Apchin Alice Lycée Jean Baptiste Delambre. The importance of sport in the English and French Educational System - PDF

Apchin Alice Lycée Jean Baptiste Delambre The importance of sport in the English and French Educational System Introduction: During the second week of the February holidays, I travelled with 14 other French

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Apchin Alice Lycée Jean Baptiste Delambre The importance of sport in the English and French Educational System Introduction: During the second week of the February holidays, I travelled with 14 other French students to Durham. My aim was to understand and to describe the importance of sport in the English educational system. Before leaving I had become aware of the big differences with the French system, which is why I had decided to make a comparison between these two systems. To achieve this task I went to PE lessons and asked teachers to help me and describe their job. I discovered many interesting points that I will develop in my project. My host family was concerned about my research and helped me to find associations and documentation about sports. Sport is important both in England and France. These countries try to fight against obesity and sport is a good way to deal with it. Education at school is present in all the lessons respect, development, training are a sport s aims. In this project I will present the English and French sport educational systems showing the singularity of each but also the differences. I will focus on different associations which permit students to practice more sport in competition or leisure activities. I England Repartition in England is different from France. Actually they do not separate the students according to their year of birth but to their month of birth. Indeed Britain does not take the first of January as a reference to separate the children but the month of September. This is why sometimes people of 16, 17 or 18 years old can be in the same age group. 1) Primary School According to the law Physical Educational (P.E) is compulsory for all the students in England. In primary schools, so from 11 years old to 14 years old, students must practise 2H per week. However in Framwellgate School, where I was with my foreign correspondent, the teacher explained to me that it was impossible for them to implement this, because of the number of students. They decided to teach 1H per week so that all the students could practice, not a minority. At the age of 11 years old, so when student begin primary school, all the pupils have a test they have to swim 25m. This step permits the PE s teacher to pick out people who do not swim. They teach swimming to non swimmers until they succeed. This explains why English students normally have a correct level in swimming. At the age of 15 students have 2H of PE, one hour for practice and another of for theory. Before 16, students study biology and the sociology of sport. At the age of 16, they have two hours for practice. In primary schools all the students must wear a uniform in PE. In Framwellgate girls had to wear a white tee shirt, black shorts and trainers. 2) Sixth Form During their sixth form, the two last two years at school (17 18 years old), students must choose 4 lessons. According to their results they can go to different universities. If students choose P.E they have 5 hours per week. During these two years they study the history of sport, the professional development and also the impact of the money on sport, management and the media. But they also understand the mechanism of our body, health, testing The different points are very diversified. The student can have a better idea of the importance of sport and its consequences. They sometimes, have to teach sport to young people. They can wear usual clothes for sports and not necessarily a uniform. 3) Sport teaching Fortunately P.E lesson are not just theory, indeed in the course of their studies the pupils have to practise the majority of the following sports: Football, rugby, cricket*, basketball, volley ball, athletics, tennis, orienteering, gymnastics, table tennis, dance, netball*, swimming, climbing, trampoline, badminton, and hockey* (* = traditional sports). However depending on the equipment, it is not always possible to teach these activities. Activities are very diversified and it enables each student to find something which lives up to a teenager s expectation. Sometimes for young people, P.E lesson teachers decide to separate girls and boys. Actually some sports like dancing correspond better to girls tastes (or boys). However it is important to try, mixing students to avoid mockeries between boys and girls. Indeed each sport has its specificity and brings something to students. Traditional sports like cricket and netball are very popular in England. Championships are among the best in the world. Keeping and preserving traditional culture is important for teachers, which is why they encourage their students to practice one of those activities. However football remains the most famous game in England. The majority of Framwellgate boys play football. 4) Competition and high level Competitions between schools are omnipresent. However there is no specific schools association which regroups all the sports. Each sport has its own competition so it is really difficult to understand the functioning of school competition in the field of sport. Different associations try to recommend competition or training after school like Durham School Partnership. Competition is divided into four levels from the foundation to the elite. Performance Pathways Sporting pyramid NATIONAL REGIONAL COUNTY DISTRICT SCHOOL In England none of the schools corresponds to the French pôle espoir. Young sportsmen or sportswomen cannot go to a special school to practise his/her sport at a high level. They must find a compromise between their studies and training, and it is sometimes very difficult. When I stayed in Durham, I asked some questions to sixth form students who had P.E lessons. Most of them wanted to be a professional footballer (for boys). There were only two girls, Lauren the dancer who practices 10 hours per week. She would love to be a professional dancer (she is between competition and elite) but she will not be able to because of her arthritic knees. Rebecca was a swimmer. She has 20 hours of sport per week (plus P.E lessons), 18 hours in the pool and 2 hours of bodybuilding. She must train early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Moreover she has competitions every weekends. I can understand that for a 17 year old girl it must be difficult to find a rhythm between school and swimming. However she had an objective, becoming a professional and maybe compete in London London 2012 has an important impact in school. The government has given more money to encourage sport and permit to find new champions. This contribution gives the opportunity to many students to prepare with a training program. However not all the sports are favoured some are more privileged. Money is concentrated on attractive sports which can win gold medals. Moreover London 2012 is present in the news but it is in London and not in Durham. 