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Make Physical Education Physical Education for all

(45 Posts)
GeekLove Sun 31-Jan-16 18:26:59

There has been a spate of threads about PE in schools and in this age of obesity and childhood ill health, getting children, particularly girls and those from ethnic minorities interested in participating in physical exercise is more important than ever.

[[ thread 1]]

[[ thread 2]]

I and others are hoping that MNHQ would be interested in supporting a campaign to put pressure on the current state of physical education teaching and to ensure that PE teaching is fit for purpose.

However, it seems that PE teaching hasn't moved with the times. Even a [[ recent report from 2012]] highlighted the issue that although participation is reasonably good at primary school level, enthusiasm and participation fall off significantly, particularly for girls.

Our main concerns is that PE teaching methods have not moved on significantly compared with other subjects and are not inclusive. The main issues are:

• Lack of coaching and instruction on how run, jump, catch balls, gymnastics, strength training and on good form to prevent injury.

• Over reliance on team games, particularly at secondary school. Issues with this include lack of coaching on rules, allowing pupils to pick teams and no allowances being made for ability.

• One size fits all type of coaching. No allowances made for pupils at different stages of physical development, but all are supposed to do certain activities such as hurdles or high jump before they are able. This can also be an issue at primary school when many girls start menstruating by yrs 5 and 6.

• Inadequate sports kit is regularly cited as a negative factor, especially for girls. It is well known that not wearing warm clothes when exercising in cold conditions is more likely to lead to injury. PE kit should ideally be non gender specific and sports crop tops mandatory for girls to ensure comfort and modesty when exercising.

•Lack of time making it difficult for pupils to change ans ensure adequate time for a lesson, particularly for swimming.

•Lack of knowledge with respect to physical conditions such as dyspraxia, hypermobility and poor inclusion of children with disabilities. PE is crucial to children with physical disabilities but far too many are still excluded from mainstream PE.

This is by no means a complete list but if we are to raise children from all backgrounds to have a healthy, active lifestyle it is critical to ensure that good quality PE teaching is available to all. It is not enough to reserve PE for the talented pupils.

One solution is that schools that are models of good practice when considering inclusivity and retention, to help set the standard for other schools to follow, for example. We hope to demonstrate that we on Mumsnet want to be active participants in raising healthy, physically active children.

SparklesandBangs Sun 31-Jan-16 19:06:01

Can I have a LIKE and SUPPORT button for this please

GeekLove Sun 31-Jan-16 19:13:29

I'm hoping that we can do something rather than just talk about it. After all, you won't get many Olympians if mass participation in any kind of physical activity is the exception not the rule, or if it is focused on only one sex.

briss Sun 31-Jan-16 19:15:52

No I don't support. I've seen so much hatred on here for PE teachers I find it very hard to believe that any campaign would be constructive. There's a lot wrong with the opening argument.

It is well known that not wearing warm clothes when exercising in cold conditions is more likely to lead to injury this is untrue. It is perfectly possible to run a cross country race in vest and running shorts as long as you warm up properly first and put warm clothes on afterwards.

All the PE teachers I have met deal well with dyspraxic children and hypermobility. That's not to say all do but I believe it is already taught on sports education courses..
This can also be an issue at primary school when many girls start menstruating by yrs 5 and 6. I have never met a primary teacher who wouldn't be sensitive to this and also, why does having your period mean you can't do hurdles?! Or sport? Swimming I can understand.

BackforGood Sun 31-Jan-16 19:21:54

and sports crop tops mandatory for girls to ensure comfort and modesty when exercising

What ??????
How is getting your midrif out more comfortable or modest than the current polo shirt ? confused

briss Sun 31-Jan-16 19:40:27

I didn't understand the bit about the crop top? Surely you don't mean wearing one instead of a polo shirt?? That's bizarre.

briss Sun 31-Jan-16 19:41:56

(and my children and all their friends love team games)

OddBoots Sun 31-Jan-16 19:48:12

I am guessing the crop top bit is as an under garment - the point being that if it was uniform then even the parents who get awkward about noticing their child develop would need to provide one. I can well remember friends of mine at school running with arms across their chests as their parents wouldn't let them wear a bra, even for PE.

GeekLove Sun 31-Jan-16 19:48:29

I mean as something worn underneath a shirt, sorry I wasn't clear enough. I am well aware that some girls need bras or some sort of support from yr4.

briss Sun 31-Jan-16 19:54:30

Oh ok.
Still don't think that's the PE depts remit

briss Sun 31-Jan-16 19:55:58

How can they be mandatory? My 10 year old hates crop tops. She has no breast development. Would she have to wear one under this regime? It's a no from me.

