PE kit boys

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The TES Physical Education group is a great source of lesson ideas and inspiration and is the place to share best practice and get your questions answered by your peers. This is also where you go to debate the latest issues in PE teaching.

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PE kit boys

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    Hello to all

    I have a question to all PE teachers and other parents in this forum. My son will be attending a new primary school from September onwards. I am now in the middle of sorting out his uniform and have noticed that boys at his school have to do PE with no top on, just black shorts. What are the benefits of this rule and is that normal practice ?
    Thanks for your replies.
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    i am sure this is wrong information somewhere along the line,, this isnt usual practice in any school!!!

    please phone the school and query this
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    Well. I am pretty sure that there is no misunderstanding. Girls have to wear black leotards and boys black shorts with no top. There is even a photo in the school prospectus showing the different uniforms with a shirtless boy. I am a bit puzzled as to why this rule?
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    Unbelievable! I am a secondary head of PE and I can asure you that this is NOT normal practice in schools. I suggest you query this with the Headteacher. Playing in 'skins' as it used to be called went out years ago thank goodness.
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    This is unusual nowadays - but it still occasionally happens - and in my opinion is totally harmless.
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    I am a secondary head of PE and do not allow boys to partake without a shirt at all. I don't think boys should be made to do PE without a top. I would be furious if they did this at my sons school, it is entirely innapropriate.
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    Until recently - 3 or 4 years ago - I always asked the boys in my year 6 class to wear black shorts/bare feet only for PE/Dance - although I never insisted upon this - especially if they were slightly overweight. After the first lesson or so they usually accepted this and seemed to prefer wearing just shorts. Also, if one of the boys forgot his kit he didn't have to miss out because he could always borrow a pair of shorts from the spares box. It certainly made life much easier - you could tell at a glance that they had changed properly and weren't wearing school shirts or wearing vests underneath. It also meant that children weren't bringing expensive, designer label, or long-sleeved shirts to school for pe.
    I also remember quite a few programmes produced for Dfes/BBC during the 1990's that showed boys similarly dressed during PE lessons. It used to be quite common in primary schools.
    Having said this it seems to me now that those days have gone. With everyone suspicious about everybody else's motives and paedophiles apparently lurking under every bush and behind every wall you'd have to be silly to insist on this now. I also doubt that any school would publish a photograph in their prospectus of a boy wearing just a pair of shorts.


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    This seems weird. I'm sure that no school in my entire country (Australia) does this.
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    This topic has been discussed many times on this forum and always promotes a lengthy thread! Do a search and you'll find many different views. For 4/5 year olds to be barechested or in 'skins', isn't really a problem, but I don't suppose it would harm to ask the school why they have adopted this policy.
    1. http://www.tes.co.uk/section/staffroom/thread.aspx?story_...
    2. http://www.tes.co.uk/section/staffroom/thread.aspx?story_...
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    http://www.tes.co.uk/section/staffroom/thread.aspx?story_...
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    http://www.tes.co.uk/section/staffroom/thread.aspx?story_...
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    I am very grateful that a PE teacher pointed out that we need a non-nonsense approach to boys PE kit. It is indeed so much easier to have boys in shorts only with no tops for the reasons that spaceinvader stated.

    -You can see at first glance whether they have the proper kit.

    -No expensive branded (football) shirts

    -You can keep a spare pair of shorts so if a boy forgets his you just hand him a pair of shorts

    -You can evaluate their body and muscle movement much better

    -Boys usually prefer doing PE shirtless

    -Boys can develop a positive body image of themselves

     Even though in my school we have a more elaborate PE kit, I insist in my lesson that boys strip down and wear shorts only. Some might need some encouragement for the first lesson but it always works out fine. The irrational fear of paedophiles everywhere (where are they in the gym hall??) makes us abandon good and traditional no-nonsense practices which have so many benefits. It just seems crazy.

