Over 6 hours of sport

(100 Posts)
poppydoppy Sun 08-Sep-13 11:15:37

A week at prep school.....too much? What do you think? Academic lessons are 45 mins.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 08-Sep-13 11:17:42

7.5 hours at DD's prep school and rising over the next year.
I have no problem with it at all. Is it possible to have too much exercise?

claraschu Sun 08-Sep-13 11:18:01

I think it could be really good, if done well (fun, challenging without being off-putting to non-sporty types, good coaches who aren't overly pushy).
Most kids don't run around enough.

poppydoppy Sun 08-Sep-13 11:19:43

I dont have a problem with sport but it seems to be taking over the academic subjects. By the time theyve moved from class to class and settled down they only have 30 mins teaching time.

cricketballs Sun 08-Sep-13 11:22:11

I'd be questioning why it takes 15 mins to move from one class to another and settle down hmm

Coconutty Sun 08-Sep-13 11:22:20

I would have more of a problem with it taking them 15 minutes to walk between classes and then get the class settled down.

Lots of sports is one of the main reasons prep schools are popular around here.

Coconutty Sun 08-Sep-13 11:23:16

X post Cricket

poppydoppy Sun 08-Sep-13 11:24:07

By settling down I meant by the time they get around to working after the teachers explained what to do etc

trinity0097 Sun 08-Sep-13 11:24:52

Ours have 5 hours a week (1 hr on Mon, Tues, Fri and 2 on a Wed).

I would imagine if the kids at your prep school are like ours they are just getting to grips with their timetable and at the start of term it takes longer to get the hang of where to go, where to sit in class etc... We used to have 35min lessons and only 5min was lost to getting going/packing up after about the first week.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 08-Sep-13 11:25:21

Surely explaining what they need to do is part of teaching time is it not. How long is school day?

poppydoppy Sun 08-Sep-13 11:26:31

We had all double lessons last year 1 hour 10 mins so its a bit of a shock this year only having 45, Ive noticed a big difference in the amount of work being done in class.

LIZS Sun 08-Sep-13 11:26:35

Normal ime.

rabbitstew Sun 08-Sep-13 12:54:31

Well, 45 minutes of academic lessons a week sounds a bit light. grin Surely the amount of actual sport done is reduced considerably by the amount of time getting changed into your sports things, getting changed back, putting away equipment, etc, resulting in 6 hours a week of sport actually being worth about one hour a day max?... If that's the only exercise a child gets during the week, that sound like a healthy amount of exercise. If said child also does active after school clubs and/or takes 45 minutes to walk to school in the morning and another 45 minutes home, it's a tad excessive!...

RussiansOnTheSpree Sun 08-Sep-13 14:02:08

If I was paying for my kids' education I would not be at all happy with over 6 hours of compulsory sport a week.

wearingatinhat Sun 08-Sep-13 14:12:50

6 hours does sound a little heavy - at ours it is more like 4. I would be worried if they are not getting at least an hour of both literacy and maths a day.

goinggetstough Sun 08-Sep-13 15:00:58

IMO The total amount of sport is not the problem. It surely depends on how many hours are devoted in total to academics and what their lesson hours are. My DD had a similar amount of sport but school lessons started at 8.15 and on one day there was a later lesson after sport ( 5 - 6pm).
It would be interesting to ask the school why they cut the academic lessons down from 1 hr 10 to 45 mins. They must have had a reason....

ihearsounds Sun 08-Sep-13 15:06:07

Sounds like what one of my dd's did. But it wasn't all sport. There was also the practicals involved, which included lots of written work. The time also included travel to and from sports centre for some of the sports, and of course time to change and shower. So in reality, it was less.

valiumredhead Sun 08-Sep-13 15:17:46

Ds does that much at his academy school.

mumofthemonsters808 Sun 08-Sep-13 15:19:25

Agree with Russians comment

RussiansOnTheSpree Sun 08-Sep-13 15:41:42

I just wouldn't want my kids to be spending that much of their school week on sport. And if I was paying for it, I'd be even more annoyed. Well, I wouldn't be paying for it, they'd go to a different school.

