Think back to your most successful PE lesson. The chances are it was when all children were engaged and involved, working together, supporting each other and having fun. Successful PE is when everyone takes part and learns something to aid their progress.
Making sure all pupils have a positive experience of PE can sometimes be a challenge. Children who are good at sports can get frustrated with those less able, and those less skilled can resent being made to take part.
Our enjoyment, or not, of PE can have a long-lasting impact on our lives.
What difference does enjoying PE make?
A report from Youth Sport Trust highlights that a positive experience of PE, school sport and physical activity at school lasts a lifetime. Parents who have happy memories of PE and school sport are more likely to be active as adults and encourage their children to be active. This is the latest in a long line of research looking into the long-term impact of PE at school.
A study by Middlesex University also found that bad experiences of physical education at school can put some adults off exercise for decades. It also found that it can lead to some people experiencing ‘corporeal dissociation’ – a state of physical detachment which potentially results in adult inactivity and making particular life choices such as opting for sedentary jobs and hobbies.
How can I ensure all children enjoy PE?
We are all different; finding out the kind of activities that your pupils enjoy will help you create a broad and balanced PESSPA programme that the whole class wants to take part in.
Letting children try out different sports and activities can significantly increase the chances of them finding something that they enjoy, succeed in and/or that interests them. Children who have good balance might realise they enjoy climbing, cycling, dance or gymnastics. Those with good hand-eye co-ordination could find they shine at games – frisbee, cricket or tennis, for example.
Including a variety of traditional and more modern sports and games will keep your children excited about moving. Trying out different activities means they can discover and develop new skills. It keeps them interested, stimulated and challenged too.
How can I add variety to my PE lessons?
Go back to basics. Look at your PE curriculum and make sure it includes different activities, sports and games that focus on developing different skills – running, jumping, throwing and catching, balancing, agility and co-ordination.
Provide opportunities for children to have a go at both competitive and cooperative physical activities.
You can also use external providers to boost your curriculum offer. Our Coaching Days can broaden children’s experiences of different sports and activities by providing exciting taster sessions in the chosen activity. This could spark a half-term of engagement in the activity on your playground or inspire pupils to join community clubs.
Providing a platform for children to realise their sporting potential in a safe environment will help them to remain active throughout their life.
Get in touch to find out more about our Coaching Days