More PE funding for kids

GnT 8 November 2007 16

I’ve commented before that childhood obesity is a fashionable cause to which Andrew Barr is partial. He’s now announced even more funding for specialist PE teachers in primary schools to enable “primary school teachers to deliver quality PE for students over the next three years”.

First of all, primary teachers are already qualified to deliver quality programs in all key learning areas across the curriculum. Secondly, if they’re not good enough in the area of PE, maybe we also need specialist science teachers, specialist art teachers, specialist literacy and numeracy teachers … you get my drift.

Interestingly, the study found “there is little evidence to say being overweight actually causes health problems, except by its influence on physical activity. Instead, a key factor influencing a child’s health is the level of physical activity they undertake.”

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16 Responses to More PE funding for kids
Ingeegoodbee Ingeegoodbee 7:11 pm 09 Nov 07

At the primary level there are certainly a number of Government schools that field teams in sports like softball, soccer and hockey (and their pre-cursors for the real littlies).

At the junior level (P-6) the real private schools (I have no idea what the Catholics do) rely on parents to coach and manage teams and it usually involves training once a week and the game on Saturday and the kids get two hours a week of formal physical ed. classes. On top of that there’s plenty of kids doing stuff outside of school that I guess would be the same in the public sector – like swimming lessons, Little Athletics, gymnastics, ballet yadda, yadda, yadda …

But with the majority of these things, its still up to the parents to get off their butt and get involved, do the ferrying and leg-work etc. So I guess a good old fashioned interventionist band-aid policy on the part of the government is going to make all the lazy parents feel a little better about the fact that their kids are lard-arses. They’ll be able to say: “Nah, they get plenty of exercise at school. Little Betty/Johnny is just big bones”.

sepi sepi 6:44 pm 09 Nov 07

Yep – and public schools also have compulsory Cross country, Athletic and Swimming Carnivals – they just have to have the swimming carnivals at the local public pool.

caf caf 5:40 pm 09 Nov 07

Probably no high schools, but Lake Ginninderra College has a boathouse on the eponymous lake.

GnT GnT 5:22 pm 09 Nov 07

ctd, you have demonstrated how little you know about what goes on in government high schools. There are school teams, not in local competitions but competing against other ACT schools, in a range of sports. These teams are usually coached by the teachers outside of normal teaching time. I also know of a teacher who runs the D of E program. As for training the rowing team at 5 am – I think that’s exclusive to private schools. I don’t know a public school which has a fully stocked boat house by the lake.

MrMagoo MrMagoo 1:53 pm 09 Nov 07

For once the ACT Government is doing something right. It is time enough for a specialist PE teacher to be employed in Primary schools so that classroom teachers can devote their attentions to the fundemntals of education. The trend is towards an ageing population of classroom teachers who no longer are physically capable nor willing to stand out in the elements taking PE classes.

The Federal Government will surely spoil it all if they retain government and Julie ‘the fool’ Bishop gets her way on reducing the impact of anything other than the four key learning areas she thinks are key. It can only be hoped that subsequent governments take this on board and fund the provision of specialist PE teachers in Primary schools it is fantastic and I only wish we had it when I was at school.

Absent Diane Absent Diane 1:38 pm 09 Nov 07

the ultimate solution really is just to ban children. they are fcking annoying. and get in the way.

ctd ctd 1:06 pm 09 Nov 07

I’m not one to overly tout the benefits of private schools (I went to one and I probably won’t send my kids to one) but in terms of sports and PE they *** all over public schools.

Not just because of facilities – we had compulsory team after school sports (2x practice per week plus competition on the weekend), played in school teams (how many public schools have school teams in local sporting competitions?), plus compulsory school cross country, athletics and swimming comps. This is all in addition to PE classes. Also access to outward bound/D of E programs (not run by the school, they just made sure we knew about it)

This imposed burdens on the teachers, who were mainly the coaches – how many public school teachers would umpire for 3hrs on Sat morning or train their rowing team at 5am?

I know it sounds a lot like outsourcing by the parents, but by making sports a part of your school life, you just did it. It was nothing special, just routine. And I think that has fed through to me as a parent – I can’t imagine my kids not playing sports (although the boy being a 5yr old chess nerd is a worry).

