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Any way to make PE bearable

(42 Posts)
CathodeRayTube Thu 26-Jan-17 22:50:06


I wondered if there might be any PE teachers here who could offer advice?

My ds is 6 and is having PE taught by a man who comes from the local professional football team. Ds says the lessons are really hard and he is worn out by them. PE day is his worst day of the week and it is starting to taint the whole school experience.

I wondered if any PE teachers could offer advice for a child who is just not really able to run very fast, on how to make PE a pleasure rather than a chore?

He got an E for excellent in effort, so I think the teacher knows he is really trying. He says he gets hot, but they're not allowed to take their tops off.


Artandco Thu 26-Jan-17 22:52:18

How much excercise does he get out of school? At 6 years he should be able to keep up with a school sports lesson. I would increase him walking, running, climbing every day to make him a bit fitter

ineedamoreadultieradult Thu 26-Jan-17 22:56:57

They shouldn't be doing anything too strenuous at 6! How long is the lesson. Football for 6 year olds usually involves some waiting for your turn in drills and things so I wouldn't think they are going full pelt for the whole lesson. Does he have any reason to find it hard going like asthma etc?

CathodeRayTube Thu 26-Jan-17 23:10:49

He almost never runs, but he dances constantly.

I've noticed that when he "plays" football after school he actually just stands in the defense position in front of goal doing almost-perfect pirouettes over and over again for long periods.

My FIL was a professional dancer in his early life and ds loves watching "Singing in the Rain" and copying the moves with great gusto.

Oddly the dancing doesn't seem to translate into running. He has a lot of opportunity to run after school as we often stay in the playground for a full hour, but he doesn't really seem to get any faster. He used to run exactly like Stephen Fry, and I wondered if there was something odd about his legs, but a physio said not.

We walk to school in the morning and he cycles home for lunch but there's no part of the day in which running is an imperative and he doesn't seem to feel moved to go dashing about.

We saw a pediatrician in the summer and she said he might be anaemic, but we gave him lots of supplemental iron and he very quickly changed from having beige cheeks to nice pink ones. It didn't seem to help with PE.

CathodeRayTube Thu 26-Jan-17 23:18:34

I think the lesson is usually an actual game of football, so constant dashing about. I asked if he could just run slower, or take a position and make it his, but he says he feels he wants to make the effort to show the teacher that he's trying.

I do wonder if they're all just swarming after the ball as small children tend to do, rather than taking proper positions and waiting letting their team mates handle the ball when it's in a different area.

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 26-Jan-17 23:26:51

If the only PE he gets in Yr1 / Yr2? so far in a term and a half is football, and it's just an ad hoc game - even for part of it, and only once a week then that seems like pretty poor PE teaching!

Unfortunately there's nothing you can do other than get him fitter, so do more, need to get him out of breath more often. There isn't anything else that can get you to the minimum fitness required for PE, which normally is a pretty low standard of fitness.

CathodeRayTube Thu 26-Jan-17 23:35:08

Thanks smile

Can you suggest any good ways to get a child an opportunity to run? We live in a city with all busy roads. I have something like CFS and can't run, and often can't get to parks, and he has no siblings and no pets to chase because of allergies.

I keep wondering what I could do to motivate him to run. I tried taking his bicycle away at school run time, but he objected most strongly to that as he likes cycling, and tbh, it's in his interested to learn to cycle as he will need to cycle in city traffic from his early teens.

Ironically, I have to try to run to keep up when he cycles to school. I've love to know of fun running activities that can be done in a city.

We did the race for life and he did the first 2 kms at a sprint so that certainly motivated him.

confuugled1 Thu 26-Jan-17 23:38:35

Is it worth talking to the teacher to find out when the lessons are going to stop being just football and do other things too, such as dance, netball, basket ball, athletics, rugby, hockey, tennis etc etc. Maybe couched in terms of it's great that they've spent so much time developing their football skills but I was just wondering when they're going to move on to the next topic, as I know ds is looking forward to when they do Dance and [anything else he is interested in] - one of his cousins/friends out of school/random individual from MN/etc has been doing it and ds can't wait to get to his turn to do it too!

I can imagine that if he is an ex football player and loves football that it is much easier to just get the kids to play a game of football rather than bothering with other sports or even doing drills in football.

I have 2 ds and one would have been in 7th heaven to play footie each lesson - the other loathes each and every games lesson. However they have always had a variety of different sports that they've done and particularly in the younger years there was less playing a particular game than building up different skills like learning how to run or throw under arm or overarm, or how to kick or dribble the ball and so on. Usually with bean bags and hoops and things chalked on the playground and all sorts of fun made up games rather than just boring old football every time! (sorry, I'm like ds2, really not bothered by sports but with a particular dislike of football!).

