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What is Game Sense?

Game Sense is an innovative approach to teaching in PDHPE. Game Sense uses

games as the focus of the lesson, rather than the technique of the game. Game
Sense uses a student-centred approach to teaching and reinforces the
development of thinking players.

Game Sense approach involves games to achieve outcomes, asking students

questions to expand thinking which leads to reflection and group discussion.
Using collaboration and the formation of ideas and solutions in Game
Sense, students create and understand the game played.

In Game Sense the rules and difficulty of the games can be modified to be
both easier or harder to cater for the different abilities. These
modifications can be done by the teacher, but are primarily done by the
students and therefore reinforces the inclusion of all students.

This is important in a PDHPE lesson as every student has both different

attitudes and abilities towards physical education.
In Game Sense students are encouraged to use tactics, make decisions and to
think strategically about the games concepts, whilst developing skills.

The Australian Sports Commission (2017), states that Game Sense engages
children in minor and modified game strategies, where there are opportunities
to develop both skills and an understanding of the tactics of the game.

Most importantly in Game Sense students are encouraged to have fun.

Bunker and Thorpe (1982) proposed a model that represents the steps involved in the
Game Sense approach. The model indicates that students should firstly be capable of
understanding the context of the particular game and then form an appreciation of the
Students are then introduced to the tactics of the game, which reinforces tactical
awareness in order to make appropriate decisions.
Students make decisions based on asking what to do?, and how to do it.
Students then have the basis for executing the skills through their performance in the
particular game.

Figure 1 The Teaching Games for Understanding model

(Bunker & Thorpe, 1982).
Why use the Game Sense
In the PDHPE Syllabus according to the NSW Board of Studies (2007) students should be
using the skills of decision making, problem solving, interacting, moving and
communicating across their primary PDHPE experiences. Through using the Game Sense
approach students will be using these skills to aid in their student centred learning.
Having these skills are not only important in Game Sense but are important in everyday
life situations.

Game Sense also provides students with the ability to contribute to their learning and
making decisions on their own, to benefit not only their own experiences of games but
those around them.
Strengths of Game Sense
The Game Sense approach helps develop the Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS)
that children are required to achieve, in order to participate in different games,
sports and recreational activities.

Game Sense also enhances students responsibility to make decisions that impact
on their engagement and more importantly the way they learn.

Giving students the ability to take over their learning creates a safe, open
learning environment that students need, and through Game Sense this is

Sydney:BoardofStudies.Retrievedfrom http://k6.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/go/personal-develop

ent-health-and-physical- education-pdhpe

Bunker, D., & Thorpe, R. (1982). A model for the teaching of games in the secondary school. Bulletin of Physical

Education, 10, p. 9-16.

Australian Government: Australian Sports Commissions. (2017). Game Sense Approach. Sporting Schools.

Retrieved from


Game Sense [Image] (2017). Retrieved April 30, 2017, from https://www.google.com.au/search?q=game+