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What's Best for Teenage Girls?

Discussion in 'Physical education' started by FemaleFitnessCoach, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. Have you been reading the discussion "Are we over intellectualising PE?" It's got pretty long now but in the later stages much of the discussion has been about what's the best form of activity for teenage girls.
    The majority of teenage girls lead fairly sedentary lives. A large number have become disengaged with PE. Obviously this affects their health levels but it also affects their self-confidence, self-esteem and body-image.
    What do you think would be the best way to get teenage (and pre-teen) girls moving again?
    I've got a few ideas of my own but I'd love to hear what you think we should try.
    Maggie
     
  2. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Lead commenter

    If there is a strong PE curriculum in the school , and as we have said before Girl and Boy only activities then you will be setting a good PE environment. Keep the compulsory games and have a good breadth of activity. When working with Key Stage 4 an element of choice but "structured choice" eg I never put sedentary activities on until the shorter term times - after Christmas- so we did not start year 10 with badminton on offer.Alas I all too often found that girls used badminton as an opportunity to sit down quickly or to do a kind of "Weeble" activity (non movement of the feet - and yes I am old enough to remember Weebles)
     
  3. "When they get to secondary school make it compulsory that every girl (and boy) must sign up for one physical activity. Traditional team options plus other clubs such as gym, dance (performance not fitness) and badminton. This would involve a total overhaul of the PE curriculum."
    I'm not sure that i agree with this. I assume you're talking about Extra-curricular yet it is rare that many schools would have the ability to actually cater for this number of girls doing extra-curricular.
    Also how do you enforce this. If they don't sign up what do you do?
    Plus isn't making pupils do PE a bit over the top? Shouldn't you make it more appealing so that they want to do it. I look back to my school days and although a PE fan i couldn't comprehend being made to do extra-curricular art or DT or RE.
    Even as a HOD why should we make all pupils do extra-curricular PE?
     
  4. I have a further question - what do you think PE for teenage girls should be looking to achieve?
    My view is that PE should build the habit of regular exercise to continue into adulthood. If this isn't the focus of PE then when is this being taught by schools? And if it's not being taught by schools then who is passing this important message on to the girls?
     
  5. If girls did general fitness and activity as part of school PE far more would continue being active when they left school. I agree that parents should be the main role model but if parents aren't doing it someone has to.
     
  6. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    And most of these women are state educated.
    Let me tell you how it works in secondary school.
    Girls (and boys) arrive in Year 7 with very little games skills or competitive sport experience. Boys will tend to have played rugby or football out of school for community clubs, but many girls won't have.
    The PE department will play a series of activities over the year. 2 lessons a week. Most departments will do two different activities although some will do the same.
    Autumn 1 - Hockey and Gymnastics
    Autumn 2 - Football and fitness
    Spring 1 - Badminton and dance
    Spring 2 - Gymnastics and dance
    Summer 1 - Cricket and athletics
    Summer 2 - Rounders and athletics

    Girls are only playing the game for 6 weeks. But the time they get into it the sport changes! Plus if any of them want to play the sport for the school, they are then forced to turn up after school or lunchtime to attend another session, and then play games after school / weekends etc.
    Combine with class sizes, teaching that has to be differentiated for all abilities, and the quality of the sessions is low.
    This is why girls (and boys) do not take up competitive sports at state secondary schools.
    Compare to a private school.
    PE is one lesson per week:
    Autumn 1 - Gynmnastics
    Autumn 2 - Invasion games
    Spring 1 - Dance
    Spring 2 - Badminton
    Summer 1 - Athletics
    Summer 2 - Rounders
    Games is one double lesson per week:
    Autumn term - Rugby (boys), hockey (girls)
    Spring term - Football (boys), netball (girls)
    Summer term - Cricket (boys), rounders (girls)
    (These are just example, my girls play cricket)
    The pupils get a whole term at one game. Practices are IN THE LESSON. Groups are split ability wise. Lessons are blocked for an afternoon to enable fixtures to take place IN THE LESSON. So much time is saved which means the pupils get more sport time.
    Surprise suprise competitive sport take up in private schools is much much higher than state schools.
    It's not rocker science.
    The alternative is that you pile them into a hall to play dodgeball, or do a zumba class.
     
  7. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    It's like hiding veg in mash.
    If you tell the girls they have to do 'X, Y and Z' to keep healthy then they won't do it.
    Get them playing a game they enjoy, and pass on that enthusiasm for the game to them then they will find X,Y and Z for themselves.
     
