You can’t have enough PE!

Scotvec module certificate
A scan of my Scotvec certificate showing my qualifications in Physical Education.

An interesting front page story from today’s The Scotsman newspaper:

93% of Scots children fail to get enough PE
FEWER than one pupil in ten receives the recommended amount of physical education in Scotland, according to a report which deals a huge blow to ministers’ attempts to tackle childhood obesity.

One of the things that I loved about Selkirk High School was how much PE I got. Okay, to be truly honest, what I mean is that I loved PE after second year, because it was then that we got a head of PE who believed in more sports than rugby for the boys and hockey for the girls in summer, and cross-country running and track-and-field in the summer.

I loved it so much that when I came to make my subject choices in fifth year I chose to be a part of the ScotVec class in Physical Education. Believe it or not, I have these two Scottish Vocational Education Council National Certificates:

  • Physical Education: An Activity Approach — Module 61369
  • Physical Education: Practical Performance (Outdoor Pursuits 1) — Module 61375

I loved those classes. During the year we tried out the following sports: basketball, netball, handball, tennis, table tennis, indoor football, indoor hockey, outdoor hockey, judo, skiiing, orienteering, volleyball, badminton, and I’m sure I’ve missed out quite a few. So in fifth year as well as the compulsory three periods of PE that I had to take, I also had another six periods of ScotVec Games class. And I loved it: six hours of PE a week. No wonder I was the skinniest I’ve ever been between the ages of 16 and 17. I’d love to have that discipline again. Maybe all Wednesdays should be Church Sports’ Day!

But back to that Scotsman article, I quite agree. But as well as doing PE I think young people at school also need to be taught about nutrition and fitness so that they understand why we get fat, why we need certain types of foods — and this on the same day that there is a news story about a boy who died because all he’d eat was chips, toast and baked beans — and how we can best keep in shape depending on what kind of physique we have: endomorph, mesomorph, or ectomorph. One size doesn’t fit all — in either teaching/learning or with physical training. I for one would have appreciated a better grounding in this at school.

Anyway, I’d better get out on my bike now.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

4 thoughts on “You can’t have enough PE!”

  1. but the school can’t do everything… children do have health, fitness and nutrion education. schools can be certified “health promoting” (amongst other things)…

    parents then give their child £1 and send them to the chippy to get a special!

  2. We had cold afternoons out on the rugby pitch in the pouring rain….

    but we were ‘ard and we lived to tell the tale…

    i dunno, kids these days, too soft by far…

  3. Yeah, but that’s nothing! …

    [Getting into character for a Monty Python’s Four Yorkshiremen-style rant.]

    … ‘Cause when we were young we had cold afternoons out on’t rugby pitch in’t pouring rain for ALL our lessons!

    Our maths teacher would stand dry beneath a pagoda constructed from pure mathematics and if any of us got our jotters wet during class she would slice us in four with a quadratic equation.

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