Make time for quality sport

10th October 2003 at 01:00
Your Analysis article on sport (TES, September 19) includes references to the importance of all children receiving a good measure of curriculum physical education time. Two hours a week for every child is the Government's aspiration.

The amount of time given to teaching PE is important. However, it is the quality of teaching that is even more important if young people are to be enthused and inspired to continue physical activity outside school and throughout their lives.

Particularly crucial is the quality of teaching given to children at primary school. At this level PE teaching is often the responsibility of generalist teachers many of whom only receive the equivalent of about five days training during a three-year teacher-training degree course - even less for a post-graduate teaching student. This limited time presents an enormous challenge to students wanting to become skilled in the craft of gymnastics, games, dance, swimming, athletics, outdoor and adventurous activities together with the principles and practice of health-related exercise.

For primary pupils to receive good PE lessons, school sport coordinators need to be extremely conversant with the principles, and skilled in the practice, of good primary PE teaching. They also need to give effective support to teachers engaged in continuing professional development.

Given the above,PE and sport will not be an afterthought but a rightful priority in the educational development of all children enabling them to enjoy future active lives.

David Bell


Horseshoe Lane

Dudleston Heath


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