Engaging boys with PE

In a recent article published by the BBC, research indicates many boys are not engaging with PE in school - choosing to deliberately forget their sports kit in order to avoid their PE lessons.

Statistics from our partners at the Youth Sport Trust highlight that among boys aged 14-16, only 47% consider PE skills relevant to their daily lives, about 30% do not enjoy physical activity and only 16% do the 60 minutes of exercise a day recommended by the government's chief medical officer.

So what are the issues?
For many boys, a lack of ability or confidence combined with overtly competitive peers and a fear of public humiliation causes them to completely disengage with popular school sports like football.

No one wants to get picked last for their team, which is often the case for many boys who are less active and less skilled than their classmates. This can have a significant impact on their confidence and their willingness to get involved with physical activity in general.

What's the solution?
Many schools find that grouping by ability within PE sessions offers an easy to implement solution and allows pupils to be competitive at their own level.

One school in Hillingdon, West London has overhauled its PE programme with the introduction of new sports like boxercise, parkour and basketball, with table tennis tables also open during break times. Girls and boys regularly play together and they've seen an uptake in many pupils choosing PE at GCSE.

Trying something new
Encouraging young people to be active and to try new things is something we're passionate about at PGL. A school trip to an adventure activity centre is another opportunity for boys (and girls) to try new activities that may not be available in school, within a completely different environment.

Boys who may not be competent footballers, may find they have a flair for archery or abseiling, and are able to build confidence in using different skills to stay active. Trying something new together, outside of the existing hierarchies of the school sports pitch can also improve team dynamics and can help the less confident have their moment to shine.

Read more about how outdoor residentials can help build confidence for pupils in our article for the Youth Sport Trust. We continue to work with the YST to raise awareness of the importance of exercise and how young people's lives can be improved through physical activity.

Find out more about how an adventure residential at PGL could benefit your primary or secondary school pupils.

By PGL Travel.