Playing sport has always been part of the national curriculum, and many believe it to be an integral one at that. The national curriculum currently has a guideline that children should be taking part in physical activity for two hours per week, but crucially this is not mandatory. There is no doubt that the teaching of sport has suffered considerably during the covid era, as children have been learning from home and have had not had access to the resources (including, of course, outside space) that they need. It is probably also fair to say that there are many primary teachers that are simply not confident to teach sport, and unless a specialist teacher is brought into the school (which, with budget constraints, is becoming rarer), sport is not being taught as much or to the standard that it should.
Some would argue that this should not be a great concern, and I thought that I would address the importance of sport as part of the school curriculum within this post. I am fortunate in that I teach in a school that takes sport seriously and that we have a dedicated afternoon of Games once per week when a specific sport is taught for a full half term. Skills are developed through dedicated drills and inter-school matches, and we also go to other schools to play ‘friendly’ matches. We also have a further, shorter, P.E. session on another afternoon of the week, where the children can learn gymnastics and coordination skills.
Sport is just as important a part of the school curriculum as the more academic subjects, and it allows some children to shine more than they would ever be able to do so in the classroom. It also teaches and reinforces fundamental skills such as confidence, team-work and humility, which can then be brought back into the classroom and help to make the child a better and more focused student. It should also be noted that sport, if taught correctly, should be fun and inclusive, and that any child of any ability should look forward these sessions, and not have that impending sense of doom that some of us may remember from our youth!
Rugby is an excellent team sport that is being taught in more and more primary schools as it not only promotes speed and strength, but also tactical know-how and team play. We at Gloucestershire Primary Tutors are very proud to partner with the Gladiator Rugby Group, which helps to promote grassroot team sports across the UK. You can find us on the following link:
Image: No machine-readable author provided. Brookie assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons