Friday, November 26, 2010

State School PE

The British Association of Sports and Exercise Medicine have finally said something that has been obvious for the last 20 years. State School PE lessons do not give children any useful exercise.

Schools complain that Government spending cuts is wrecking sport, yet no money at all is needed to provide physical fitness, agility, coordination and strength training (just ask the Kenyan and Ethiopian distance runners who despite being far poorer than any of us, nevertheless win everything in sight).

Meanwhile our children's physical fitness has fallen to appalling levels and pupils are simply allowed to opt out if they don't wish to take part.

Is it any wonder that we are plagued by ever worsening levels of obesity?

11 comments:

Lilyofthefield said...

Why not register them, march them outside and get them doing fifteen mimutes of star jumps, squats and running on the spot as I ahd to do as a primary School child in the 60s? Costs nothing.
"But what about the change of clothes?" What about it? Just keep a spare t-shirt in school. It's tantamount to paedophilia to make them shower after anyway.
Follow it up with ten minutes community singing and a recitation of the times tables from 1x2 to 12x12 and fanny's your aunt.

John Holyer said...

We had plenty of sport at our school in the 50's. We also had rigorous PE sessions with vaulting, ropes, frames, gymnastics, etc. If we did not fancy any of this then the gym master encouraged us by chasing us around with a gym shoe in his hand. He was fast, agile and a good shot.

Fee said...

It isn't all down to the schools, though. My generation walked to school, without exception. Far too many of my kids' classmates are dropped off and picked up in the car, depriving them of a little walk twice a day. This is an urban school, with a catchment area you could walk across in ten minutes or so. I grew up in the country, with a 30 minute walk to school, and it did me no harm at all. My class, like all the others, had a 'token' chunky kid, whereas now the skinny ones are in danger of being outnumbered. Ban the school run (and the TV remote) and watch them get fitter.

Dack said...

Depends if you think it's a school's job to teach kids (or expose to/give the opportunity to be involved in) sport, or to tackle obesity.

Obesity, teen pregnancy, alcohol intake, drug abuse, healthy diet, the evils of smoking, 'citizenship', anti-racism/ageism/sexism/disability-ism/gingerism/ad-infinitism...

We don't want to be making parents redundant.

Anonymous said...

why is uk school phys ed always faintly sadistic?

Anonymous said...

You can opt out? WTF? How I fondly remember running around the sports field with the PE teacher shouting instructions through a megaphone. We didn't have an opt out.

Slater said...

Oh, how I hated PE - mainly due to being a weedy sort of chap at a Welsh Comprehensive during the 80's, forced to play rugby against the kids in the remedial class who all had frightening facial hair and fully developed genitalia (and probably their own kids) while I was still bald-crotched and obsessed with making model aeroplanes. No opting out there, well, there was, but involved getting your mate to forge a note from your parents about a chest infection. So I suppose it did at least teach us fraud if nothing else. I don't really have anything to add to the discussion, just exorcising (hah!) a few demons...

Charlotte said...

what Lily said makes perfect sense to me! I'd have been happy if they'd have given us a choice between learning how to exercise (i.e. do squats/stretches/weight training properly, teach good exercises that can be done at home in a small room etc) or learning how to do a sport.

As it was I always ended up resenting the time spent running after a ball and making it obvious how rubbish I was at running, throwing and batting.

I also think PE should have had set homework exercises to encourage kids to make time in their schedeuls for exercise- I'd have hated it back then but it would have done me a world of good to get used to doing exercise in my free time, rather that just thinking that exercise was a school-only thing.

Rachel said...

In Holland they have no P.E in schools from what I have heard. Frankly I think it should be the parents and kid's resposibility to look after their health or chose to exercise and not the schools.

The time could be better spent making sure kids can read and write after 13 years state education.
Part of the reason I think this is that I was the "token" chunky kid at school and suffered through each P.E lesson and particularly swimming. (I'm quite a skinny adult though now.:)) Reading through the comments here I can see lots of people have "demons" to exercise over hellish P.E lessons just like myself and I don't see much point to the misery I went through.
I don't think schools need to teach someone how to exercise either. If parents and their kids don't get enough exercise they can walk to school or do something active. It's their resposibility not he state education sector. The state education sector's resposibility is to produce literacy and a half competant workforce. I agree with Dack.

Ulla Lauridsen said...

Love your blog.
But apart from the whole PE discussion: It's not the exercise, stupid, it's the diet. You cannot out-exercise a bad diet. Impossible.

Anonymous said...

1. Diet is the main issue.
2. Parents need to play a major role in this as well.
3. PE teachers are doing the job with hands tied behind their backs due to the curriculum.
4. Maybe pupils should also take responsibility for themselves.

Overall I think your opinons on this post are nothing short of idiotic and narrow minded.