IndridCold Sun 08-Sep-13 15:42:43

It depends on the length of the school day. DS was doing one and a quarter hours of sport for 4 days a week (on the fifth day they did another activity like cooking or gardening) but the school day ended at 5pm, so they still had lessons from 9 am until 3.15.

I found that him having a run around at the end of the day made him less grumpy at home time, even though it was later.

RussiansOnTheSpree Sun 08-Sep-13 15:46:54

But I still wouldn't want them to be spending that much time doing sport in the school week. It would be at the expense of music and drama and dance. And AFAIC there;s no contest as to which would be the better use of their time.

rabbitstew Sun 08-Sep-13 15:55:18

Doesn't dance count as sport?

Remotecontrolduck Sun 08-Sep-13 15:56:32

That's a ridiculous amount, have plenty of optional extra curriculars available yes, but how can there be time for anything else? Like the performing arts. Or academic subjects like Maths and History?

There's only so many hours in a school day!

RussiansOnTheSpree Sun 08-Sep-13 15:59:40

rabbit I bet it doesn't in the OP's case.

rabbitstew Sun 08-Sep-13 16:12:59

It would certainly be ds1's worst nightmare, but then he has a connective tissue disorder, so that much serious, compulsory sport in a week could actually be quite harmful. What does the school do for children for whom some sports could be dangerous? Make them sit it out, or provide a choice of appropriate sports during the 6-hours of compulsory sport time??? Ds1, for example, would be medically advised never to get anywhere near a rugby pitch, unless he wants to break his hypermobile little neck!

poppydoppy Sun 08-Sep-13 16:28:42

Its probably more than 6 hours as on a weds the whole afternoon is dedicated to matches. Its very annoying, thank goodness this is the last year in the school.

RussiansOnTheSpree Sun 08-Sep-13 16:30:55

But why on earth are you paying for this?

poppydoppy Sun 08-Sep-13 16:31:05

Russians we are a very sporty family, all my children swim before school and have numerous clubs after school. Im just peeved my child is now learning less than last year in his most important year.

poppydoppy Sun 08-Sep-13 16:33:01

I cant move schools now he is in his last year with all the entrance tests coming up in Jan.

Pagwatch Sun 08-Sep-13 16:33:29

Loads of sport was one of the things I actively looked for when chosing schools. My dc function better when they are physical often. Very active children.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 08-Sep-13 16:44:58

Russians you have to break it down DD does 7.5 hours of PE and dance, this includes training for sports matches and the matches. 3.5 hours of this are after 4pm each week.
They then have 3 hours of music and drama per week. All of this is 25.5 hours of lessons per week.

RussiansOnTheSpree Sun 08-Sep-13 16:45:08

Pagwatch My DD2 (also about to go into Y6) has just spent 4 hours rehearsing for a show she is in (dancing mainly). She does this every Sunday. She also has 4 hours of dancing a week and 2 hours of quite physical drama. And she swims at least once a week (she's a Good Swimmer - gone right through the ASA award scheme). Plus the usual school PE. I don't think anyone would describe her as 'inactive'. But if she was doing >6 hours of school PE a week after school then she wouldn't be able to do drama, dancing, or learn the 3 musical instruments she learns. 6 hours of 'school' PE conducted effectively after school (it might happen before 3pm but if school ends at 5 as a consequence that's effectively enforced after school sport. It's not going to produce rounded kids, is it. No time for anything outside academic work except sport).

Obviously different kids like different things and different families place importance on different activities, but the OP sounds annoyed and yet she is the customer. I'd be complaining. If I was her.

RussiansOnTheSpree Sun 08-Sep-13 16:49:09

Lonecat 7.5 hours of sport and 3 hours of music and drama? And you're paying? That's shocking. sad

Pagwatch Sun 08-Sep-13 16:52:36


Dd does 10 hours of swimming (regional competive squad) 6 hours of gym (national squad) 5 hours of dance/musical theatre/jazz/singing/acting
2 hours of ballet 2 hours of electric guitar practice.

