Youth Sport

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Youth Sport

Exposure to sport, for most people, first occurs when they go to school.

Historically, schools played a major role in the development of sport in this country.

Today sport in school and physical education are seen as playing a major role in the development of a child and the foundation for encouraging youngsters into sport who may be champions of the future.

The foundations of most of our sports rest in the history of the British public school.

Sport was seen as an influence on pupils' behaviour at school and as a channel for youthful energy, for toughening the body and for building the character.

Many sports developed further at the universities of Cambridge and Oxford and graduates often returned from there to their old public schools where they promoted sport with further vigour and energy.

1902: The War Department drew up a syllabus for physical education based on military drill. There was continued development on this theme until 1933.

1933: The syllabus contained some gymnastics.

1944 Education Act: Free education for all. Physical Education included more team games.

1988 The Education Reform Act: This reinforced the position of Physical Education on the school's curriculum, making it a compulsory subject.

1992: The first Physical Education, National Curriculum was introduced by the government.

1995 Dearing Report: Further revision of the National Curriculum with the publishing of this report. Physical Education based upon a child's ability to plan, perform and evaluate within an activity.

September 2000: New National Curricula for Key Stage 3 in all subject areas.

Physical Education based upon a child's ability to acquire and develop skills, select and apply skills, tactics and compositional ideas accurately, evaluate and improve performances and develop a knowledge and understanding of fitness and health.

The Physical Education programmes of every school will have some similaritiesbut differences will occur because of the provision of facilities in differentschools.

Key Stage Pupil's age Year Group Activities in Physical Education
1 5-7 years 1-2 Dance, games and gymnastic activities.
2 7-11 years 3-6 Dance, games and gymnastic activities and two activity areas from swimming and water safety, athletic activities and outdoor and adventurous activities.
3 11-14 years 7-9 Games, gymnastics or dance and any other two from KS2
4 14-16 years 10-11 Any two of the six activity areas

The Physical Education Curriculum 2000, consists of six activity areas:

  • Games such as rugby, netball, badminton and basketball
  • Gymnastics such as trampolining, gymnastics and diving
  • Athletic activities such as running, jumping and throwing
  • Dance
  • Swimming
  • Outdoor and Adventurous activities such as orienteering, climbing and sailing.

Extra-curricular Activities

Although school children are entitled to approximately two hours of Physical Education per week, there are usually organised sports activities during most lunchtimes and after the school day has ended.

These are known as extra-curricular activities as they take place outside normal school time.

Extra-curricular activities are usually a springboard into school sport and competitive sport.

This competition may be interschool competition where different schools compete against each other.

It may also be intraschool competition, where different tutor group, house or guild groups and even different year groups within the same school compete against each other.

It is these types of competition that develop high standards of play and there is a natural progression from school sport to international sport.

There are many well-known schools governing bodies and these are usually associated with the national governing bodies. This means school children have access to organised championships and international matches.

Physical Education is involved in learning for and through the physical.

It gives pupils the opportunity to discover what they are physically capable of while overcoming problems and challenges set by the activities.

The learning is based on sport and sport related activities and the new National Curriculum sets out to help children acquire and develop new skills, select and apply the learned skills and strategies appropriately and evaluate how well they and others have done this, suggesting how improvements can be made.

All this is linked to how sport can help maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

Physical Education teachers are or have been involved in a high level of sport participation.

Their experience usually stretches across a range of activities through personal involvement or through their training to become teachers.

Although Physical Education teachers want pupils to have a good experience, they also want to encourage excellence in performance.

There are differences however between Physical Education teachers and coaches.


  1. Spend more time on one activity.
  2. Coach youngsters who are usually there by choice.
  3. Coach groups who are usually of the same ability.

Physical Education is also an examination subject that extends from GCSE Physical Education into 'A' Level Physical Education and associated GNVQs.

What the Government wants

Since the start of Education for all, the government of the day, as the Education Acts show, has always had an interest in physical education.

However, it had rarely intervened in policy making until 1995 when John Major announced the government policy.

Sport: Raising the Game.

There were four central aims:

  1. To put sport back into the heart of the weekly life in every school
  2. To bring every child in every school within reach of adequate sporting facilities by the year 2000 and to protect the nation's playing fields
  3. To enable sporting opportunities to continue after school in colleges and universities and to provide a better link with school and club sport
  4. To develop excellence among the most talented of British sports people by creating a new British Academy of Sport

By 1996:

  1. The revised PE syllabus was in place with an enhanced emphasis on team games
  2. A new Sportsmark Scheme recognised the best schools for Physical Education based upon set criteria (See Qualifications for Sportsmark and Sportsmark Gold).
  3. The Conservative government launched the sports college initiative that would give selected schools sports college status.

Sportsmark Sportsmark Gold
A minimum of two hours per week PE lesson time for pupils in KS3 and KS4 The same as for Sportsmark.
A minimum of four hours per week for organised extra-curricular activities, with 33% of students participating. As for Sportsmark, but a minimum of six activities four from the National curriculum and 50% student participation.
At least 50% of the time spent on PE must be in team games. As for Sportsmark.
All pupils should have the opportunity to take part in competition throughout the year. Interschool and interclass matches in a minimum of three activities for boys and girls. As for Sportsmark, but there must be six activities.
Teachers must have professional PE qualifications or recognised coaching qualifications from a governing body. As for Sportsmark, but all teachers must hold relevant qualifications.
Links with local sports clubs must be evident, with notices and information being available in schools. Formal links with clearly defined roles and responsibilities with a minimum two sports clubs.
Opportunities for students to take governing body award schemes and leadership awards (CCPR Junior SLA). As for Sportsmark but dependent on the number of students and range of awards they have taken.

Sports College Status

The selection for Sports College Status is based upon numerous criteria one of these criteria being the production of a three year development plan from the school showing how they would enhance the teaching and coaching of sport and the provision of sports facilities to the school community, the local community and the extended community.

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