Pantone363 Sun 31-Jan-16 19:57:25

You mean a sports bra as part of compulsory PE kit?

Of course it should be

Pantone363 Sun 31-Jan-16 19:58:01

At secondary level obviously.

briss Sun 31-Jan-16 19:59:18

They could be recommended but not mandatory.

Youarentkiddingme Sun 31-Jan-16 20:03:49

Sign me up grin I'd be very interested in offering the viewpoint as a parent of a child in secondary school with ASD and motor planning difficulties with hypotonia.

My ds just finds PE lessons a massive stress inducing event. Rarely a lesson goes by that involv s team games where he hasn't left in a strop because somethings happened. He does need ro learn resilience, social skills etc - there is no denying this.

But..... What happens is that the PE teacher calls him a cry baby, suggests he goes and cries to mum again about it, calls him a wuss etc. He tells him he needs to be more active and needs to get fitter and he'd stop complaining so much.

Ds swims for a club! It's not exercise but as you say the form of sport just doesn't suit him. It's counterproductive forcing him into situations h can't cope with. Adults won't chose team sports of they don't enjoy them. Surely it would be better to foster an interest in sport and exercise and the benefits over putting off a child for life through the teaching staff bullying them and giving the children good at team sports a superiority complex?

GeekLove Sun 31-Jan-16 20:08:54

On the contrary, the need for recognizing student's physical development is exactly the remit of the PE department. It is Physical Education after all. Do not underestimate some parents wilful ignorance or reluctance when it comes to informing children about puberty and development.

briss Sun 31-Jan-16 20:12:51

But, respectfully, your ds has physical issues and ASD.

The PE teacher sounds like a twat but there are lots of NT kids who benefit from team sports.

JasperDamerel Sun 31-Jan-16 20:17:08

I didn't have enough bosom to fill an AA cup bra until after I left school. A flapping empty sports bra in the changing room would not have made my experience of school sport any better.

GeekLove Sun 31-Jan-16 20:24:10

Hence a crop top initially, which will compress and lift so will fit someone with no breast development. Besides, even with no breast development, the chest are is often extra sensitive in early puberty.

briss Sun 31-Jan-16 20:26:30

I'm not comfortable with the emphasis on what underwear girls choose to wear.

Guidelines yes, mandatory definitely not.

Thornrose Sun 31-Jan-16 20:26:45

My dd has dyspraxia and AS and was excluded from mainstream PE. The PE teachers had zero awareness of how to manage her physical issues.

I am particularly interested in seeing mainstream PE becoming more inclusive.

Youarentkiddingme Sun 31-Jan-16 20:33:15

So why not offer team sports and also individual sports? Give everyone a chance to shine at things they are good at. I'm not suggesting cutting team sports, I'm agreeing and can offer personal insight with the OP that there needs to be recognition and true understanding of how disability affects pupils and strategies and opportunities in place to support them.

We are discussing fostering a physical education programme to encourage all pupils to become involved and increase physical activity. Surely that needs to come from a place of understanding? By using bullying tactics and allowing the child is is weak at PE to always be chosen last discourages and decreases resilience. It's the opposite of what this campaign would be trying to achieve.

Currently apart from maths, science and English which he does 4 hours a week per subject on PE is the lesson he spends most time doing - 3 hours. That's 1/5 of the school week spent losing self esteem and learning negative behaviours. 1/5 of the week where he could be learning the positive effects of exercise and learning to enjoy it as part of a healthy balanced lifestyle.

GeekLove Sun 31-Jan-16 20:53:29

I don't particularly want to focus on underwear but it is an issue for girls who often have bread development before it is discussed in anyway at school. If everyone wears one there is less of an issue. It also isn't beyond the wit of man that the could be made available in bulk so schools could purchase and issue them the rest of the sports kit. It should be the only gender specific item in the kit list, with the possible exception of groin protectors.

After all, who would mourn PE knickers smile

briss Sun 31-Jan-16 21:13:19

Then make the campaign about inclusivity for kids with SN. And forget about the underwear thing which is odd IMO

Let's not forget there are a huge number of kids who love school sport and PE.

briss Sun 31-Jan-16 21:14:38

Sorry if my dd is not ready for a bra she is not going to wear one to support someone who is. That's nuts.

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