5) Example of PE lessons During my stay in Durham I attended all the PE lessons, shadowing a 6 th form student. I quickly understood that it was different from France. Indeed the first day was about Nutrition and Weight Management. We studied the food groups and their functions. Food Groups Main Body Function Good source of the food group Carbohydrate High Energy Fruit pasta chocolate Fats Low intensity energy Fish Protein Required for growth and repairs Meat soya Minerals Aid vitamin absorption Vegetables fruits fish nuts Vitamins Required to facilitate psychological Animals fruits vegetables function grains Fiber Intestinal transit Plant foods fruits beans Water hydration Fruits vegetables water After this grid we studied hydration, dehydration symptoms and how maintaining hydration. Indeed hydration is the basis of sport. Teenagers must understand that sport requires training and good health. During the effort hydration permits better performance for the sportsman. Water facilitates digestion, cell development, and above all regulates temperature. That is why it is really important to have a good hydration during the effort. The symptoms of dehydration can sometimes be very dangerous when the effort is long and intense. The sportsman can be thirsty, have a headache, nausea or in the worst case a heart attack. To maintain hydration we must drink water, take sport or energy (isotonic/hypertonic) drinks, and eat fresh fruit. This lesson had also a preventive aim, teenagers are easily influenced and prefer eating confectionery despite the bad consequences on the body. Teachers encourage student to change their habits. Students also practise and study sport for the disabled. I have been initiated to boccia a sport which is a bit like petanque (rules: At boccia people who have physical problems can play with or without outside help. Championships are organized in the world and permit disabled persons to play sport at a high level like at the Olympic Games. The students studied the rules Boccia and practised this sport. PE lessons explore all the facets of sport. During this week I understood that people in the sixth form must teach lessons. Lauren who was a dancer had to teach choreography to young girls. Sixth formers have responsibilities towards young people. II France In France Sport became compulsory at school in 1880 with the George law, written by Jules Ferry. That is why EPS (éducation physique et sportive = P.E) is taught in all the schools (except for really young children, 3 5 year olds). The government aims at improving their physical abilities and motor functions. 1) Niveau primaire Children from 6 years old to 10 years old go to the école primaire. It is a big change compared to the maternelle (school for 3 5 year old children). School has really begun, they learn to read, count and according to the law they have five hours of sport per week. They do not play in competitions, the aim is only educational. Sport permits to acquire coordination and the team spirit. It is a long learning process because the children do not understand why they cannot do what they want, they must respect the teacher and their schoolmates. Socializing permits to avoid discrimination, girls and boys must play sport together and understand that they are equal. Sport permits muscular development and prevents putting on weight. 2) Niveau secondaire The Collège involves students from 11 to 14 years old, divided in 4 levels (sixième, cinquième, quatrième, troisième). 11 year olds have four one hour PE lessons a week, they are the youngest students in the school and it is important for them to get more exercise. The change is really important compared to their former school. During those lessons they also learn to be together their body is changing and it is sometimes difficult to accept other people s remarks. Students from 12 to 14 years old have three one hour lessons per week. They are separated depending on their age and class. During this time period the students cannot choose what sport they play. The teachers try to suggest a majority of sports. During the term they are assessed and change sports. Sport teaching can be really different depending on the equipment but also on the geographical situation. Indeed students can practice ski in the Alps or sail along the coasts. Some sports can be taught anywhere like football, basketball, volleyball, badminton, rugby, gymnastics, dancing, swimming, etc. The Lycée is for the students older than collégiens. Students from 15 to 17 years old are involved. During the first two years teenagers practise 2 hours per week and three sports per year. Again, they cannot choose their sport, just like in collège. The last school year focuses on the baccalaureate, which is a big exam at the end of student s schooling. During this year they choose a compilation of three sports for which they will be assessed. This compilation must have one collective sport, one sport with a scale (athletics, swimming), and a last one chosen by the student. This year I have decided to be assessed in gymnastics, swimming and rugby. These sports fulfill the conditions. At the Lycée sport has an objective, it contributes to the education and more precisely, teaching citizenship, autonomy, solidarity, security and responsibility. The fight against obesity is also omnipresent. 