Why can't schools do "fun" sports/games?

(22 Posts)
Badbadbunny Wed 10-Feb-16 08:32:50

Why does school games have to be so competitive and high intensity?

It's fine for the sporty types, but for those who aren't, surely it would be better for them to do stuff that they may enjoy rather than it being more akin to punishment? No wonder so many kids are obese and turned off sports.

At my son's school, games consists of Rugby - that's it for the first half of the school year, no other options. That's fine if you're in to it and are in the A or B teams, but what about all the others? They end up making a token attempt to run around the pitch, with the games instructors shouting at them all lesson. What exactly does that achieve other than making the kids hate sport. It was like that when I was at school 40 years ago. Seems nothing changes.

My son loves his football and played in the primary school inter-school competitions, (he's not particularly good, but he enjoys it which I think is more important) so was gutted that they didn't play football at his secondary, but got over it because they were promised football as an option from year 10 onwards. Now he's in year 9, he's found out that the football option is only for the school's inter-school teams and will be made up out of the Rugby A and B teams only, so he hasn't a hope in hell of being included, so he'll be stuck with dozens of others running around a rugby pitch for another two years, with zero interest and zero enjoyment.

So just why can't they give a broader range of sports options? Why can't they let the non A/B team play football instead - they have several pitches on their fields? In fact why can't they just let them jog around the fields for the lesson or set up other sports.

Waitingandhoping2015 Wed 10-Feb-16 09:24:36

Fair comment! Sounds like you're a bit unlucky though, most state schools are football oriented rather than rugby!

TeenAndTween Wed 10-Feb-16 09:29:31

They can. It's just yours doesn't.

At DDs school in y10 & 11 they could pick from a wide range of options including keep fit, trampolining (sp?), table tennis, badminton as well as team sports.

Even lower down the school they set them into 'competitive' and 'just for fun' sets. (They could to some extent choose which they wanted).

Waitingandhoping2015 Wed 10-Feb-16 10:03:47

Ok I see from previous posts you chose the 11+ route into the "ancient and austere" local grammar school - hence the old fashioned rugby only I guess? Well you made your choice so get on with it! And as for the football option in Year 10 - that shows you need to do your research before sending him there! He's just "found out" about the football option!! Ha ha tough.

Plenty of schools do have a variety of sports that's why we chose the right school for DSs and did our research first - different schools for each of them where they could take up alternative sports as not A team calibre (DS1, who did shooting, badminton, cricket) or play for the A team DS2 in football, cricket etc (and do the S&C training, table tennis etc).

OnceMoreIntoTheBleach Wed 10-Feb-16 10:06:49

I wish schools would have 'fitness' options as well as just 'sports', such as stationary bikes or treadmills, so that kids who don't want to compete or play in a team can still learn the value of exercise and be in competition only with themselves to improve on their previous time or whatever.

I know they do running, but it's still with all their classmates, so always an element of comparison between each other, which I think can be damaging for those who are not so good at it.

I'm one who doesn't enjoy competitive or team sports at all, but I do enjoy the confidence boost of completing an exercise further or faster than I did last week, regardless of what anyone else can do compared to me.

cosytoaster Wed 10-Feb-16 10:12:54

I totally agree. If you're not a competitive, sporty type school sport can put you off exercise for life. I'm not against competitive sports but PE teachers /schools/govt need to realise it's not the be all and end all and it's just as important to set the foundations of a healthy, active life for all kids.

bojorojo Wed 10-Feb-16 10:22:08

I'm afraid you will just have to get on with it. I agree with you, though, that promoting "exercise for all" is important. I was one of the non-sporty group and we were just forgotten at my very ancient and old fashioned grammar school. Sporty people were given special status (colours) and no-one cared if they were clever or not, the sport was just as important in the eyes of the school. The rugby team were kings and princes of the school world. These schools are very competitive by nature in everything they do. But you knew that. It is not pleasant being an ordinary performer at one of these schools but you do have all the other advantages. Just enjoy those!

senua Wed 10-Feb-16 10:58:17

I hear what you say but it's logistics, innit?
Are you asking for History lessons to be divided between those who want to do Tudors and those who want to do Victorians? You can't have multiple teachers to cover all requirements; the whole class needs to do pretty much the same until they are old enough to be trusted to go to the gym/library and not mess around.

