Tackling the Confidence Crisis in Primary Girls – New PE Certificate Scheme

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A confidence crisis in Primary School girls as young as 7 is preventing them from getting and staying active – according to new data from The Youth Sports Trust.

At First Step PE, we’re taking action on this, and have launched a new certificate scheme across all our PE and extra-curricular clubs, specifically designed to boost confidence and engagement with physical activity.

Here’s what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and how you can get involved.

The Crisis Explained – Girls Active Research Report Findings

In November 2018, the Youth Sports Trust released its Girls Active Research Report – part of a wider programme aimed at improving girls’ attitude towards school sport, and to increase participation in PE.

The study took in responses from a survey of 5,454 girls and boys aged 7-11, looking at their attitudes to activity, and the barriers preventing them from engaging with PE and physical activity.

The findings were clear – 21% of the girls surveyed cited a lack of confidence as stopping them from enjoying being active in school. Just 13% of boys cited the same lack of confidence.

One of the core recommendations of the report was to place developing self-confidence at the heart of PE and Physical Activity.

You can read the report in full here.

Building Confidence in Primary Schools

We agreed wholeheartedly with the findings and recommendations in the report.

At First Step PE, we see the impact low confidence has on children every day. A significant number of young girls (and a smaller number of young boys) simply don’t have the self-confidence needed to engage with and enjoy sport.

Unfortunately, failure to engage with PE at primary school has an impact that can last a lifetime. Children who don’t engage with physical activity at primary school are even less likely to do so at secondary school – and once they drop out from sport, it’s an even bigger challenge to get them to re-engage.

We want to help change this, and this is where our new PE certificate scheme comes in. Developed on the back of this research, it’s been designed with a clear goal in mind – to support the confidence levels of primary school children, as part of our wider goal in helping to build the platform for an active, healthy life.

The First Step PE Certificate Scheme

As part of the scheme, we award certificates to 4 pupils (two girls and two boys) from Key Stage 1 and 4 pupils from Key Stage 2 each half term period.

The certificate categories are split into two categories:

  • Outstanding Sportsmanship
  • Most Improved

Certificates are awarded at assembly in front of the school, to help reward pupils and build the confidence they need.

The idea behind the categories is to be inclusive. The awards can be won by anyone, and not just the most naturally gifted or skilled. The scheme launched in January, and going forward, we will be running it across all our Primary School PE activities and extra-curricular clubs.

The scheme is the natural progression of our popular weekly ‘sticker’ rewards – and we look forward to sharing the results with you in the future.

Primary School PE Delivery from First Step

At First Step PE, we support primary schools across Yorkshire and the Humber with the creation, preparation, training and delivery of high quality, structured PE in line with the national curriculum expectations.

In addition, we also deliver a wide range of extra-curricular school sports and activity programmes designed to enrich your activity offering.

Get in touch

For additional information about First Step PE, our certificate programme, or how we can help your primary school, contact us today.
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