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Over 6 hours of sport

(100 Posts)
poppydoppy Sun 08-Sep-13 11:15:37

A week at prep school.....too much? What do you think? Academic lessons are 45 mins.

Pagwatch Sun 08-Sep-13 18:19:21

Yes Valium. Plus anyone who has to plough up and down a pool for 2 hours at a time had better be able to enjoy their own thoughts. There isn't much choice

OldRoan Sun 08-Sep-13 18:22:24

I don't think it is too much per se, but does depend on a few things.
1) are we including Saturdays in the school week? I assume we are, in which case I think it is even more acceptable
2) lessons have gone down in length because they are no longer double periods - does this mean that the are 2x45 minute lessons? Otherwise you just lost half their teaching time, and that is a much bigger problem than the issue of sport. Once they are in a routine there will be maybe 5/10 mins lost on the total teaching time, but I refuse to believe the children concentrate solidly for a full double lesson - they well take more in in two shorter instalments.
3) does the whole school have this much sport? Or is it increased for the final year?

Schools don't just want academic children, they look for other things (as I'm sure you know). Perhaps the school feel that by increasing the sport, the make their children more attractive to senior schools? Not saying this is right, just could be their approach.

In their final year at prep school, with January exams, most stuff should be revision rather than new information. It is busy, yes, and lesson time is valuable, but the lesson content may lend itself better to shorter lessons. Also, in the build up to exams, I'd say it is very important to have lots of opportunities for fresh air and a change of scenery. Takes the pressure off the less academic ones, too.

But if you're not happy, ask the school.

wordfactory Sun 08-Sep-13 18:32:33

rabbit I am a writer. Large amounts of my books are imagined whilst walking/swimming etc

In fact, I'd say that physical activity in the fresh air is one of the greatest faciltators of the imagination grin.

rabbitstew Sun 08-Sep-13 18:49:37

Ah, but wordfactory, I always found there was a difference between: swimming gently up and down whilst merrily thinking my own thoughts; and ploughing up and down at great speed against the clock, obsessed with keeping up my stamina and skill, where my own thoughts were, "not much further, if I just push myself a little bit more.... don't give up, now.... this is really beginning to piss me off....." Likewise: standing on the netball court, where I would get told off if I was in the middle of an interesting thought when the ball I wasn't paying attention to thwacked me in the face, versus thinking, "I'm over here, moron with the ball who never notices me unless I shout at you!..." I always associated compulsory school sport with the latter, rather than the former... grin

Pagwatch Sun 08-Sep-13 19:47:26

But training isn't like that.
Her warm up is 16 lengths - steady consistent.
Then batches of lengths always consistent, focusing on technique.
If she goes faster and faster she would get in trouble.
It's all muscle memory and consistent practice.
Speed is for races.

Coconutty Sun 08-Sep-13 19:55:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rabbitstew Sun 08-Sep-13 20:10:58

Focusing on technique while simultaneously enjoying drifting off in your own thoughts, Pagwatch. wink

Coconutty Sun 08-Sep-13 20:13:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rabbitstew Sun 08-Sep-13 20:27:02

6 hours of school sport per week should at least be ensuring that none of the children are really unfit. Whether I objected to it or not would depend on which of my children I was talking about and what sports were being done during that time, and how the time was broken up during the week...

Pagwatch Sun 08-Sep-13 21:28:48


That is standard focusing for a ten year old, isn't it?
Daydreaming and lost in thought?

rabbitstew Sun 08-Sep-13 22:42:18

More or less!

TeenAndTween Mon 09-Sep-13 17:00:16

I've always assumed that one of the reasons you have the longer hours at prep school is to incorporate more sport. healthy mind in a healthy body and all that.
If you are trying to do it in the hours of a state school it would be an issue, but don't most prep schools have at least an extra hour on their day?

roguedad Fri 25-Oct-13 18:26:47

Guidelines suggest 2-3 hours a week. A period of PE and a bit of an afternoon seem plenty to me. The idea of paying private school fees so that a school can waste more of your child's time seems barking to me. Ask the orientals taking many of the places at our top universities how much time they spent on a lot of running up and down at school and you quickly understand why our kids are getting fewer of the places. Just tell the head you are not prepared to pay for it. And have a good read of
Although it's a US site it has many good ideas, quotes and reflections.

Erebus Fri 25-Oct-13 19:52:19

Surely all parents choose private because of the sport, music and drama?

You need to be on MN more! wink

Erebus Fri 25-Oct-13 19:56:57

Though, realistically, I do have to ask as a genuine question: Seeing as the above; sport, music and drama are perceived as being so central, so 'core' to a Private Education- how come so few of these school's out-take do a skerrig of any once they're adults? I genuinely don't get why people consider it such a pre-req for a 'successful' education yet none, and I mean none, in my profession which has a high private school intake, partake of any sport, music or art whatsoever as adults. Yes, they watch, but they don't do.