I'm not sure that helps the op though.

I was just answering her question. I didn't know I was telling her what to do or if she should complain.

RussiansOnTheSpree Sun 08-Sep-13 16:57:56

Pag I was just responding to your 'very active' comment to demonstrate that you can be an active child without sacrificing either your academic education or participation in the arts to spend way too much time on school sport.

I'm sure your DD is better in every possible respect than my DD. It doesn't change the fact that I personally think that you don't have to do >6 hours of school sport a week to be active, and that I personally would not want to pay for that instead of a proper education which presumably what the OP originally thought she was getting.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 08-Sep-13 16:59:46

It's what I was looking for she also plays two instruments and is academically excelling. No other school in my area could offer this it was what I was looking for.
We all want something different it is what I want not what you want. As a full time irking parent one of the things that benefits me is that it all happens in one place.
If you are happy with your choice and I am happy with mine that's great.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 08-Sep-13 17:01:44

I am a working parent not irking. Damn iPad auto correct.

bigTillyMint Sun 08-Sep-13 17:02:04

Gosh Pag, how do you fit all that in? Is some done in school hours?

valiumredhead Sun 08-Sep-13 17:02:46

Surely a 'proper education' includes activity? 6 hours over a week is only just over an hour a day which is what is recommended for everyone.

bigTillyMint Sun 08-Sep-13 17:03:37

Oh and I meant to say, that 6+ hours of sport would be my DC's idea of heaven! Particularly (in DS's case) if it meant less time for the boring subjectsgrin

Pagwatch Sun 08-Sep-13 17:17:38


My DD is a lovely little twerp but no better than anyone else except possibly at baking grin

I was just baffled that you launched a huge list at me when I had just rolled on to the thread to reply to the op. Your tone appeared combative and my response of a list was just to illustrate that it didn't appear especially relevant to me.
I was probably being a bit mocking and I shouldn't have. I apologise.

If the op isn't happy she should complain.

Pagwatch Sun 08-Sep-13 17:22:52

Big Tilly

It's all after school although some are over seen at school iyswim.
It's hectic because of the amount of swimming. She took it up to combat her asthma and now loves it.
She has gone from 6 hours to 10 for swimming. It may be she has to drop something but she wants to try. I do get snarky comments from other parents but I work with the school and her coached and she manages it. When she can't, she'll stop.

She would watch tv til her eyeballs fell out but during term time she does activities instead - does no tv or electronic, fitting in homework and stuff on Sunday and mornings. She gets up at 6 everyday to get stuff done.

She's like the opposite of me. grin

bigTillyMint Sun 08-Sep-13 17:24:54

She is amazing!smile

wordfactory Sun 08-Sep-13 17:30:01

DC always did tons of sport at prep school.

Probably an hour a day and more on match days.

For the minority this didn't appeal, but the majority benefited hugely. And it was certainly not to the detriment of music/art/drama etc And certainly not to the detriment of academic standards.

The days were longer and a lot was packed into them. All good.

trinity0097 Sun 08-Sep-13 17:33:11

Where I work there is no overlap between sport and music or academics, all have their own protected time, so you can be in the Chapel Choir and play in the first team rugby with no conflict for example. The longer school day helps. Many of the children who got music scholarships last year excelled at sport at our school too.

wordfactory Sun 08-Sep-13 17:38:06

That was certainly the case at DC's prep school trinity.

The only time there was ever a problem was the occasional weekend double booking.

rabbitstew Sun 08-Sep-13 18:09:02

All that activity sounds wonderful for children who don't like time alone with their own thoughts.

valiumredhead Sun 08-Sep-13 18:15:51

You can still enjoy time alone with your own thoughts and be active. It's not one or the otherconfused

Pagwatch Sun 08-Sep-13 18:17:56

That's kind BigTilly smile

But I honestly think some people/children are just like that - they need the activity or they get twitchy. DS1 is the same - he gets miserable outside the rugby season and took up running to get him through. DH gets up on a Sunday morning and writes a list of jobs confused
Me and DS2 and the wandering around and stopping for a cafe people.

