From Champion to Hero: Engaging Pupils in a study of significant Olympians

Primary History article

By Beverley Forrest, published 19th June 2011

Engaging Pupils in a study of significant Olympians

Please note: this article pre-dates the 2014 National Curriculum and some content may be outdated.

Allocated the task of researching and presenting ideas for teaching about significant Olympians, I thought: ‘Brilliant, this is the easy one'. How wrong can one be! I expected to be able to access a plethora of child-friendly resources devoted to my Olympic heroes like Mary Peters, Seb Coe and Steve Redgrave. However, on my visits to the library or searching publishers' sites I found little beyond a few books from American publishers focusing on black American athletes, mainly Jesse Owens, famed for his success at the 1936 Berlin Games. Clearly there is a huge gap in the market for something easily accessible for teachers to use in class, which may hopefully be filled in the time between now and 2012. In the meantime a group of enthusiastic primary teacher trainees in their second year of study of a fouryear course at Leeds Trinity University College were asked to consider which Olympians were worthy of study and to suggest some ways in which this could be approached...

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