  8. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    How difficult is it to send a member of staff on a hockey coaching course, and then plan work for a whole term for hockey?
    Kids need to be told what to do. It is scary that children as young as Y3 are being given choices in sport - what do you want to play today? How can they make a choice when they haven't experienced all sports? Scary and it's a cop-out for teaching staff.
    You've answered your own question - you are playing netball and being active. As I keep saying term long sports and catch them young, plus have team practices in the lesson time. A PE lesson on netball is pointless for girls, but a games session in preparation for a netball tournament gives it a focus.
    Because they haven't been coached in these sports early enough!
    They have been failed by a system and members of staff who won't coach them proper sports and just give them 'what they want'. This is what is failing girls sport.
    Well you play netball so traditional sports are helping you be active in adulthood.
     
  9. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    That is scary. Well girls we should be playing netball today but Kimberley and Chelsea want to do some salsa dancing so we're doing that instead.
    Errrr..... look at the National Curriculum. If you're working in a school that's what you should follow. I'm no big fan of it but I have to follow it. Games and athletics are parts of it. You'll also find staff doing gym and dance. Some may do outdoor activities if they're lucky.
    Scary. Really scary.
    It is the teacher's job to introduce activities they may not have normally done. This is school and sometimes they do stuff they won't like, but at least they have had a go. It is a PE teacher's job to motivate pupils in these activities. It takes a very good PE teacher to get 11+ year old girls into hockey and netball, but it is possible and many have thrived from it.
    What is the benefit in teaching a wide range of sports? 2 weeks on one activity, 3 on the next? Teach sports for a full term and establish some pride and team spirit.
    I would only advocate free choice after Year 9. They must play games until Year 9. So let me get this right - you want to abolish all competitive games from schools because girls find it intimidating and don't like them. Instead they should choose what they want to do every single PE lesson and this will help them lead an active life.
    I'm sorry but you are part of the Fitness First generation of sports people. The generation of people who believe that the only way to keep fit in running on a treadmill indoors listening to Jessie J. If you make the girls think like this they will always opt for the easy option. A PE teacher is there to encourage them into sports - and if they do a term of hockey for 30 pupils and one pupils as a result goes to join the local hockey club then that is a big success.
     
  10. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    Totally agree. Cheerleading is another scary thing. There are companies now that will (at a vast cost) come into schools and teach cheerleading. In the nature of equality they also teach it to boys as well.
    I am big on games. I believe in few sports for games, but lots of activities for PE - each school should have one PE lesson and one games lesson. If after years of games (say Year 9/10) a boy or girl turns round and says 'look sir I've done games for X years, I've tried it but don't like it' then I would advocate softer activities - dancing, gym fitness, god forbid even Zumba. But one of my big arguements is that girls (and boys) are not getting games activities in school, so how can they say they don't like it? Hockey and netball and so negelected, it's not the norm to go and join a hockey club. It is up to us to introduce these sports and then provide a link.

     
  11. Sorry it's taken me so long to reply but..... NO and NO.
    Life isn't so black and white. No I don't want to abolish all competitve sports but I don't see the point in making girls that have shown no interest and basically skive off every PE lesson do them. Wouldn't it be better to get them being active in some way?
    Of course individual girls shouldn't choose what they do lesson by lesson but choosing what they want to do for a full term, as a group, would actually give them a feeling of ownership and therefore more participation.
    I can't see why school PE has to be about teaching sport - to me it should be about teaching people new skills so that they can lead an active life.
    I can't see that 1 in 30 playing hockey after school is a success - 16 out of 30 girls living a more active lifestyle and continuing to do some activity after leaving school is halfway to a success.
    We shouldn't be teaching competitive sports "because it's part of the curriculum" - what's that all about?
     
  12. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    Why is it always the girls? What about the boys? There are many boys who suffer from bad PE/games at school and are also disengaged. The girls you speak of have no interest in competitive sports because they haven't been taught them early enough. If by 11 years old (Y7) they come to secondary school without prior games experience, then it takes a very competent and enthusiastic member of staff to enthuse them about games. Games is in the NC - it is up to the school to provide competitive and non-competitive games. A hockey session could lead into a competitive game against another school or a social hockey festival where the B team get a run-around.
    This does not happen for any other subjects in school so why should it happen for PE? They need to be told what they are doing. Otherwise they will pick the same things every term.
    PE is about skills. Games is about sport. The biggest motivator is getting kids to do well in PE lessons is that it will make them better at sport.
    1 in 30 is a success. I have seen about 50 kids move on after my badminton club - 4 have gone on to play at the local club. The other 46 can competently play badminton and many will play socially at the weekends. They have that skill. Same with hockey - even if they don't join the club they have played and have those skills should they choose to join in the future. The skills can also be transferred to other sports - the other 29 may play football, rugby, lacrosse etc.
    Games is on the NC (again). We have to stretch the most able by offering competitive opportunities. We have to also cater for the less able by offering more sociable less-competitive opportunities.