Pagwatch Sun 08-Sep-13 18:19:21

Yes Valium. Plus anyone who has to plough up and down a pool for 2 hours at a time had better be able to enjoy their own thoughts. There isn't much choice

OldRoan Sun 08-Sep-13 18:22:24

I don't think it is too much per se, but does depend on a few things.
1) are we including Saturdays in the school week? I assume we are, in which case I think it is even more acceptable
2) lessons have gone down in length because they are no longer double periods - does this mean that the are 2x45 minute lessons? Otherwise you just lost half their teaching time, and that is a much bigger problem than the issue of sport. Once they are in a routine there will be maybe 5/10 mins lost on the total teaching time, but I refuse to believe the children concentrate solidly for a full double lesson - they well take more in in two shorter instalments.
3) does the whole school have this much sport? Or is it increased for the final year?

Schools don't just want academic children, they look for other things (as I'm sure you know). Perhaps the school feel that by increasing the sport, the make their children more attractive to senior schools? Not saying this is right, just could be their approach.

In their final year at prep school, with January exams, most stuff should be revision rather than new information. It is busy, yes, and lesson time is valuable, but the lesson content may lend itself better to shorter lessons. Also, in the build up to exams, I'd say it is very important to have lots of opportunities for fresh air and a change of scenery. Takes the pressure off the less academic ones, too.

But if you're not happy, ask the school.

wordfactory Sun 08-Sep-13 18:32:33

rabbit I am a writer. Large amounts of my books are imagined whilst walking/swimming etc

In fact, I'd say that physical activity in the fresh air is one of the greatest faciltators of the imagination grin.

rabbitstew Sun 08-Sep-13 18:49:37

Ah, but wordfactory, I always found there was a difference between: swimming gently up and down whilst merrily thinking my own thoughts; and ploughing up and down at great speed against the clock, obsessed with keeping up my stamina and skill, where my own thoughts were, "not much further, if I just push myself a little bit more.... don't give up, now.... this is really beginning to piss me off....." Likewise: standing on the netball court, where I would get told off if I was in the middle of an interesting thought when the ball I wasn't paying attention to thwacked me in the face, versus thinking, "I'm over here, moron with the ball who never notices me unless I shout at you!..." I always associated compulsory school sport with the latter, rather than the former... grin

Pagwatch Sun 08-Sep-13 19:47:26

But training isn't like that.
Her warm up is 16 lengths - steady consistent.
Then batches of lengths always consistent, focusing on technique.
If she goes faster and faster she would get in trouble.
It's all muscle memory and consistent practice.
Speed is for races.

Coconutty Sun 08-Sep-13 19:55:48

I think that 6 hours of sport at a prep school would be about right. It was about that at my DCs school and they still got all their school work done.

If your DCs enjoy sport they will love it and it's so good for them to be so active.

rabbitstew Sun 08-Sep-13 20:10:58

Focusing on technique while simultaneously enjoying drifting off in your own thoughts, Pagwatch. wink

Coconutty Sun 08-Sep-13 20:13:51

That sounds great, Pag, she must be super fit.

I find swimming a great way to daydream while enjoying the exercise.

rabbitstew Sun 08-Sep-13 20:27:02

6 hours of school sport per week should at least be ensuring that none of the children are really unfit. Whether I objected to it or not would depend on which of my children I was talking about and what sports were being done during that time, and how the time was broken up during the week...

Pagwatch Sun 08-Sep-13 21:28:48


That is standard focusing for a ten year old, isn't it?
Daydreaming and lost in thought?

rabbitstew Sun 08-Sep-13 22:42:18

More or less!