Is it just some perceived 'good for the developing mind' thing? But meaningless, post 18? Job done?

Erebus Fri 25-Oct-13 19:59:59

I do have a good friend whose DSs are at a £13000 pa school in East Anglia and I do wonder from time to time, how she feels about stuff she's paying for, like running tracks her boys never run on, swimming pools her sons spend half an hour a week in, one term a year; badminton and squash courts her sons have never set foot in...

Altamoda Sat 26-Oct-13 12:15:25

Dd1 does 1.5 hours a day, not including matches. She's a sports scholar though. I think there's only 3 hours compulsory a week (ie if you don't go to any extra clubs or practices). It's hard to manage as she gets older as academic work starts to become more pressured.

Tbh if I wasn't bothered about sport all my children would have gone to the good state secondary. As it is I have no time to drive them to endless clubs so they need to go to a school that does it and does it well.

Altamoda Sat 26-Oct-13 12:19:15

Erebus, lots of teenagers drop competitive sport as they get older. Less compete, but the ones that do are usually very good at it. That's probably why adults have 'given up'.

I passionately believe in its importance, esp for girls.

FlabbyAdams Sat 26-Oct-13 12:31:37

Surely the amount of sport is irrelevant if the same hours in class are being applied.

My DC school has loads of sport. Mon, Tues,Thurs and Fri afternoons. It is matches Wednesday and Saturday afternoons until school finishes at 4.

School runs to 6pm 4 days a week and there is Saturday school (academic until lunch time). So yes its hell of alot of sport but I dont worry because the school day is longer to ensure the academics are properly seen to.

Independent schools like to get feedback from parents. Why not drop them a brief email outlining your concerns. I do agree 15 minutesto move between lessons is a long time.

LittleSiouxieSue Sat 26-Oct-13 12:58:38

I think this is a bit too much. It makes you wonder if the children who do do enjoy sport are engaged by this amount. Would the sporty children want to do compulsory music or drama for 6 hours a week? Probably not. It does not sound like a balanced curriculum for all. It's a curriculum that suits sporty children at the expense of others. At my DDs prep and independent secondary schools, compulsory sport was about 3 hours a week but squad practice and sports clubs added to that if the child was in teams or chose a club, eg judo, gymnastics, trampoline etc. This seemed sensible to me as there were other activities to get involved with during these sessions so all children were catered for.

Shruti04 Sat 26-Oct-13 13:00:26

It depends totally on the time duration of school. In every school, there should be a fixed time for extra curricular and other activities that helps in complete growth of children. It may be 1 hour or 45 mins enough in a day with study.

TantrumsAndBalloons Sat 26-Oct-13 13:07:21

That would be my ds1 idea of heaven tbh.

The school he goes to is also a sports college, picked especially because he cannot sit still. Ever.

There are no days that he does not do some form of sport. It is 7 days a week. He is up at 6am.

He still manages to do very well at at school though, he is super organised somehow. It certainley does not come from me grin

roguedad Sun 27-Oct-13 07:51:02

I'm with LittleSioixieSue in fact. I would be happy with about 3h of a mixture of PE and diverse games at compulsory level and more for those that want it and expect to participate in teams. We've got a situation where there is a lot that is compulsory and not tailored to the needs of particular children. It's almost all rugby for the boys right now. I'm fine with private schools exploiting their freedom to offer breadth - it's the imposition of too many hours of compulsory games that is also from a very narrow range that is hacking me off. And to come back to Erebus, we are paying fees to get an academic focus we did not think we could get state-side. For a while it worked, but with another hour allocated to the dept of running up and down being added this year and another next we are now looking at good local comprehensives in order to get more academic focus. I also agree with Shrutio4 - it does depend on the length of the day - my son's day has been expanded and most of the expansion is taken up with the imposition of compulsory rugby, rather than offers of diverse activities.

Butkin Sun 27-Oct-13 18:06:34

Not sure how I quantify how much sport DD does (yr 6). She has lot of Sports and PE lessons but then she also has sports Clubs (training for teams) three times a week after school (gratis).

Wednesday afternoons she always plays in Matches (never missed one since Yr 4) so that time is spent travelling, playing, eating, returning etc.
The kids who don't make the teams have a choice of sport or non-sport back at school.

The only times I have winced about the academic/sports timings was when (in last month) she has missed lessons to go to IAPS hockey and to Regional cross country running (which meant she only got back for the last couple of lessons). Didn't seem right to be missing studies but it was a honour to be selected to participate so we sucked it up. Luckily the next round of cross country - for those who, like DD, finished in top 50 - will be on a Sunday so that is OK although it does mean she'll miss a hockey match.

Retroformica Mon 28-Oct-13 06:04:36

Isn't it a great life lesson to exercise daily? Starting such an excellent routine now increases the chance of her partaking in adult sport and there for having a healthy adulthood.

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