Giving pupils a sporting chance

For many, primary PE brings to mind impromptu, even chaotic, activities. But now one Glasgow school has placed organised sport at the heart of its ethos in an effort to boost children’s confidence, resilience and motivation. With 30 clubs up and running, St Rose of Lima Primary embodies the idea that it’s not the winning, it’s the taking part that counts – so should more primaries follow its example? Henry Hepburn investigates

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Two children: one boy, one girl. One loud, one quiet. One who would career around the school in fits of rage. One who barely spoke and kept her eyes pointed at the floor, hoping that no one would notice her. Now, all that has changed.

The boy, quietly passing his headteacher in a stairwell, gets a big hug for his birthday – it’s today – and, despite being a touch shy, tells us calmly about the schoolwork he’s been enjoying lately. The girl, meanwhile, thinks little of getting up and addressing an audience of 500 schoolmates during assemblies.

These transformations are among the most ...

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