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PE - 'Blether' with feeling

Social and emotional intelligence were the threads running through the third of the ongoing "blethers" - meetings organised by the Association for Physical Education in Scotland.

Several presentations made the case for PE as a vehicle for the "affective domain" - how people react emotionally and their ability to feel another's pain or joy.

Neil Brownlee, of Jordanhill School in Glasgow, suggested that Curriculum for Excellence was an opportunity to focus on social and emotional development.

Glasgow Academy's Stewart McAslan referred to the school's 1845 statutes, which were in tune with current thinking in their recognition that PE had social and emotional benefits.

Headstart, a programme which recognises the close relationship between movement and learning in young children, and makes connections between movement and emotions in older children, was highlighted by its developer Danny Laverty.

The inspiring "Falkirk Olympics" were Gillian Thomson's theme. In one day, 2,000 primary children participated at various venues, with the opening and closing ceremonies at Grangemouth Stadium.

Meanwhile, Janice Eaglesham, of Scottish Disability Sport, announced details of a new course for teachers and classroom assistants which should lead to better PE experiences for youngsters with disabilities.

Debate centred on the difficulties for some schools of meeting the Scottish Government's target of two hours' quality PE for all pupils.

The association has produced a position paper on the nature of PE, ratified by the Government, which is being sent to schools and local authorities this month.

The next blether is in Aberdeen on September 29. E:

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