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To fed up with this trophy-obsessed Head of PE.

(46 Posts)
Illgetmycoat Fri 24-May-13 23:20:57

The state primary school my two children go to is in general a caring and inclusive school which carries out its aim to bring the most out of all their pupils.

The PE head, however, seems over the last couple of years to have been allowed to run amok. He is beep-testing infants and running trials for every sport. He then selects a team and then if you are not on the team you can no longer join in the out of school activities.

My problem is that he seems to pick the same children over and over again - the ones he knows will bring home the trophies. The ones that don't make the team are left by the wayside. There is a growing group of 7-10 year old children (and yes, they are the short / unco-ordinated / asthmatic ones) who are being repeatedly rejected from teams and getting the message that sport isn't for them. On a personal level this includes my daughter who has been rejected from 6 different teams so far this year and my son, who has stopped trying.

Meanwhile the school trophy cabinet swells and the school is proud. Am I being unreasonable to think that it is not just his job to bring home medals, but to instill a love of sport in ALL children?

southeastastra Fri 24-May-13 23:21:57

have you asked him why he does this>?

KansasCityOctopus Fri 24-May-13 23:23:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Illgetmycoat Fri 24-May-13 23:25:30

Other mothers have spoken to him about their children being upset and he has been rather dismissive, talking about the extra hours he puts in (which is very true), rather than addressing the issue. I am planning to speak to the head, as I have a good relationship with her, hence checking put what MN thinks first.

Cherriesarelovely Fri 24-May-13 23:28:26

No Yanbu. I couldn't agree with you more. There is a place for both but in the main I think school sports should be about including as many children to participate as possible. That only happens if you offer a good range of sports and make lots of the activities open to anyone that is interested.

HibiscusIsland Fri 24-May-13 23:30:16

YANBU at all. Totally agree with you

thefirstmrsrochester Fri 24-May-13 23:31:42

I was going to say that this is normal, typical of my older dc school. But this is a primary school? Too much. YANBU.

Cherriesarelovely Fri 24-May-13 23:34:02

Yes, do speak to the head. Dd's school has a bit of a reputation for this but, to be fair, it is a huge school so they cannot possibly accommodate every child that wants to do each club. So while some clubs are decided with "trials" others are not. Also Dd (who is not very "good at sports" but is keen) has been asked to go to various tournaments in tag rugby, hockey etc which has been lovely for her and she has loved representing the school.

Illgetmycoat Fri 24-May-13 23:38:45

He has put in a lot of effort into sports to the school, but at the same time as he has enthused the children, he has then closed the door to the weaker ones.

It's come to a head for me personally because for the last two weeks my daughter has been going to school an hour early to try to get onto the gymnastics team. After two weeks of effort, just she and one other girl were told on the way to the tournament that they were going to be subs and wouldn't get the chance to compete.

Those two sat and watched for 4 hours in their leotards. All the other girls were given medals and certificates. Whilst they got nothing. After two whole weeks of getting into school at 8am.

ReallyTired Fri 24-May-13 23:48:06

The PE teacher is giving up his time. I think its fair to have a special club for the more able children. It is understandable that the other children are disappointed.

Life is hard. My son is completely uncoordinated. Our school has some paid clubs which anyone can join. Rather than expecting the PE teacher to give free lessons to the less able could you not ask the school to organised a couple of sports clubs which the parents pay for. It would improve the general fitness of the class without increasing the workload of the PE teacher.

My children's primary offers gymnastics, dance, karate, judo, multi sports, football, netball. Parents typically pay £30 a term per activity. It is a two form entry primary school.

Illgetmycoat Fri 24-May-13 23:53:34

My daughter HAS been doing out-of-school sports activities. We started them when we realised that it wasn't going to come through the school.

Being part of a school team though is important socially and affects the class dynamics. I just think his approach would be more appropriate at secondary level when the children are more physically and emotionally developed, rather than at primary when they are still building their confidence.

raisah Sat 25-May-13 19:55:21

oh dear not good, definitely speak to the head. He should know better than to exclude the kids who need it the most. This country has a growing obesity problem which needs to be tackled from childhood with a good diet and plenty of excercise. He is giving the message that sport is only for winning and not for general well being and goid health. Therefore as a P.E. teacher he has failed in his duty.

LittlePeaPod Sat 25-May-13 20:04:02

I know I will get flamed for this but I do think if you compete in a sporting event then you should aim to win.. Is it fair that the kids that excel in sports are held back by those without the natural ability. I agree all kids should be given the opportunity to get involved in sports but I think it's unreasonable to except them to automatically get a place on a competing team even if they are not up to the competing level..

