Day 39 – A Sporting Chance

Another record day yesterday and we’re heading towards 7000 hits…keep blogging on and spreading the word…

SMS was speaking to a Games teacher at the weekend – you know who you are and thanks very much…

His story opened my eyes to the future. We currently have 15 medium-sized 3-5 form entry middle schools where many pupils of average ability play sport for their school team from age 9 against the 14 other middle schools.

The future for Years 5 & 6 is of very small primary schools without specialist PE teachers and a limited inter-school fixture list – one teacher can’t take all those sports teams plus do art, drama, music clubs…and this happens at a time when the Rose Report (April 2009) said that more specialist teaching is needed in those critical year groups…

The future for Years 7 & 8 is of huge soulless secondary schools where teachers struggle to remember everybody’s names and only the “elite” get to play sport against other schools, and then only against very few schools.

So the London 2012 Olympics is going to leave a sporting legacy for East London whereas Frank Branston is going to leave a non-sporting legacy for Bedford…home of Paula Radcliffe, Andy Johnson, Gail Emms, Matt Skelton, … (write us a comment below if I have forgotten anyone…)

See you all at Biddenham Sports College tonight…for the first of the non-consultation evenings…

Have you filled in the consultation document yet? Do it now and vote against this proposal to change school structure.

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9 Responses to Day 39 – A Sporting Chance

  1. Leodis says:

    The take up rates for inter school sport at all years in a middle school system are massively higher than a primary/secondary system. There are 10 high quality outcomes for PE that the current government expect to be hit – 2 hrs of timetabled quality PE is one of them and an extra ‘core offer’ of opportunity for another 3 hours should include extra curricular activity at schools. The data for the last few years has shown that middles have ensured these targets have been exceeded in the borough with GENUINE high quality PE – that’s because in primaries it is precisely subjects like PE that suffer in the lead up to SAT’s – that is paying lip service to timetabling it! In middles when it says PE, they teach PE – and with specialists into primary to boot! At secondary level the

  2. Leodis says:

    …drop off rates for y7 and 8 are huge as large cohorts such as proposed reduces inter school opportunity. Changing the system WILL reduce these opportunities.

  3. JamesD says:

    Is anyone out there listening? Is anyone in Bedford Borough Council correcting the errors in the non-consultation document? Is anyone in Bedford Borough Council withdrawing the false information spread by their Upper and Lower School Headteachers? If this ends in disaster will anyone resign?
    This rant was brought about by the Head of Wootton Upper School’s letter to BoS – “the right to debate” not if only the case for 2-Tier is presented! To be decided “professionally and properly” not by the parents of the children whose education will be ruined, not by the elected councillors!

  4. Leodis says:

    ‘The right to debate’ – a long as it doesn’t involve any views that might be alternative to the one being propagated from the borough. The letter you refer to is typical sadly of the pervading attitude that those of us with the other view are luddites! NO WE ARE NOT; we are not saying that improvements and developments should not be made. We are saying that moving to a model that was fit for 1950 in 2009 is NOT the answer.

    Those with children in upper schools currently will know that the diplomas have been incredibly difficult to get off the ground in the whole of Bedfordshire. Imagine a system in 2013 and 2014 with 800 children all moving up into the ‘new secondary’ at once in years 7, 8 and 9 alongside the first two years that children HAVE to stay on in compulsory full time education? Where will the new secondary focus be – on the new 7’s and 8’s or the large 6th forms they get more funds for?

    • KDev says:

      Leodis,
      Do you mean 1950s or 1970s. 1950s fits the Bedford Borough Officers’ view of our schools performance compared to Statistical Neighbours -selective is best could be interpreted from the DCSF tables.

      • Leodis says:

        KDev,
        I guess I mean both the 1950’s and 1970’s! The 50’s because it highlights the point that the school leaving age was 14 then and therefore 11 was the best time to go into secondary education and the 1970’s because even when the school leaving age was raised to 16 the schools struggled to cope with the ROSLA kids! We are looking at ROSLA mkII in the sixth form with compulsory education up to 18 with the additional complication of up to 800 pupils arriving in years 7, 8 and 9 – AT THE SAME TIME! How can this raise standards?

  5. sarah k says:

    Just thought I’d let you know, as I picked up my children from the lower school, a large group of parents were debating the proposals. It felt like Hyde Park Corner at one point. Overwhelming opposition, as parents are not convinced about the need for this huge and damaging change. Who will be running these extra curricular activities for the children in the schools that know they will close? Who will be left teaching in those schools? The teachers have their own mortgages to pay in these credit crunch years, who can blame them when they look for other jobs? There is a huge feeling though that we won’t be listened to. Don’t let apathy win. It’s our children’s education they are talking about. How dare that head teacher suggest that we shouldn’t be listened to about the future of the education system in the borough?

  6. Nicola says:

    I couldn’t agree more with the games teachers comments. The government suggests that we deliver and aim for the 5 hour plan to all children. How can limiting the amount of staff who can (and will) offer this ensure that children get maximum opprtunites. How will limiting the high quality PE that is compulsory at all KS’s help the sports stars of tomorrow.

  7. Helen says:

    Denying Y5 and Y6 children the PE/Sport opportunities afforded to them at Middle School will be an inevitable part of re-organisation under the 2-tier system. Team selection as well as extra-curricular activities will be limited in a primary school. (Small, rural primaries will be particularly disadvantaged).

    The government has raised the profile of PE in school significantly over recent years but we must remember this is to target ALL children. Yes, the desire to develop talented sportsmen and women is important but schools also aim to instill the advantages of a healthy lifestyle to ALL children. It is far easier and more effective to provide for all needs in the larger middle school setting than in a small primary one.

    In this whole ‘debate’ (?!) I keep thinking that the government’s document ‘Every Child Matters’ has been forgotten when considering the future of the children of Bedfordshire.

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