the Board of Trustees to evoke change.”

Participating teacher

Participating teachers tell us they feel supported and ultimately empowered to be able to modify learning opportunities in their classes to ensure all learners are included. They  report a level of understanding of how to include disabled learners in physical activity after taking part.

The impact doesn’t stop at the school gates. We’ve seen whānau, family and community showing great support and interest. This interest sparks conversations at home as well as in school, showing a growing awareness which in turn will lead to a greater understanding.

Invite a Paralympian or Para athlete to visit your school

Schools which participate in Seeing is Believing can request a Para Sport Champion visit at their school. Para Sport Champions are Paralympians or Para athletes who bring the Paralympic values of determination, courage, inspiration, and equality to life through their actions and achievements. Their stories highlight these values, and we hope they encourage you to explore how you can apply them in your own life. The champions share their stories, inspiration and are part of the schools hands-on learning.

All of these resources are available for free on the Seeing is Believing website at education.paralympics.org.nz.

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