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Primary teachers...why don't you teach PE?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by gogojonny, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    OK some of you teach PE, some very well, but this is aimed at those of you that don't.
    A regular on the PE board, I am keen to know why primary staff don't teach PE. I keep meeting children who don't get PE each week, because their teacher 'forgets' about PE. Is there a valid reason for this?
  2. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Errr I don't think it as generalised as you are implying.

    Our children get 2 hours a week, one indoor and one out.

    Like all subjects sometimes one or other hour gets lost in the business of school, but it isn't specific to PE, happens to other subjects as well.
  3. I think a lot of us are not sure what to do, speaking as an arthritic teacher. Saying that, my class always gets their allocation and more because I think it's important - music might suffer but never PE. I try to link with other subjects where possible.
    I'm no specialist but I like to keep the children active. However, a lot of my younger colleagues don't like teaching it because they are frightened of it. There are elements that I am not sure about - generally gymnastics - which I would steer clear of but would replace with other elements (I'm never sure how to teach somersaults or 'rolypolys'). Summer to me is getting them outside and playing rounders, learning strategies and encouraging them to keep active.
    I'm an old teacher with arthritic hips but I don't need to run around, I need to encourage to children to do that in a safe and fun-filled environment. Maybe I'm on the wrong track but all my children always want to do PE.
  4. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    How can one hour get 'lost'?
    Surely at this age PE is something which all kids look forward to. If you schedule it at 2pm every Weds then how hard is it to keep this in place?
  5. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    This is what worries me. These people are professionals paid a very good wage. If there is something they can't do it is their responsibility to ask for support and training, and learn to do it.
  6. Lots of reasons I sometimes don't get round to it. A combination of any of the below:

    a) I have to fit about 28 hours of curriculum into 22.5 hours of actual teaching time each week - so something has to give.
    b) We aren't allowed to raise our voices in our school - which is kinda hard when you have 30 8 year olds bombing off in all directions
    c)Health and safety nightmare - they say we are completely fine if we have followed the rules on what we are meant to do etc, but I'm cynical and don't fancy being taken to court because some little angel has decided to hit another one round the head with a bat
    d)I don't have a TA so that makes it a tad hard sometimes - I can't be both with the children and in the cupboard getting resources out - and you can't always get them out before the lesson (eg if its inside PE in winter (we aren't allowed to go outside when the weather is minging as the parents complain as the children are so young) and after lunch, you can't get the stuff out at lunchtime because its the lunch hall right up to and after the bell goes.)
    e) I hate how my bum looks in tracksuit trousers and I don't own any trainers (shallow, but I'm being completely honest here) - its more important I pay my stupidly expensive car insurance and gas bill than buy shoes I'm only ever going to wear for school (I exercise by swimming, ballroom dancing, horse riding and yoga (and the Wii Fit) - none of which I use trainers for).
    f) I really don't feel qualified to teach them the techniques and don't want to teach them 'wrong' incase it leads to an accident (there is an element of excuse here, but equally there is that element of self doubt as well)
    g) Depending on what year you are teaching it can take anything up to 30 mins to actually get changed into PE kit and then out o it again at the end - 1 hour gone right there!
    h) We have very very few resources - its hard to teach a class of 30 children with only 10 beanbags, 5 rounders bats, 1 tennis ball.....we don't have budget to spend in our school apparently (I don't nec. think this is actually the case, but who am I to query it, I am but a mere classroom teacher),
    So lots of reasons really. If I could go on a course to teach me some more techniques, we had more resources, including SPACE to do PE in, and a TA to do it with me, and be able to teach in a cross curricular manner so wouldn't have to justify every minute with what subject I am teaching etc I would make time for it and make it more of a priority as I do think childhood exercise and sport is far more important than we let it be in this country, but its just not seen as important in schools to be honest -at the end of the day, its nothing on any league table or chart so SMT don't care (this is true of every primary I've taught in so far, both contract and supply)
    I guess its up to you and your opinion if they are valid reasons or not, I agree some of them aren't particularly valid, but at the end of the day, if you know the actual truth then maybe something can be done about it.
  7. You can request it all you want. If its not on the SIP or SMT personal love, it won't happen. I've asked in all three primaries I've been perm. staff in, and been told 'we don't have the budget for that/its not in the SDP/its not a priority for us right now'.
  8. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

    Have you taught in a Primary School?
    Just today for instance, an assembly that was supposed to last for 15 minutes actually went on for 40 minutes. Next lesson therefore 'lost' 25 minutes.
  9. I take it you don't teach in primary. I know minnieminx does. Timetables do change a lot in primary - multicultural days, healthy eating days, world book days, hall is booked for play practice and it's raining ...
  10. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    You get rid of PE? The right of children to learn physical skills. And some of you wonder why they end up as dyslexic or dyspraxic.
    I once had a toy car thrown at my head in a classroom.
    Starting to detect the sarcasm now (very clever!) but will continue anyway....
    You don't need a TA. My biggest worry is that as I also work in the indy sector, I see kids aged 8 upwards in their cricket whites playing cricket fixtures, yet in the primary sector we have kids who don't even get outside, and even if they do they end up doing some daft relay instead of 'proper' sport.
  11. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    But you've had sports partnerships for the past few years. They've been running courses on 'teaching tree dances' and 'pretend to be a dinosaur' but not many courses on 'rugby' and 'netball'.
  12. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    You need to then schedule PE at a time when time won't be lost. If assembly in the morning, then put PE in the afternoon.
    I do work in a primary school. Quite shocked at how the timetable seems to be made up every week and the poor kids don't know what is happening.
  13. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    Why is it in primary schools everything has to stop for a 'special day'? Sorry kids we can't do PE outside today, because I want you to draw a picture of your favourite fruit,
    Raining - get them outside. Man Utd don't stop when it's raining.
  14. It gets forgotten for multiple reasons... a sudden downpour - so we do another lesson instead. It's winter, and it's meant to be indoor P.E. but the hall is out for play.

