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An Investigation into Primary School Physical Education

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An Investigation into Primary School Physical Education Introduction This report will provide a concise investigation into the developmental stages of physical education. Whilst this assignment will provide an overview of the subject in primary schools at present, it will also go on to investigate into the issue of teaching on a practical basis and also look at how physical education can develop a child. Using the information gathered from primary and secondary research, which was conducted whilst attending a primary school as a six week work placement, the latter stages will provide some critique and offer some recommendations to how physical education can be improved or developed in the future. After experiencing physical education at all academic levels, I was very interested in researching into the primary stages of the subject as I understand it to be the most valuable period of learning for any child. This belief is reinforced by the quote that 'it is widely accepted that the younger the child, the more they learn through physical activity' (P.Wetton, 1988). This, although an outdated quote, coincides with the British Heart Foundations opinion that 'learning at an early age is important in establishing good exercise patterns for life' (2004). If taught efficiently, physical education can be very beneficial to a child in terms of their sociological, physical and mental well being and development. For instance figure 1 highlights several physiological, sociological and psychological benefits which are developed because of a good physical education program. Physiological Sociological Psychological Introduces the idea of a healthy lifestyle Develop social skills, such as co-operation, responsibility, loyalty, teamwork Develop positive attitudes e.g. through achievement Develops muscular and respiratory systems, such as developing cardiovascular efficiency, muscle mass, heart rate, stamina, fitness Develops key skills such as communication Moral traits, such as fair play, good sporting behaviour, respect for others, accepting authority Develops organisational skills Develop self confidence Figure 1.Examples of some physiological, sociological and psychological benefits The government has a major role, and although it is not an ...read more.


Just to reiterate, this activity was designed to be a challenge for the children as it involved sport specific skills which for the majority of the children, hadn't developed such skills at such an early age. This was a timed activity, as I intend to analyse the difference between the times. Observation 1 - Teaching observations I decided; whilst I was participating in physical education lessons at the school, that it would be interesting to look at the teaching of the subject, what happened during the lesson and did this coincide with the guidelines set for the national curriculum. The notes which were taken as an observation have been summarised in the results section. Observation 2 During the first week of my placement, the school association at the primary school otherwise known as the Martinshaw School Association (MSA) had planned to stage a sponsored event for all classes. The MSA organise different fundraising events in which all proceeds go towards school equipment and to improve the learning of the pupils. Each year participated in the event on different afternoons, as the equipment and apparatus had to be changed in difficulty as the reception class wouldn't be able to compete on the same kind of apparatus as year 6 for instance. This gave a very good opportunity to look at the teaching but more prominently, look at the varying abilities and development of the children from the reception class to year 6. This being a six or seven year gap in age, should clearly illustrate the difference in abilities of the children. Questionnaire I designed a questionnaire which was intended for the teaching staff, including the following questions; 1. What subject is your preferred/specialist subject? 2. Do you enjoy teaching Physical education? 3. How do you feel about the National Curriculum for physical education? 4. What do you think needs changing? 5. Do you think the children benefit from such a curriculum? ...read more.


4 More school sport 5 Maybe needs more hours dedicated to sport 6 More hours, primary school sport needs to be encouraged to improve future teams 7 P.E needs to be encouraged more in the school, More hours.. 8 Government need to re-assess P.E's importance and increase hours dedicated to it accordingly 9 Teaching needs improvement 10 - Figure 5: Any further comments regarding P.E. These two questions although at opposite ends of the questioned are undoubtedly linked. Their inclusion was intended to help provide assistance in writing the conclusive parts to the report. There is a strong suggestion here that the government should increase the amount of hours dedicated to P.E including an improvement of school sport as a whole including extra curricular activities. Conclusion This assignment has discussed many areas which relate to physical education in the primary school. Moreover using this information plus the results from the investigations, the assignment has highlighted a number of main points. * Physical Education is very beneficial to a child, especially at Primary School level. It can improve a child by developing its psychological, sociological and physiological traits. P.E is more beneficial at a younger age as the child's personality allows them to learn more and to develop more (refer to figure 1). * Teaching is an area which needs development and improvement as results show that P.E isn't a specialist/preferred subject compared to core subjects such as Maths and Science (refer to figure 3). * A general consensus reveals that there is a need for more dedicated hours to P.E in the National Curriculum as well as a development in school sport as a whole. In summary, this assignment reveals that while there are some areas of Physical Education, whether it be the National Curriculum or teaching, that need improvement or attention, the subject itself is proven to be beneficial to an individual in terms of development and progression. Word count: 3265 ?? ?? ?? ?? An Investigation into Primary School Physical Education 1 ...read more.

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