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pe in year 6 boys barechested

Discussion in 'Physical education' started by marshallb, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. hi im a parent (former teacher as well as it happens)

    my son is in year six at primary school and although the indoor pe kit is shorts and t shirt the boys have to strip to the waist for indoor pe (apparatus, gymnastics work etc). The teacher says the top is for when the class goes outside in warmer weather. This doesnt of course apply to the girls who have a choice of leotard or shorts/t shirt etc.

    My son hasnt complained about it and it seems nobody has and it only became an issue when i asked him to pack his pe top and he told me that no need to bother as he doesnt need it.

    I know this was the fashion years ago in secondary schools but when i taught (primary) it was standard shorts and t shirt for everyone.

    Do the boys go barechested in indoor pe in other schools or does it need raising as an issue

    thanks
     
  2. hi im a parent (former teacher as well as it happens)

    my son is in year six at primary school and although the indoor pe kit is shorts and t shirt the boys have to strip to the waist for indoor pe (apparatus, gymnastics work etc). The teacher says the top is for when the class goes outside in warmer weather. This doesnt of course apply to the girls who have a choice of leotard or shorts/t shirt etc.

    My son hasnt complained about it and it seems nobody has and it only became an issue when i asked him to pack his pe top and he told me that no need to bother as he doesnt need it.

    I know this was the fashion years ago in secondary schools but when i taught (primary) it was standard shorts and t shirt for everyone.

    Do the boys go barechested in indoor pe in other schools or does it need raising as an issue

    thanks
     
  3. bigfatgit

    bigfatgit New commenter

    This concerns me even although I've been out of the state system for quite sometime. When I was in Blighty, it was a requirement for the boys to wear tops (maybe it was just the authority I worked for?)

    We used to let the "babies" do PE in their pants and vests and they all changed in the classroom together (boys and girls). Then a directive came down from above saying that they had to change into PE kit and do so in the changing rooms.

    We were also "forbidden" from having "skins" (kids taking their tops off instead of wearing bibs)

    I hope that the gym is nice and warm!
     
  4. Where abouts in the UK are you? I remember seeing a raising standards type video about 6 years ago and it showed a school (or possibly 2) in Wales where this was apparently common practice according to the inspector showing us the video.

    I have no personal experience of this but it might be a good idea to have a chat with the teacher if you've only got your son's word. Maybe the teacher is just following the school's procedure and then perhaps you can address the issue if you are not happy with it.
     
  5. It sounds very odd to me. Our school has a designated PE kit that pupils wear from K1 (as their uniform) all the way through school. Grey shorts and T.shirt with the school logo on. In K2 (age 4) they switch to real uniform and wear the grey to do PE in. I don't have sons, mine are girls, but I don't think I would want them running around bare chested.
     
  6. My sons play basketball barechested during practices, both at school and county level. They are 16 & 18!
     
  7. Hi
    I have been wondering about this myself, my boy (12) goes to a local comprehensive. After an accident involving a boy getting his t-shirt caught in apparatus a few years ago (or so it seems), boys are required to go without tops for indoor PE. They are just allowed white shorts, girls wear leotards. From year 9 on, PE is gender segregated.
    As we have just moved here, i don't want to make a fuss and my son seems OK about it,
    P.S. This happens to be in Wales
     
  8. Then let it be!
     
  9. If girls have to do sports in athletics briefs it's not unreasonable that boys should go bare chested, IMHO.
     
  10. I just think that something is not right about making boys strip to the waist. If they want to fine, but they should not be forced to. I have tried to speak to my son about it and have mentioned that I might speak to the school about this. He insists that he likes doing PE barechested but I think he just wants to be seen to be tough especially in front of his mates.
     
  11. yes i was interested in the reply from wales.

    Your reaction was the same as mine but my son doesnt seem bothered about it at all so if I mention it , it will be done informally rather than as a complaint.

    I did read of an accident once in a school in Doncaster school of a tee shirt getting caught on the apparatus.