    We do our best... Yr 2+ have 5 minutes to change in. Yr 1 have 10 minutes.

    But things happen.

    This week alone we've had days with ONLY 1 academic lesson because we've only been given a week and a half to rehearse our play! So most of it is spent in the hall rehearsing.

    Schools don't have unlimited space, so we can't move P.E. to another day because something came up on day X. Somebody else will be using the hall/field/playground. Or all three.

    TAs in our school have been trained to teach P.E. to help solve this issue so PPA cannot be one of those factors, but it doesn't always help. Sometimes, something has to give... and P.E. is going to be that thing - though usually after Music or R.E...

    (Plus the younger ones, there seems to be a trend going that "Jimmy couldn't possibly go out to play/do P.E. it's much too cold. He doesn't like to get cold." and they're then released to not take part or go out during breaks.)
  15. Waterfin

    Waterfin New commenter

    I'm with happy pixie....
    I don't feel confident in the rules and techniques of most sports, not having been sporty at any time in my life.
    I don't like being in my tracksuit for the whole day, yet find it tricky to grab time to change (and in our school changing means squashing yourself into the tiny, single toilet available for the 10+ female members of staff in a break or lunchtime when the loo is in high demand!)
    That said: my classes have never gone out except in times of truly awful weather when it has been too wet/cold/slippery underfoot on our yard in the winter. I have always been able to manage to arrange with another teacher to swap classes. I teach their class music, or something else as suits whoever it is I am sharing with, and they teach my PE.

  16. Man United are adults being paid a lot of money to do their sport. If we take kids out in the pouring rain, i absolutely GUARANTEE we get parental complaints. Or Little Jonny slips and hurts themselves.
    It is VERY easy to sit and judge/complain about what happens in a primary school. Please go and teach in one first. THEN you can pass comment. Until then I don't feel you have a grasp on what daily life is like in a school.
    You say we are trained to teach this. I'm sorry - I don't remember ONCE anyone in my 14 year career teaching ME how to teach children gymnastics. I have asked on MANY occasions for trainig - but it hasn't been available. So I won't teach it - end of. My children DO get their 2 hours a week though.
    One hall, ten classes. Pouring icy rain. Christmas play rehearsals. Who gets the hall?
    Again, this highlights your absolute ignorance to what happens in a primary school. I won't even get started on this comment.

  17. Some of these excuses are awful and frankly im shocked.
    I didn't enjoy PE and don't enjoy teaching it, but it is on the curriculum and is important not least because this is the only time that some children can achieve. Those children that are poor at academics often thrive in PE, and this time is so valuable for them to have that time without pressure.
    I do agree about equipment and resourcing - sometimes I find it hard to cover the PE curriculum adequately - but we still always do some form of PE.
    And do you really need to buy trainers and tracksuit bottoms for PE? I do it in whatever im wearing. I often wear sandals/flip flops, so these come off and I do it in bare feet.
    As for changing times - My Y1s do it in 10 minutes. Im not sure where you got half an hour from, but they soon realise that if they are taking that long they waste their much loved PE time. If I have one straggler, I take them into the hall and they get changed while we start. I know the Reception class is fairly similar - they manage PE by splitting into half and the TA keeps half while the teacher takes half for PE, then they swap. Shorter sessions, but they still get their PE.
    If you can't teach Gymnastics and are unconfident, actively seek a training course and take it to your head. If you still cant go on it, teach more of something else instead. Its not what's meant to happen, but its better than not doing PE at all.
  18. greta444

    greta444 New commenter

    Agreed. There is no excuse for not teaching P.E. As for lack of equipment, get collecting Sainsbury's vouchers next time around. I keep a well stocked P.E. cupboard for free on the back of the vouchers.
    We are lucky, we are all well trained in P.E. in my school and have great schemes of work. If any of the whingers above are in Wales, then shame on you. You have had every opportunity (funded) to train in all areas of P.E. and have had access to many free schemes of work. England should look to Wales and the PESS project to see how it's done.
    Gogojonny - maybe you should look into this, you would find the PESS project very interesting.
    Use your sports advisors from county to mentor you in teaching P.E. Start a partnership with your local secondary and get A level P.E. students to come in and be your T.A. if you absolutely need one, they can team teach with you. I could go on!
    This thread has annoyed me so much.
  19. This thread has made me realise that I have loads of PE training and skills. Thanks OP, I'll go and update my application letter to include this. :) PS, I always do a PE lesson if the class I am taking has hall time. I get the impression that the teacher I'm replacing thinks this is the 'doss' option, though!
  20. gergil4

    gergil4 New commenter

    Unbelievable. Your vanity over their education. Do they, or you, really spend a lot of your lesson time discussing how your bum looks?

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