The PADSIS Blog

If you were a PADSIS member you would be able to view this content. Membership starts at just £49.Click to join PADSIS“Please Miss, I don’t care what my 1500m time is”

Posted: Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The class 1500m “race”.  It has probably happened in most year groups, in most schools, at some time over the last ten weeks.  Often on the day when the weather is too inclement to safely attempt field events. To what purpose? Running nearly four times round an undulating grass track is an unlikely stimulant for a “Road to Damascus” moment to inspire a lifelong love of running. Far more probable is the reinforced conviction that running is a pointlessly painful pursuit – guaranteed to bring humiliation to those at the back. Most schools have a significant number of teenage pupils who cannot run a mile without stopping. Having failed to achieve this the previous summer, and taken no aerobic exercise of any significance in the 12 months between, this is unlikely to have changed. Neither is it likely to be fondly recalled, nor are motivation levels likely to have increased. There are few schools in which many pupils will welcome the announcement of the impending 1500m.  Fewer still in...

If you were a PADSIS member you would be able to view this content. Membership starts at just £49.Click to join PADSISRead More »

If you were a PADSIS member you would be able to view this content. Membership starts at just £49.Click to join PADSISThe Changing Tone of School Sport

Posted: Friday, 23 June 2017

How important is winning? The answer to this - apparently spurious - question massively influences the success criteria of school sport.  If winning is the most important thing, it has implications that are far reaching.  It influences how the game is coached, refereed, team selection, substitution, as well as the attitudes of players, coaches and parents to the opposition, the referee, cheating and their respect for the game. The tone and spirit of school sport has changed significantly in the last twenty years.  And not for the better.  In the absence of more compelling success criteria, the default position has become the value system of the Daily Telegraph and Sky Sports - what are the results?  Who has won? Who is unbeaten? What is the implication of it all? When winning becomes the driving force of school sport, lots of things change.  The atmosphere becomes more unforgiving, and the values change from those of education to those of professional sport.  The locus of blame shifts...

If you were a PADSIS member you would be able to view this content. Membership starts at just £49.Click to join PADSISRead More »

If you were a PADSIS member you would be able to view this content. Membership starts at just £49.Click to join PADSISWhy Cricket Needs a Balance Between Bat and Ball

Posted: Wednesday, 14 June 2017

The National Curriculum mops up a range of games under the generic title "Striking and Fielding".  In its search for simplification, it omits the other crucial component of these games - bowling.  Once that is included within the definition, then one game separates itself from the others in the category.  That game is Cricket.   Other games have in common a single factor: the batsman attempts to hit every ball delivered as far as possible.  Every shot is an attacking shot and the aim of each batting attempt is to despatch the ball as far as possible.  That is how Cricket has been different for two hundred years.   The soul of Cricket is the balance between bat and ball.  The endlessly subtle combinations which cause the balance of power to shift constantly, reflecting the age and state of the ball, the nature of the pitch, the length of the batsman's innings and the stage of the game.  None of this appears to exist in the same way in Baseball, Softball or Rounders.  Cricket is also...

If you were a PADSIS member you would be able to view this content. Membership starts at just £49.Click to join PADSISRead More »

If you were a PADSIS member you would be able to view this content. Membership starts at just £49.Click to join PADSISWho are the Real Losers in School Sport?

Posted: Wednesday, 07 June 2017

It's the end of the match day.  It might be Wednesday afternoon or Saturday morning.  Or any other time. The teams leave the field with contrasting body language which clearly divides the winners from the losers.  Exchanging handshakes of varying levels of sincerity, they head towards the inevitable post  mortem, to be conducted first by coaches, then by parents.   Nothing betrays the culture of sport in a school more clearly than the answers to the question, "How did you get on?"  Where the answer is confined to numbers, it is clear what is valued; when the scores are supplemented (or preceded) by an evaluative comment, such as "We had a great game" or "The girls played really well" it says something different about the culture.   But those who finish the game with fewer goals or points are not the real losers.  Most people can recognise that there are benefits from sport that are universal.  When the disappointment of defeat diminishes, there can still be something positive left...

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