Most kids don’t love school. Most kids do love PE and Games. Give kids a reason to love school. Give kids more PE and Games.
I have taught and led Physical Education in both state and independent schools. This term I have been working as a part-time cover supervisor (while my organisation Gymrun gets back on its feet after the impact of Covid on external school providers).
In this broader school role (in a good and improving state school) my assertion that most pupils do not love (or perhaps even like) school has been reinforced. In numerous conversations with pupils aged 11-16, I have asked, ‘How could we make school more enjoyable?’
‘More PE and Games lessons’, is the overwhelming response.
This question is met with a different response in independent schools. Yes, we are dealing with environmental factors which lend to a different outlook. Yes, one of these factors is more PE and Games.
We must not overlook how it is those who are more competitive who will profit from inter-school sports, and the sense of school identity attached to these experiences. Though when pitched appropriately, I am convinced all pupils enjoy extensively and benefit exponentially from high quality Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport.
In today’s schools, we are encouraged to listen and to respond to the ‘pupil voice’. More PE and Games please (and more tracksuit time). This is an easy win for pupils, teachers, parents, schools and for society at large.