Today I’m going to talk about a term very vague in the current National Curriculum: competition.
We all know what competitions are: a battle between two different parties, whether it be an individual or a team event. But how do we implement this into our teaching?
Well the most obvious thing to do is hold a Sports Day where kids are competing against each other. But is that what we really want to be doing as a teacher? Do we want to know the fastest runner in the class or the child who can throw a ball the furthest?
In fact, what the NC should be advocating is not competing against each other, but every child is competing against themselves. A child doesn’t have to be the fastest runner, but if they improve on their personal best, then that is what should be celebrated. I was never the fastest runner at school, but I would improve consistently as I got older, but that went unnoticed and I lost a lot of motivation for PE as a result.
So, to all the teachers out there: by all means advocate competition, but remember who the children are really competing against, and don’t simply celebrate the fastest times. Improvement is the order of the day so that children gain in both confidence and competence.