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The state of school sport... are we kidding ourselves?

Discussion in 'Physical education' started by gogojonny, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    Just been reading the TES and the article on school sport. Steve Grainger is from the Youth Sport Trust is saying that school sport is in the best shape ever and that 90% of pupils have 2 hours of PE a week.
    2 hours! 20 mins more like. Lessons dropped for extra maths. Pupils pulled out of PE for extra literacy support. But at the end of the year the PDM will tell the school to tick the box for 2 hours of PE.
    The use of coaching companies such as Premier Sport is praised. What is wrong with a teacher leading a club, even if they don't have coaching expertise? Surely the aim in school is to catch the enthusiasm then refer them onto a specific club out of school. My experience of outside coaching companies is that they have a high turnover of staff and pupils don't keep the enthusiasm they would have done if one member of staff ran the club regularly. I welcome coaches from specific local clubs but do not see the benefit in Premier Sport when they are a general coach, most of whom just have a Level 1 or 2 coaching award.
    I agree that there is a better link between clubs and schools but we are missing the below the average pupils. Only the best pupils go to the festivals - which are talent ID camps in disguise. Pupils do not get regular competition and as such don't progress. The only ones who do progress are the more able ones who seek clubs out of school.
    Anyway there is still a lot to be done for school sport. What does everyone else think?
     
  2. Perhaps it's different at primary level or perhaps it depends on the individual school, but PE and Games are the sessions I try very hard to keep. While I'm quite happy to sacrifice some humanities for extra English sessions, I generally make up my PE lessons if they had to be taken out because of one thing or another. Ours do two hours of timetabled sports - which seems to be more than normal primary schools do -, and then they have the opportunity to join several clubs. Both of the sports clubs that I run (one at lunch and one after school) attract pupils who are not generally considered to be part of the "elite".
     
  3. Yep, school sport is nowhere near as good as it could be. Someitmes I dont think it has move forward at all.
    Not enough competitive games, too much drivel about levels etc, not enough engagement after school, poor facilities, not enough time on the curriculum...etc etc
     
  4. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    Dejana - it's brilliant that you appeal to the 'non elite'. These are the pupils we are missing. Children need to be caught from Y3 onwards - something as simple as a running club running laps around the yard will catch their interest.
    Squashballs - one thing that really frustrates me is that we are teaching games / sports with no purpose. Schools need football / rugby / netball teams and these teams must be incorporated into the lesson. School sports partnerships have come along with the festivals model - all schools play each other in very short games on one day. This limits the pupils who can play and we are missing out on the non-elite. Pupils need regular games - every few weeks. This is vital as they can take feedback on their performace for the next game. How on earth do we encourage kids into community clubs if we cannot even organise a regular sports club in the school - regular as in it takes place every week (training or a game).
    The quality has gone. It breaks my heart to see Y6 pupils running bean bag relays and throwing it in a hoop. That to some if the only competition they get.
    Why do we gloss over the truth?
     
  5. do you teach in primary gogo..
    you are right....you learn so much by competing week in week out..this is why most elite sportsman come from private education, becuase they have an established system, an established fixture list.
    I couldnt belive the lack of games when i started teaching, i was appalled.
    When I started up a football club on my pgce, i used to get 3 or 4 turn up, the whole idea of training once a week and playing once a week was alien to them!

     
  6. stopwatch

    stopwatch Occasional commenter

    Until UK state Primary schools follow the model of overseas schools, the situation is never likely to change.
    UK schools have to rely on class teachers being able and enthusastic about PE and sports - entusiastic enough to put aside a lot of time during school and after school.
    I have worked in the Middle East for 9 years now (Saudi, Egypt and now Dubai), am secondary PE trained, and work in Primary schools.
    The set up in Dubai Primary Schools is fantastic. We have well developed curricula, specialist PE teachers, and a wide range of leagues, tournaments and competitions for football, rugby, netball, athletics and swimming. I know this is also the same in other areas of the world, outside the UK.
    This extends to overseas tournaments as well as competitions within Dubai.
    However, before people jump in and say we are elitist I would say the following:
    We not only cater for our teams but also have clubs and activities in all of these major sports for those who don't get selected, those who just want to do sport for the fun of it.
    Within the curriculum, all children cover a wide range of sports and activities and are taught in a way which extends the abilities of all children.
    Also, why not cater for the 'elite'. If this is done in other subjects, to extend the gifted and talented, it is seen as being acceptable. In PE it is sometime viewed with disdain and disgust.
    If specialist teachers were used, this would ensure that the teaching within the curriculum, the level of coaching outside the curriculum and the amount of extra curricular sports would provide oppoertunities for all.
     
