Why the UK Physical Education Syllabus Needs an Update
Today there are 52.2% of children in England that are insufficiently active. Although physical activity is necessary for children’s growth and development, the current state of primary school Physical Education (PE) in the UK is outdated and needs an update. As the owner of Coyote Fitness, which is a children’s fitness club, I want to stress the importance of instilling healthy habits and promoting physical activity from a young age.
In this blog post, we’ll highlight the importance of physical activity for kids and the need for an updated physical education syllabus in the UK.
Firstly, let’s discuss the decrease in physical education at primary schools.
The Decrease in Physical Education at Primary Schools
The National Health Service (NHS) recommends that children participate in at least one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily,. This include aerobic activities and exercises to strengthen muscles and bones. However, primary school PE often fails to adhere to these guidelines or emphasise the importance of enjoying fitness activities for mental and physical health.
Over the last ten years, education has been severely underfunded by the UK government, reducing PE in schools. Although teachers in the UK recognise and emphasise the benefits of physical activity and physical education for children, there is still a lack of priority placed on established, standardised PE for students.
A recent study found that only 41% of children reached the national recommended hours of physical activity post-pandemic. UK parents are asking schools to increase the availability of resources for physical activity during the school day and provide more than one PE lesson per week.
The Need for Updated Primary School Physical Education
Primary school physical education activities in the UK emphasise traditional team sports like football, rugby, and netball. Although participating in a team sport can benefit students, the current PE syllabus assumes these sports suit all students. The reality is that a lot of children may not enjoy these sports and lack the motivation to be active when these are the only options presented to them.
Physical education for young children should emphasise the importance of being physically active and enjoying fitness activities rather than the rigid prescriptive and outdated PE syllabus. There needs to be a fresh approach to primary school physical education which the Coyote Fitness Club tries to fill.
By incorporating a more comprehensive range of activities, such as dance, yoga, and individual sports, students can discover what they enjoy and be more likely to continue being active throughout their lives.
The Importance of Being Active and Enjoying Fitness Activities
The benefits of physical activity for young children are numerous. One study found that the majority of children stated that an increase in physical activity has:
a) improved their mood
b) helped them to make friends
c) reduced anxiety and stress
d) positively impacted their school wellbeing and environment.
Additionally, over 90% of teachers have agreed with this finding, stating that physical activity has helped improve the behaviour and schoolwork of their pupils.
Coyote Fitness provides fun and engaging fitness classes for children between the ages of 3 and 8. We aim to promote an active and healthy lifestyle for kids while emphasising that being sporty is not a requirement for being fit. Our classes are designed to be inclusive and accessible to all children, regardless of their skill level or athletic ability.
In conclusion, Fitness should be a fun and rewarding experience for all kids, and we want to create a positive and exciting environment that encourages the
next generation to stay active and healthy.