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Is the job pressurising fixtures?

Discussion in 'Physical education' started by dave4812, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. When I left teaching to set up my own business I was Head of PE in a specialist sports college, and I was proud of the fact that we did loads of fixtures in a range of sports. Four years down the line the very same school now does next to no fixtures, despite 75% of the department being the ones who worked under me. I have spoken to the current HOD, and he says that the other pressures of the job have worn colleagues out so much, that they have very little energy left for fixtures. He does a few, but the others have taken the view that doing fixtures does not keep them in a job, so they concentrate on the other stuff that SLT seem to deem important. The Head shortened the lunchtime to 45 minutes, this killed practices at lunch, and hardly any kids will stay after school. The parents still want fixtures though. Any views?
  2. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    I started a thread on here about why GCSE PE should be scrapped. From what you say it seems like GCSE PE, with almost a guaranteed 'C' to boost the A*-C pass rate, is more important than fixtures.
    PE staff are put under pressure but for really no reason. They should coach sport and organise fixtures. Not teach a pointless subject, not take on other roles such as Head of Year.
    I have found that PE staff are scrutinized heavily on their lessons. I once was observed by a very senior person high up the education ranks and I basically delivered a lesson which in my view was awful. I spent 5 minutes talking about why we warm up, spent 5 minutes warming up, broke down a skill into differentiated tasks and then played a game which involved cross-curricular learning in maths and French. Needless to say I was rated as 'good', maybe if I included cross-curricular German I would have been 'outstanding'. I knew the lesson was awful, but I knew it was what they wanted. The kids enjoyed it but they could have done it much better if they were allowed to just play the sport without me faffing about.
  3. stopwatch

    stopwatch Established commenter

    I am surprised the SLT at the school are letting them get away with this. It could be because they put little importance on fixtures/extra curricular.
    If so, this is unacceptable.
    What about the relationship between extending gifted pupils and Extra Curricular sport? don't they see this? Isn't this important?
    What about the health aspects of providing additional physical activity?
    As a previous HoD of the school I can really undertsnd your feelings about the current staff having let your previous hard work go to pot. But you have to let go. You can't do anything about it.
    PE teaching is a very demanding job timewise. The old days of 'well your fixtures/extra curricular are to compensate for the fact you have no preparation/marking' are loooong gone.
    However. for a department like the one you are describing, to abandon almost alll fixtures is unacceptable and bordering unprofessional from a PE teachers point of view.
  4. Thanks for the comments. I agree totally that the job has changed, and that is my point. Personally I feel that we are doing the kids a disservice by not putting our efforts into ECA and fixtures, and with the government labelling PE as a soft subject/one that uni's should avoid, then what is the point of GCSE? I was really fortunate to have great PE teachers when I was at school who put hours into ECA/matches, and this really benefitted me. As for the SLT, they just do not value PE so that accounts for the lack of support. After the discussion between myself and the HoD, we came to the conclusion that colleagues are knackered because of all the superfluous stuff, but there seems no escaping it, and,sadly, some of them have taken the chance to use this as an excuse to avoid ECA.
  5. stopwatch

    stopwatch Established commenter

    Is the 'superfluous stuff' - the admin/paperwork, lesson planning, assessment, initiatives, meetings really that onorous that there isn't enough time to do any ECA?
    or are they just a bolshy lot who are using it as an excuse?
    If it is the latter, then I am afraid the HoD isn't doing his job properly unless he insists they do something.
    Is the HoD doing no ECA?
  6. The HoD is doing some ECA, but is finding it harder with all the work he has to do as HoD. Personally I think it is a bit of both in that there is a lot of paperwork/superfluous stuff, and the fact that the SLT come down hard on staff who let that side of it slide. So what do they do? They have taken the view that ECA is not valued and does not go any way to positive appraisal from SLT. The HoD cannot enforce ECA for his colleagues, as we all know, we have to rely on their goodwill. There used to be 5 other members of staff from other subjects who ran teams, they have all packed it in as well. It's not a happy school!!!!
  7. marthauk

    marthauk New commenter

    I have worked at the same school for the past 4-5 years.

    When I started I had 1 GCSE group in Yr 10 & 11. Taught Sports leaders at KS 4 (Non GCSE students) and practical KS3.

    Now I have a yr 13, 12, 11, 10 BTEC groups, I am quite lucky some of my colleagues teach the BTEC course to 2 classes in Yr 10, 11 and a Yr 12 or 13 class.
    THe amount of coursework that is produced by the students is phenominal, and as it is a coursework based course I am continually marking ,assessing and planning for numberous theory lessons. Which unfortunately it leaves little time or my energy to attend extra curricular.
    Its gone from students opting to take GCSE PE to nearly every child in yr 11 and 10 do the L2 BTEC (a handful don't) with no choice.
    The fact the nearly all Yr 11 take the L2 BTEC it adds something around 10% on the A*-C's that are achieved (as no child is allowed to fail the course!!!!)

