Let's get physical

5th November 2007 at 00:00

With such a diverse trio of recent publications to review, it is tempting to + assess them on a "need to have" basis. This places the British Association of + Advisers and Lecturers in Physical Education's revision of its special + educational needs (SEN) book in the category of essential support material for + all schools. The new edition provides an update which reflects the introduction+ of the national curriculum, the code of practice and other relevant + legislation.The authors acknowledge that most pupils will, at some time in + their school lives, have special educational needs and it is fair to say that + the book embraces much that is good practice in physical education for all + pupils. This is therefore an invaluable guide to far more than just physical + education for those on the SEN register. Its advice about safe practice applies+ to all the primary teacher's physical education provision. Equally, there are + benefits from applying the section on assessment to all teaching and all + children. The sections which are most specifically concerned with SEN include + a comprehensive description of the full range of needs and their PE + implications. There are specific safety factors which apply to different kinds+ of need, disability or disorder and these are clearly indicated, with details+ of the treatment associated with each category. The book is appended with + advice about OFSTED inspections, an information guide to sport for the disabled+ and catalogues of useful publications, videos and award schemes. It is a book+ which cannot be too highly recommended - very definitely a "must have".Find a + Space is not quite in the same category, simply because it is very similar to + the many other books which seem to have poured from the pens (or more + precisely, word processors) of individual authors and local education + authorities, post-national curriculum. Like most other curriculum guidelines on+ primary physical education, the book offers sound advice for the + non-specialist on all aspects of the subject. If your most urgent question is + "What can I teach next week?", the book offers practical lesson ideas for all + areas of activity with detailed lesson plans which are easy to follow. + Longer-term needs are supposedly met by the inclusion of examples to help the + planning of a unit of work - I'm not sure that they do without more explanation+ of the principles behind the examples. Find a Space does, however, + successfully meet a need which others have generally failed to address. It has + a particular focus on health-related exercise which makes it a most useful + source of reference on its relevance to the primary PE programme. In practical + terms, the authors concentrate on providing a wealth of ideas for warming up + and cooling down. The book also contains a useful overview of whole school + issues such as planning, facilities, extra-curricular activities and the + "image" of PE within a school. In summary, the book falls into the category of + "buy if you haven't got something similar".Finding a category for Kim + Brooking-Payne's Games Children Play is not quite o easy. His book is primarily+ about how games and sport help children develop. The reader will recognise + many of the games described for the ages of three to 13 and beyond. What will + not be so obvious is the relationship of the games to the national

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