It's more than a game

20th February 2008 at 00:00

PHYSICAL EDUCATION IN THE EARLY YEARS. Pauline Wetton. Routledge Pounds 10.99.

Few physical educationists have contributed more to primary PE than Pauline Wetton, and her latest book is particularly welcome.

While a lot is available in the "tips for teachers" category, this publication offers a valuable combination of theory and practice.

The author presents ample, well-tried lesson material for nursery, reception and Years 1 and 2, with useful advice on activities and organisation. There is information on the ideal equipment for indoor and outdoor use, with checklists of what three and four-year-olds should be able to achieve. Because many nursery classes are attached to primary schools, the use of the hall is given special consideration.

The book offers an excellent progression from the parental role in children's earliest movement activity, through pre-schoolnursery experiences into the key stage 1 programmes of study for games, gymnastics and dance.

The importance of the physical environment and the need for frequent physical activity during the pre-school years are stressed.

Special needs are thoroughly discussed, as are guidelines for long, medium and short-term planning as well as assessment. All involved in the education of three to seven-year-olds will sigh with relief.

Colin Lee is a physical education consultant based in Bath

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