TeenAndTween Mon 09-Sep-13 17:00:16

I've always assumed that one of the reasons you have the longer hours at prep school is to incorporate more sport. healthy mind in a healthy body and all that.
If you are trying to do it in the hours of a state school it would be an issue, but don't most prep schools have at least an extra hour on their day?

roguedad Fri 25-Oct-13 18:26:47

Guidelines suggest 2-3 hours a week. A period of PE and a bit of an afternoon seem plenty to me. The idea of paying private school fees so that a school can waste more of your child's time seems barking to me. Ask the orientals taking many of the places at our top universities how much time they spent on a lot of running up and down at school and you quickly understand why our kids are getting fewer of the places. Just tell the head you are not prepared to pay for it. And have a good read of
Although it's a US site it has many good ideas, quotes and reflections.

Erebus Fri 25-Oct-13 19:52:19

Surely all parents choose private because of the sport, music and drama?

You need to be on MN more! wink

Erebus Fri 25-Oct-13 19:56:57

Though, realistically, I do have to ask as a genuine question: Seeing as the above; sport, music and drama are perceived as being so central, so 'core' to a Private Education- how come so few of these school's out-take do a skerrig of any once they're adults? I genuinely don't get why people consider it such a pre-req for a 'successful' education yet none, and I mean none, in my profession which has a high private school intake, partake of any sport, music or art whatsoever as adults. Yes, they watch, but they don't do.

Is it just some perceived 'good for the developing mind' thing? But meaningless, post 18? Job done?

Erebus Fri 25-Oct-13 19:59:59

I do have a good friend whose DSs are at a £13000 pa school in East Anglia and I do wonder from time to time, how she feels about stuff she's paying for, like running tracks her boys never run on, swimming pools her sons spend half an hour a week in, one term a year; badminton and squash courts her sons have never set foot in...

Altamoda Sat 26-Oct-13 12:15:25

Dd1 does 1.5 hours a day, not including matches. She's a sports scholar though. I think there's only 3 hours compulsory a week (ie if you don't go to any extra clubs or practices). It's hard to manage as she gets older as academic work starts to become more pressured.

Tbh if I wasn't bothered about sport all my children would have gone to the good state secondary. As it is I have no time to drive them to endless clubs so they need to go to a school that does it and does it well.

Altamoda Sat 26-Oct-13 12:19:15

Erebus, lots of teenagers drop competitive sport as they get older. Less compete, but the ones that do are usually very good at it. That's probably why adults have 'given up'.

I passionately believe in its importance, esp for girls.

FlabbyAdams Sat 26-Oct-13 12:31:37

Surely the amount of sport is irrelevant if the same hours in class are being applied.

My DC school has loads of sport. Mon, Tues,Thurs and Fri afternoons. It is matches Wednesday and Saturday afternoons until school finishes at 4.

School runs to 6pm 4 days a week and there is Saturday school (academic until lunch time). So yes its hell of alot of sport but I dont worry because the school day is longer to ensure the academics are properly seen to.

Independent schools like to get feedback from parents. Why not drop them a brief email outlining your concerns. I do agree 15 minutesto move between lessons is a long time.

LittleSiouxieSue Sat 26-Oct-13 12:58:38

I think this is a bit too much. It makes you wonder if the children who do do enjoy sport are engaged by this amount. Would the sporty children want to do compulsory music or drama for 6 hours a week? Probably not. It does not sound like a balanced curriculum for all. It's a curriculum that suits sporty children at the expense of others. At my DDs prep and independent secondary schools, compulsory sport was about 3 hours a week but squad practice and sports clubs added to that if the child was in teams or chose a club, eg judo, gymnastics, trampoline etc. This seemed sensible to me as there were other activities to get involved with during these sessions so all children were catered for.

Shruti04 Sat 26-Oct-13 13:00:26

It depends totally on the time duration of school. In every school, there should be a fixed time for extra curricular and other activities that helps in complete growth of children. It may be 1 hour or 45 mins enough in a day with study.

That would be my ds1 idea of heaven tbh.

The school he goes to is also a sports college, picked especially because he cannot sit still. Ever.

There are no days that he does not do some form of sport. It is 7 days a week. He is up at 6am.