CathodeRayTube Thu 26-Jan-17 23:48:08

Thanks, that's a good idea. I'll ask about that.

Do you think I need to talk to the PE teacher or should I ask the class teacher or headmistress (who is friendly) to ask him?

The PE teacher looks like a professional footballer and never smiles, and is tall and blonde. I'm pretty certain that I would implode if I went near him.

Crumbs1 Thu 26-Jan-17 23:49:43

Are lots of the boys in his class not joining out of school rugby or football clubs? That would get him running.

CathodeRayTube Fri 27-Jan-17 00:00:02

That would just be another hour of the same hated activity with the same man. He would not thank me for that.

CathodeRayTube Fri 27-Jan-17 00:05:12

I think the idea about asking what he does in PE would be good. I'll try that. You're quite right, it shouldn't just be a game of football with the good ones getting all the fun and ds swarming around never touching the ball. I'll ask.

standingonlego Fri 27-Jan-17 00:05:20

Look to see if there is a junior parkrun near you. They are free, 2km long and on Sunday mornings

CathodeRayTube Fri 27-Jan-17 00:07:23

Thanks I'll look out for that. I think there is one near us actually.

CathodeRayTube Fri 27-Jan-17 00:08:23

I did ask ds if he would like to go on more runs like the race for life and he said "No I would NOT like to do that". I have great hopes for the longevity of his knees.

standingonlego Fri 27-Jan-17 00:11:37

If he has done a 5k race for life then junior parkrun 2k will seem reassuring short by comparision 😀

A great way to get them running (you do not have to run with them if you do want too) and work on improving their stamina

CathodeRayTube Fri 27-Jan-17 06:59:52

I just asked ds and he says the thing that would really help is a proper PE kit that looks like a football strip, so I am ordering one online. Maybe that will make him feel more the part. smile

Getnakedorgohome Fri 27-Jan-17 07:12:26

Could you sign him up to a dance classes outside of school if that's where his interest lies? My 4.5yo dd does ballet and it often involves lots of skipping and jumping and stretching, it certainly raises her heart rate and she is tired after! There's lots of different options too, ballet, tap, street dance, one class called 'popstar moves'...

Could help with his overall fitness. I also agree with checking if they'll be doing anything else in PE, just playing football doesn't sound like a particularly well rounded physical education.

cantkeepawayforever Fri 27-Jan-17 08:11:37

I would absolutely look for an out of school dance class. Modern Theatre (often known just as 'modern') is probably the best for actual movement and fitness at this age, but if he likes the ballet aspect then it is a discipline which will stand him in good stead for all dance genres. Urban / Street Dance is likely to have lots more boys in, so if being in a girl-heavy class would be a problem, that might be one to go for.

DD dances - a lot - and her general fitness level is astounding!

user1483972886 Fri 27-Jan-17 08:20:55

I don't think this is worth sweating over. Ask the PE teacher what other sports they will be doing. Gymnastics? Dance? And try to get your son moving so he is not unfit. Swimming? They can't play football every week? DD1 played football more than a year ago and not again since!

ineedamoreadultieradult Fri 27-Jan-17 08:52:38

I do think your maybe putting too much thought into this. He is 6 it is school PE it won't be football all the time even if the teacher is an ex football player. They will do tennis, gymnastics, cricket etc all of which don't include much running really. And at the end of the day there is probably always going to be a sport all the children like less it doesn't mean you have to go out and buy new kit, start taking him to running club etc. This is school PE for 6 year olds!

cantkeepawayforever Fri 27-Jan-17 08:57:37

I do think it is worth asking the class teacher for the whole year's overview of PE, and to share it with your DS.

If there is a coach coming in from a local football club, that can be for quite a long series of lessons, longer than if the school's own staff are rotating through the sports (some schools use this type of external provision to cover PPA time for the class teacher). If your DS knows that e.g. this is only until half term, he may be happier. if alternatively the school IS using the provision for e.g. a whole term, then it would be worth mentioning the difficulties that your DS is having, as it will be feedback they can use to plan the balance of PE better.

CathodeRayTube Fri 27-Jan-17 09:05:40

cantkeepawayforever Thanks that sounds like a very sensible plan. I'll use your form of words and ask those questions specifically. Thanks!

CathodeRayTube Fri 27-Jan-17 09:06:25

It is that exactly by the way. The man comes in and covers the morning while the teacher does her lesson plans.

CathodeRayTube Fri 27-Jan-17 09:14:41

Great! I have sent that question to the school to be passed on to the teacher. Thanks, this discussion is really helping.

I have thought about dance lessons btw but ds is not really ready for regular extra-curricular activities I don't think. He tends to wear out and get ill if we organise too much for him. He dances all the time at home though, so I think he's getting plenty of that.

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