How good are secondary schools with children who aren't great at PE?

(25 Posts)
JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 12-Jun-12 13:15:50

Just having a wibble, prompted by another thread here. I'd actually forgotten that PE teachers even exist blush

"How do you deal with children who struggle at games" was a question I meant to ask when looking around secondaries last autumn, only I appear to have neglected to do so (probably because we were busy looking at the things ds was interested in and the PE teachers were either being mobbed by parents of sporty types or busy with the children giving gym demos and whatnot).

Is it like it was in the old days, when if you were crap you got picked last, felt like you might actually die doing cross country (drama queen) and were generally humiliated? Or has PE teaching moved on?

Poor ds really doens't like football, has never played peoper rugby, and is a little dyspraxic. Is PE going to ruin secondary for him? He's so looking forward to starting in September <panics>

titchy Tue 12-Jun-12 13:31:19

PE is set at dd's school so all the unsporty types are together so dd isn't completely humiliated each week! They also use wii sports for those otherwise unable to access the usual pe curriculum. So yes I think it is much better than it used to be smile

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 12-Jun-12 13:38:34

Thank you smile

I don't think PE is set at the school ds is going to. Goodness knows how they handle 30 children (boys? I assume they still split boys and girls at PE), some of whom are playing at county level and others who are more Frank Spencer than Frank Lampard confused

It just seems so different than at primary, which is all tag tails and prancing about the hall in bare feet!

bruffin England Tue 12-Jun-12 13:53:17

At Dcs school they get to choose their own pathway in sports, so DCs got to do things like trampolining or dance instead of football etc They also set pe into two groups.
Shocked at my unsporty DD joined the rugby team in yr 9 shock

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 12-Jun-12 13:57:46

Many of them do set, which sounded like a horrid idea at first but I can see the logic - dd's doesn't though.

I don't think that not-terribly-sporty dd has ever had the same kind of experience I had - pretty sure they don't pick teams for example. But they do have to do a swimming gala every year which the girls loathe because they're not keen to stand by the side of the pool in swimming gear whilst the boys look on. Sports day seems much more of a fun thing than it was when I was at school, and nobody has to do anything in front of anyone if they don't want to - this seems to be the case in most places.

Also, for better or worse, they don't seem to do a term of hockey and term of netball and a term of rounders, but rather a bit of this and bit of that and a bit of trampolining - which is great if you're not that into anything, though less good if you might really enjoy a term getting better at hockey!

When I was at school, you could break your arm and still be bawled at until you got your kit on as 'you don't run a race on your arm, do you?' (I remember that one!). Whereas the mardy girls who refuse to participate in dd's class get coaxed a bit more, which is probably nice for them though less so for someone who wants to get on with playing!

coppertop Tue 12-Jun-12 14:06:16

My ds1 is about as unsporty as you can get. He's coming to the end of Yr7 and still isn't keen on PE but doesn't dread it either.

They do a different sport every 6-8wks or so. Miraculously ds actually discovered that he quite liked one or two of the sports they've done so far. Badminton has been his favourite so far.

In football he spent most of the time standing around in defence or on the subs bench, but was actually quite pleased about that as it meant making little or no contact with the ball. grin

Your ds will probably find a fair few fellow football-haters at secondary school. At primary nearly all the boys seemed to be football-obsessed, but ds has found that there are more people at secondary who don't care about it at all. I don't know if it's down to less pressure to pretend to like it, or if it's just a case of there being more children at secondary than at primary.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 12-Jun-12 16:27:07

This is all very reassuring, thank you.

The possibility of ds finding a (non-motor) sport that he actually enjoys is brilliant.

bruffin England Tue 12-Jun-12 16:40:56

DCS even do golf and their schoolgrin

wigglybeezer Tue 12-Jun-12 16:49:45

I was thinking about this as I watched uncoordinated DS 2 literally skipping backwards in the skipping race at his school sports today.

Sorry haven't time to read full thread but my SIL had a similar problem with my DNephew and I know how she felt about it so I really wanted to reassure you.

He wasn't the only one in the class who struggled, for starters. And teams were always mixed ability so no team had the advantage. His teacher was very understanding; I think he understood that sport wasn't a life and death situation, and just focused on trying to get a bit of exercice and fun time into the children's day.

I'm sure you have nothing to worry about. smile Sounds as if P.E these days is there to get the kids active and provide a fun alternative to the stress of the academic subjects. Hope your DS has a fab time at Secondary smile

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Tue 12-Jun-12 16:57:54

Oh wiggly, ds is always last on sports day!

Last year's was a bit of a breakthrough though, as he actually enjoyed it for the first time and didn't get frustrated or have a meltdown. All his team mates cheered him on, which was fab. The only tears that day were from one of the sporty, super-competitive ones, who cheated felt he should have come first had he not been horribly wronged by some poor refereeing hmm

Buntingbunny Tue 12-Jun-12 17:03:05

DDs lot seem really sensible and run two groups. One for the keen and one for the less keen.

