Breadth and balance in the physical education curriculum
Many people participate in a wide range of physical activities either in a professional capacity or in their leisure time. Physical activities in educational institutions, however, take place within the context of teaching and learning and, as physical education, they become part of the educational process. The Educational Reform Act (ERA 1988) established general principles that must be reflected in the curriculum of all pupils. Every pupil is entitled to a curriculum which is broadly based and balanced and schools must ensure not only that a broad and balanced curriculum is offered but that it is fully taken up by all pupils. When considering a framework for planning work in physical education Her Majesty’s Inspectorate (HMI) stated that ‘a programme of work should be designed to reflect a balance both in the kind of activity and in the processes involved in becoming more skilful, more efficient and more fluent within that activity’; and that ‘a balance is also necessary between breadth and depth of content (DES 1989a: 7-8).