Alternatively, suggest that DS gets on the school Council and starts campaigning.

eyebrowse Wed 10-Feb-16 11:44:49

The school dc are at does a wide variety of sports and also has lessons on personal fitness. I do suspect for rugby that unless you force pupils to do it a lot of pupils who could do rugby will choose other things as its so physically challenging.

TantrumsAndBalloons Wed 10-Feb-16 11:50:30

At ds2 school they do a different sport every half term. This half term is dance and rugby
They have football and rugby teams as well as cricket, basketball and athletics but these are extra curricular, nothing to do with what they do in PE.
It does seem wrong that there's just one option.
DS school is equally rugby and football orientated but they still offer a huge range of sports lessons and clubs

Autumnsky Wed 10-Feb-16 12:04:38

Someone told me Rugby is good for boys. DS's school is big on Rugby, but they only do this for autumn term, then hocky , cricket and tennis for other term. DS doesn't like Rugby either, he get on with it, but is happy that he finally can drop it in Y10.

senua Wed 10-Feb-16 12:18:56

Someone told me Rugby is good for boys.

It is. And girls.
Different positions on the pitch require different skills. There is a place for the big one, the fast one, the kicker, the thinker, etc - a place for everyone. And everyone is involved all the time, no watching all the action at the other end of the pitch. It is a team sport with no room for prima donnas. One for all and all for one.

JassyRadlett Wed 10-Feb-16 12:25:38

Ok I see from previous posts you chose the 11+ route into the "ancient and austere" local grammar school - hence the old fashioned rugby only I guess? Well you made your choice so get on with it! And as for the football option in Year 10 - that shows you need to do your research before sending him there! He's just "found out" about the football option!! Ha ha tough.

Oh gosh you sound charming. I imagine OP made her choice of school based on a broad range of factors of what would be net best for her child, and this is a niggle.

Suggesting that anyone should be totally overjoyed with everything their child's school does is optimistic! At least from this thread OP knows that the school is a real outlier, and perhaps it's something that can be raised in a constructive way with the school.

Writtenbyme Wed 10-Feb-16 12:28:34

I agree with you OP. My children are non competitive sporty types yet their school is very pro rugby and hockey. They are very competitive and make efforts to be a top school at sport and have created facilities so the children can train for these the whole year.

I am not even sure if the sports coaches know my children. They would know them if they offered gymnastics, trampolining, table tennis

I agree that general fitness such as circuit training and aerobics would be great.

For context, though, I am not in the UK. I am also very happy with other non-academic offerings such as art and drama.

Heifer Wed 10-Feb-16 18:01:26

My DD school (girls only) does 2 sports every half term, so far has done : hockey & dance, netball & lacrosse, swimming & badminton. After half term will do gymnastics & football, then onto summer sports later.

Also has a variety of clubs she can do at lunch time and after school which includes using the fitness suite, swimming, badminton, hockey, netball, volleyball, trampolining and gymnastics etc so plenty of choice for everyone.

To be honest it was one of the main reasons we picked this school and not the local grammars who don't offer such choice. Sport is very important to DD.

AtiaoftheJulii Wed 10-Feb-16 18:36:43

My ds is at an extremely ancient, though not austere grammar. They do a different sport every half term, including badminton, health-related fitness, lacrosse, water polo, capoeira as well as rugby, football, cricket, athletics. And they are setted for Games so they can always have a decent go at whatever they're playing.

My dd (leafy comp) also does a good variety of sports - she's doing orienteering atm!

