Friday, February 26, 2010

Does any one get an 'A' for PE at school?

Angel was full of chat after school on Friday. It was PE day, and even though she was on crutches for a torn tendon in her foot, she still managed to take part in a Dodgeball Game. Not altogether sensible, but certainly admirable!

She is definitely sports mad! And am I happy about this? Absolutely :D


I can hardly believe that she will be 18 this year, but I well remember thinking that she was the most wonderful child in the whole world when she was little, and being terrified that she would turn into a monster at about 14 - as I think I probably did.
Apart from insisting on good manners and talking about stuff, the only thing I could think of to stop the monster phase was trying to develop a passion for sport. Well it certainly worked. For a few years she was one of those children who had a very full afterschool timetable. But I was lucky, even though I had Smiley and all her problems to deal with, and then CD, Angel's school was across the road, and most of her activities were based there or nearby. I hope that I never put pressure on her, though I did insist that she complete any course that had been paid for!

All went swimmingly - literally as well - until secondary school. Almost imperceptibly, she began to drop activities - as did most of her friends. Unless she enrolled in a club, there was no outlet for regular recreational swimming, so that went. She lost interest in Jujitsu and the Community Games. When her gymnastics coach left, Angel quickly followed, thought within months she was regretting it and finally managed to rejoin the club 6 months ago. She went to Hip Hop dancing for a couple of years, but stopped when her BF had a foot operation, and they never went back.


This is a girl who has a drawerful of medals, she taught herself to do the splits age 6, was school gymnast of the year, and plays on school basketball teams, yet she has never been given an 'A' for PE on any school report. It is bad enough that the sports clubs all seem to assume that teenage girls will stop playing sports so they don't cater for them, but for schools to ignore sporting achievements is really disappointing. If you treat teenage girls as though they have no interest in sport - it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. With gymnastics on a Saturday, Angel usually stays in on a Friday night, unlike other teens who are sometimes exhausted by Sunday. She is fit and healthy and seems to be reasonably sensible - everything I could have hoped for. So why isn't this being recognised? Why are the girls who do sport not being celebrated?
I'd love to see much more sport in schools - after all, there's a sport to suit everyone. Even CD, who is a typical football-hating aspie, has found his niche with tennis, basketball and Taekwondo. I think it would pay huge dividends : both boys and girls would be fitter, there would be less obesity and fewer problems with drink and drugs. But in the meantime, please would all schools at least encourage those children who are interested in sport. Is the occasional 'A' in PE too much to ask?

14 comments:

  1. I can't remember PE being graded, or not, in secondary school. Maybe because I found it so ridiculous that religion was graded when it wasn't an exam subject back then. Its great that Angel has so many sporting interests though, definately the way to go with teenagers. Eh, when mine hit their teens I will be shouting you :) Jen.

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  2. Hey, great post Blue Sky! Your Angel sounds wonderful. Is she doing the Leaving Cert this year?

    Encouraging an interest in sport or any outdoor activity....or indeed ANY activity that doesn't involve a screen!...is highly recommendable for all children for all the reasons you say.

    Secondary school and teenage years scares me! I have no experience of having a child go through either process so don't know how they are graded for any subject. However PE, like any subject, is a gateway to further career choices so should be encouraged and appropriately graded, for both genders in our schools.

    I do know though, that girls Secondary schools in our neighbouring suburbs highly value sports for girls. Every Saturday from 1st year up they have at least one Hockey Match. The schools here seem to encourage Sports and the Arts (Drama and singing) but as to how they grade them I've no idea...I must ask! xx Jazzy

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  3. I always got the comment,'good do better' or 'doesn't really have an interest' in my school PE reports - funny really when you think about what I ended up doing for a living...all my memories of PE involve being freezing cold on a sports field in inappropriate gym skirts - character building I guess or being made to schimmy up ropes as part of some sas style assault course in the school hall all with zero encouragement. Still make me shudder now. Sounds like Angels choices have been somewhat different just a shame the level of encouragement seems to be the same.

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  4. I totally agree with you, it's not too much to ask for an A in PE when a child is so active and achieving so much in sports. It is a shame that they wouldn't do that for her. It is discouraging when they don't grant the grade that the child deserves.

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  5. I completely agree...I don't think it's confined to the gals tho. My 12 yr old boy has been losing interest in just about every sport he ever took part in, and i can't seem to entice him to anything. It really worries me.
    I agree that PE should be graded. It's a vitally important subject xxx

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  6. That sounds so like my 17year old son! He has started and given up so many activities over the years. I've never ever seen PE graded but yes, it really should be xx

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  7. I wholeheartedly agree that PE should be graded, it would be the one grade Lauren would ace in as well as Art, children who are not particularly academic can be crushed if they see that there is nothing they are good at on reports, my child is great at art and PE but they are not mentioned very much so she tends to feel she has failed school as a whole and she is only nine!!

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  8. Great post and it is important to highlight this. Why is it that Ireland does so poorly at Olympic events and why is that women's sports in general are treated as "runner up" or babyish compared with the male equivalent. Absolutely it should be encouraged then perhaps Irish girls would maintain fitness in later life x

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  9. I think PE should ABSOLUTELY be graded!! There should be marks for effort and good sportsmanship as well as skill. You can't tell me these are qualities that can't be carried on into the "real world!"

    I was on a girls softball team for several summers during my middle school years, and the lessons and skills I learned during that time I dearly cherish!

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  10. Mine did get graded for PE/games, not sure at their new schools but since mine have changed schools I have noticed that lack of sports. They are going stir crazy....at least my daughters do a lot of dancing. It's great that your daughter has a hobby that keeps her busy.

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  11. Just realised I never said thank you for all the comments here! Glad you all support the PE thing, I'm hoping sport will give Angel some down time when the studying for the Leaving Cert gets serious - she's only in 5th so her final year in school will be 2011

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  12. PE is a huge part of the school programme and is a subject so therefore it should be graded as one i love to see the kids so involved with sport and it gives such an accomplishment and self esteem boost

    hope she does great in her leaving cert xxx

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  13. I remember when I was at school, the *only* prizes given out were for sports. Apparently, when I was about 8 or 9, I said to my mum something along the lines of "I hope you won't be sad mum, I'll never win anything because the only thing I'm good at is reading".
    I think there's a happy medium, and it's really hard to get it. x

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  14. @coolkid - thanks, we're on the countdown to the leaving cert now, help!

    @Marylin - That's so sad, that you felt you would not win anything. I hope you did x

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