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A Teaching Perspective Needed Please...

(19 Posts)
RockinHippy Thu 04-Dec-14 16:18:10

re; P.E.

DD has a health condition that affects her muscles amongst other things - documented with the school & flagged up directly with this teacher by myself.

She couldn't take part in P.E. today as she is still recovering from an injury, caused by her taking part in a sport at school the other week, that she isn't meant to play, as its high risk for her.

She rang me upset at lunch time, as she is already feeling very sore, achey & struggling to get around the big school. This was after the P.E. teacher made her & another boy who couldn't take part for an even more serious reason, stand on the sidelines - without coats - & watch the game - it's freezing here, so they both got extremely cold shock

As a result, it's very likely DDs muscles will be even more seized up & so sore by tomorrow that she won't be able to make it to school - I'm hoping not & will try counter measures to ease it for her, but it's a very real possibility & TBH I'm annoyed - DH is fuming. She has already missed school because of the injury!

I thought this sort of stand on the side lines & freeze because you dare not to not be fit enough to take part in P.E., went out with the Ark confused

I wouldn't mind, but the injury could have been avoided, the P.E. Teacher is at fault for not listening - though he did handle the situation brilliantly afterwards, far better than DD has been used to in the past. It's still not great that it happened at all.

The school in general have been fantastically supportive & DD loves it there & I am aware that we are struggling with her currently kicking back & trying to ignore her condition too much, as she doesn't want to be different & make a fuss, so won't speak up, which is causing problems - but that wasn't what happened here

Help me find some perspective please before I approach the school


titchy Thu 04-Dec-14 18:17:00

Not a teacher and i'd be pissed off too, but maybe supervision was an issue so she had to stay with the rest of the class?

Ladymuck Thu 04-Dec-14 18:37:35

At our school it is clear that if you are "off games" for whatever reason you are expected to attend PE and games lessons, notebook in hand to ensure that you still can participate in the learning objectives from the lesson. You can opt not to attend team practices which are outside the timetable. It would be down to the student to ensure that they were suitably attired for the lesson. Was she especially not allowed to have her coat or was it a case of she hadn't brought it to the lesson? I would have expected her to be allowed to attend in say tracksuit, and I would have also expected her to be allowed in a coat if she brought it, but not to start running around the school campus looking for one if she hadn't?

LeBearPolar Thu 04-Dec-14 18:40:59

I find it shocking that they were made to watch without coats and would definitely be contacting the school over that. It seems unnecessarily punitive.

outtolunchagain Thu 04-Dec-14 18:49:49

Really Ladymuck , so if you have broken leg for eg you have to struggle up to field , in cold and stand there getting cold and wet ( games outside whatever the weather here ) don't they have "off games" arrangements .At our school if possible you go out to field if not there is a supervised room for this "off games"

BackforGood Thu 04-Dec-14 18:56:57

Same as Ladymuck IME at both schools my dc attended.
The trouble is, for every genuine case like this, there are probably 40 other kids that day also trying to dodge out of games / PE - it's one of those situations whereby it's unfortunate for the very few genuine people, but it's the wannabe skivvers to blame not the staff.

outtolunchagain Thu 04-Dec-14 19:00:01

I would have thought there could be health and safety issues , plus surely having injured people on the touch line would involve a risk assessment.If the school are aware of her condition and they took a risk with her health they could be in trouble I would have thought

Rosieposy4 Thu 04-Dec-14 19:01:42

Both where I teach and at my children's secondary school, off games students are expected to change into games kit and go out with the others.
I unsuspecting partly to cut down on the numbers of kids who might otherwise be tempted to throw a sickie and stay inside in the warm.

Ladymuck Thu 04-Dec-14 20:14:41

Well I don't know the exact layout of your school, but, yes, even pupils with broken limbs are expected to turn up for PE lessons to learn even if they could not physically participate. Children are expected to turn up equipped for the lessons, so with warm clothing if applicable.

If however she was forced to take off warm clothing then that is an issue. Was it that she was wearing an unsuitable coat, or did she not take a coat to class? Did they have no warning that it would be outdoor PE?

Floralnomad Thu 04-Dec-14 20:21:38

When my dd was first Ill ( has CFS) , this happened to her at a PE lesson , we took the decision to withdraw her from PE for the whole term as it was unlikely she would benefit at all from the lessons and the school let her go to the library during PE lessons .

outtolunchagain Thu 04-Dec-14 20:29:53

It just seems to me that if a child on crutches slipped and fell on slippery grass or was hit by a stray rugby ball then the school would be on pretty dodgy ground .

