Lack of effective PE training;Letter;News amp; Opinion

3rd December 1999 at 00:00
I WOULD agree with Trevor Brooking that some primary schools are not meeting the needs of children in physical education.

I am the PE co-ordinator at a junior school in Wakefield and recently had a week's placement at the Robin Park Arena, Wigan. Having seen the excellent facilities and opportunities available to our more talented children at a senior level, and the provision at secondary level, it has made me question how this gap in skills can be addressed in primaries.

Firstly, there is a lack of effective PE teaching in teacher training. Some teachers are leaving college with little or no confidence in this area. It's then a case of learning "on the job" or, hopefully, under the guidance of a good PE co-ordinator.

Secondly, as with any curriculum area, you never "know it all". Your skills constantly need up-dating, with an injection of new ideas. Specialist coaches offer an opportunity for effective assessment. Thirdly, primary schools sometimes work too much in isolation, we are all working towards the same goal - equipping our children with the skills of discipline, good behaviour, healthy living and being a team player.

Finally, time is the biggest issue. Where does the time come from to organise cross-country matches or netball fixtures? It is difficult, but - with the demands of literacy and numeracy - so important that PE is not marginalised. For some children it is the only area in which they excel.

Julie Martin



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