Physical education in primary schools is under pressure and some schools are even struggling to provide the mandatory two hours a week, a union conference has heard. A motion at NASUWT Scotland’s annual gathering in Edinburgh called for a campaign to ensure that primary schools had the resources to deliver the subject properly. Another motion raised concerns about the removal of specialist teachers – especially in PE, art and music – from primary schools, and called for a campaign to retain such posts.
Children as young as 11 have taken part in a trial project designed to discourage them from stalking people in later life. P7s from Annbank, Coylton, Dalmilling and Newton primaries in South Ayrshire took part in an initiative called Pass the Ball, run by Action Scotland Against Stalking in association with Ayr United Football Club. This included lessons on the dangers of posting messages and pictures online, as well as training sessions with professional footballers – designed to promote teamwork and mutual respect.
Changes to the Scottish Children’s Book Awards aim to get more pupils reading from an early age. The new Bookbug Picture Book Prize will encourage children from nursery to P3 to read three shortlisted books and vote for their favourite. In November, every P1 in Scotland will then receive the three books in a gift bag. Another new prize will cover books for teenagers, while older primary pupils will take part in a separate scheme – the First Minister’s Reading Challenge – which starts in August.
As Andy Murray prepares for the start of the French Open on Sunday, his mother has been stoking up interest in tennis among girls in primary schools. Judy Murray held a girls’ tennis day at St George’s School, Edinburgh, introducing 60 teachers and coaches to her Miss-Hits scheme, which encourages girls aged 5-8 to play tennis. Some 200 girls and 26 Central Belt schools took part, with secondaries also involved.