He still manages to do very well at at school though, he is super organised somehow. It certainley does not come from me grin

roguedad Sun 27-Oct-13 07:51:02

I'm with LittleSioixieSue in fact. I would be happy with about 3h of a mixture of PE and diverse games at compulsory level and more for those that want it and expect to participate in teams. We've got a situation where there is a lot that is compulsory and not tailored to the needs of particular children. It's almost all rugby for the boys right now. I'm fine with private schools exploiting their freedom to offer breadth - it's the imposition of too many hours of compulsory games that is also from a very narrow range that is hacking me off. And to come back to Erebus, we are paying fees to get an academic focus we did not think we could get state-side. For a while it worked, but with another hour allocated to the dept of running up and down being added this year and another next we are now looking at good local comprehensives in order to get more academic focus. I also agree with Shrutio4 - it does depend on the length of the day - my son's day has been expanded and most of the expansion is taken up with the imposition of compulsory rugby, rather than offers of diverse activities.

Butkin Sun 27-Oct-13 18:06:34

Not sure how I quantify how much sport DD does (yr 6). She has lot of Sports and PE lessons but then she also has sports Clubs (training for teams) three times a week after school (gratis).

Wednesday afternoons she always plays in Matches (never missed one since Yr 4) so that time is spent travelling, playing, eating, returning etc.
The kids who don't make the teams have a choice of sport or non-sport back at school.

The only times I have winced about the academic/sports timings was when (in last month) she has missed lessons to go to IAPS hockey and to Regional cross country running (which meant she only got back for the last couple of lessons). Didn't seem right to be missing studies but it was a honour to be selected to participate so we sucked it up. Luckily the next round of cross country - for those who, like DD, finished in top 50 - will be on a Sunday so that is OK although it does mean she'll miss a hockey match.

Retroformica Mon 28-Oct-13 06:04:36

Isn't it a great life lesson to exercise daily? Starting such an excellent routine now increases the chance of her partaking in adult sport and there for having a healthy adulthood.

TheFuckersonInquiry Mon 28-Oct-13 12:34:26

Lol, I read the title of the OP and assumed that the OP was going to be. Complaining that 6 hours is not enough blush. I think 6 hours sounds perfect.
I think children should have at least an hour of 'activity' a day. It doesn't have to be formal sport.
I think sport should be compulsary right until kids leave school at 18 and I would be happy to have a longer school day.

The problem with a lot of school sports is that they are directed at children who are good at sport. It can put off the very children that need the most encouragement.

My DCs all play sport at Uni even though non of them are good at their sports. They play for fun.

Erebus Tue 29-Oct-13 11:21:03

Interestingly, there was an experiment conducted in, I think Canberra (am wondering if it was Melbourne??- but certainly in Oz) a few years ago where an university sports science dept worked with a bunch of local, willing-to-participate state schools to measure every DC in terms of height, weight, body proportion etc then direct that DC into a sport in which they were more likely to do well, i.e. few shorties doing basketball, and DC with long femora (thigh bones) proportionate to their heights doing cycling and rowing etc.

As you can imagine, involved participation went up and success increased!

And yes, of course it'd be impossible to offer this to all DC, the costs for a start, let alone the logistics, would be prohibitive but it was interesting!

As for: "Isn't it a great life lesson to exercise daily? Starting such an excellent routine now increases the chance of her partaking in adult sport and there for having a healthy adulthood."- well, my experience, detailed earlier is that of all the private schoolies I work with, none regularly participate in any sport whatsoever as adults- watch keenly, yes, but it really doesn't seem to have made the less enthusiastic childhood participants into life-long sport-partakers at all! You can take a horse to water etc. Those who are keen from ages 4-18 will participate anyway as adults, won't they? Whereas the rest will remember long hours of purgatory, putting in minimum effort.

I am with roguedad to an extent, in that I believe quite a few private-choosing parents do tend, a la MN, to always cite 'Oh, it's for the sport/music/drama' as it's seen as crass to say 'Oh, it's for better academic results'- which is why I'd send my DC privately if I had to! I really have yet to see any evidence that spending longer at sport/music/dance when done as 'compulsory extras' (in an elongated day) really has much, if any bearing towards a DC developing somehow into a 'more-rounded' individual as an adult, myself!

mathanxiety Sun 03-Nov-13 20:24:12

It doesn't have to be 'either/or'.

