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Should parents be allowed to attend sports days?


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#1 Canopus

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Posted 15 June 2015 - 04:49 AM

An increasing number of primary schools no longer allow parents to attend sports days due to potential issues with security of the premises during the events and the impact it could have on child protection and welfare.

 

I uphold this policy because traditional sports days with parents watching are a massive public humiliation event for kids that are hopeless at sports and physical activities who, more often than not, are forced to participate in events under the banner that everybody must take part. Sports days are often video recorded by parents then the video clips uploaded onto the internet for everybody to see.

 

If the same schools held maths tests with parents attending, then allowed them to look at all the exam scripts side by side, followed by the highest and lowest scoring kids having to stand up on the stage and announce their score then that would be deemed child abuse and unfair on kids who are not academic or mathematically minded. Imagine the reaction if parents say oh x doesn't know this, or y gets this wrong, or z has scored so badly on this test that his parents should be told that they are wasting the taxpayer's money letting him go to school. So, why should sports be allowed to be a public humiliation event?

 

Quite a lot of middle aged people I have discussed the issue with vehemently oppose the ban on allowing parents to attend sports days saying that sports should be fun and that it's British tradition. Do you agree with them or do the interests of kids come first?



#2 Mihaela

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Posted 15 June 2015 - 07:43 AM

The children's interests should come first, and no child should be forced to take part in sports days - or even in lessons.  Many children long for their parents and friends to see them perform in sport - and would be very disappointed if they were banned.  (I should know; I taught gymnastics for 20 years).  Banning their parents would give them an even more confused view of the adult values. Anyway, what would prevent parents watching their children from outside the school boundary.  I have a friend with a child who goes to the school next-door to her and she can watch from her bedroom window! 

There are much better ways of educating children, but the institutional nature of schools, combined with fear of change, prevent this.

 

However, I don't agree with a policy banning parents, simply because such policies are a very recent Anglo-Saxon phenomenon considered by European countries as being rather ridiculous - not to mention damaging to children, schools and the community as a whole.  These dystopian policies primarily exist to protect the school rather than children (the ostensible justificaton that would no doubt be routinely trotted out).  They are among many child-unfriendly, and adult-unfriendly, policies found in this country today - insidious little symptoms of a malaise in British society which, unless checked, will lead us down the primrose path to a joyless totalitarian fascism.  I recently spoke to some East European visitors who simply can't understand how child-unfriendly this country has become - so unlike their own.

But no, no child should be forcibly humiliated.  They should be free to be individuals.



#3 Sally44

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 04:23 PM

I think that sports days, and competitiveness is not something that should be done away with.

 

There have been huge implications on the lack of exercise that children undertake each week in school.

 

There have been massive implications of children not learning how to deal with failure and thinking that they are the centre of the universe.

 

Competitiveness is not a bad thing in itself.

Being good at sports is something that should be celebrated.

There are many autistic children and disabled children that are good at sports.

 

However, that being said, teachers need to realise that not eveyone has that ability or potential - in the same way that some children do not have the academic skills or potential [but no-one suggests doing away with education].  

 

Should parents be allowed to watch sports days.  Yes I think so.

My own childrens' sports days were organised into 'teams' and all the teams had to complete a circuit of different skills with points being awarded for each event.  At the end of the day the total for each team was added up and a winner announced.  This seemed to work well because no child could be isolated as 'the one' that caused the team to lose.

 

At secondary level parents were not allowed in for sports days!

 

I think that every child should be encouraged to take part in sports.  My own son is not good at ball games, or athletics etc.  But now, at age 14, we have found that he is good at Judo - and he likes going.  THAT is what we have to keep alive in all our children.  To persevere and find their 'niche'.

 

Schools need to find something that every child is good at and make sure that is celebrated.  But at the same time all children need to learn how to deal with not being the best.  That there are things you might not be good at.  Things you might be average at.  Afterall in traditional athletics there is only 'one' winner out of a field of maybe 20 of the best athletes from around the world.

 

As a child I have seen other children humiliated by teachers because of their lack of athletic ability, and that is totally unacceptable.  


Edited by Sally44, 29 June 2015 - 04:24 PM.


#4 The Exodus

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 03:03 PM

Sports day is mandatory, as far as I'm aware. Unless you're talking about some optional thing, which from your post it really doesn't seem like, then I'd say that they should just scrap the whole enforcing kids to go thing. I hated sports day too. In truth, the events I did didn't entirely bother me. Even when I fell possibly near thirty metres behind everybody, it didn't entirely bother me. It was the environment in general. Having to sit there and watch, listen closely to when your specific event was starting. They hardly even stuck to schedule. Sports day is a good idea, as an optional event for those that choose to participate. As an obligation, there is literally no reason that I can think of that could possibly lead to them thinking it's a good idea to force everybody to go.



#5 Canopus

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 06:32 AM

I think that sports days, and competitiveness is not something that should be done away with.
 
There have been huge implications on the lack of exercise that children undertake each week in school.
 
There have been massive implications of children not learning how to deal with failure and thinking that they are the centre of the universe.
 
Competitiveness is not a bad thing in itself.
Being good at sports is something that should be celebrated.
There are many autistic children and disabled children that are good at sports.


Your comments echo the traditional, and often current, situation where almost all competitive activities at school are of a sporting variety. This has implications that students who dislike participating in sporting activities - because they are bad at them - are often erroneously assumed not to be competitive. In the real world competitiveness manifests itself in countless ways. For a start, business is competitive but good sportsmen do not necessarily make good businessmen and vice versa.
 

However, that being said, teachers need to realise that not eveyone has that ability or potential - in the same way that some children do not have the academic skills or potential [but no-one suggests doing away with education.  
 
Should parents be allowed to watch sports days.  Yes I think so.


It is not the concepts of sports days that I'm opposed to. It is the fact that they are one of the very few school events (plays are another) that parents are allowed to attend and watch the performance of the participants, and this factor has the potential of turning sports days into public humiliation exercises.
 

I think that every child should be encouraged to take part in sports.  My own son is not good at ball games, or athletics etc.  But now, at age 14, we have found that he is good at Judo - and he likes going.  THAT is what we have to keep alive in all our children.  To persevere and find their 'niche'.
 
Schools need to find something that every child is good at and make sure that is celebrated.


Traditional sports days with parents watching almost always comprise of races and track events. Sometimes there are other field events like shot, javelin, long jump, and high jump, but these tend to be reserved for secondary schools rather than primary schools. I'm not aware of any schools holding sports days with parents invited to watch that comprise of events like basketball or tennis, or martial arts for that matter. 
 

But at the same time all children need to learn how to deal with not being the best.  That there are things you might not be good at.  Things you might be average at.  Afterall in traditional athletics there is only 'one' winner out of a field of maybe 20 of the best athletes from around the world.
 
As a child I have seen other children humiliated by teachers because of their lack of athletic ability, and that is totally unacceptable.


This gets back to the situation of sports days with parents watching being public humiliation exercises for some, but students who are bad elsewhere are not humiliated in public. Unless schools are very large, then it's convention to make ALL students participate in every event rather than the 20 best athletes in the school.






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