Do we need mandatory PE tests? Try this exercise.

Having some form of physical exercise within the curriculum is obviously a good thing, but are mandatory tests necessary?

As reported in the BBC News, there has been a ‘call for mandatory PE tests alongside maths and reading’.

‘Sports medicine specialists say governments across the UK have squandered the chance to create an Olympic legacy of fitness.’

I can understand this comment. What better time is there to try and enthuse young people to take up a sport and get fit than hosting the Olympics? Recent studies in America have shown that children with a good level of fitness perform better in other subjects such as English and maths. I’m sure this is not a new revelation.We have had educational professionals asking us for books of ideas for PE games for years and we have obliged by adding a few to our list of resources. We also list the PE resources as PSHE because we all know how much better we feel after exercise and how it boosts confidence.

So, not only is having PE lessons integrated into the curriculum important but so is allowing children time to play physical games during break and lunch. Whilst I see the need to monitor children’s progress, testing children’s fitness just gives them one more thing to worry about and, for the less fit, possibly one more angle of attack for the bullies. A child’s welfare is paramount. Help can be given without a mandatory test needing to show where.

As an aid to getting your children fit, why not try this coordination exercise from our book 100+ Fun Ideas for Teaching PE Games.

Stork race
Works on agility, balance and collaboration
✦ Divide the children into groups of six.
✦ Each group must form a line, standing one behind the other on the starting line.
✦ Each child in the line must hold the ankle and the shoulder of the classmate in front until everyone is hooked together.
✦ All of the members of the group must start moving/hopping together, without letting go of each other until they reach the
finishing line.
✦ If someone does let go, the first child must run to the back of their group and join up before the whole group can move again.
Variation: This game can be done with all groups competing at once or as a timed event.

I’m guessing there was some giggling going on while everyone was trying to be a stork. Having fun whilst exercising stops it from feeling like hard work and helps build self-esteem.

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2 Comments

Filed under Key Stage, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, PSHE, Teaching Ideas

2 responses to “Do we need mandatory PE tests? Try this exercise.

  1. I’d be against an actual test, as I was one of the non-athletic who was always targeted by bullies in gym class. Something that operates based on effort would be fine though. I know that in the US, there is a required “fitness test” but the results don’t affect grades in any way.

    • My son didn’t enjoy PE either until they did two practice sessions of hockey and he loved it. He now plays for a local team because the school doesn’t do hockey for boys. Perhaps the push towards introducing many more diverse ‘sports’ means everyone will find something they enjoy doing. It is probably a logistical nightmare for the school but hopefully will be driven by the children as they become more engaged.

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