Error418 Wed 10-Feb-16 18:47:27

"I wish schools would have 'fitness' options as well as just 'sports', such as stationary bikes or treadmills"

DD's school does exactly that from yr 10 onwards - they can use the gym in the leisure centre as part of their statutory PE (ie for those who don't do GCSE PE). I think it's very normal in a lot of schools to do 'traditional' games up to yr 9 then from yr 10 onwards have more grown up type sports choices like badminton, gym etc.

roguedad Thu 11-Feb-16 20:07:38

Too many schools have an obsession with these thuggish herd games. I moved my son away from a rugby-obsessed school to one where it is one of many options, and my son is much happier. He spends his time in the pool developing his swimming. I rather think learning a skill which might save his life while getting some exercise is a thousand times more sensible than engaging in an essentially violent sport with too high a risk of head and spinal injuries. Senua - your comments are inane - there are many ways of learning about teamwork without getting into this ghastly thuggery, many ways of getting exercise without learning to be violent. And what about the new England Captain? He's had about a year's worth of suspensions, including about half that for eye-gouging. Biting, punching other players, head-butting also figure on his rap sheet. Is this the role model for our boys? As far as we are concerned, what people choose to do through their own informed consent is up to them, but compulsory school rugby is nothing other than institutional child abuse, and no-one should feel obliged to tolerate it. George Orwell was spot on when he wrote, back in 1941 - "Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play, it is bound up with hatred and jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all the rules and sadistic pleasure in unnecessary violence. In other words it is war minus the shooting.'' While it was motivated by a wider range of issues of the time it remains totally spot on. Whether or not you agree with that particular view, I suggest to the OP and anyone else to just tell the school that they want their kids to have a choice about what they do, and to not give in to pressure to do otherwise, especially in the case of rugby. And just do not apply to schools where it is compulsory. In the end the thugs will get the message.

BackforGood Thu 11-Feb-16 23:35:17

They can, and they do - well most do. Not sure why yours isn't.

In both my dcs' schools they have done a 'carousel' throughout the year - from table tennis to dance to fitness in the multi gym to football, basketball, cricket, athletics, trampolining, and probably others I've forgotten.

Just the same as they do a 'block' of different "technologies" (sewing, woodwork, plastics, graphics, etc.). Everyone gets to do some of everything in KS3

Dustylaw Fri 12-Feb-16 01:33:07

Rogue dad, you are entitled to your opinion and George Orwell to his but I happen to agree with Senua. Sorry your son didn't like rugby. If you really think rugby is child abuse perhaps would have been better to choose a non-rugby school in the first place. That said, of course it is nice to have a range of sports and physical activities for children - not always possible. And of course, children in many schools might indeed wish they had a green field on which to play any sport.

MilkRunningOutAgain Fri 19-Feb-16 18:13:18

DSs school do 8 courses a year: rugby, football, cricket , tennis, athletics, hockey, gym and health related fitness. And they occasionally do cross country running, or softball or basketball. Overall I think its a good variety. Just rugby would be annoying. DS is sporty and is developing a jock persona, and even in his state school being in school teams gives him lots of credibility. And there are clubs aplenty, including things like keep fit, yoga, running and badminton, as well as all the usual team sport ones. So lots for non team sport players, and encouragement to do sports and keep fit for non-sporty ones., according to DS, but he doesn't like to criticise his school so may be giving a rosy view.

bojorojo Sat 20-Feb-16 15:03:39

It ends up being a real problem if it is Rugby all the way. Clearly the hench boys will triumph and a few quick ones will be scrum half or flanker material. However, there are serious safety issues when children are mismatched in physical development and ability. The team can be developed but everyone else should be given other sports to try. There is increasing evidence of young men taking drugs to enhance their physique for rugby and a school insisting on only rugby is very wrong. The weaker and less developed children have a dreadful time and it turns them off sport. This is not acceptable. Plenty of other sports encourage teamwork and a very inclusive.

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