Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Pupils’ Expectations and Experiences of PE across the Primary–secondary Transition in South Wales

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-01-18, 14:05 authored by Kieran Hodgkin
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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Wales Journal of Education


University of Wales

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Publication Date



  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)


Hodgkin, K. (2018) 'Pupils' Expectations and Experiences of PE across the Primary–secondary Transition in South Wales', Cylchgrawn Addysg Cymru/Wales Journal of Education, 20(1), pp.93-113

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Education and Social Policy

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  • © The Publisher


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