A bunny thing happened in the PE lesson...

11th June 2004 at 01:00
Bunny hops and prowling foxes, tunnels and bridges - PE lessons at Meadowlane primary school, in St Mellons, Cardiff, have become a lot more interesting.

Lee Thomas is putting a class through its paces. Pupils warm up by pretending to be bouncing rabbits evading a trio of ravenous foxes on all fours. Those that are caught are transformed into tunnels and bridges and strike an appropriate pose until they are released by fellow pupils running over their tracks or under their arches.

Later, Mr Thomas, PE co-ordinator and deputy head, will get out his pack of cards, featuring poses from star jumps to forward rolls, as the children develop their gymnastic vocabulary.

Mr Thomas uses the same pack to train fellow teachers at the Cardiff primary, using willing pupils as guinea pigs in a demonstration lesson.

"The kids love it," he says, "staying behind and showing off for the teachers. But it's the only way for staff to learn."

Meadowlane and the other schools in its cluster have, for the past year, been one of 34 development centres in the PE and school sports (PESS) initiative.

"It's improved the quality of the lessons," Mr Thomas says.

Cricket coaches have been brought in, swimming lessons extended to the infants and outside, where new playground equipment includes short tennis, hockey and juggling kits, even the midday supervisors are involved.

Feeder schools, like Llanrumney high, co-ordinate to ensure continuity when children move up. They also work with local clubs and leisure centres to help young talent move on.

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