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Sat 25-May-13 20:04:27

I think this approach to pe is very outdated. All children need to be encouraged and supported to find exercise that motivates them and gets/keeps them fit. That's not to say that all children should do all activities, but his approach is rather like teaching just the most able to read and leaving out the others. Dd's gym club has a range of classes, from national standard elite to dd's class. She is never going to make the Olympics but she is developing discipline and learning skills and to enjoy exercise.

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Sat 25-May-13 20:06:24

By the way, the approach to pe described in the op made me think exercise was not for the likes of me. Only now, years later, I discover that actually with the right programme that encourages and celebrates progress, exercise is great.

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Sat 25-May-13 20:08:11

Really tired, do you really think that the able should get sport for free but not the others?

BackforGood Sat 25-May-13 20:09:01

My dd's school's trophy cabinet is overflowing with trophies / cups / shields. This is because the chap that is in charge of PE there, makes sure EVERYONE who turns up to practice, gets to play in teams. Through playing, they get further experience, practice, and coaching, and therefore, become stronger, better players themselves.
In the sports where there are loads of people turning up, he ensures there are loads of fixtures, buy arranging Yr5 tournaments or Yr4 tournaments, or by entering both an A Team and a B Team into competitions.
He does put in a huge amount of time, but he also gets support from local clubs, keen to foster relationships with local youngsters, from local clubs whose coaches are funded by lottery grants conditional on them putting back into the community, by parents, and by teachers. Also local sports development partnerships - the cricket club, for example is run by the local sports development person, one boy's grandad, and a teacher sitting in to make sure all is well.
The previous chap was like you described - had his select 'squad' of players and others were rejected time and time again.
Currently they have FAR more trophies than they did under the old regime.
over 150 children representing the school at one sport or another throughout the year.

blush Sorry - I'll get off my hobby horse now

newgirl Sat 25-May-13 20:09:26

Are all children getting sports teaching during school time? These sound like after and before school activities? If so I think the able sporty kids should get their chance to shine - and all kids should be able to play during school. And find what they are great at.

BackforGood Sat 25-May-13 20:09:52

buy by

TeenAndTween Sat 25-May-13 20:15:22


The PE teacher needs to be directed towards the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. Chapter 1 covers how PE teachers in early years effectively reject a quarter to a half of children by mere fact of them being less tall / strong than their peers due to being in the younger half of the class. The older ones then get more teaching and encouragement, and then lo and behold by the time you get through to late teens / professionals it is the older half of any year group that miraculously makes it through to the best teams.

ReallyTired Sat 25-May-13 22:32:21

"Really tired, do you really think that the able should get sport for free but not the others?"

The non talented children do get a certain amount of sport for free. It is called school PE lessons. Anything that a PE teacher does that is extra curricular and voluntary is a bonus. There is no god given right to force a teacher to teach anyone for free that they don't want to.

Schools often have gifted and talented clubs after school for music, art or maths. I don't see anything wrong with a selective sports club provided that there are activites available for the non sporty children. (Even if their parents have to pay and the gifted and talented children get it for free.)

I actually think that BackforGood schools approch of involving outside clubs is far better. Involving outside clubs in providing extra curricular activites reduces the work burden for the PE teacher. My children's school does the same and the non gifted children parents have to pay for the clubs unless they are on fsm.

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Sat 25-May-13 23:44:03

Backforgood-your post made me well up a bit. It's how I picture good sports teaching to be-inclusivity doesn't need to mean the talented don't get to shine, it just means that others get to take part too. Those who just do extra curricular sport for the talented have really missed the point of PE. They also will have a limited impact rather than, hopefully, getting children into a lifetime habit of sport and exercise.

Illgetmycoat Sun 26-May-13 08:42:42

Well said ifIonlyhadsomesleep! PE at Primary level isn't just about winning - it's about promoting for excerise in all children and creating a healthy generation.

I think that the premise that 'talented' children short get extra sports opportunities for free, whereas 'untalented' should pay a pretty uncaring approach if I am honest. These are 7-11 year olds who are still growing. How can you write them off like that?

scaevola Sun 26-May-13 09:03:24

Our school has a selective A team, but also B, C and sometimes D teams so that everyone gets a chance to compete. They run two after school clubs on different nights, one is extension squad and one is sign up for anyone. I like the balance that strikes.

Snazzywaitingforsummer Sun 26-May-13 09:09:35

There was a thread a while back about hating PE at school and this was a key reason for most - being sidelined and even belittled for lesser ability.

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