Sure there were some non sporty kids who probably hated it, and I am biased bc I was good at sports, but greater good etc.

also – my brother is studying to be a PE teacher (so he will love this announcement!) but his pracs, mostly at primary school, have almost turned him off the job. 12yr old kids who can’t throw, who can barely run, who have NEVER played in a team before. They know all the rules from TV or playstation, but dont even own cricket bats or soccer balls (and if you have a playstation, your family can afford a soccer ball).

No one is making sports part of their lives. No one is making it normal. Or fun.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 11:00 am 09 Nov 07

Whatever happened to Friday (insert other day as applic) arvo sports?
Amazed to find out this had dropped off the radar years ago apparently.
And maybe that has something to do with the problem.
Some of the private schools have madatory “co-curricular” contributions to be made by their teachers, which also helps keep sports and other oputdoor activities on the agenda.

nyssa76 nyssa76 10:14 am 09 Nov 07

Now Mael, if we assigned PE as homework, it would cause an uproar.

Parents and certain academia bitch about homework being a waste of time already.

We wouldn’t want to put the responsibility back on the parents now would we?

S4anta S4anta 9:53 am 09 Nov 07

perhaps a logo along the lines of;

a bit porky, unfit and not happy about it?
Well perhaps you best stop eating sh*t and exercise more.

Mælinar Mælinar 9:19 am 09 Nov 07

Isn’t the solution simple ?

Assign the little darlings PE for homework.

Absent Diane Absent Diane 8:22 am 09 Nov 07

I agree – where is the parental responsibility?? it seems like everything gets blamed these days on schooling, peer groups, TV, music, video games, when the buck should actually stop at the parents. School should be about giving children the fundamentals of a good education. But it seems to get cluttered with sht such as healthy living blah blah blah.. which should be taught at home via responsible parenting. Although if i was a kid i probably wouldn’t have said no to more PE.

nyssa76 nyssa76 7:12 am 09 Nov 07

Oh, and I forgot to say…

What impact does the arrival of a specialist PE teacher have on the classroom teachers EBA enforced face-to-face time (22hrs for PS teachers)?

nyssa76 nyssa76 7:12 am 09 Nov 07

Give me the job. I’d do it better.

Mike you’re 100% right.

My son often talks about his “Tharwa” friends who are at his school. Now, for those kids to get to the school, they go past 4 Govt and 2 Non-Govt primary school closer to Tharwa – I had said that kids would bypass Conder/Gordon schools last year.

Imagine making them walk? Hell no.

Ingee is right. Parents have lost the responsibility and it is now (as usual) being ousted on teachers.

I’d just like to know where Mr. Barr intends teachers to put more time into PE in an already VERY crowded Primary Curriculum.

Mike Crowther Mike Crowther 11:20 pm 08 Nov 07

When he was running around closing community schools Barr was totally deaf to parental pleas that children who were walking/riding bikes to their neighbourhood schools would have to be driven (in the case of Tharwa some fifteen long kilometres) to the next nearest school. A curious thing then is Barr’s newfound interest in children’s health and fitness particularly given his frustrated outburst in late 2006
i.e.: “I didn’t ask for this job!” So who believes him? Anyone…….? Anyone at all???

Ingeegoodbee Ingeegoodbee 8:44 pm 08 Nov 07

Is this just the sad reality of a trend? I can’t help escaping the idea that a lot of parents view education providers (government and especially private) in the same way they might view say, a plumber. Its someone you engage to provide a service – in this case the education of your children.

Parental responsibility seems to be a quaint thing of the past. It’s obvious that the reason kids are fat and unfit is because of government inadequacies in education policy – surely it couldn’t be because I let the kids stuff themselves rancid on any number of high fat, high calorie snack foods while I let the sit on they’re butt playing video games because I’m too worried to let them go ride a bike or play footy in the yard because a pedophile might Rodger them senseless!

And that’s even ignoring the parents who couldn’t be arsed getting up early on a weekend morning so little Johnny or Betty can play organised sports because shopping is now a pastime…

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