3) High level During the college years, it is possible to be in a section sportive. It means that the students have 3 hours more of a sport per week. People must compete in the UNSS (see definition after). The objective is development and fulfillment but also getting the team spirit. The students must handle stress, waiting, pressure, situations they can have to bear in their everyday life. For four years I was in section sportive, where I practiced gymnastics. It was an amazing experience. I had setbacks but also victories which changed my opinion on myself and on the others. Contrary to England, France provides housing which permits to regroup high level sportsmen/women. Their school timetable is adapted to their training sessions. They can get a psychological and school support. They are boarders during the week, and at the weekends they go to competitions with their club. Students are experts in one sport and practise it about 15 hours per week. This programme is linked with clubs and federals associations. III Associations 1) Durham School Sport Partnership A scheme started in 2001 so that every school in the country could offer 2 hours of PE per week to school children (up to age 11). This is a government initiative. The objective is to raise the profile of PE among younger children. The initiative is working towards offering 5 hours per week to school children. In the 1990s the Labour government was against competitive sport in school saying that it was upsetting for less able children not to win anything and so competitive sport was effectively stopped at school level. This had the effect of reducing the appeal of sport in school as there was no incentive of winning anything. The Labour government has now reversed this policy. There is now a Competition Manager in the team to organize competitions for various sports. In addition to sport in school, Durham SSP (school sport partnership) also offers after school sports, competitions, teacher training for sports etc. This fits into a national framework so that all activity is delivered in a consistent manner across the country. The funding comes from Central Government and is for 3 years (this cycle ends in 2011). With the Olympics in 2012, the funding is likely to be renewed until There has been no new funding from government for sports, just the fact that the funding will continue. Sarah Price works with primary schools (under 11) to encourage sports. There is a good infrastructure for links with sports clubs and competitions but contact can be difficult as there are a lot of small primary schools in the county. Previously the council funded transport and replacement teachers for school children and teachers to attend sports competitions and activities. This funding has been stopped. 2) «Girls active» In England some projects permit to promote feminine sport. There are special events for girls called girls active to encourage take up of sports in school for girls. For example, four girls are chosen in each school of Durham to participate to a big meeting. The godmother of this event is Kelly Holmes a famous athlete who won two gold medals (800m and 1500m) at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. During this day all was in pink to celebrate the girl. Students participate in a sports day where they are also encouraged to think how they can get other girls in school to participate in sports. There is also a girl s football league, pop lacrosse (mini lacrosse) etc. 3) UNSS and UFOLEP UNSS (Union Nationale du Sport Scolaire) is a schools association, which involves students of college and lycée. People must join, giving about 10 euros, to participate in the UNSS activities. It permits to select really motivated students but also encourages people who hesitate to increase their motivation. All the sports are involved in the UNSS, however you can practise providing you have the equipment. Each student can practise 3 hours per week among a lot of sports. The UNSS has three aims linked together: Competition: championships between schools are organized at different levels, following the same evolution in all the sports. The lowest level is départemental and the highest level is international. Leisure activity: people can choose to practise activities without competition. This association encourages students to play sport if they compete or not. Animation days and discovery days are organized generally on Wednesday afternoons, to practice new sports. Giving a sense of responsibility: in sport it is important to understand, respect the rules and the others. That is why the UNSS proposes to educate young referees. These referees have responsibilities on all the championships. Students can organize some championships if they are interested. The UFOLEP is a schools association too. However it proposes activities to young primary school children. The aim is to educate students, not to compete. Meetings between schools are organized. It permits to discover traditional sports. During my studies I went to a meeting with other schools to practise a traditional sport le ballon au point. Some activities were proposed to be initiated to this game, explaining its history, its impact in our region and of course the rules. Conclusion: English and France have a lot of differences about the way to teach sport. First on each side of the Channel the number of lessons per week is quite different depending on the respective curriculum. The English system is based in on theory and practical lessons. The message is very positive teachers try to make their students aware of the importance of sport. And in my opinion it is more interesting to practise sport when you understand what happens in your body. The link between practice and theory is really important. Giving responsibilities to sixth formers permits to have an insight of a PE teacher s work. The black mark is the absence of unity between the different sports, but the project is underway. Associations organize championships, however some sports which are less popular and rich cannot prepare the championships themselves, that is why it is important to group associations together. In France, students must practise sport during all their schooling. The number of hours changes according to the needs. High level sport is organized to group sportsmen/women together and have a better environment. Competition between schools is managed by the UNSS. All the sports are equal and have their own championship. Moreover leisure activities are not forgotten it is possible to practise sport without competing, and during the discovery days to play to new sports. These two countries encourage girls sport, indeed they are sometimes in minority, and their aim is to make people aware of the importance of girls in sport. That is why some associations like Girls active develop this idea. London 2012 will have a positive impact at on school but it unfortunately it is not reflected on all the country. Personal conclusion: I had already been to England with my school, but this travel was different because I was alone and had some responsibilities. Moreover I had to work on a project and find information which could help me. Fortunately my host family was amazing and helped me with all the difficulties I met. Going to English classes was an interesting experience students and teachers do not have the same contact as in France. I really improved my English and I am now able to discuss and ask people when I need something. Sometimes it can be difficult when it is another country where do not know any people. Attached Questionnaires Student of sixth form Q1 Why have you chosen to do PE? Q2 What sport(s) do you practise? Q3 How many hours of sport do
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