Youth Sport Trust's Class of 2035

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A world in which young people have been negatively impacted by the digital revolution and are isolated from the environment. The teacher, Mr Winters, has great facilities at his school, but is constantly frustrated by his pupils' attachment to their devices. They live their lives through social media, and their incredibly short attention spans make full-length lessons almost impossible.

Young people are empowered to participate fully in PE, sport and physical activity, in and out of school. Motivated by the feeling of contributing to a brighter future, Miss Gallagher teaches her pupils to eat healthily and use the latest technology to track their health and exercise. Well-trained in engaging children dependent on digital devices and acutely aware of the link between physical activity and improved wellbeing, she also teaches the wider benefits of PE in conjunction with PSHE and Citizenship.

A generation which proactively seeks an active lifestyle - but do not have the infrastructure they need to maximise their potential.

Mr Higgins is desperate to positively impact the way he teaches PE, but thinks insufficient support has been given to schools. He’s enthusiastic, but out-of-touch with technology - sadly watching from afar as his pupils organise their own sporting activities and turn to the internet instead of their teachers for information or support.

Here, our young generation has been completely let down. Their days are spent consuming digital media, with very little outdoor activity, leaving them lethargic and broadly unhappy. They’re ill-prepared for the challenges of adulthood.

Over the last few years in teaching, Mrs Mbivzo has seen funding continually diminish, and school facilities worsen. As such, her pupils have no interest in sport or general wellbeing.

Youth Sport Trust Class of 2035

What role will PE, sport, and physical activity play in the development of our future generations? The Youth Sport Trust has worked with the Future Foundation to fast-forward 20 years, conducting in-depth research and analysis to present four potential future scenarios:

  • Digitally-distracted
  • Fit-for-purpose
  • Go-it-alone
  • Sidelined

Step inside the classroom and meet the Class of 2035...

Enter

Digitally-distracted

A world in which young people have been negatively impacted by the digital revolution and are isolated from the environment. The teacher, Mr Winters, has great facilities at his school, but is constantly frustrated by his pupils' attachment to their devices. They live their lives through social media, and their incredibly short attention spans make full-length lessons almost impossible.

Tabitha Matthews

Age: 12

Mr Winter’s notes

Tabitha is showing signs of being unhappy and isolated – however this seems to be less about her disability and more about her image. She avoids PE when she can as she’s reluctant to get changed beforehand and doesn’t get involved in any activity in case any photos of her exercising appear on social media afterwards. She uses our remote learning facilities a lot, which is great because it means that her disability does not prevent her from accessing school – however it also means that she spends a lot of time cooped up at home and little time with teachers or her friends face-to-face.

Key behaviours

  • Spending hours on social media
  • Worrying about her image
  • Dieting
  • Avoiding exercise in PE
  • Little face-to-face time with peers

Chris Kent

Age: 16

Mr Winter’s notes

Most days, Chris simply does not seem interested in school or sport. He often looks tired, which I assume is due to late-night social networking and gaming. His energy levels are constantly low and it’s impossible to get him excited about sport, despite our good facilities – he cannot see how being active will make him healthier. His lack of direction has seen him get into trouble on a regular basis, resulting in several suspensions.

Key behaviours

  • Struggling to concentrate
  • Attached to his mobile phone
  • Snacking throughout the day
  • Displaying laziness
  • Poor grades

Fit-for-purpose

Young people are empowered to participate fully in PE, sport and physical activity, in and out of school. Motivated by the feeling of contributing to a brighter future, Miss Gallagher teaches her pupils to eat healthily and use the latest technology to track their health and exercise. Well-trained in engaging children dependent on digital devices and acutely aware of the link between physical activity and improved wellbeing, she also teaches the wider benefits of PE in conjunction with PSHE and Citizenship.

Priyansh Moin

Age: 10

Miss Gallagher’s notes

Priyansh is a star student - and his attitude and ambition rubs off on his peers. After he cycles to school, he’ll often lead his friends in an early morning run round the playing fields - which he records using the wearable tech the school provides. He knows the importance of eating well at breakfast and lunch, which gives him the energy and enthusiasm throughout the day to excel academically. He does a lot of sport outside of school too and uses social media to organise after-school activities with friends.