  7. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    I teach in primary but have links to secondary as well.
    Stopwatch - yes we should cater for elite. This can be done by quite simply having A,B and C teams. The festivals we see today organised by the partnerships should really be for the elite. I have no problem with talent ID, but when the event being talent ID'd is the only competition some pupils get then I do have a problem.
     
  8. It is mt view that every primary should have a specialsit PE teacher, as well as doing some form of PE everyday..
    this will never happen though will it?
     
  9. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    Specialist primary PE teachers would be great. Cannot see it happening though.
    I heard an old Lib Dem idea was to remove all secondary PE teachers and locate them in primary schools. To be honest this would be a very clever move. Look at secondary PE deaprtments - up to 10 members of staff on 20+K a year. Put these in the feeder primary schools. Forget SSCO, one SSCO cannot cover 15 schools. As a result you improve PE dramatically in the primary sector. Remove PE from the secondary curriculum and instead have a games session run by school teaching staff with coaching qualifications.
    Look at the money that is being spent - we are spending zillions on PE teachers who teach lessons on how to turn a badminton serve from a 4b to a 4a standard. Lets teach them the skills in primary and give them the time in secondary to develop teams in activities that they actually want to do.
     
  10. stopwatch

    stopwatch Occasional commenter

    GGJ - I absolutely love this idea. An even better scenario would be if they had done this about 10 years ago.
     
  11. What about an hour a day of PE in primary?
    They seem to do sooo much stuff that I would consider of little or no value. They do an hour of literacy/numeracy so why not an hour of proper PE / exercise. Would nt this give all our primary kids a much needed health boost?
     
  12. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    An hour a day would be ideal. Only problem I see if facilities. If it is bad weather they would use the hall, and the hall may have other lessons etc.
    I would like to see a physical maths lesson every week. Take one of the many maths lessons they have each week, book out the hall and have a physical maths lesson. This could be sports hall athletics or other fitness activities. Children would experience recording and measuring data, averages etc. Have a running wall chart over the course of the year, who is top at which event etc.
     
  13. If the weather is bad..you wear more clothes!
    Anyway..my main concern is the state of secondary sport. I did supply in an "outstanding" department a couple of years ago..and it was SHi**.
    No committment to afterschool sport, no committment from the kids during lessons!
    Lots of nice posters though..oh..and level descriptors everywhere!!
     
  14. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    When I did my PGCE observation in primary, I attended what Ofsted would call at least a good, maybe even an outstanding PE lesson.
    The year 5s were told their learning objectives, repeated them back, told the teacher why we all warm up before exercise then they did the activity (something to do with bean bags and collecting more for your team than the other teams).
    Then they had their plenary - they were able to say they'd learnt "teamwork" and a few other things I now completely forget.
    All Ofsted boxes ticked. Good to Outstanding lesson.
    While I was watching it (and joining in), I couldn't help think of the small Independent school just a mile away.... There (and I know this for a fact as I drove past their significantly smaller than the state school playing field on the way home), they weren't sitting in a neat circle repeating back their WILFs and WALTs, they were teaching their "Under 10s" to play rugby.
    I'm willing to bet not a child at that independent school could say "what I've learnt today", nor could they tell you what level mastering the basics of U10 contact rugby is.
    But they were ready for their match the following week.
    At the state school, only those kids who do sport outside school would have stood a chance against them.
     
  15. Exactly..
    I was educated privately, and the school sport I knew was totally different to how it works in secondaries today! More than half the GB Olypmic team were privately educated...now I know that we are not comparing like for like, and they have more money for facilities etc etc....but there really is no comparison...
    School sport has become an add on, looks good in brochures etc...there is no real time, effort, money for it.....and thats a shame because there are some excllent PE teachers out there!
     
  16. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    While the Merchant Taylor's and some others have extensive facilities, not all Independent schools do.
    They just do sport differently.
    They teach the sport. They don't deliver an Ofsted 3-part lesson that ticks all the boxes.
     
  17. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    Why does the state sector not learn from the private sector?
    I actually work in both sectors. The difference is incredible. In the private sector we have children from Y3 playing cricket games against other schools. In the state sector we have no regular competition. Just 'festivals'.
    In the private sector I watched one day as the pupils lined up to play cricket. Dressed in their whites and ready to learn. In the state sector the same year group were probably sat in the hall doing yoga, or a bean bag relay if they were lucky (or maybe their PE lesson was dropped for extra maths).
    Gove is now putting some more realistic figures out - only 30% of children take part in regular competition with other schools. The problem today is that if little Jonny takes part in a one off bean bag festival then it is classed as a pupil taking part in competition.
     
