More Clackmannanshire pupils are trying activities out of school
A council project to increase the level of PE lessons for primary pupils may be improving youngsters’ performance in the classroom as well as their fitness.
Clackmannanshire Council launched a project giving every primary school child one-and-a-half hours of PE a week from a specialist teacher.
As well as improving fitness, head teachers have been reporting improved classroom concentration.
More pupils are also attending out-of-school sport events.
The majority of Clackmannanshire’s 14-strong PE team is made up of secondary school physical education teachers who have been trained to teach at primary level.
Each teacher is assigned to a maximum of two of the local authority’s 19 primary schools.
The project, now ending its second year, has also seen the council investing in gymnastics equipment.
Before it began, some schools had up to a quarter of children not taking part in PE lessons.
Marjorie Macfarlane, the council’s sport development manager, said the pupils were responding to the project with great enthusiasm.
“Reports from headteachers are that pupils concentrate better and the number of pupils attending out of school activities, competitions and sports festivals has shot up.
“It’s difficult to prove, but this is what headteachers are telling us anecdotally, and they know their children.
“It could be through the pupils running off steam or it may be that it is helping them to feel more confident.”
She added that it was vital to ensure PE provision continued for children as they entered secondary school.
The council also said that the PE project had naturally improved co-ordination levels.