How do very un-sporty dc cope with secondary school PE?(23 Posts)
Sorry meant to echo other posters.
Ds enjoys games at secondary much more than at primary - it's much more about fitness and skills than competition (he went to a very sports competitive primary).
My Asperger's ds loves his bottom set for Games/PE too. They do rugby skills instead of playing whole games. They play badminton in pairs (sometimes with the teacher or a TA on his team!) instead of singles. They can drop team games at yr 10 and do rowing/gym/badminton/tennis etc instead.
I'm sorry to hear of the poster's school where the bottom ability set in PE also contains the badly behaved children. For most of the dc I know, in their schools, the more 'lively' dc do fulfil the stereotype of top set PE.
Same for my son, he has Asperger's and is dyspraxic. Setting for PE was the best thing ever. He ambled through most lessons in the very lowest group until 6th form when he chose Squash for "his" sport, simply because the squash court was the furthest away from school necessitating a 30 minute walk ( he likes walking just nothing quicker!) so cut down on the amount of time available for PE! There was also a shortage of squash courts, so he very graciously allowed the other boys to hog them
The PE teachers gave him 3 for effort every year just for turning up!
My experience of PE vastly improved when the school decided to set us for Y10/Y11. I was in the reject group. We did fun stuff. I even broke into the occasional sweat and did actual running and stuff
Setting has worked well for my boys. They are in the "rejects" groups and seem quite cheerful about it. Better to play rugby with the rejects than with the ones who can actually play, I reckon!
My daughter isn't at all sporty and previously hated PE and games at school. However, at her comprehensive school they split them into two sets for PE, the one set are very fit and sporty and the other set the others are similar to her. She says she still doesn't think she's very good at sport but she does enjoy it now and I think that's due to the fact she's playing with others of a similar ability, gets her turn with the ball and is no longer last at running.
When you look around the school with your daughter, it's worth having a chat with a teacher in the PE department or even the Headmaster to talk over your concerns.
My dd2's school set for PE (one sporty boy group, one sporty girl group, two or three mixed gender, mixed ability groups) but somehow she keeps getting put in the top group, which is mostly girls doing PE GCSE and then getting told to try harder all the time. The PE teacher - who she's already had for two years and is just starting a third with - even kept her after the lesson once to talk about how badly she'd done that lesson. I know someone has to be the worst in the class, but it's demoralizing when it's always you. She was sure she'd be moved down this year, due to the teacher's low opinion of her, but she hasn't - I'm considering asking if she can be moved.
Dd1 otoh isn't a natural athlete (it said that on her last report, lol), but her girls school do lots of different PE activities (including swimming, which dd2's school don't do of course, she's pretty decent at that!) and she has always enjoyed PE, and is a bit disappointed that they don't get PE lessons in sixth form!
Ds had just started y8 and I'm not sure how this year will work. But in y7 he had PE (indoor stuff) just with his class, and it was mostly individual activities, so do at your own speed, and then Games, which was rugby/football/cricket - the whole year did it at the same time, and in the first half term they worked on skills in their class groups, and then were mixed up and setted for the second half term to play more games. Seemed to actually work very well.
My weedy, non-sporty, uncoordinated Y8 ds enjoys secondary school PE lessons vastly more than in primary. He gets to try a much wider range of sports. Each sport is taught from the fundamentals, so he knows what he is doing (and doesn't get yelled at by the other children for doing the wrong thing, when he did not know what the correct thing to do would have been). While the teacher recognises that ds is very behind at sports, instead of emphasising that he needs to make an effort to improve, the teacher always finds something to praise, like his sense of strategy or his joy in participating.
And here's the thread I started in June last year, just at the end of Y6
For my own (unsporty, mildly dyspraxic) ds? It's been bloody brilliant. He has even talked about how much fitter he feels doing proper PE.
They all whined about how much the PE teachers shout, but after a couple of weeks they (pupils and teacher ) all calmed down.
Upshot is, PE is way, way better and more inclusive than it was <coughs> 30 years ago.
My DCs school set for PE as well, but it has not been a good experience for us
Those that are badly behaved tend to be moved down, and the behaviour
bullying in PE lessons is often far worse that the classroom.
The PE teachers we have encountered seem to have little or no understanding of disabilities such as ASD or Dsypraxia, and reasonable adjustment is a completely unknown concept.
My DCs schools both set for PE. Makes a huge huge difference - more so than in any other subject IMO.
DD's school set for PE. Its great. The sporty ones can be competitive. The less so can have a fun game without worrying so much about dropping the ball, missing the goal or whatever.
In Y10 the concentrate on finding an activity you like that you might want to continue with later, which is great imo.
My experience and dd's experience was Vile. DD was shouted at and told she needed to put her back into it. We moved her at the end of Y8 and she's much happier at a school where the PE department is not led by a bully aided by a bigger bully. PE is the last vestige where inadequate morons feel it is appropriate to belittle. IMO it should not be compulsory - none of the other hobby subjects are: art, music, drama, DT, cookery, etcj no validity that PE should be mandatory - perhaps there should be a mandatory choice of one hobby sybject. Always surprises me how chunky some of the PE queens are to be honest. You have my sympathy OP; I'd keep a close eye and leave them in no doubt that you will raise complaints if they set on your dd and make her feel humiliated and unhappy.
