PE Sport and Physical Activity in Scotland and beyond

Ditch Certificate PE?

Posted by drilly on August 8, 2007

Catching up on some reading and came across an article in the TES Scotland “Try for a different angle” 27/07/07. The article is an interview with Bob Easson a former PT PE and now part of the SRU and Scottish Institute of Sport coaching staff. The article is very interesting in the way it maps out how far we have come in supporting elite player development. The article then moves on to describe the “halcyon” days of PE when departments fielded vast numbers of teams and inter school competition was more vibrant. It concludes with a call to “ditch certificate PE” and replace it with a physical education that teaches pupils about health fitness and competition.

I fully endorse Bobs sentiments that we should be educating our children about health and fitness and competition. However like the progress that has been made with elite player development in rugby, PE in Scotland has moved on. It is no longer only about producing teams. We need to provide a variety of activities to capture and motivate all pupils and engage them not just the team players. I am all for competition and the lessons it teaches but there has to be a balance.

“Competition is the spice of sports; but if you make spice the whole meal you’ll be sick”George Leonard

I believe we have a duty to support and nurture talent and feed them into the very pathways that Bob talks about in his article but we have a duty to do this for all sports. I also believe we have a duty to cater for the masses who are not going to be elite performers by engaging them in enjoyable activities and opening the door to an active lifestyle. 

Should we ditch certificate PE? I don’t think so, it should be one of the many facets of a rich and varied PE department.  However I do feel we need to redress the balance of time and resources that have been ploughed into certificate PE at the expense of core PE.

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