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PE: Girls and boys come out to play

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By John ClementDavies Sports marketing manager

Discover a leadership scheme that has led to three schools making playtimes a positive experience for all

Girl smiling

The sound of the breaktime bell can often throw a well-behaved and sociable class into chaos – with all your efforts of encouraging teamwork and inclusion literally escaping out of the door. All too often we hear about playgrounds that are dominated by exclusive games, leaving many children with nothing to do and ultimately resulting in restlessness. This frustration can sometimes lead to disruptive behaviour, bullying, fighting and low self-esteem.

In recognition of this, three School Sports Partnerships (SSPs) in the Leicestershire area decided to undertake a series of audits to uncover the specific problems their schools were facing at breaktimes and introduce a scheme to help solve them. SSPs are groups of schools working together to develop PE and sport opportunities for all young people. Each SSP has a Partnership Development Manager (PDM) who is responsible for managing and developing strategic links with partners in sports and the wider community.

The challenge

The results of the Leicestershire audit identified a number of persistent challenges. Although a number of the schools within the SSP were already using equipment at breaktimes, they were having problems implementing a structure to accompany it, meaning that many children were still being excluded. In addition, the audit discovered that no schools in the three SSPs had any specific leadership training or structured volunteering programmes in place. All of the schools expressed an interest in developing these areas, as well as how a specific structure to breaktimes could help create a more positive environment and generate additional physical activity opportunities.

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