Youngsters at primary schools in South Yorkshire are to benefit in the future by taking part in sport activities taught by a new raft of specialist teachers.
Specialist Physical Education teachers for our youngest pupils will help to instil fitness regimes in to primary schools, and assist in tackling the undeniable issue of childhood obesity.
Former professional footballer Jamie Price signed up to become part of the new generation of specialists who can teach primary age children.
The former Leeds United and Doncaster Rovers midfielder joined 65 others, including trained performance artist Hannah Baird, on the landmark postgraduate teaching qualification at Sheffield Hallam University.
They took part in a summer school this week, and heard a keynote lecture from Baroness Sue Campbell, chairman of UK Sport and chair of the Youth Sport Trust.
Enthusiastic course leader Sarah Williams said: “This summer school brought together the students who enrolled in February and the new intake starting this September.
“What is clear is that there’s a huge appetite for developing high quality PE in primary schools which supports a wider wellness agenda.
“Now we need more schools to join us in our vision to deliver healthier curriculums by offering placements for these talented new teachers.”
Jamie, who is also the assistant manager for Bradford Park Avenue football club, said: “For us to be taught how to produce specialist PE teaching for children that will hopefully excite, intrigue and instil positive habits towards exercise, eating healthily and participating in sport, is such an exciting opportunity.”
He continued: “Early positive experiences in PE are vital for longevity of participation, and specialist courses like this one are the foundation of the long term target. Children will grow up with a better understanding of the benefits that sport brings physically, psychologically and socially.”
Sheffield Hallam was the first University in Yorkshire and the Humber to offer a PGCE Primary PE Specialist with qualified teacher status (QTS) – with 60 places available on courses running from February and again in September this year.
It came after the government pledged funding of £150m to improve PE lessons for Key Stage one and two pupils, with schools getting £9,000 each to develop better quality PE provision.
The new course has been commissioned directly by the National College for Teaching and Leadership.
Research has shown that investment in children’s future lifestyles is fruitful. Since the funding increased, more than 90 per cent of schools reported improvements in children’s health, behaviour and activities.
Sheffield Hallam joins the University of Chester, working with Ashton on Mersey School and St Mary and St Paul’s Teaching Schools, to educate teachers and people with sports or physical education degrees to specialise as primary PE teachers.
Sarah explained: “This programme is designed to develop specialist primary PE teachers with skills to support colleagues to develop their practice and impact on wider school agendas. This will make a significant contribution to the education of children and skills of teachers now and in the future.”
Along with dedicated PE tuition, students gain an up-to-date knowledge of core Key Stage 1 and 2 subjects including English, science and mathematics, gaining qualified teacher status (QTS) with a primary PE specialism.
For anyone who is interested in the course, more information is available at Prospectus Course