Last updated: February 23, 2019
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What impact has the 2008 National Curriculum for Physical Education, had in schools? How well does it equip children to want to take part in physical activity outside of school hours? What impact has the 2008 National Curriculum for Physical Education, had in schools? How well does it equip children to want to take part in physical activity outside of school hours? Physical education is a vital part of education in schools and has changed significantly over many years and generations to become what it has now from the 1992 curriculum (Accessed at http://www. egislation. gov. uk/uksi/1992/603/contents/made. Last accessed 13/03/2011) to the newly introduced 2008 curriculum. It has changed in many ways from the 1999 National Curriculum for Physical Education reviewed statutory orders (Physical Education, the National Curriculum for England, 1999) to the new National Curriculum in 2008 which is now implemented in schools everywhere.

The new curriculum states that there should be High Quality Physical Education in schools, as this will help pupils with many aspects including body awareness and kinaesthetic. High-quality PE curriculum enables all pupils to enjoy and succeed in many kinds of physical activity (QCDA, 2008). This has come in the form of a programme called ‘HQPESS’. HQPESS (High Quality Physical Education and School Sports) helps develop new teacher’s confidence and knowledge of delivering High Quality Physical Education, offering better provisions and school-club links. There has been an increase in the amount of P. E lessons pupils undergo in a week to produce High Quality Physical Education and Sports in Schools. To increase the percentage of school children in England who spend a minimum of 2 hours each week on high quality PE and school sports within and beyond the curriculum to 75% by 2006” (DfES / DCMS, 2003, p. 2) Strategies have been put into place to ensure that schools are providing high standards of Physical Education and more of it. Pupils also have to participate in a minimum of 2 hrs. of P. E a week as stated by DfES above. This is being increased to 5 hrs. of Physical Education and School Sport by 2011.

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This won’t just take place in school hours, some will be Extra-Curricular. Helping pupils to discover what they like, how, when and where they want to get involved as well as what their aptitudes are in school. Due to the inactiveness of society “The UK government has set a target for ‘70% of the population to be reasonably active (for example 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week) by 2020”(Allender et ell, 2006, p. 5) Physical education in schools has helped heighten academic performance, undertaking exercise releases substrates called endorphins from your pituitary glands, a chemical which blocks feelings of pain, resulting in chemical reactions occurring, this has been proven to raise motivation and intern attitudes of individuals.

Positive attitudes will be made, making people more willing to work, getting better grades and exam results. This will not only help in schools, but also society, as there will be many more academically intelligent people in high end occupations. Recent research suggests that participation in extracurricular activities may increase students’ sense of engagement or attachment to their school, and thereby decrease the likelihood of school failure and dropping out. ’ (Lamborn et al, 1992; Finn, 1993). Physical Education can also help enhance some basic skills in life such as social interaction, team work and individual work. Social skills improve due to the social interactions made at a young age in sports and games. These skills will help in every aspect later on in life from the working environment to a recreational environment.

It can help in the transfer of skills, such as having the ability to control nerves which could be used in all environments not just in a competitive sporting context. It could cause negative and positive skill transfer to another task of a similar manner or one which is different. Physical education helps to create successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens which are also the current aims of the curriculum. Not only that, but Physical Education also provides hobbies for participants to follow on later in life for recreational purposes, as professionals or amateurs.

After school activities are on offer in many schools as extra-curricular activities, providing something for pupils to take part in. Subsequently this can reduce levels of crime in communities. Sports and Physical Education helps draws away negative energy, redirecting it into sport, reducing crime, improving community safety and increasing participation in sports with schemes to prevent children turning to crime. The national curriculum states that ‘PE develops pupils’ competence and confidence to take part in a range of physical activities that become a central part of their lives, both in and out of school. (QCDA, 2008) The 2008 National Curriculum states that ‘ aims for all young people to become successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve, be confident individuals who are able to live safe healthy and fulfilling lives and be responsible citizens who make positive contributions to society’ (Physical Education Programme of study, Anon, 2007: 189) The Curriculum has been designed to help pupils learn vital skills which will aid them later in life on ventures and in occupational environments as well as allowing the development of core values within individuals.

Children are taught to think for themselves in the 2008 Curriculum, finding ways of achieving and improve as well as being more creative. Unlike in the old curriculum pupils were encouraged to take initiative ‘Pupils should be taught to take initiative to analyse their own and others work using information to improve quality (Physical education the National Curriculum for England, Anon, 1999: 21)’ The updated curriculum encourages children to develop their physical and mental capacity by tackling challenging tasks.

This allows pupils not to be dependent upon the teacher, it helps them work in a team and allows them to use their intellect to problem solve. Lessons can get taught in various ways, using methods such as discovery learning, with minimum input from the coach/teacher or problem solving, not just by using the command style, or military way of teaching in the 1919 syllabus which was designed to have a therapeutic effect. The 1919 syllabus still included some regimented free standing exercises, but also introduced time for ‘free-movement’, dance and small games. (Bevis, 2008 :170)’ Teaching games for understanding is another way of teaching, it is increasingly being used in the 2008 curriculum, were there is emphasis on learning the game and how to play it, rather than acquiring the skills needed, learning them in a non-competitive context and them incorporating them in a game situation.

The new curriculum is teaching them the Importance of physical education, how to keep healthy active lifestyles, so that in later years pupils will have the knowledge of how to keep healthy, this will hopefully reduce the obesity epidemic and make people aware of the dangers and consequences of bad diets and ill health. The 2008 curriculum states that it tries to make pupils respond using their body and mind to the demands of an activity, not just physical demands like the old one did. High Quality P. E has made pupils want to articipate in extracurricular activities. ‘The overall quality of teaching in PE lessons and extra-curricular activities is good or better in 60% of the sessions and is unsatisfactory in a minority. (Ofsted, 2004: 4) HQPESS is slowly encouraging more females to participate in PE. To attract more females you need to consider what they want and require from P. E To attract girls to participate more, sports facilities must meet the expectations that girls might have in the 21st century. Many schools still have inadequate sports and changing indoor facilities. Estyn, 2007). Although schools can differ on what Extra-Curricular activities they offer there will always be a choice. Some schools may just be better equipped than others to follow out these activities. Not all places will have very high quality facilities which may deter some female participants but there are places and schools with high quality facilities which may attract females, these facilities may be in the private sector. In society now there is a rising obesity epidemic, amongst both adults and children.

As more fast food restaurants are opening and advertising fatty foods, awareness of what this is doing to our bodies is going out the window. Unlike the old curriculum, one of the key concepts in the 2008 states that pupils should aim to ‘Understanding that Physical Activity contributes to the healthy functioning of the body and mind and is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. ’ And that they need to be ‘exercising safely and effectively to improve health and wellbeing, as in fitness and health activities. (QDCA, 2008) This means pupils are becoming more aware of the negative and adverse effects of fast food and gaining new knowledge on how to keep fit and healthy within their P. E lessons, providing them with the information they need to prevent obesity occurring and ill health. High Quality P. E and School Sport doesn’t mean that safety should be sacrificed, and measures have been put into place to ensure this in all respects. This has come in the form of Every Child Matters.

This act, which got passed in November 2004, after the death of Victoria Clumbie shows the changes made and new approaches to safety in schools. This act ensures that no matter what a person’s background or circumstances that they all have the same support they need to be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, making a positive contribution and achieve economic well-being. Overall the National impact has had a big influence on participation in Sports and PE. It has resulted in HQPESS to provide a positive influence upon extra-curricular activities as stated by Finn et al.