Well-taught PE lessons should be a necessity – not an option
A quick question for you: Which subject is consistently underfunded, understaffed and underscheduled – but is the only subject in school that engages a child’s mind and body, promotes their physical and emotional health, as well as improving concentration and developing character?
Of course, the answer is physical education.
While our children are increasingly seen in front of screens and with childhood obesity still such a major challenge, it is imperative that children are taught the importance of physical activity, how to achieve it and, crucially how to maintain it.
Well-taught PE lessons from an early age are absolutely key to helping our youngsters develop life-time habits.
If you look at the activities you are involved with now (or not, as the case may be), they are often a direct result of early childhood experiences.
I am a huge lover of all sports from netball, to cross country running, to swimming to volleyball but I still hate hockey!
The only reason I can pinpoint for this is that I hated my school hockey lessons – cold, wet, rubbish sticks, boring lessons and, unsurprisingly, I have rarely picked up a hockey stick since.
On the other hand, my experience of netball was exceptional. Lessons were fun, challenging, engaging, we had an opportunity to learn to be the coach and the umpire as well as the player. Our teacher was knowledgeable and had high expectations of us, she ensured we learned every lesson. I loved netball then and I have played way into adulthood and then become an umpire to a very high standard.
The key lesson for us here is that physical education must be fun, active, engaging and challenging. It needs to be delivered by people who WANT to show youngsters the joy of physical activity in the best way possible.
It needs to have learning and progress at its heart with varied teaching styles, differentiated activities and challenging outcomes. Anyone delivering PE lessons should have received the training required – like in all other subjects.
And it needs to be well funded, appropriately staffed, regularly scheduled and, very importantly, not removed from the timetable at ‘busy’ times of the year.
Our children need to be active but they need to be activated to a high standard too.
It is that dreaded time of year for PE specialists in primary schools. It is the time of the ‘Christmas play’ or carol concert, or nativity. The time when we hear the words ‘the hall is unavailable today because………..” You can put your own next sentence in here;
“Year 1 are rehearsing”
“the Christmas tree is being put up”…
After a long summer, spent away from work and predominantly with my children it has occurred to me that I need a rest. Not a rest from them (although that would be welcome) but a physical rest. For 8 weeks I have taken part in almost every physical activity I can think of…
Watching the England Lionesses this summer has been a real treat for me. Especially as I have watched all the games with my two young sons and some of their friends. In particular for me, I have loved hearing the girls and boys of our younger generations talking about the players; who their favourite is, who they would like to be like when they grow up, who is the best striker of the ball, who should take the penalties.
Coach Unlimited’s Strong Girls Can programme is attracting growing media attention.
Director Teresa Hames was invited into Radio Leicester’s studio this week to discuss the impact the programme has made in the secondary schools in the county.