P.E. is one aspect of the Health and Wellbeing area of Curriculum for Excellence. Gillian’s input on P.E. in the Primary setting encouraged us to consider and reflect on our own physical literacy.
When I was of primary age, I was very active enjoying football and other team sports but also running pretty wild around the scheme through ‘backies’ and ‘closies” whilst tree and wall climbing and thereby developing decent strength and coordination, as well as learning the social structures and etiquette of my fellow delinquents. Once I had my first BMX I could roam even further afield, and it was this spirit of adventure and wanderlust that motivated my physical activity. Towards adolescence, I moved away from team sports, largely disillusioned by what I perceived as fairly toxic cultures around these games, but also forced by a spinal/pelvic injury on the rugby field. I shifted my focus toward more individualistic pursuits such as cycling and BMX, mountaineeering and climbing and swimming and surfing. Alas, I have broken at least a dozen bones in my lifetime and had a variety of other injures, which have all contributed to fairly major challenges to my remaining fit and strong. A positive aspect of this is that I have become much more aware of my body and how it works and have (eventually!) become more aware of assessing risk.
As with many of the other subjects I have been learning about, I was again surprised by how many curricular areas are covered by P.E., and incorporating literacy, numeracy etc were demonstrated throughout. The lesson was structured like a P.E. lesson with a warmup, core activity, then cool down/plenary. Our Learning Intentions and Success Criteria were clearly outlined and achieved. The accompanying materials and further reading contain a wealth of ideas and plans for leading sessions and working on core skills and self awareness and importantly how these can be adapted to fit various environments and available resources.
The PEPAS (Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport) initiative was entirely new to me and I am impressed by its ‘whole life’ or holistic approach to movement and active living which aims to take account of not only what happens in school, but in day-to-day life and any clubs or associations learners may be members of outwith school. I feel this is very important in terms of citizenship by helping build relationships and a broad sense of community that does not end at the school gates.