PE Sport and Physical Activity in Scotland and beyond

Archive for the ‘Scottish Government’ Category

Here We Go Again

Posted by drilly on June 20, 2008

The 2 hour PE target takes another twist it seems like the LA’s are questioning the validity of the target read the full article in the TESS

Posted in Physical Education, Primary PE, Scottish Government, Secondary PE, Teaching | Leave a Comment »

Improves Brain Function: Just One of Many Claims We Hold Dear in PE

Posted by drilly on June 8, 2008

I recently read this article which suggests findings that most PE teachers have held true for decades. Exercise and fitness has much wider benefits than weight management and physical health. The article states:

“It turns out that physical activity actually turns on hormonal support systems in your brain. The activation of these systems strengthens brain circuits that you already have and helps you develop new ones.

Exercise causes a rise in several growth factors in the brain that are responsible for helping brain cells survive and divide into new brain cells, or neurons. Only a couple of brain regions can produce new neurons and exercise increases the amount and rate of neuron production in these regions.

The hippocampus plays a critical role in learning, memory and attention. Exercise induces new neuron growth in the hippocampus and improves performance on several types of cognitive tasks.

Folks that exercise regularly know that they are much more capable of handling stress throughout their day than they are when they don’t exercise. This is, in part, because exercise and stress have opposite effects on the hippocampus and exercise improves your ‘buffer’ to handle the stress.

Studies also show that in addition to exercise’s protective role, it is a valuable therapeutic tool for brain function. Fitness training improves cognitive functions relative to planning, scheduling, task coordination and attention. ”                                                               Originally uploaded by

I can relate to many of the ideas suggested in the article I know how great I feel after a doing some enjoyable physical activity and the release I get form a hard physical work out. I only wish the article sighted some of the research that it alludes to so I can confirm the veracity of the claims.

This also tends to be the problem with physical education we make a number of claims about the benefits of the subject  most of which are anecdotal and founded on our intuition, observation and belief that it is inherently good. However that is normally as far as it goes research is limited especially in Scotland. Some of us are impassioned about promoting our subject and feel we are having to fight to secure a significant proportion of time in schools curricula. However we have limited proof of the benefits other than the anecdotal. What we need is hard evidence to back up the claims we make about the benefits of PE.

A small minority of enlightened teachers have done or are starting to do some small scale research in their schools. Practitioner based research has the potential to be a powerful medium to inform our colleagues but would it have any standing with the Government or Local Authorities? I would be interested to hear from any colleagues who have or are undertaking any research relevant to PE in Scottish schools.



Posted in Education, fitness, Health, Physical Activity, Physical Education, Research, Scottish Government, Teaching | 1 Comment »

Scoptland Performs a New Government website

Posted by drilly on June 2, 2008

The Scottish Government have launched a new website Scotland Performs 

“The website will allow people to find out whether the Scottish nation is becoming wealthier, safer, healthier, greener and smarter. Visitors to the Scotland Performs website will be presented with highly visual and easy to understand pages. They will have quick access to information about the quality of life in Scotland, and where thing are getting better and where things are getting worse.”

Read the full article here

Posted in Health, Scottish Government, Uncategorized, web resources | Leave a Comment »

Health and Wellbeing the outcomes are here.

Posted by drilly on May 14, 2008

The CfE Health and Wellbeing outcomes were released yesterday and can be down loaded here

Don’t forget to download the”Health and wellbeing for all” paper as well as the actual outcomes. The following section is reproduced from the paper and sets out the current position on PE in Scotland. It seems pretty positive to me.

“Physical education provides the foundation for the development of concepts and skills necessary for participation in physical activity. It should inspire and challenge children and young people through opportunities to experience the joy of skilled, creative and efficient movement and to develop interpersonal skills and positive attitudes to active living. This should give children and young people an important foundation for engaging in physical activities and sport, in preparation for a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle.
While Curriculum for Excellence gives both freedom and responsibility to those planning and delivering the curriculum, the Scottish Government expects schools to continue to work towards the provision of two hours of good quality PE for each child every week. This commitment will be reflected in Building the Curriculum 3: A framework for learning and teaching. Physical activity and sport will take place in addition to planned PE sessions, at break times and lunchtimes and beyond the school day. Taken together, the experiences and outcomes in physical education, physical activity and sport are intended to establish the pattern of daily physical activity which, research has shown, is most likely to lead to sustained physical activity in adult life.”

Health and wellbeing for all 2008

This sentiment is echoed in this Government news release

In my opinion the Health and wellbeing outcomes are the most important set of outcomes to be released, and not just the physical but the whole range as in my mind health and wellbeing is central to the quality of our lives and is a precursor for effective learning and development.

Along side the HWb outcomes the Government has also published the Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) Scotland Act: Health promotion guidance for local authorities and schools. This can be downloaded here This guidance supports local authorities and schools, and managers of grant-aided schools, in working with partner agencies to meet the duty to ensure that all schools are health promoting, as set out in the Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) (Scotland) Act 2007

Posted in CfE, Education, fitness, Health, Physical Activity, Physical Education, Scottish Government, Sport, Teaching | 1 Comment »

2014 Commonwealth Games Legacy consultation launched

Posted by drilly on February 15, 2008

Read the news release here

Get involved in the consultation here

 Read the consultation paper here

Posted in 2014, Physical Activity, Scottish Government, Sport | Leave a Comment »

There are more questions than answers

Posted by drilly on November 7, 2007

This Johnny Nash song (see post title) kept popping into my head as I read the following Parliamentary questions about physical education.

Jim Tolson (Dunfermline West) (LD): To ask the Scottish Executive whether there are plans to increase the amount of physical education in schools.

Response from Maureen Watt: Schools are working towards achieving two hours PE. The Scottish Government is clear that learning through quality physical education and physical activity makes an important contribution to young people’s development, both in promoting their health and wellbeing and enabling sporting success. Physical education will be an important element of the outcomes for health and wellbeing which are being drafted as part of the work on Curriculum for Excellence. However, the curriculum is not based on statute and it will be up to local authorities and schools to decide how they take forward the outcomes.

Jim Tolson (Dunfermline West) (LD): To ask the Scottish Executive how many primary schools provide the recommended two hours of physical education per week, broken down by local authority.

Jim Tolson (Dunfermline West) (LD): To ask the Scottish Executive how many secondary schools provide the recommended two hours of physical education per week, broken down by local authority.

Response from Maureen Watt: A baseline study was undertaken in 2005 with results published in 2006 in a paper called Progress towards the recommendations of the Physical Education Review Group which can be found at The Scottish Government is clear that learning through quality physical education and physical activity makes an important contribution to young people’s development, both in promoting their health and wellbeing and enabling sporting success.

Unfortunately Johnny Nash’s even more famous song “I can see clearly now” was nowhere to be heard.

Posted in Physical Education, Primary PE, Scottish Government | Leave a Comment »

Commonwealth Games

Posted by drilly on October 10, 2007


Support the Glasgow bid

The Scottish Government announces that every primary school in Scotland is being urged to allow pupils to watch the 2014 Commonwealth Games decision live from Sri Lanka on Friday, November 9.

The winning bid will be announced at a special ceremony with Glasgow and Abuja in Nigeria as the two candidates. The First Minister will be writing to all schools asking them to play a part in making this a great day for Scotland, by making it memorable for pupils and staff. Read more

Posted in 2014, Scottish Government, Sport | Leave a Comment »