Once again a busy week in school. I think almost every teacher will agree when I say I am pretty much ready for half term. This one has been pretty hard going and draining. It is sometimes hard to keep going and be so enthusiastic when you don’t feel 100%. But, needs must, we carry on anyway. There has been a lot of illnesses going around too, luckily I have seemed to escape these. I lame my good nutrition 🙂
Week 5 has seen many different news stories in education. Michael Gove has been in the news pretty much every day. We have had Ofsted talks (as always), Gove commenting that he wants State schools to be the same as Private schools, in the sense that he doesn’t want to be able to tell which is which and then there was the discipline story. How we need to use old style punishments such as writing lines and laps. Every morning when I get up, I look to Twitter to read these latest stories via @schoolsimprove. The two stories that caught my eye this week can be found here and here.
The first one is about Primary School Sport funding. This week David Cameron announced £750m extra funding would be pledged between now and the year 2020 for primary schools sport. The funding is meant to improve sports lessons, such as paying for specialist coaching, equipment or to help after-school clubs. Now, this is all well and good, and he is right to give head teachers more money for sport, but there is always the worry that it will be used for coaches alone. Primary school teachers need to have an input into how the money is used too. They would benefit from further training and therefore improved confidence in delivering primary school sport. I know it is not all primary teachers who need it, as some feel confident leading PE but there are definitely a large chunk of them. This week as part of a BTEC assessment we have year 5 pupils over. The year 5 teacher really enjoys teaching PE and he said many of the coaches that come in, lead the PE when teachers have their PPA. This might suit the school but the teachers are missing out on seeing some good practice and learning new ideas they can use in their own teaching. This teacher shared the same concerns as me, he wants to lead PE and learn more. In fact he even said if he went into secondary school teaching it would have to be PE. Another worry is that some of the coaches might not be as good as they should be.
The second article is on Baroness Sue Campbell saying that children are gripped by a ‘crisis of inactivity’. I completely agree with her, there is a crisis and I am seeing more and more a lack of motivation to do sport. She also insisted that lack of exercise was also limiting young people’s “ability to achieve in all areas of school life”, with active pupils more likely to perform in the classroom and show higher levels of self-esteem. As a PE teacher and someone who grew up with sport, I know how positive sport can be. It doesn’t have to just be sport, any sort of physical activity can help you feel good and increase your confidence. The problem is, pupils don’t realise this. They are too busy being self conscious about how they look and what others think of them to see the positive benefits of activity. But that is a different story altogether.
Hopefully, the funding in primary schools will help increase motivation and activity levels in primary schools and then have a knock on effect into secondary schools over the next few years. I also think health and wellbeing needs to be included too, its not just exercise that will teach them how to have a healthy lifestyle. It needs to be all of it. I guess time will only tell if this has a positive impact on the youngsters. I really hope it does. In the meantime, I will continue trying to encourage secondary pupils to be healthy and get more active. As you can probably understand, it is not an easy thing to do.