1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Lack of training in PE for the ' generalist' Primary School Teachers?

Discussion in 'Physical education' started by katsreilly, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. katsreilly

    katsreilly New commenter

    How does the 'generalist' teacher get their experience and knowledge of Physical Education? Or do they need to?

    Hello, I am writing this thread to ask for some feedback with regards to the question above.

    Do you believe as teachers you have had enough training in terms of physical education?
    Did you get enough training during your initial teacher training?
    Are you now still getting continuing professional development within your school with regards to PE?

    The reason I am asking these questions is in relation to a dissertation idea for my final year of BEd Primary Education (QTS). I am hoping that some of you may either agree or disagree that you have been provided with enough knowldge and skills to teach PE confidently and successfully.

    Something I reguarly notice on placment is some teachers lack of enthusiasm for the subject and I have noticed more recently with the funding that many schools are bringing in specialists to teach PE but is that sustainable for the long run? Also if the teachers themselves arent involved in those PE lessons then they themselves arent gaining anything from having the specialists in? other than getting time to complete other tasks whilst their class does PE.

    If you can give any opinions on this it would be much appreciated! :):):):)
  2. TEA2111

    TEA2111 Established commenter

    No, No, No.
    I feel strongly that PE teaching should be taught by a specialist teacher. I follow a scheme of works, with no idea what I am doing. I dread the day I get observed during a PE lesson.
    katsreilly likes this.
  3. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    If you are doing a dissertation, it might be worth comparing the UK situation (which, from what I understand either involves class teachers receiving some kind of additional training, plus support from the 'PE coordinator' or alternatively buying in coaches from coaching companies who know how to coach - usually football, but don't know how to teach) with the situation in British primary schools overseas which do have specialist PE teachers.
    You will find that the overseas schools win hands down (pun intended).
    katsreilly likes this.
  4. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    Also consider the situation with private schools. Private schools do have specialist teachers but many class teachers also take games sessions. Many private school teachers have played sport in their youth, so are more than comfortable leading sessions. If a primary school teacher needs confidence in teaching PE then there are umpteen courses which they can go on, or quite simply they can become active themselves and join a sports club.
    katsreilly likes this.
  5. katsreilly

    katsreilly New commenter

    Thank you for your comment, do you think the recent funding has had a positive impact on your confidence levels and other teachers you know?
  6. TEA2111

    TEA2111 Established commenter

    HI Katsreilly. No, it has made no difference unfortunately. I was fortunate(?) enough to go on the Real P.E. training, and although I have really tried using the resources and practicing what I learnt, I feel more confused now than ever. A three day course does not make one a good P.E. teacher. Perhaps if I was teaching P.E. more than once a week, I would be able to get to grips with it. Although I believe in the importance of P.E. for children, spending a lot of time on preparing for these lessons is not on my list of priorities when I have other more 'important' lessons to prepare for.
    katsreilly likes this.
  7. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    Why don't you run a lunchtime club to give you more PE experience?
    katsreilly likes this.
  8. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    Why do you only teach PE once a week?
    We are in our second year of continuous CPD for PE. One term we team teach outdoor PE with a specialist sports coach whilst teaching indoor PE on our own, the next term we teach outdoor on our own whilst team teaching indoor PE with a specialist. Then we return to team teaching outdoor etc. So over the two year cycle we will have received specialist training in a range of team sports and for both gymnastics and dance. Whether we will be able to continue this after the two years are over Is a different matter!
    Bevi1 and katsreilly like this.
  9. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    Is it too difficult for schools to group together and hire a full time PE teacher who would cover the PE lessons by eg 2 days in school A, 2 days in school B and 1 day in school C?
    I say this as I realise that most Primary schools do not have enough classes to warrant hiring a f/t PE teacher.
    katsreilly likes this.
  10. therunningman

    therunningman New commenter

    I am a primary P.E. teacher who completed a four year BEd specialising in P.E.

    On our course, every year we spent several hours on practical and theory within our own subject, which included going into schools and teaching lessons to local children. On the whole, this was very good and gave a great opportunity to become skilled in our own area of the curriculum.

    The rest of our week was spent on core subjects, with foundation subjects given around six hours over the four years. With regards to subjects such as history, geography, R.E., etc, having six hours per subject essentially meant that all of these together gave twenty+ hours in how to deliver and teach similar subjects.

    The issue in my eyes was with the delivery of P.E. Non specialists had six hours of P.E. in total - three 2 hour sessions. Considering that out of a group of around 25 students, around half a dozen turned up wearing jeans and weren't able to join in properly, 3 or 4 missed at least one session and half a dozen of us were specialists anyway and had already covered more than what was covered in our own sessions, only around half of the class really benefited from those sessions.

    In my eyes, six hours is not enough time to prepare students for becoming confident and competent P.E. teachers.

    However, since leading P.E. and observing lessons, I have see a whole range of delivered sessions, from very poor to extremely good. I have seen coaches deliver awful sessions and non specialist teachers deliver superb lessons. The coaches on the whole are very good at what they do, but can be very focused on sport rather than P.E. I have seen some very good coaches, and have utilised them by asking them to work alongside teachers for the teacher's C.P.D.

    Where non specialist teachers can really do well is through their knowledge of how to deliver a session. An enthusiastic teacher who takes time to plan their lesson will deliver a well constructed lesson with differentiated activities as they would in any other lesson. The key to a teacher delivering a top quality lesson is how keen they are to plan and deliver the lessons properly. In a curriculum where English and maths take priority, with pressure on teachers to produce hours worth of paperwork to evidence and prove they are doing their job properly, the easy option in P.E. is to just play a game, or to deliver a standard lesson from a book to all pupils. Completely understandable, but only ever going to be average at best.

    Apologies for the long waffle - hopefully it makes sense!
  11. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    Good contribution runningman.

    Things regarding the PE input to Primary training haven't changed much from the 70's when it was very similar.
    katsreilly likes this.
  12. SportyK

    SportyK Occasional commenter

    Many teachers feel overwhelmed and under-skilled to teach P.E. effectively.
    I feel lucky to have a sporting background and personal training qualification, I'd feel lost teaching P.E. without them.
  13. Bumblebee435

    Bumblebee435 New commenter

    On my primary PGCE I have had 1 session on teaching PE - we observed the delivery of one 50minute lesson.

    I certainly don't feel confident teaching PE myself, I have sought out opportunities to observe PE in my placements and it seems none of the general primary teachers are confident teaching it either. One teacher I observed delivered a year 3 PE lesson on tennis whilst tottering on 6 inch heels, saying "but I'm not a sporty person..."

    My current placement has specialist PE teachers. The children definitely benefit IMHO, someone who can guide the learning, model behaviour and skill, and wear appropriate clothing!
  14. laurajocavner

    laurajocavner New commenter

Share This Page