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    "evaluate muscle movement" thats ridiculous! I presume none of the advocates of 'no shirt' are talking about secondary schools? surely not? This policy is 'old school' for a reason, its like asking girls to wear gym knickers!
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     Just saying that something is "old school" seems to suffice as an argument these days. No further thought needed!

    Maybe old school wasn't that bad after all, especially looking at the route that our children and young people are travelling down. Some traditional practices in schooling might help to instill respect and discipline before it is too late.

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     There is a video on youtube that shows a traditional PE lessons with boys wearing white shorts only. This is a secondary school, a coed lesson, and they are expected to be shirtless. It's the kind of PE lesson that I experienced as a boy in the 80ies. Have a look.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zoa5QBBiEbs

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     Hello everyone

    I came across this space while looking up information on the internet about PE kit as my son will probably be attending a grammar school next year that expects boys to do PE without a top. I am very concerned about this as he is a fragile child and easily catches a cold. I would like to know from other parents if they have been able to convince PE teachers that endorse shirtless PE classes to make an excpetion in certain cases. Looking at the video posted above, it seems a bit unfair on the boys to be shirtless then the girls are covered up. 

     

    Thanks

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    Hi Lbenn4 ! What is the name of the school? I've heard of the tradition. It is not as common as it used to be but it seems there are still some schools which require boys being shirtless for P.E. It is mostly for health reasons I think.The another reason is that T-shirts can be quite dangerous for gymnastics restricting movements.(especially for apparatus....etc.)
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    Hi lbenn4. You cannot catch a cold by simply being cold. A cold is a virus, and if he is in the same area as a child who is transmitting the disease, he has exactly the same chance of catching it as if he was wearing a ski jacket.

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    I can remember the dread and nightmare of PE when I was at school in the 1970’s. We wore shorts and vest. Most of the time we played basketball and one half had to take their tops off to make the 2 teams look different etc.  Sometimes we did it outside. I remember dreading the teacher saying the line he always began with when we were going outside “Its quite a nice day.......”  I was not sporty and had some difficulty with co-ordination. I never generally touched the ball, I just followed it dunning after those who were playing. It was a humiliating waste of time.

    Trying to get the teacher to make exceptions for your son will just make it worse for him and if he does get to wear a top the kids will torment him. If you have picked a school that only wears shorts for PE just live with it.

    What you need is “regime change”  Start lobbying vocally that no top is a “dinosaur” from the days of frequent child molestation. Go for other parents and the board of govenors.

    Concentrate on the unwholesome and perverted nature of making children play sport without a top.  If prisoners in prison were made to do activities topless there would be an outcry and so on.

    There is a lot on the web about boys swimming nude in American schools up to the 1980’s. Lots of older people on these forums go on about how boys don’t need to wear anything to swim. But obviously that way of thinking would now be seen as perversion so thinking changes. Schools that think boys can do PE topless are still stuck on the path to modernise from the dark era.

    The best of luck.

     

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     I don't see why is it such a big deal being shirtless for P.E.Do boys have shirts in swimming lessons?What is the difference?

     I would like to know the name of the schools with the shirtless policy proving there are still some because I don't know any with such a rule.

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    Thanks for your answer Joabc

     I have chosen the school because it is quite traditional in its ways and in that sense topless PE for boys seems to be part of that philosophy. I generally agree with the schools outlook, it's just this one point that I have a problem with. My son is still quite small, he is a bit fragile and self conscious, having him doing PE stripped to the waist with other boys who are probably stronger and more boisterous makes me feel uncomfortable, that’s why I wanted the PE teacher to make an exception. 

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    I can't belive that ANYONE on this thread belives it is appropriate for children to be taking part in exercise half clothed. As a PE teacher of 20 years experience i can safely say that i have NEVER demanded that boys do pe bare chested - how can this POSSIBLY be good for a child's self image?.

    They key to this question is the school having its own PE kit : ie the school supplies the shorts and tshirts/rugby shirts/whatever, and therefore controls the 'football shirt' issue.

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