Experts discuss positive learning environments at second Value in Sport panel

Fiji Rugby Sevens Head Coach Ben Ryan joined a panel of Millfield experts for the second Value of Sport in Education series in Millfield’s Johnson Hall. Among the panel included Director of Sport, Dr Scott Drawer, Head of Business Studies, Catherine Glover, Director of Millfield Tennis, Kate Warne-Holland and current Head Boy, music scholar and fencing captain, Upper Sixth pupil Oska Zaky.

The evening discussion involved insights from Ben Ryan’s experience with Fiji Sevens Rugby, as well as an open discussion on ways of using feedback to become better coaches, teachers and pupils. The panel also discussed inspirational environments, and what made them the best places to have worked and learned and how positive learning environments impact on the success of the coaches, teachers and pupils.

Millfield's Head of Business Studies, Catherine Glover, noted that pupils studying business at Millfield benefit from external trips with organisations, visiting guest speakers and pupil led learning to create a positive, engaging learning environment, while Millfield's Director of Tennis Kate Warne-Holland said that the collaborative nature of Millfield enables her and her players to think creatively about how they approach taking part in sport alongside academic studies. Millfield Head Boy Oska Zaky commented that his 12 years of experience at Millfield has seen him get out of his comfort zone and learn how to work with different people and organisations, and has helped to prepare him for a career as a musician.

Coach Ben Ryan’s explanation of his experience leading the Fijian Sevens team to Olympic Gold was a particular highlight among the audience. Ben discussed creating autonomy in the athletes and within the organisation, and compared the techniques used by Fiji and England Rugby. He also spoke about the most useful resource had (the athlete) and have advice as to how to get the best out of an individual which can be applied to any field. Ben recommended a flat line structure in order to create the autonomy within the staff and the athletes, and felt this was the most powerful element of his team and lead to greater success.

Watch the entire panel discussion here.