    In the name of equality you aren't giving girls a good name. Girls need this, that, should be allowed to choose etc etc. I agree that girls are badly let down at primary schools PE/games wise, but so are many boys. Girls need discipline like any child and need to be told what they are doing. This is school not a social club. If you ran a session out of school then let them choose, but if you are working in school time then unfortunately they have no choice. They have to play games up until the end of Year 9.
     
  13. Of course you're entitled to your opinion, as we all are.
    My qualification is recognised by schools as perfectly valid for teaching PE.
    I wonder why you feel the need to make this so personal.
    No, I don't want to be a PE teacher. Whilst I think most PE teachers do a fantastic job I think there is plenty of room for introducing another alternative way.
    From my discussions with girls and women it seems that they either fully embraced competitive sport at school or they were turned off by PE - very few seem to have taken a middle road.
    I don't think my way is the only way but I think an alternative should be offered by schools for those girls who are currently disengaged from PE.
     
  14. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    But you are not a PE teacher!
    You are qualified to teach exercise to children outside of school time, a personal choice made by them to attend fitness sessions outside of school. But you are not qualified to deliver the NC to children in school time.
    However a headteacher can employ who they want, hence why we see Level 1 sports coaches and the like teaching PE in schools and yet still claiming the full (if not more) qualified teacher's rate. This is an issue for each individual school.
    PE teachers spend a lot of time with pupils trying to build their confidence and self-esteem. Trying to get them to take up sports and play for teams is a big task but very rewarding when the pupils are part of the team and their self-esteem has increased. The last thing PE teachers need is someone coming along telling the kids that it's OK not to like team sports and that they should be allowed to choose what they want to do very lesson.
    I work in a school where every girl plays in a team. Some drop team sports at Year 9, some carry on. But they look back with fondess of the good times, the victories, the banter etc. Had someone at Year 7 gone to them and said 'netball is rubbish, lets do some zumba' then they probably would have followed that person and forgotten about netball. Would they be active? Yes. But they would probably be very body conscious and worried about their looks. The games players just get on with sport, they have the rest of their lives to worry about fitness and their looks, but whilst they are kids let them play games and enjoy school life rather than lecturing them on the need to be active.
     
  15. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Lead commenter

    Here here Gogo.
    I resent some of the presumptions made her about PE teachers/ing.
    There is so much more than just one role for the PE teacher. A Head of Year I very much respected paid me the compliment of telling me that we in PE often alerted her to problems with a particular child long before they came up on the radar anywhere else. not to mention picking up on bullying and abuse issues as the PE staff often closely support the pastoral team.
    The PE staff often play a highly motivational role for pupils in school. With a little bit of freedom from the classroom role PE staff can play a hugely influential role for the pupils. Of course it is unfortunate that some outdated Kes type teachers still exist although rarely now. So people feel that all PE is like the PE that might have existed when they were at school (possibly with Brian Glover)
    As for the arguments about girls and zumba, cheerleading, and out fitness people..... of course how you put across an activity is important. I daresay we could all produce wannabe Essex girls if we started early enough. Some people seem to be gaining some success at that.
    The system is now reaping what it sowed as instead of the dedicated PE teacher who put in so many hours working with the pupils, we now have teachers who with exam PE and all the rest of educational demands on teacher time and the erradication of goodwill - well they are not prepared to do what PE teachers traditionally did. So schools look to bring in "coaches" - development officers who are now trying to plug the gap that my generation leaving has left. Some of those schools are realising that it can be financially book balancing to do it on the cheap and to reduce PE depts under the guise of bringing in "specialism". Of course some people in these areas will fight very hard to justify their use. I would just say that in my day there was no need for them. When I see figures produced of the so called "increase" in participation I near die laughing as when I left PE teaching there were far fewer girls involved on teams or in activities run at my school from when I was responsible for it. I look at the PE teaching espciaally of girls in my old LEA and it is way off what it used to be. The emperor isn't wearing any clothes..
     
  16. gogojonny

    gogojonny New commenter

    My big concern is with primary schools. Primary teachers as a whole do not have a clue what to do. They argue 'we haven't been trained etc etc'. But how hard is it to take the kids outside to play a game? They can teach Level 5 Maths but not how to throw and catch a ball on the yard. They do not do extra-curricular as well - if they do most demand more money. As always I'll acknowledge some do, but most don't.
    So we have the situation like I see today. Sports Partnership staff running around schools trying justify their jobs. Intervention officer on 15K, get girls active officer on 20K, level 1 sports coach on £120 a day. All this money because a primary school teacher is incompetent in teaching PE.
    You're right about picking things up - if Key Stage 1 actually taught PE then they would pick up the various coordination problems which manifest into dyslexia and ADHD as the child gets older.
    We are letting the girls down, but also the boys.
     

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