The DCs had daily PE classes of 45 mins each in high school in the US, with various required PE classes necessary over the course of the four years, including movement/dancing, team sports, racquet sports, gymnastics, self defence, fitness (incl how to use fitness machines, weight machines and safety in the weight and fitness gym) swimming, adventure ed (canoeing in the pool, safety, rock climbing, etc). You would end up repeating some areas, or you might end up playing soccer and then basketball for team sports, or tennis and then badminton...

On top of that they did sport practice both before and after school during the season of their sport (before school 5 to 7.30 am with classes starting at 8 and afterwards from 3.15 to 5.30 with a meet following about three times a week when the season got under way). DD1 got a PE waiver in her final year as she had to take a certain art class to get her portfolio filled.

DD1 did swimming (winter sport) and water polo (spring sport) for her final two years, and did badminton for her first two years (spring sport). The other DCs did football (DS, autumn sport, with training lasting through the preceding summer and weight lifting required in the winter), and badminton (spring sport, DD2 and DD3). Swimming was very much as Pagwatch described. Football consisted of constant drills and strength / speed / stamina training. Badminton was a matter of racquet drills/ work on form, stamina and footwork. Nobody was expected to bust a gut/ break an ankle during training.

For extracurricular team sports there was a C to play rule -- if any of your grades fell below a C you were benched until you brought it back up to a C average. Any infraction of underage drinking or smoking or narcotics laws (including references to drinking etc, on FB or other social media) meant you were kicked off the team.

Using left and right sides of the brain makes the whole brain work better. You can do this with art and music and sport if the sport programme is well thought out. Pushing yourself to get up for those early morning sessions in the pool or on the track or in the weight room builds character and makes you into a more determined student. Organising your time so that you get all the homework done on top of the commitment to sport is a skill that develops maturity.

mathanxiety Sun 03-Nov-13 20:31:24

DD1 also did one of the school musicals. The other DCs also took part in teams -- maths team, French club, peer mediation, big buddies (club for special ed students with NT volunteers to take them to events and organise activities for them outside of school time), and a fundraising club that ran various fundraising drives for local charities. None of them suffered, schoolwork-wise, from their activities.

Sleepyhoglet Sun 03-Nov-13 20:34:02

A lot of prep schools have Saturday school as well. I think of they use Saturday to compensate then it is ok.

Amber2 Sun 03-Nov-13 21:22:45

it's perfectly possible in a longer school day which many prep schools have and then Saturday school (with enrichment type lessons cum activities in the morning) followed by matches on top of 6 hours of sport in the week which many prep schools have also

It's often the extras like sport and drama and music as extra curriculars that draws parents to all round experience of going private in the first place and while they have longer days but also have longer holidays.

slickrick Mon 04-Nov-13 11:15:04

We have 2 hours of sport a day Mon, Tues, Weds and friday. 8 hours a week dedicated to sport and only 2 hours science.
I am so cross I am taking my child out of this school. They have a half day of lessons 4 times a week its a joke.........and I pay for this.

goinggetstough Mon 04-Nov-13 13:02:50

slick that sounds an unusual ratio. You are obviously not happy with the school but just out of interest what are their results like? Do their pupils get good CE results/ scholarships when they leave the school and do they have an extended day? My DCs probably had the same amount of sport but they had an extended day and Saturday school.

slickrick Mon 04-Nov-13 13:25:36

No Saturday school and no extended day.The results are going down year on year. Most parents are now heavily tutoring.
2 hours of science a week and 8 hours of sport is just ridiculous.
There is no scholarship class either, if a child is scholarship material its up to the parents to tutor them not the school.

IndridCold Mon 04-Nov-13 17:28:53

6 hours a week sounds about OK, 8 hours does sound a lot for children that age.

At DS's prep they did lessons until 3pm and sport from 3.30 until 5 (including time for showers and changing afterwards) 4 days a week, and on the 5th day they spent the sport time on a rolling programme of other activities like a sort of mini DofE scheme.

