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So is private school only for sporty children then?

(19 Posts)
emkana Thu 26-May-11 12:31:39

I often see daily sports mentioned as a plus of private schools. What if you have a child who'd hate that?

Lizcat Thu 26-May-11 12:43:23

Good private schools try to offer a wide range so there is something for everyone to enjoy. DD can't throw a ball for toffee, but loves modern/street dance and climbing.
But yes there is a sports lesson every single day from Year 2.

RockOnMrs Thu 26-May-11 12:44:18

Depends on the school, and on the child. Impossible to generalise about private schools, just as it is about state schools.

However - allow me to generalise a little, based on my knowledge of quite a lot of private schools. They will often be set in larger grounds than state schools, which can often mean more sports facilities. It can also mean dedicated music blocks, art blocks, theatre/drama studio, space to keep chickens/guinea-pigs/rabbits, gardening etc etc ... There's usually something for everyone. A chat with the Head, and a look around the school, should give you a pretty good idea of what the extra-curricular focus is, and of how big a part sport plays in the school's daily life.

My DH is a PE teacher in a private school, and I can reassure you that PE these days is VERY different to how it was 30 years ago. It is much more humane, there is a huge range of sports on offer, and teachers really do try to encourage all students to find something that they can enjoy. So even for a non-sporty child, the sports available at some private schools really can lead to increased confidence in other areas of their lives. Gone are the days when a bearded man in skintight nylon trackie bottoms bellowed at you through a megaphone while you struggled round a 400m track 10 times in blizzard conditions smile These days kids can play table tennis, do all manner of less strenuous activities such as golf, archery etc, and even go out and do kayaking, sailing, riding, surfing etc ... when they are old enough they can do weight training, general keep-fit activities, Zumba etc ... and cricket and rounders are lovely for the non-sporty because most of the time is spent standing around chatting whilst waiting for your own, very brief, turn!

Pagwatch Thu 26-May-11 12:49:15

No.
No two private schools are the same.

A wide range of sports and activities is generally seem as a good 'selling point' so many private schools will reference that. But my dcs schools have the usual mix of sporty and non sporty kids.

Private schools are not exactly the same, any more than state schools are all exactly the same.

MoreBeta Thu 26-May-11 12:57:08

Traditional 'boarding school' is often heavily sport oriented but also has a lot of other things going on. Private day schools much less so IME.

The trick to enjoying private school and getting the most out of it is volunteer for everything you can, get involved and don't slink off home at 3.45 every day. There really is something for everyone.

wordfactory Thu 26-May-11 13:20:16

At DC's school there are pletny of kids who aren't 'sporty' as in partciularly talented ...but they are all included in sport everyday and seem to enjoy it.

This was hugely important for me as I think children should be outside and active as much as possible. Indeed if you check out the thread in Chat about regrest you'll see that not getting into an exercise habit early in life features very heavily.

That said, all private schools are different and I'm sure you can find ones where sport took less priority. That's the point really - you get a choice.

Thereisnotry Thu 26-May-11 13:49:32

No, you are confused, they are only for wealthy children smile

Amaretti Thu 26-May-11 13:54:38

My son is not a sporty boy but a good school will make PE, games and swimming lessons fun for all abilities. He is small, skinny, has messy hair and plays guitar very well. HE's not a natural rugby player! But even rugby he says is ok, because they split them into groups (the a team, the b team, development and "you lot"!). And no one makes " you lot" feel bad. And running and swimming he is better at, so he's in a different group. And he feels his tennis is imoroving. And he says he's fitter than he was, which he likes. It's all in the approach.

shortround Thu 26-May-11 14:27:02

the reason we moved our son when we did was because of the sport, (he needed more) the reason we are moving my daughter is because of acedemic reasons (she is bored, and next september her year will share a class room with the year below as a trial, as its a small school)

the boarding school we love, isnt very good for boys sport, so our son won't ever go, our daughter however, if she so chooses can go later. (much, much, later)

dobby2001 Thu 26-May-11 14:29:23

I bloody hope not, my DD is at the "enthusiatic but crap" level in most of the sports we have tried so far and has just started private school!! hmm

Although I suppose it means I could spend all my wealth on other things then?grin

SandStorm Thu 26-May-11 14:31:05

My dd is at private school and her sporting abilities are rivalled only by my own! She's far more into Arts and Drama and that type of thing.

Her school caters for both sporty and non-sporty children.

shortround Thu 26-May-11 15:34:23

and i should of said, son moved for sport, daughter for academic reasons - have both gone to the same school! so I hope not!!

LIZS Thu 26-May-11 15:44:43

Varies hugely. dc prep school has significant time devoted to sport/exercise (2-3 afternoons per week) . However in the upper years that can include watersports, outdoor education, dance and cheerleading. Although some year groups have a strength in teamsports or athletics its most consistent area of achievement is swimming. Neither of our dc is sporty btw and there are times where they feel marginalised. Sports day is particularly excruciating.

bidibidi Thu 26-May-11 16:24:45

I would like to think that the private school would have the resources to bring on the potential of even the least sportiest children, to achieve more than they thought possible. I know that's what seems to happen at DS's private school. He went from thinking he had no sporting ability to finding out he had tonnes.

Fennel Fri 27-May-11 10:49:52

I wasn't ever going to choose private schools for my children, but I agree, when I read about the wonderful sports opportunites, and the daily sports, I shudder. I would have loathed that myself, and my dds are similar. We're all active and outdoorsy, as a family we are quite energetic, lots of watersports, cycling, skating, skateboarding, walking etc.

But competitive sport? Every day? Viewed as important? aaargh.

Jajas Fri 27-May-11 10:53:04

Beta, is the not sloping off for the children or the parents grin!

snorkie Fri 27-May-11 11:56:52

Neither of mine particularly love conventional school sport (hockey, rugby, netball etc) and both have seen it as an unwelcome activity at school. However, one has now found his niche sailing and goes in for that even when on study leave or after GCSEs when he didn't have to, and the other has this year at age 15 realised she actually does like sport after all & is now on all the sports teams and after school clubs and loving every minute having been on none before.

Even if they don't enjoy it it is good for them, keeps them healthy and encourages good lifestyle habits. We don't all enjoy maths at school, but we just get on with it because we have to. It should be the same with sport, but a good PE department should also do all it can to make it enjoyable for everyone.

bigbluebump Fri 27-May-11 13:30:10

My dd's (Y4) private school offers one swimming lesson, one indoor p/e sesson and one field/games session per week. She's not particularly sporty but I feel the exercise is good for her and gives her the opportunity to learn sports that she perhaps wouldn't have considered otherwise.

But as others have said, it will depend completely on the school. I don't think one can generalise.

MoreBeta Fri 27-May-11 14:35:54

Jajas - DSs have ben told they are at school very day until 5.00pm come rain or shine so they either get involved in activities or get bored. Their choice.

I went to boarding school so the idea of going home 'after school' is not something I ever experienced. We used to get up at 6.30 for a x country run before breakfast too. grin

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