YP Letters: Make PE optional to exercise children's talents

From: Diana Priestley, The Parkway, Darley Dale.
Do exams cause unnecessary stress?Do exams cause unnecessary stress?
Do exams cause unnecessary stress?

SO exams are stressing pupils and blighting their lives. Headteacher Jo Fiddes describes them as “cruel”. They are, however, a preparation for life, which involves testing of many kinds – I recall the driving test as particularly stressful – and for difficult interviews which could have life changing results.

However, what I have never seen is an article describing how stressful PE is to a child who has no interest in, and no capacity for, for example, contact sports.

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I am such a person, and I believe that lesson after lesson of PE undermined my self-confidence in one way (“never volunteer for anything”) and developed my ability to dodge to a high standard.

Removal of this torture from the timetable for those of my opinion, or, better still, allowing a choice to involve music, drama, needlework, crafts (all under threat in a crowded curriculum) would be much more constructive.

Indeed, speaking to a man who was an organist and a lecturer in music at a training college, we asked him what had made him decide to move on from childhood piano lessons to take up the organ. His answer, “organ lessons took place in PE”, made us laugh, but in fact this had made a career for him, besides much personal satisfaction.

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