Music and clubs took place during the lunch break and some after school.

As has been said upthread, it was these were extras that we were paying for, but we would not have wanted them to take place at the expense of teaching time.

Theas18 Tue 05-Nov-13 09:37:39

Back to OP 6+hrs of sport a week at prep school is the norm.

Remember these kids are running a school day that is longer than state school- 8 or 8.15 to 4 being normal. So there is plenty of academic time too.

DH teaches boys at prep. They really respond to the extra exercise positively and settle better to sit and work. They also run around like complete loons at playtime so they aren't "worn out" by it all!

I suspect it's like having a class of springer spaniels!

curlew Tue 05-Nov-13 11:27:47

If there was the remotest chance of me being converted to private education it would be the sport that did it. The sports provision at most state primary schools just makes me want to weep.

6 hours a week sounds fantastic!

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Wed 06-Nov-13 11:08:35

agree with curlew
ds 's have jusy moved to a school where ds1 has
1.5 hour indoor PE Monday
1.5 hours swimming Tuesday (followed by out of school football training)
3 hours Rugby Wednesday
1.5 hours rugby Friday
Football match Saturday

It energises him in so many ways. he is engaged, learning discipline team work and determination through sport. Yes he could be sitting learning history or geography but tbh aged 9 I would prefer him to be doing sport

propatria Wed 06-Nov-13 11:33:19

What is a nine year old doing in three hours of rugby?

allmycats Wed 06-Nov-13 11:50:08

YOu pay your money and take your choice, if you don't like it then move to somewhere else.
Personally I think it is very good to get kids taking exercise daily from a young age

slickrick Wed 06-Nov-13 14:55:39

Most children do lots of clubs after school. My DS has had to stop some out of school clubs due to the amount of sport he is doing at school, hes just too tired.

PE teachers are cheap to hire, teachers are not. Schools are businesses at the end of the day. I now have to pay out for tutors because the school is not teaching enough INO.

When I went to school lunchtime, play time and PE, games and swimming were more than enough.

curlew Wed 06-Nov-13 17:52:08

Actually, adding it up, my year 8 ds
does more than 6 hours of achool sport a week if you include after school clubs.
Then another 4 non school related!

curlew Wed 06-Nov-13 17:53:38

Why is he still at the school? Sounds grim!

beancounter50 Thu 07-Nov-13 00:09:00

I believe PE teachers get paid the same as other teachers so no cost saving there, and not a business issue. My 9 year old does 6 hours of sport in school and another 6 hours out of school. He isn't exceptionally gifted..he just likes doing sports.

losingtrust Fri 08-Nov-13 22:56:44

That would have been my idea of hell as a kid and the same would probably be said for my dcs. It does depend though whether this includes dance etc.

losingtrust Fri 08-Nov-13 22:59:49

3 hours of rugby or 3 hours of history. Each to their own but both my DCs would have chosen history.

curlew Fri 08-Nov-13 23:27:02

Why not 3 hours of rugby- or equivalent -and 3 hours of history?

losingtrust Fri 08-Nov-13 23:31:57

To be honest we are all crap at traditional team sports and it really is torture if you are really bad.

losingtrust Fri 08-Nov-13 23:32:42

Swimming would be good though.

pyrrah Sun 10-Nov-13 20:15:57

The prep school I was at had at least 8 hours of sport a week plus matches on Saturdays. One afternoon was spent on 'Activities', the rest were sport. In the summer we had 2 lessons after lunch/rest, then break and then sport till the end of the day, in winter it was sport straight after lunch/rest then break and then 2 lessons before going home.

The school day ended at 6.10pm so it wasn't an issue regarding adequate time for academics etc. We also had Saturday school and around 70% of pupils were boarders (so they needed to exhaust the little monsters before bed).

I was useless at sport so it was way too many hours as far as I was concerned, but the school was massively successful at getting children into top public schools and I imagine the sports helped in a big way with that. There was a very wide range of sports to choose from and an indoor pool at least...

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