    So rather than going to fixtures, I have to chase kids who are behind on coursework, mark it in time for their next lesson for numerous groups. Why do I allow this to happen, like a previous statement says, we are under pressure from our SLT to produce the results so something has to give and at the moment its extra curricular.

    Let see what lifespan the BTEC is and it would be interesting to see the differences.

    Rant over!

  8. I sympathise with you entirely. When I first went to the school as HoD the Head said to me that he wanted me to choose a couple of sports to achieve success at locally, I went futher than that and won national titles in one of the sports, and coached pupils to national teams in the other. Our school then became a specialist sports college and it all kicked off. Suddenly having GCSE results consistently above the national average wasn't good enough, they had to be better. We were told we had to do BTech to boost school results, a qualification that is not worth the paper it is written on in my opinion, in terms of quality in sport. So, I refused to do Btech and concentrate on fixtures/ECA, that went down like the proverbial lead balloon. So after a constant battle/arguments with the Head I decided to leave and set up the business. Part of that is to run ECA clubs in secondary and primary schools, and I love it, the pupils are really keen and I am enthused - just like it should be.
  9. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    You should have been here a few months ago when I started a thread saying that GCSE PE was a waste of time and that it should be scrapped. Same goes for BTEC.
    PE staff were up in arms - how dare you undermine my subject, the pupils want to do it, blah blah.
    But I would rather have time devoted to actual activity any day over a BTEC/ GCSE.
    Gove gets a lot of stick but he is right with regards to sport - it is awful and pupils are not playing enough competition. Labour have destroyed school sport. You only have to look at any private prep or independent school to see how it should be done.
  10. I have taught for 24 years now, 11 of them as a HoD, and I will happily say that GCSE/Btech is being used as a stick to beat people over the head with. "Got good results - not good enough, they should be better. Here's how to improve them, give up your Feb half-term and Easter holiday to do booster sessions". Seriously, that was put to me by SLT as a strategy, and when I told them what I thought of it I was branded a shirker. I may be old fashioned, but to me PE is about teaching the skills, getting children fit, and healthy and providing competition for as many kids as want it(not just first teamers, but 2nd, 3rd's and 4th's as well). In this result driven culture we seem to have lost that vision. You are not undermining the subject by saying what you did about GCSE, a GCSE in PE is not going to do a lot for a kid, but a lifelong desire to keep fit and compete in sport will do the trick.
  11. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    I feel qualified to talk about GCSE PE because although I hate it I get paid to mark it. Times are tough and I can't turn down the money yet!
    Secondary PE staff need to be teaching PE and coaching sport. I left the secondary PE scene a few years ago - too much emphasis on GCSE PE, few fixtures but no competition for B or C teams. Too often, due to time constraints, there would just be one team and only the best 15 would get into the squad. Same kids picked for every sport, horrible inter-school culture amongst PE staff determined to win instead of actually get kids involved in sport.
    I want to see moe specialist coaches in secondary. PE staff need to be in primary from Y3-6. Teach PE in Y7 and Y8 but scrap it from Y9 and replace with sports coaching pupils opt into. Scrap GCSE and BTEC PE. Leave BTEC PE to FE colleges.
    I agree that GCSE PE can be beneficial to some students who may not stand a chance of gettin a C in some subjects, but currently the subject is being used as a way to boost scores amongst all students. Any student who can put the effort into GCSE PE theory should be able to put effort into GCSE Biology.
    And don't get me started on Sports Leaders. Another time consumption for PE staff. I have people help me who have done this and they are treating sports sessions like teaching. They have been brought up running little sessions for kids in schools - most have never been to the local sports club. Where's the passion and the drive? Most can't referee simple games and are only able to line kids up and have them throw bean bags in a hoop. Scrap Sports Leaders - send them to the local sports club to do a proper Level 1 in a proper sport and then let them develop. Rant over!
  12. gogojohnny, that is exactly what I do now. I work in primaries covering PPA time, concentrating on skills work and playing games, and go into local secondaries coaching both after-school and lunchtime. I love it as I have felt for quite some time that we were going the wrong way, and the feedback from staff and kids is always really positive. Ths Sports Leaders thing is another good idea done wrongly. As you rightly say, get them qualified as coaches first and then let them loose on kids. It's like analysis of performance in lessons, you've got kids analysing one another who cannot pass, dribble or shoot and yet they are being asked to analyse another pupil!! Even with a crib sheet they cannot spot what they are looking for. At least now I feel that I am doing the right thing, especially when the schools I work in play in my end of term tournaments, they look like they are really enjoying it. I have been asked several times to go back to teach, but always refuse, because I know that my hands would be tied with the national curriculum, paperwork and dogma that hinders kids progress.