Children off games and unable to safely attend the games field are set written work and supervised in the off games classroom at our school.

A few years ago an elderly man was knocked flying by a rugby ball whilst watching a match and ended up with a. Broken hip , it emphasised how it is not safe to have people who may be physically unstable near the field .Even when my ds has a broken upper limb there was a risk assessment on him being on the games field as a scorer.

outtolunchagain Thu 04-Dec-14 20:36:15

Also I am baffles as to what a person standing on the side can learn from a games lesson which largely takes place on the move.if the coach is running up and down the field coaching a team what does a cold shivery person learn surely most of the coaching will be taking place to far away for them to hear ? Genuine question ?

afterthought Thu 04-Dec-14 20:39:22

At one school I worked in (which really cared about the children), those who were not able to do PE due to long term health conditions were catered for in the SEN rooms where children taken out of other classes would go. They then worked on English / maths or whatever needed doing. I think this is the best approach for the children, although I think OFSTED would have an opinion on it.

For short term injuries, students were expected to get changed and join the rest of the group from the sidelines. I used to teach PE and would let them wear their coat over their kit if they weren't joining in (if I was out in a coat, non-participants could also wear one).

jo164 Thu 04-Dec-14 20:44:20

It is fairly standard practice for non participants to take part in another capacity, as there is often not anywhere for them to go that would be supervised. However I would have sent them for a coat in this weather, but not knowing the layout of the school that may not have been practical. But as a parent I would also be cross about the lack of common sense, let alone understanding! I think if I were you I would have also written and asked that she be allowed to stay inside due to her current condition/injury, there could well be a parallel PE class doing something inside that she could have stayed with - maybe worth checking for next lesson if no improvement to her injury by then.

insanityscratching Thu 04-Dec-14 21:56:07

At dd's school those excused from PE have to change into kit and stand on the sidelines. They can wear a coat so would need to remember to take it with them. Generally they record times/distances or act as linesmen depending on the lesson.

Ladymuck Thu 04-Dec-14 22:33:54

outtolunchagain Could I suggest that you ask to observe a PE lesson at your dcs school. It is a subject which has in many cases changed beyond all recognition from what I learned at school. For PE GCSE pupils are not assessed only on their performance but also on coaching and umpiring skills for example. Yes, all children should be able to learn something in a PE lesson, and the teacher will be expected to have planned the lesson accordingly.

outtolunchagain Thu 04-Dec-14 22:45:56

I am sure that is the case and I am probably being dense and I do observe Games lessons although not so many PE lessons .Team games still form the backbone of games lessons at my ds school though, rightly or wrongly, they play matches every week and a lot of lessons are based on skills and coaching , as far as I know they don't offer PE as an exam subject .

I am not really a fan of games department , and largely I do think that children should not be being made to stand on the side of a pitch for upwards of 90 mins.It seems to me that this is less about them learning something and more about a suspicion that people are "skiving" or not having facilities/ staff to supervise non games players .

PastSellByDate Fri 05-Dec-14 10:11:58

I think that watching the others play is o.k. - but potentially the PE teacher could find more interesting roles: scoring/ refereeing/ timing for example - that would accommodate her not being able to join in fully but still allowing her to participate.

In terms of kit - it should be obvious that those less physically active/ standing still will feel the cold more than those running about. On this point I would contact the Head of Physical Education and register a complaint - both in terms of ensuring children are suitably warm (which would fall under Health and Safety Executive guidance - presumably outdoor working) but also in terms of ensuring that your DD's condition isn't made worse. The school is also operating in loco parentis - and therefore is legally obliged to consider your child's welfare (including health).

I suspect this is simply just not thinking it through - and PE teachers can get a bit jaded about girls showing up with a letter to get out of games (especially if the channels of communication aren't good - so they aren't told precisely why).

My feeling is that you need to raise this because your child is being made unnecessarily cold and this is causing her further discomfort.

smellylittleorange Mon 08-Dec-14 21:16:00

Your DD has a health condition that you flagged up with the Teacher therefore in my opinion it was wrong for her to be treated this way end of story - assuming the Teacher was fully briefed on how the cold etc may affect muscles. I would suggest visiting the school to ensure special arrangements are communicated properly.

You may only be getting part of the story e.g DD did not bring her coat but presuming the PE Teacher knew about her condition and the consequences they should have allowed her to go and get it.

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