By Mariusz Trawinski

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PE teachers in primary and secondary schools were judged on their discipline, organization and on school team results and width of programmes. PE teachers, in the past, often got promotion or other jobs on the strength of their work in extra-curricular activities in school teams. In recent WHY ASSESS IN PHYSICAL EDUCATION? 29 years this criteria has declined with the decline in school sport and an increasing focus on the curriculum. Clearly, GCSE results and possibly the number of pupils opting for the GCSE PE will replace those criteria in career moves.

From the teachers point of view feedback is the most central and important purpose of formative assessment but usually gets the least public attention. In PE where the emphasis is on physical skills and practical performance, it is essential for the pupil to know the results and effectiveness of techniques and skills, often in the immediate situation, so times and distances are given in athletics and in swimming, technical and tactical points are made in games skills, and technical and compositional advice given in gymnastics and dance.

Many teachers too were dissatisfied with their role as recreationalists. Education for leisure was long-term, vague and marginal and failed to be encaptured by a whole-school policy and it was difficult to say how successful it was. The option system had created some interest for both teachers and pupils but often depressed standards and failed to get beyond the low level. CSE gave a real sense of purpose and motivation for pupils and teachers which the recreation programme lacked. The teachers looked for justification in CSE and health 22 WHY ASSESS IN PHYSICAL EDUCATION?

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