  13. The whole emphasis, or lack of emphasis on PE in the UK is disturbing. As an Australian teaching in Wales I am amazed at the lack of importance PE / Sport has in schools. Firstly, students need more active time and should be given a minimum of 200 minutes a week PE ,according to a major study conducted in Australia. In the UK, they are lucky if they get an hour a week. Secondly, why do many schools restrict the number of sports covered in a year to between 6-10. In Australia we covered between 20 -25 sports throughout the year with the aim of getting students involved in sport that they enjoy and will hopefully continue outside of school. Thirdly, why is their an importance on School Sports team and Teachers being coaches. The role of a PE teacher isn't to coach a team but to get kids active and introduce them to a wide variety of sports and activities. Australian School sport is all completed during school hours and NO after school clubs etc. exist due to the sporting groups within communities that focus on coaching and development. In the UK if a PE teacher wants to take a group of boys out early for a fixture all he hears is moans and groans from other staff. Is is really a big deal if a student misses a few days over a year becasue they are representing their school at sport? Is there any wonder that UK sport has struggled on a world stage for many years now!
  14. I agree with you tarvino23 that the lack of emphasis on PE is disturbing, but the problem there is the national curriculm which is far too prescriptive and does not give teachers the chance to be flexible. I also agree that it is PE teachers jobs to get kids acive/fit, here I would go further and say that 1 PE lesson a week should be devoted to fitness training, the kids certainly need it. Where we disagree is simple, I saw my job as going beyond the school day to create opportunities for the kids in my charge, and give them the stimulus of competition, and of winning and losing. In this country there is not the numbers of people who will give up their time to coach sport, it's a sad fact but true.
  15. I'm not sure I agree with you Dave4812 that your role <u>should</u> extend after school hours so that students get opportunities to compete. What happens when those students leave school and have no link to clubs outside of school? Many of them will no doubt cease to participate in sport. Surely getting students into sport outside of school would be more benficial in the long run. My old school in Australia had 1300 students and on any given week night 400-500 of those students would walk to local clubs in a variety of sports including, Football, AFL, cricket, swimming, squash, basketball, rugby, table-tennis, baseball, tennis, golf, volleyball etc..... These clubs would then encourage / coach the students for competitions either during the week or on weekends. The problem here in the UK is the lack of sporting facilities and clubs that are able to provide the services. It should not be the responsibililty of a PE teacher but the responsibility of the Nation.
  16. not true....only when compared to Australia!
  17. For a wealthy Nation with over 60 million people, I think the sporting success over the last couple of decades has been pretty ordinary to say the least! Australia only has a population of 20 million yet due to our excellent sporting facilities, culture etc we have dominated many world sports for many years. Surely a Nation such as Great Britain should be dominating many more world sports!!
  18. GB will always fall down against comparisons to Oz, precisley because of your sporting heritage/culture. When you look at the range of sports we compete in, and the successes we get across the baord then i think, internationally, we do ok.
    Having said that, of course we could do better and school sport can be atrocious in my opinion, its one reason i became a PE teacher.
    I think youre wrong about ECA. In my opinion every PE teacher should be running clubs after scholl, as well as alot more fixtures.
  19. Sorry tarvino23 I did not make my point clearly. Along with ECA by the PE teacher, there needs to be a way that the kids can pointed to clubs to carry on with the sport. This can be done by a clear notice outlining the clubs in the area, and when they meet to train. Representatives from local clubs could also come along to ECA sessions to generate interest, also if the teacher, like me, plays for a local club then that link needs to be nurtured.
  20. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    All those years ago money was chucked at sports colleges to make them the centre of school sport. But the money should have been chucked at the local sports club - that is where you want the kids to go.
    There is a tennis club down the road from our school (20 mins walk). First class facilities. Pupils wanting to play tennis should be sent there. But instead the Sports Partnerships want the schools to offer tennis, playing make-shift games on a dirty yard with second rate equipment. Kids pay &pound;4-5, but would pay the same maybe even less at the proper club.
    We need a new breed of after school clubs. Teachers round up pupils and take them to a sports facility and then hand them over to a club. Teacher then goes back to school, pupils picked up from facility. This signals the end of the day, and tells the kids that this is not school it is their free time to be active. Will involve lots of paperwork but this is possible. Lets face it the school hall after school clubs are rubbish and parents pay &pound;7-8 for this.
    You can still run clubs after school on the school site - we have a very popular running club round the school yard, but the emphasis should be on clubs away from the school. I agree though that so many kids miss out on after school stuff because they have swimming lessons, got to get bus home etc. Games coaching has to be in school time.
    Our problem is our curriculum - primary school PE is non-existent because teachers would rather teach maths and literacy. Kids don't go to sports clubs and as a result they don't progress through the club and become coaches. No coaches mean the few that come through the clubs aren't coached well, and we suffer at sport.

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