At St Chad’s Church of England Primary School, we want all children to become physically literate through the delivery of high quality Physical Education teaching and the sports opportunities we provide.
We are an inclusive school and value the importance of every child accessing all areas of our PE curriculum and sport provision. Our curriculum aims to improve the wellbeing and fitness of all children, regardless of their ability, by providing equal opportunities for all. Our PE curriculum is fully inclusive and can offer differentiated tasks for those children who may have diverse needs. We ensure that children are working towards the same learning outcome in PE, keeping with our ethos of ‘no child left behind’.
In our school, children have healthy participation in PE; all children are aware of the benefits of being active and taking part in sports. Benefits include fitness, physical and mental health and socialisation. Children are motivated to become active outside of school and know that physical activity is not limited to the school grounds.
Our mission in PE is to assist children to go on and lead motivated, healthy lifestyles inspired by their experiences here in school. We also aim for fundamental movement skills to be mastered in EYFS/KS1, which can then be applied within a variety of sports and situations in KS2.
Every week, all of our pupils take part in two hour-long PE lessons; one led by their class teacher and the other led by a sports coach from an outside provider – Bee Active. We work in close partnership with Bee Active and their sessions all link to our curriculum overview and progression maps. All lessons follow the 6 principles of high-quality teaching and learning including retrieval practice starters to activate prior knowledge and metacognitive strategies for children to take ownership of learning. Our upper KS2 pupils are also given the opportunity to take part in swimming lessons in order to be able to leave school being able meet national curriculum guidelines of swimming 25m and of knowing water safety procedures. We also follow the ‘Mile a Day’ process to promote daily physical activity for all children.
Our curriculum ensures that all children experience breadth and depth of skills which are streamlined and linked to appropriate sports. By offering this progression, children develop their procedural knowledge (knowing how) and declarative knowledge (knowing what). By focussing on both types of knowledge, children can see the benefits of learning specific skills and can apply these in various sporting situations. Therefore, we are encouraging the children to develop practically as well as developing their physical literacy through encouraging skill/game-specific vocabulary which enables children to talk about the ‘how’ and ‘why’ behind their actions in PE.
Our PE lead has worked closely with the education specialists at Bee Active to design a curriculum bespoke to our school. The development of skills within this curriculum is built upon from EYFS to Y6 ensuring pupils embed the procedural knowledge needed for physical literacy. Progression is also embedded through the development of vocabulary, complexity of the skills and application to game situations. This ensures children can talk about how and why they have used a particular skill rather than ‘just doing’, thus developing their declarative knowledge in PE. Our curriculum offers a wide range of topics such as cheerleading, active travel (scooters) and survival skills. This enables children to apply their skills in activities outside of competitive sport. Children learn about the effects and benefits of physical activity and strong cross-curricular links are formed with Science and Character Education as children become aware of how movement effects our internal systems, and how physical activity has positive effects on our physical and mental wellbeing.
Our focus on progression of skills is evident through the appropriate provision of our outdoor equipment. The EYFS has access to a wide range of resources which encourage physical development including the outdoor area which includes loose parts and construction, a racetrack, large climbing frame, an open-ended role play area/stage as well as flower beds for gardening and den making. This continuous outdoor provision enables young children to develop and build up on their gross and fine motor skills which will then be used for the rest of their life. Children in KS1 have access to tyres, climbing frames and ground-markings all of which encourage physical activity. In KS2, children can use the outdoor gym and trim trail, which further develops their skills with advanced complexity.
In addition to our PE curriculum, St Chad’s offers a wide range of extra-curricular activities and healthy lifestyles are encouraged. Our lunchtimes promote physical activity from our fixed play equipment to our outdoor gym and mile a day track. The lunchtime supervisors carry out physical activities and games with the children during playtimes and these games are also often led by our ‘Play Leaders’ who practice their leadership and coaching skills with the younger children. Bee Active also lead sporty sessions during KS2 lunch times where children apply skills they have learnt from their PE lessons.
Our sports clubs are very popular! Children have opportunities to take part in football, netball, rounders and several sports-based Bee-Active clubs, such as dodgeball and hockey. St Chad’s are involved in the CCSC league and take part in many external competitions and games, where children can compete and represent our school, such as cross country, netball, athletics, rounders and football! Our high participation in intra-sports competition has resulted in St Chad’s receiving the Gold award for Games Mark. We ensure that all children have opportunities to represent the school and for this reason our teams are flexible. We take part in inclusive sports events at Keele University which encourage less-active children to develop their confidence with physical activity. We have close links with local grassroots provision and we make parents/carers’ aware of their children’s individual sporting talents and encourage them to sign up for local teams.
Competition is embedded through our half-termly house competitions where every child takes part. These are run by our house captains who are our sports role models in school. We reinforce competition and teamwork each day through our use of house points as a reward system and these results are announced each week in assembly.
The impact of PE at St Chad’s is that children want to and enjoy participating in PE. This is clear through high participation in extra-curricular clubs and a very high uptake of coaching sessions. From speaking with the pupils, it is clear children are aware of how PE benefits their mental and physical health and that many of them participate voluntarily in sport in and out of school. The children talk about the skills they are developing and are aware of the transferability to various sporting contexts. Children leave St Chad’s with physical literacy and a PE experience which has gone above and beyond the National Curriculum.
The PE curriculum and the opportunities we provide in making sport fully inclusive led to us being awarded the Games Mark Gold award, for which we are very proud. Many of our children have gone on to be sports leaders at high school and have represented teams at county level. The impact of high quality, fully inclusive PE provision at St Chad’s will have a lifelong affect on the lives of our pupils.