I've never thought about it before but setting for PE is a really good idea. The strongest ones can concentrate on their game not having to worry about the weaker ones, and the weaker ones can improve without the pressure of the stronger ones.
Dd is so fed up at the moment of the other dc constantly jeering her in PE, I hope it won't be like that in secondary.
I know dd's school don't set for PE. Dd2 won't necessarily go there but it's certainly a possibility.
Ours set in PE and the top two sets end up with the competitive sporty children. Set three the able but not competitive and the rest in the lower sets. Lower sets choose their activities on a term by term basis so they have to do stuff they don't like sometimes but it's not as bad as being forced into competitive team games which they are just embarrassed by.
Well one thing that might work out work is that many schools now set for PE from yr 7 (I know my ds's school, my friends' dc's school and the one I work in do) even if they set for nothing else in year 7. They then tailor the activities and expectations to the children in each set, just like you would for maths - you wouldn't expect a child leaving primary on level 3 to start with quadratic equations in yr 7. I personally would have love to have had sets and been in the lower one for PE when I was at school. It might be worth enquiring if that is the case at your preferred school?
ItsDecisionTime Oh, they very well might try and make her do what she just can't do, until she's been injured a few times, especially if she is unfortunate enough to get one of those people who 'doesn't believe' in Dyspraxia as PE teacher. Thus, it is very important for the OP to talk to the school. But it's also important for the OP and her DD to make a clear distinction between that which she can't do, and that which she doesn't want to do. And it would be most useful to get a diagnosis of dyspraxia too, not just for OP's DD but for future pupils with dyspraxia at that school. IME once they understand, schools are OK - but sometimes it takes time for them to actually 'get it'.
The school won't force her to do what she just can't do. It's not in anyone's interest. Have a word with them at the end of Year 6 meeting to make them aware she has some issues.
If it's any consolation, my DD was absolutely dreading starting `year 7 because of the PE problem. She's come on in leaps and bounds in just one year and whilst she'll never win any gold medals for endurance, she's found the sports she is good at - tennis, field athletics and hockey (goalie). I was amazed she's been put in charge of the C & D Year 7 hockey teams and at the last match, I found her running up and down the goal like shouting her head off "Jesus, stay in the bloody game". What a departure.
I think your DD will be fine as long as you don't fuss around her too much and try to resist fighting her battles for her when it comes to not wanting to do things like cross-country or playing in a team.
Will she definitely go to the same school as her sister? And if so, can you have a chat with a PE teacher or someone in charge of transitions now and ask them exactly what you've asked here?
Or if there's any doubt about whether they will go to the same school, these are excellent questions to be asking at an open evening/tour? You should be able to tell quite a bit from how they react.
DD1 has only just started at secondary, so I don't have experience to offer, but one reason we chose the school was because it has lots of different types of sports on offer and makes great play of trying to help students find the sports they are able to enjoy, not squashing them all into the same mould.
Speak to the new school, dyspraxia isn't the same as not participating, ds friend is dyspraxic (lot of sport at school) and the games master just accepts that he'll do his best (for things like rugby he and ds practise mutual avoidance and if all else fails sign them off the hated rugby for that season!)
Dancer I can't help with your actual question, because it varies from school to school. However, dyspraxics are often good swimmers, if unorthodox in their stroke - but many people without dyspraxia can't swim very well so your DD won't be alone. However, for running - try her with earphones and music. There is quite a lot of research which indicates that doing tasks to music helps dyspraxics significantly. Certainly for myself and DD1, we do shitloads of running 'with our ears in' (and away from roads) but if you take our music away we have fallen over within a couple of steps. Walking too, if I'm honest. I can't link to the research because I'm at work, I haven't read it myself, but I have been told by both Occupational therapists and Ed Psychs that this can work (also for tasks like tidying, cleaning, washing up etc) and I have observed it working empirically. It is also referenced in the statements/evaluations for both my DDs.
DD1 has had several injuries participating in games at school. However she now has dispensation to run round the field for the entire PE lesson. With her ears in. Talk to your DD's new school. IM(limited)E if a school sees a child with a genuine problem but still a willingness to give it a go and a clear wish to not be unfit they will try and help. After the second or third injury.
I'm starting to worry a bit about dd2. She's slightly dyspraxic, struggles with a lot of physical activities and is probably quite unfit. She finds running hard and lacks physical co-ordination. She's Year 6 so going to secondary next year.
Her older sister is in Year 8 at a girls school and they are really expected to work hard in PE lessons. For example - swimming - 6 lengths just to warm up, team games - running twice round the pitch to warm up etc. Dd1 just about manages but I know dd2 will really struggle.
What happens to the non-sporty kids? Do they get shouted at/told off if they can't keep up?
Join the discussion
Please login first.