  18. There is a difference between PE and Sport and there is a place for both. I feel PE should be taught by teachers and provide skills and concepts that can fundamentally improve sports performance and/or transfer to help improve other areas of the school curriculum.
    Primary school PE should focus on developing all pupils fundamental movement skills, which they can then expand on through extra-curricular sport. The Independant school teaching contact rugby at under 10's is fine as long as it is being taught as part of a bigger understanding of invasion games and not as a stop-start technical lesson on scrummaging etc. This can be done in sport after school.
    In general, I feel the main barriers in secondary school PE and sport are the excessive intervention programmes in place from other subject areas. This hothousing programmes pressure students to attend instead of extra-curricular activities. You can not blame the other departments though, they have targets to meet. Extra-curricualr should be given back to sport, the Arts etc. This would see higher particpation levels and increased competition. Also, PE in curriculum and academic should be taught as it is successfully by PE teachers, with skilled coaches running more of the extra-curricular school sport programme. Hopefully, this will lead to regular practises and improvements from the students,as the coaches can be consistent and not have to rush of to different meeings every other week like teachers are expected to.
    The other addition would be central leagues instead of weekly fixtures, so for example three school in local area could bring three football teams (A,B,C) over and a round robin tournament can be run.
    Finally, in regards to the comment about half of the GB team being privately educated. I believe this is due the better parential support in transporting the children to and from training and matches every week, it is not talent that makes them successful, but hours and hours of dedicated practice and the fianances available to those families to fund equipment etc. espacially in minority Olympic sports in which the costs are very high.
     
  19. Our pupils regularly take part in inter-school competitions and matches, against independent and state schools. We have teams for hockey, cricket, football, volleyball, netball, rounders, rugby for each year group and both for boys and girls. Our pupils compete on county and national level. We offer an extensive programme of extra-curricular sports clubs, including major team sports, multiskills, canoeing, mountainbiking, lifeguarding, cross-country, etc.. Throughout the year our pupils experience in their PE and Games lessons:
    - Rugby
    - Football
    - Netball
    - Hockey
    - Athletics
    - Gymnastics
    - Dance
    - General Fitness
    - Rounders
    - Cricket
    - Volleyball
    - Tennis
    - Swimming
    I'm at a state school. Similar to the independent school close by, we have extensive playing fields, tennis courts and a swimming pool. Instead of "dropping" PE lessons to do "extra maths", I frequently have to excuse children from classes because they have to attend matches. Our "festivals" are held for our feeder schools, which compete against each other and are also quite active in sports, due to the link with our PE department.
    If I use bean bags, then as a warm up or for throwing and catching. Would I want one hour of PE per day? No, because we already have to try and squeeze enough into the timetable. Would I want secondary PE teachers to take my KS2 class? No, because I like teaching PE and it gives me a chance to see some of my kids be successful in something.We've got subject specialists and I'm being supported by our PE department when teaching the subject.
    I'm not quite sure whether I have frequently been at strange primary schools, but none of the ones I have worked at cancelled PE in favour for extra maths, or avoided teaching children how to play sports. All of them gave children the chance to take part in matches between schools and offered extra-curricular opportuities for children to do sports.
     
  20. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    Are you a state primary with a PE department (extra staff)? Maybe a state prep school (8-13)?It sounds like you do a fantastic job and that is brilliant. Not all schools drop PE for maths but it is a common problem. A lot of schools only have a small hall (full of dining tables) and a small yard for PE. There are times when I have seen pupils sat in the classroom for PE 'designing a game'.
    I agree that PE and games need to be two separate areas. Games needs to be fundamental games skills from Y3-4, and then sport specific skills in Y5-6, leading to teams and fixtures. Both of these would lead to regular fixtures. PE needs to be the theory that underpins it all.
    Going back to the TES report, it boasted that on average something like 17 sports are offered by each school. Isn't that overpowering the pupils? Pupils at primary age will try anything and there is a danger that they will not settle in a sport because something else is on offer. Games like rugby are fantastic because they have so many skills to transfer, a pupil playing rugby for school could quite easily thrive in another sports club after school.
    State schools are in a fantastic position for fixtures as a lot of schools are close by. Private schools manage fixtures miles away due to only a very small number of private schools in each city / area.
     

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