Gender and Sport
I spent a few afternoons with 8 children, two from each KS2 year group, planning and designing posters that are now displayed in school. With help from a local artist, I gave the children pictures for inspiration to base their poster on. These included paintings by Paul Klee, Henri Matisse, Andy Warhol and Bridget Riley.
We discussed how to create different effects, what gender our person may be or if they would be non-gender specific and what messages to include.
These are the posters the children developed:
The children showed their posters in a whole school assembly, just before sports day. They explained why they had created their posters and what the messages are that they have chosen. These posters are on display in the hall for all children to see.
While they were creating these posters, I spoke with them about how they felt about boys and girls doing different sports and whether they thought the posters were effective. These are some of their comments:
- Every sport is free for anyone to do.
- You can’t just laugh at people for doing different sports.
- No sport is for a boy or a girl, it’s an equal choice.
- In secondary schools there is more teasing. They think they are older and smarter.
- It’s not fair. We know lots of male footballer names but no one knows the names of women football players.
- It’s like racism but with gender.
- People expect boys to play football.
- Boys are rougher than girls. To be rough makes you look really strong. Boys don’t realise that some girls like to be rough too.
- Football has always been a more popular sport and people prefer to play football because they get paid lots of money for it.
- Lot’s of people can play football as you only need a ball and some grass.
- There’s one girl in the rugby club. People treat her the same, she fits in.
How effective are the posters?
- Sometimes if a boy wants to do a ‘girls’ sport, he would feel worried. So something needs to change. The posters are a good idea to help reduce teasing.
- It’s a good idea to do the posters, as some people don’t think that a boy would do ballet. If you asked ‘can boys do ballet?’ they would say yes, but they wouldn’t think of boys doing ballet.
- The posters will help people to think more about the sports that we can do and help us realise that both genders can do any sports.
Evaluations from Y3
Since Y3 has been involved in this project from the beginning, I wanted to get their impressions of the posters and see whether they were pleased with them and thought that they were effective. Here are some of their comments:
- Let every girl or boy do what they want.
- Don’t tease other people about what sport they do.
How effective are the posters?
- I think the dance one was good because it showed how a boy can dance.
- Good effective messages.
- I like the glitter. It really makes the message stand out.
- The Y6s has lots of values. That’s what makes theirs good.
- They show that boys and girls can do whichever sport they want.
- It’s a clear message in a stylish way.
- I think the posters were great because they have a very clear message.
- I like the idea of a poster with a message on it.
- I like the part of the poster that says even if you get teased, stay strong.
- I think the posters are very good because every poster has an important and clear message.
- They were very good because it should not be girls doing gymnastics. It should be girls and boys doing sports!
- It’s a fantastic idea. The posters have a really important message that’s very clear.
- I really love the messages because they attract people.