National Curriculum: Eileen Marchant on physical education

February 28, 2020 0 By Ronny Jaskolski


I’m Eileen Merchant,
I’m a former chair of the Association for Physical Education. I now mainly do some consultancy
work within the association. The new curriculum for PE is much
slimmer, as are most of the foundation subjects.
We were part of the writing group and we were given a
clear brief that we must make it much less prescriptive. I am so pleased that we finally
lost levels of attainment. They were used as they were
never meant to be used. They became the Gods of schools basically. Physical education never should have had
levels, we should have stayed with our end of
key stage attainment target right from the word go, as we had until 2000 when
they introduce levels to bring us in line with the other
subjects we should never ever have taken on levels of
attainment. It should improve teaching because
the new curriculum has been given back to the professionals
and instead of focusing on assessment of learning, they can
on assessment for learning and actually teach children
rather than teach to levels. Secondary specialists have got
good subject knowledge, they know what they want the children to learn
and they should be very contented in planning for that learning. Primary teachers have far more
subject to be specialist in. They need to equip themselves with
better subject knowledge, they have funding to do this, the PE
and schools sport premium funding is considerable and is extended
until 2020. As an association we would certainly
recommend they use some of this funding to upskill their subject knowledge.
Their pedagogical skills are good, they now need to build up their
confidence by building up their subject knowledge. In fact, in line with that, the
Association for Physical Education has two level – level five, level six
courses which were accredited through Sports
Leaders A lot of it is school-based but if primary
generalists undertake these levels, these level 5/6, they will be
much more confident in the teaching of PE. The legacy starts in the curriculum,
it starts where every child can access PE and good teaching, excited children,
inspired children that’s where the legacy is going to start and
finish, not finish but it will start in the curriculum.