PE (and books) with Joe

November 24 2021

LITERACY and exercise were on the timetable when St Barnabas Church of England Primary School welcomed a special visitor.

Joe Wicks, who was dubbed 'the nation's PE teacher', after the huge success of his televised fitness sessions during the first coronavirus lockdown, came to the school in North Common to promote his book  The Burpee Bears.

The visit came about after Year 6 teacher Samantha Gough entered the school into a competition. St Barnabas was one of 12 schools chosen from more than 40,000 entries.

She said Joe had proved a fantastic  role model,  promoting healthy living, active lifestyles and reading. He read with them and led a whole-school workout with some of his signature moves.

“The children, and adults, at St Barnabas will always remember the day he visited and the impact he made,” she said.

The school in North Common was one of just 12 selected nationwide from a contest with 40,000 entrants to receive a visit.

Joe, who became the nation’s online PE teacher during the Covid lockdowns, was promoting his children’s book The Burpee Bears.

Fitness guru and author Joe Wicks with pupils at St Barnabas C of E Primary

He led the whole school in a workout including his signature moves such as The Silly Billy, Pikachus and Spider Man Lunges.

Pupil Phoebe, age 10, said: “It was really exciting and it was really cool how everyone was getting up, moving and enjoying themselves.”

He then read his book to the children and handed out T-shirts to those who answered questions about the book.

Then the children turned the tables on him, challenging him to complete as many burpees as he could in a minute. He managed to do 20 of the press-up, squat and jump combo.

Year 6 student Freddie said: “It was exciting because we’ve never had a celebrity and there was a celebrity in our school.”

Pupils also asked him what he advice he would give to his 10-year-old self.

Joe said: “Don’t give up. Believe in yourself because you are going to go on to do amazing things when you grow up.”

The St Barnabas children made banners, cards, posters and painted bears based on the book and Joe visited the classrooms to meet all the children.

Harleigh, a Year 6 pupil, said: “I was pretty surprised that it was actually Joe Wicks at school and not a tribute.”

Year 6 teacher Samantha Gough said: “I entered the competition because I wanted a positive role model to visit the school to promote healthy living, active lifestyles and reading.

“As a school, we completed the 'PE With Joe' workouts as a community, both in our homes and at school.

“Joe Wicks is a huge figure for children to aspire to. The atmosphere at the school was brilliant and pupils had huge smiles across their faces.

“When he visited, nothing was too much. He had so much time for the children in the school. He listened to them and answered their questions.

“The children, and adults, at St Barnabas will always remember the day he visited and the impact he made.”