I've had no complaits.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 12-Jun-12 17:16:57

My DD isn't sporty but mostly enjoys PE at school. They don't set, but they seem to make it enjoyable. In things like cross-country or athletics, they get merits for improving their performance, not their result compared to others. They have clubs lunch time and after school which cater for the serious sporty types (though all are welcome)

wigglybeezer Tue 12-Jun-12 18:26:06

Ironically DS1 is super sporty but PE is the only thing he is in the top set for!

monstermissy Tue 12-Jun-12 18:39:53

My ds has managed to get to year 10 without breaking a sweat so far. His pe teacher said it was his mission to get ds to like at least something before he leaves, its not going well. Ds would much rather trampoline or do excersise class but for some odd reason only girls are allowed. I think his pe teacher has given up and turns a blind eye now.

JellicleCat Tue 12-Jun-12 21:19:46

DD is very unsporty (as are her parentsgrin). She found there were plenty of kindred spirits who were not good at/hated sport.

Although PE is compulsory she seems to have gone for most of the year without doing any by doing some sort of alternative activity hmm.

She is 5th year in Scotland btw (Year 12? in England)

Hassled Tue 12-Jun-12 21:24:20

My very Dyspraxic DS2 who flinches if a ball is thrown at him and certainly couldn't begin to catch it, has been fine. They are streamed, at least he was from Yr 8, and he's with similar kids in terms of crapness at PE. And he's enjoyed some of it - was strangely good at rugby-tackling, for example - there are more options available at High School.

The thing about High Schools is that they're usually sufficiently big that however quirky your child is, there will be others who share those quirks. There are the cool kids, the sporty kids etc etc but there are always enough "crap at games, a bit eccentric" kids that they'll never be alone.

LynetteScavo England Tue 12-Jun-12 21:27:01

Sport isn't like the olden days.

Everything is measured....how far can you run/throw, and plotted on a graph. They are also set into two groups, so the lazy DC like DS don't have to exert themselves too much. And I don't have to buy new football boots each term.

The keen ones can do a lot of sport at lunch time/after school if they want to, but the lessons seem very gentle indeed, with only one cross country run a year.

tropicalfish Tue 12-Jun-12 21:27:40

My dds mixed school handles pe quite well. They do something called a bleep test early on in the year and are set by it. This largely splits them into the keener and better and my dds group, the group of less keen and less fit. Or as my dh likes to call them, the eagles and the turkeys.
Joking aside, this works quite well from the point of view that similar people are in the same group, so my dd does pe with her friends. The other group, to be fair to her, has extremely talented sports people in it so she would never be at that level ( well not with her parents genes anyway!)
The good thing about it is that there is not that humiliating scene at the beginning of each pe class where the team captain gets to select people for their team and they enjoy the sport they partake in and are not put off it. They do a mixture of sports including badminton.
I am really pleased the way they organise it.

ibizagirl Wed 13-Jun-12 06:12:18

I know at dd's school it is not strict like years ago. As long as they take part that is ok. They are not bullied into anything or shouted at. Dd is academic and not sporty but enjoys badminton, lacrosse, netball and a bit of dance. Did have cross country once in year 7 and was told they can walk, which most did. Teachers seem to accept this as long as the children actually finish it, which wasn't very far anyway. Sports day - children are not actually picked. They put themselves forward. The ones who don't want to do anything don't do anything but they must turn up and watch. Spoke to the pe teacher before and she seems very laid back and says that she won't push ones who obviously don't like or enjoy pe but hopes that they will just try a bit. Seems fair to me. Wish mine was like that back in the day!

RiversideMum Wed 13-Jun-12 06:43:43

They are set for PE at my DCs school too. But they do try lots of different sports from scratch - so only half term modules, which includes general fitness and gym as well as team sports.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 13-Jun-12 07:13:48

I've read everyone's replies - thanks all smile

I'm feeling a lot less wibbly, and actually rather excited for ds at the new opportunities he's going to have, sports-wise.

Interesting to hear about the ways schools make PE inclusive; in my day PE was for the sporty ones, and the rest of us were either an irritation or a target (at least that's how it seemed).

dd finds it better than primary school because of the variety of sports they do. Also they dont do kids picking teams, so the unsporty ones arent always last to be picked like I was

Madsometimes Wed 13-Jun-12 11:20:19

I'm not impressed with PE at dd's school. The head of PE is a young enthusiastic Aussie with a strong competitive streak. I'm sure that she is great for the sporty, but dd hates the diet of netball, hockey and cross country that is dished up. They also do bleep tests. They do have on dance session a week which is not too bad.

I'm glad most schools are not llike this. It is exam week, but they have been given a games afternoon today. Dd1 said that she would rather be sitting exams, and she's not ultra academic.

BackforGood Wed 13-Jun-12 17:58:20

I think, as others have said, there is a lot more choice and a lot more sport and physical activity to be experienced nowadays, so a) they don't spend too long just doing one or two sports so you can always count down to the end of that block, and b) by doing so many, a lot more children find something they can enjoy.

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