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Is it really more important to set for PE than other subjects? And how do they do it?

(43 Posts)
SomeRainbow Sat 23-Feb-13 09:30:42

Not an imminent issue otherwise I'd ask the school, but just wondering... Our secondary set for PE and Maths from Y7 and MFL in Y9. Now I can see the merits of setting for PE but I can see many merits for setting for all sorts of subjects. (Went through a rigid streaming system myself and find it very difficult to get my head round mixed ability teaching at all). And if your school do this how do they actually assess the ability of the children in PE?

bigTillyMint Sun 24-Feb-13 11:16:57

Completely agree, ReallyTired. If there are sporty children disrupting, then they need to findmore effective ~ays of ~orking ~ith them.

creamteas Sun 24-Feb-13 11:40:20

I really wish they would work with the disruptive children differently, but the way it works is also related to assessment. Top sets in PE take GCSE, middle sets take BTEC sport and the bottom do recreation only. So that is why the disruptive kids end up at the bottom, as they don't want to 'study' sport.

From numerous complaints conversations with the school over the bullying problems in PE, their belief is that disruptive kids need to run around and let off steam, so they refuse to use the usual sanctions against them

OddBoots Sun 24-Feb-13 13:42:12

Maybe they need one of those ex-army teachers that were proposed a year or two ago just to teach PE to the disruptive ones.

Thankfully as DS's (large state comp) school disruptive children aren't dropped a set, I'm not sure how they deal with them but however it is it works.

hoodoo12345 Sun 24-Feb-13 14:48:38

My DD will be set for PE in year 8 onwards,where they will eventually do different exams.
I think it is a good idea, i might of stood a chance if i had of been set back in the day.

Thumbwitch Sun 24-Feb-13 14:53:04

That's interesting - the secondary school I went to streamed for Maths, all sciences and all Languages (except English - although it may have streamed for English Lit, I don't remember cos I didn't do it). Didn't stream for P.E. though and tbh I can't see how it would have worked unless the least capable students were given different sports to do?

OddBoots Sun 24-Feb-13 15:23:21

My DS is in the bottom set for PE (and has been since Y7) so that is all I know but from what I can see they do some different sports but there is overlap, he's never done rugby and does very little football, he does a fair bit of the racket sports and athletics, some circuit training, cricket, trampolining and judo.

bigTillyMint Sun 24-Feb-13 15:46:36

OddBoots, that sounds great that they offer different sports for the lower sets - the problem with PE is that it tends to focus on team sports and ball sports which some children find really difficult, but they can shine in other areas when a sport grabs their interest. And a decent level of fitness is good for all children (so circuit training, etc is perfect)

BackforGood Sun 24-Feb-13 17:01:55

Completely agree ReallyTIred and bigTillyMint - that really is not right that the less able get lumped with the disruptive ones when it's not even linked to ability angry

ReallyTired Sun 24-Feb-13 20:36:16

I wonder what OFSTED would think of punishing high ablity children by putting them with low ablity children. Differentiation is about meeting learning needs rather than seperating children into groups who are worthy and groups who are deemed sub human.

I feel that a formal written complaint to the governors is the best way to challenge such a policy. Bright distruptive children don't get put in bottom sets for Maths and it should not happen for any other subject.

creamteas Sun 24-Feb-13 20:57:02

Bright distruptive children don't get put in bottom sets for Maths

No, but because they spend lessons in the internal exclusion room, they don't actually get to stay in the same room as the non-disruptive top set DC...

The problem is that the PE dept doesn't follow the same behaviour sanctions as the rest of the school. Everyone wants the disruptive kids to run around outside, and higher sets have to do theory as part of the curriculum, so this is not seen as appropriate for many of them. In other words, it is not formally a punishment (but everybody knows that it is).

AChickenCalledKorma Sun 24-Feb-13 22:43:34

Am so wishing that DD1 could go to Lancelottie's school. She would LOVE the idea of an "adventure" stream and we'd be able to knock on the head the idea that she's "no good at sports". Cycling, climbing and cross country would suit her down to the ground (or should that be up in the air grin)

Lancelottie Mon 25-Feb-13 14:40:42

Yes, it's a fab school in most respects -- we're very lucky, or at least DS1 was. But we're out of catchment, and it's so oversubscribed that DS2 and DD are going elsewhere.

Never mind. 'No rugby unless you actually want to' is enough for my younger two!

TiffIsKool Tue 26-Feb-13 15:15:38

I don't see what the issue is.

Which one is more demoralizing? Being in the bottom set for athletics or being the kid being repeated lapped by the fast kids?

ReallyTired Tue 26-Feb-13 16:34:47


My impression is that most people on this thread are in favour of setting for PE. Children will have a PE curriculum to suit their physical needs.

lainiekazan Wed 27-Feb-13 13:27:29

Oh, if only there had been setting for PE in my day! It might have made me less of a couch potato and even fostered some desire to exercise. As it was, I was always picked last, jeered at, prayed for rain/gym burning down...

Ds is in Year 10 and is hopeless at anything physical. He often says it's unreasonable not to set for games and PE when they do so for academic subjects.

It must be equally frustrating for those who are sporty to be lumbered with uncoordinated elephants on their team or have to wait for ages until the last two wheezing and gasping runners finally lope over the finish line of the 1500 m.

iseenodust Wed 27-Feb-13 14:18:12

There was setting for PE in my day - if you were on the academic stream you were told to give up PE for a 'proper' o level. <old gimmer who doesn't set foot in a gym>

So far Lancelottie's school sounds the best for all abilities.

AtiaoftheJulii Wed 27-Feb-13 22:36:01

My son's school have short-term setting for Games (term each of rugby, football and cricket) - the whole year (4 forms) do games at the same time, in their form for the first half term, and then in a mixed-form set for the second. He's only in y7 so I don't know if that changes in y8. They also have (indoor) PE, but I think that's in their forms.

Dd2 used to have some not-very-granular setting - there was a boys group and a girls group and then a mixed lower set who played games more than sports. Now she's in y10 and they seem to be much more split up throughout the timetable.

Dd1 had never had any sort of setting, but they have had a lot of choice since y9 about which PE options they wanted to do, so that's quite self-selecting.

wol1968 Thu 28-Feb-13 13:13:58

I wish they had set for PE at my school! (though it was so small that it made setting unfeasible). Due to a lazy eye which wasn't corrected until I was 13, I have no 'ball sense' whatsoever, so anything involving catching or throwing objects is a complete waste of my time. But I was happy to do walking, hiking, cross-country and even exercise classes. I just hope this could be done without anyone attaching any 'status' to each stream.

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