We primary staff have no idea about PE ... or history

2nd December 2005 at 00:00
I read with amusement in your article "Outsiders take over PE" that Ofsted is concerned that the use of qualified sports coaches to cover teachers'

PPA time, "is threatening high-quality provision" in physical education (TES, November 18).

High-quality provision? What a joke! As a PGCE student, I have just completed the dance module of the course, all three hours of it. That is the full extent of my training to teach dance in primary school. Assuming I achieve QTS, I will be "qualified" and expected to teach dance.

Let me be clear. The three hours training did not come after a lifetime of me dancing professionally or even for pleasure. When I dance, I amuse. I do not inspire. I lack grace, agility, flexibility and fundamentally the desire to move like an elephant, a washing machine or a tree.

So I am delighted that qualified sports coaches might be used to teach my class dance or gym while I do something which I'm good at and which may benefit the children.

To me, besides a relevant qualification, the so-called "outsiders" may have three other essentials: knowledge, talent and enthusiasm.

I would be happier if I thought Ofsted was worrying about the minimal training given to future primary school teachers, not just in PE but across all of the foundation subjects.

By the time I finish my PGCE, I will have had six hours of tuition in each of history, geography, music and religious education. For me, that is six hours in the past 20 years. I really can't see that turning into high-quality provision. It strikes me we could do with more specialists, not fewer.

Mandy Studley

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