It's game, set and maths as pupils assess Andy's power

27th June 2008 at 01:00
Wimbledon wow factor coincides with first national school sports week
Wimbledon wow factor coincides with first national school sports week

Thousands of pupils will be donning tracksuits and wielding rackets as they take part in the first national school sports week which starts on Monday.

The government drive to make children more active will involve hundreds of competitions and games laid on at primary and secondary schools across England. There will also be events for children with special educational needs, including a festival in Halifax for pupils from 18 primaries.

The sports week, which will become an annual event, was announced by Gordon Brown and Olympic gold medallist Kelly Holmes at a conference for specialist sports colleges in February.

Jo Braithwaite, a sports co-ordinator for 50 schools in West Yorkshire, said: "All the schools I work with wanted to embrace the idea and celebrate what they are doing. It is the first one and hopefully it will get bigger and better in future."

Pupils are supposed to take part in two hours of PE a week. Ministers have introduced a new target of five hours of sport a week by 2012, including participation in out-of-school clubs. Funding of pound;755 million has been promised.

Sarah Warrington, sports co-ordinator for 90 schools in north Warwickshire, has organised a football competition for more than 800 pupils that promotes an anti-drugs message. "There is a lot of time pressure on schools, but this should not be seen as a burden," she said.

Meanwhile, teachers at St Bede's Roman Catholic school in Peterlee, County Durham, are using professional sport as the basis for lessons in many subjects. Staff have taken cross-curricular exercises from the website, which focus on events, including Wimbledon.

So pupils will be studying Andy Roddick's 150mph serves to learn how to calculate speeds in maths. They will also be watching clips from TV and website interviews with other sporting stars.

Comments Andy Murray has made about his pasta-heavy diet will be used in lessons on nutrition, and interviews with spin bowler Monty Panesar will launch discussions in RE about his Sikh faith.

Michele Francis, a physics teacher, said: "There's been a lot of research in using sports to engage boys in science and maths - they all know who Andy Murray is, so this gets them involved."

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