    I think in truth my son wants to appear tough in front of his mates. I think perhaps it is more common in secondary schools though
     
  12. If your son's aren't bothered why are you?
     
  13. Because some PE teachers might use shirtlessness as a means of imposing their discipline, a bit like in the army. It definitely has something militaristic about it. It seems that atleast one PE teacher at his school makes boys who do not appear to be working hard enough strip to the waist even outside when they are normally allowed to cover up. They might work harder under threat of this punishment but I am not sure that this is the right sort of education for my son even if he tells me that PE is his one of his favorite subjects.
     
  14. We need some PE teachers input here!
    I'm a mother of two son's and if they didn't mind going barechested then I would not be bothered. The concern over using it as a method of discipline is a very different issue. PE teachers out there, give us your views....
     
  15. I wouldn't use it as a punishment that's for sure. Although I do find the whole concept strange (which I think I mentioned earlier but can't remember) I have been assured it is completely normal practice in some parts of the country. Doing PE in "skins" I've heard it called. On the safety issue I can understand the need for close fitting clothing. Our girls wear leotards and shorts for gymnastics and the boys wear shorts and t-shirts. I've sometimes thought this unfair and think there should be an equivalent for the boys - maybe a close fitting vest type t-shirt.
     
  16. I think if a PE teacher is getting boys to remove their shirts as some kind of punishment, that's way out of line and you should complain.
    I've heard that some teachers of male PE do get some boys to remove their shirts as a way of distinguishing one team from the other, which isn't picking on one child so probably OK.
    Also, without wanting to pry, is your school in an economically disadvantaged area? If so it could be that if all the boys are shirtless this is to reduce the overall cost of the uniform by making it one less item that parents have to buy.
    When I became head of girls' sports at my current school I tried to introduce shorts or trakkie bottoms instead of knickers but was told no on cost grounds. For the same reason they're not allowed to wear tights.
     
  17. I have spoken to my son´s PE teacher now without him knowing about it. He explained to me the accident that happened because a boy had his t-shirt fall over his head when upside down, panicked and fell off the apparatus breaking a leg. Since then, boys have to barechested. By the way, we are actually in a deprived area and avoiding extra cost to parents might actually be an issue as they are also barefeet.
    For outdoor PE, quite a few boys sometimes take their t-shirts off or don´t even bother to put one on in the first place (like my lad - interesting the things they don´t tell you!). But he also said that he sometimes uses compulsory shirtlessness outdoors as an ´encouragement´ for boys to get moving when he feels that they don´t work hard enough because apparently they move more when they are cold to get warm.
    I am not sure about this last point, but all in all he seems quite a nice guy and my son is more than happy with him, so things are probably OK.
    To the other poster, have you spoken to your son´s teacher?
     
  18. I'm PE co-ordinator in a primary school and I think it does sound rather odd. If the girls are required to wear t.Shirts then it doesn't sound like a safety issue to me. I see no reason why girls' and boys' PE kit, especially at primary, should not be the same. As for safety, I always make my class tuck their shirts into their shorts for gymnastics to reduce problems of clothing getting caught in apparatus and shirts going over heads while upside down!
     
  19. hi i take the point about boys and girls wearing the same kit but in my sons school the girls wear leotards so cant really expect the boys to wear the same kit
    boys wear white shorts girls leotards but they change in separate rooms
    as said in a previous post it would be good to hear from pe teachers in secondary schools and/or pe coordinators in primary
     
  20. I am currently doing a PGDE in PE, as I am in the glorious West Coast of Scotland I would never insist on pupils going barechested for outdoor activities, in fact I would actively encourage long sleeves and bottoms for most of the year as cold muscles get injured a lot easier! Indoors I can understand the H&S view, however tucking shirts in should be sufficent to prevent any incidents like the one mentioned above.

    From a coaching perspective, as this is my background, in basketball it is common practise to play shirts vs. skins (us girls do it too) but this is simply because we never have bibs or we have outgrown them. However, we are all adults and I would never ask this of my younger players.

    I sounds like the PE teacher you have spoken to has mixed reasons, some understandable, some which I do not like at all - many pupils we asked why they hate PE mention the word humiliation... and this springs to mind.

    And finally from a sports scientist, a loose fitting cotton t-shirt is probably the best item of sports clothing! Bare skin is very efficent at heat transfer but it is rarely hot enough in this country for this to be necessary.
     

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