Games – A force for good for every child.

Categories School Chat

My PE teaching, cricket loving dad had ideas not too far from those of Andre Agassi’s father during my childhood. For those who have read Agassi’s autobiography ‘Open’, you will know what I mean. As a child I played seven cricket games in some weeks. As an adult I haven’t walked onto a cricket pitch a dozen times.

I played cricket in school and club teams that never lost, and in a county team which hardly ever won. Looking back, I probably learned something about winning and losing, and picked up one or two life skills along the way..

As a PE teacher I have always enjoyed teaching Cricket to children who have received less in the way of more formal cricket coaching. This week I taught the first lesson in a six week unit of work based on Cricket to two Year 5 classes. I was mindful to ensure there were:

Slow tennis balls and larger balls for catching.
Small-sided games, carefully organised by ability.
Some rules chosen by the children.
Short-tennis bats as well as cricket bats for hitting.

In these lessons, Cricket simply provided the vehicle for developing throwing skills, and for learning about cooperation and sharing. During the last few minutes, I stepped back to observe:

Batting, bowling, throwing, catching, running, thinking, concentrating, cooperating, sharing, competing, winning, losing, playing & creating. We had created so many positive learning opportunities for every child.

While the focus of my work in schools is on building fitness and physical development, I try hard to keep abreast of the wider picture for PE, Sport, Physical Activity and Play. These two lessons reinforced for me how, Games (and modified Sports) are a force for good in the junior school years. And how Cricket can provide a wonderful vehicle for developing so many life skills.

These Year 5 classes completed a Gymrun lesson earlier on this same day. What a school day!

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