Key behaviours

  • Excelling in every subject
  • Displaying constant enthusiasm
  • Inspiring his peers
  • Clear-thinking and determined
  • Enhanced wellbeing by being active

Song Liu Yin

Age: 10

Miss Gallagher’s notes

Song is incredibly mature. It must be hard for her to split her time between school here in the UK and her school in China - but she uses social media to stay in touch with friends and keep up-to-date with her sporting role models. When Song is at school, she throws herself into every activity possible, and encourages her friends to do the same. She’s recently shown a real talent for the pole vault, and I have a feeling she might be a star in the making. Her active lifestyle enhances her attention and achievement in other school subjects.

Key behaviours

  • Happily getting involved in any sport
  • Achieving good grades academically
  • Eating well every lunchtime
  • Showing real ambition to go further

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Go-it-alone

A generation which proactively seeks an active lifestyle - but do not have the infrastructure they need to maximise their potential.

Mr Higgins is desperate to positively impact the way he teaches PE, but thinks insufficient support has been given to schools. He’s enthusiastic, but out-of-touch with technology - sadly watching from afar as his pupils organise their own sporting activities and turn to the internet instead of their teachers for information or support.

Marik Bielski

Age: 15

Mr Higgins’ notes

Marik has lots of potential and clearly has a love for sport, yet he is very disengaged in school. He has become skilled at using social media to set up out-of-school activities with friends and loves taking part in street sports. All of his energy goes into this though and he has nothing left to give his studies or PE lessons – this is why his grades in all subjects are so low. He doesn’t seem to be fully happy and always looks frustrated at school.

Key behaviours

  • Showing disinterest in PE lessons
  • Organising his own out-of-school sports
  • Playing street sports at lunchtime
  • Constantly using his smartphone
  • Poor grades in all subjects

Morwenna Ford

Age: 9

Mr Higgins’ notes

A cheerful, bubbly personality at school, Morwenna seems happy and healthy but you can also spot how frustrated she is by our limited school facilities. She once enviously told me about her friends at a different school who use technology regularly in PE. She skips lunch most days, as she says she can eat better food at home. I think she would benefit from a more structured exercise programme at school – I know she does some activity with other girls her age but this won’t be enough to keep her healthy.

Key behaviours

  • Exercising with friends
  • Skipping school meals
  • Making her own decisions about what she eats
  • Happily socialising with peers
  • Frustrated by lack of facilities

Sidelined

Here, our young generation has been completely let down. Their days are spent consuming digital media, with very little outdoor activity, leaving them lethargic and broadly unhappy. They’re ill-prepared for the challenges of adulthood.

Over the last few years in teaching, Mrs Mbivzo has seen funding continually diminish, and school facilities worsen. As such, her pupils have no interest in sport or general wellbeing.

Thomas McNamara

Age: 8

Mrs Mbivzo’s notes

By the time Thomas arrives at school, he’s already been on his phone for an hour and is completely engrossed in social media. He spends his break times playing games on his phone too, rather than participating in any kind of exercise - and this has led him to become a quiet, shy, and often unhappy member of his classroom. There is a lot of pressure on him to get good grades, and he does seem anxious about what the future holds. These seem to be passing concerns though, as he is broadly apathetic and lacks drive to change his lifestyle.

Key behaviours

  • Playing with his phone rather than conversing
  • Rarely participating in lessons
  • Worrying about grades
  • Spending break times inside
  • Displaying a lack of enthusiasm

Sara Hassan

Age: 12

Mrs Mbivzo’s notes

Sara seems constantly stressed at school, which is sad to see in a 12-year-old. She complains about her workload and the results expected of her. She would benefit from extra-curricular activities, but has shown no interest whatsoever in PE lessons as she totally disengaged with the activities we offer. She sees anytime spent doing sport is time she could spend revising and studying. She doesn’t spend much time with her friends either and is always on her phone. Every day, she seems more unhappy than the last.

Key behaviours

  • Displaying real unhappiness
  • Stressing about her workload
  • Focussing solely on her results
  • Little social time with friends
  • Viewing PE as a ‘waste of time’
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