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Pupils' Expectations and Experiences of PE across the Primary–secondary Transition in South Wales

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This paper explores the experiences of physical education (PE) among a group of 10–11-year-old pupils who made the transition to an inner-city secondary school in south Wales from one of its feeder primary schools during 2013. The primary–secondary transition concerning PE is marked by significant changes in resource provision, and a mode of delivery from (mainly) non-specialist teachers to subject specialists (Capel and Piotrowski, 2000). Identified as a source of discontinuity at a time of potential risk, the impact of PE has been neglected with educational research (Dismore and Bailey, 2010). As a qualitative exploratory study, an ethnographic approach was adopted with 'pupil voice' a distinctive and central feature. Two six-week phases of fieldwork were conducted which examined the holistic impact of PE across transition in a secondary school and its feeder primary school (June–October 2013). Twenty-five pupils' expectations and experiences of PE across the transition were explored: first prior to transition (primary school) and then post-transition (secondary school). Thematic analysis of pupil interviews, staff interviews and classroom drawings was conducted and created three super ordinate findings which relate to pupils' perception of the process of transition and specifically in terms of PE; the notion of 'being good enough'; social implications of transition and gender; teachers and teaching were all highlighted as significant issues across the transitional process.
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Keywords: ETHNOGRAPHY; PHYSICAL EDUCATION; PRIMARY–SECONDARY TRANSITION; PUPIL-VOICE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2018

More about this publication?
  • Previously published under the title University of Wales Journal of Education, this internationally-distributed annual journal offers an arena for disseminating education research from national and international perspectives. The journal explores a range of controversial arguments relating to education, including areas such as bilingualism, religion in education, well-being and the standards of literacy and numeracy. The contemporary drive for improved education standards, within Wales and internationally, provides a wealth of interdisciplinary research opportunities, and the journal aims to publish research reports relating to these current issues. The journal also includes a comprehensive reviews section.

    Mae'r cylchgrawn blynyddol hwn, a adwaenid gynt fel Cylchgrawn Addysg Prifysgol Cymru, yn trafod agweddau datganoledig ar addysg, ynghyd ag ymdrin ag addysg o safbwynt cenedlaethol a rhyngwladol. Wrth ymhel â materion cyfoes yn ymwneud ag addysg, mae'r drafodaeth yn amlinellu safbwyntiau dadleuol ynghylch dwyieithrwydd a chrefydd yn ogystal â safonau llythrennedd a rhifedd. Mae'r ymdrechion i wella safonau addysg yng Nghymru a thu hwnt yn esgor ar feysydd ymchwil newydd, a bwriad y cyfnodolyn yw cyhoeddi erthyglau cryno yn ymdrin â materion cyfredol o'r fath. Mae'r cyfnodolyn hefyd yn cynnwys adran adolygiadau.

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