Our PE curriculum is evidence -led, taking into account sources such as the Ofsted Research review in 2022 and the House of Commons Briefing Paper in December 2019 on PE, physical activity and sports in schools. It also draws on research and advice from the PE Association.
The curriculum is explicitly planned to be inclusive, ambitious, broad and balanced. Our intent shares the aims of the National Curriculum, enabling pupils to;
- Develop competency in a broad range of physical activities.
- Being physically active for sustained periods of time.
- Engagement in sports and activities.
- Lead healthy and active lives.
We know how PE contributes to personal development and see it as an important vehicle to character development building confidence, resilience, determination and respect.
The Thoresby PE curriculum is underpinned by the National Curriculum and EYFS framework. All statutory requirements are met through units delivered from F1 to Y6. The content is relevant and responsive to our locality and the context of our school.
Leaders know that physical competence is developed through a range of activities and experiences. Extra-curricular activities are given a high priority that includes sports activities and competitions and also ample opportunities for physical play during break and lunchtimes. Elements such as healthy participation is supported through learning in other subjects such as the effects of exercise on the body (short and long term) in Science and PSHCE.
Leaders are aware that our pupils have a broad range of experiences outside of school. Some pupils have had ample opportunities to develop object-control activities, others loco motor related. There are also significant numbers of pupils who have not had any external opportunities and have very limited motor competence, particularly those that are transient, deprived or with SEND. The curriculum has been designed so that there are many opportunities to check levels of motor competence, offer direct instruction and give feedback in all phases.
PE is prioritised in the school timetable with all pupils receiving 2 lessons per week. The timings within these lessons ensure time for physical activity is maximised.
Leaders know vocabulary development is particularly important to our school population and that the language of PE needs to be explicitly taught. Pre-loading vocabulary and explanations of meanings are a feature of all lessons.
The EYFS PE curriculum focuses heavily on the Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS). These basic learned motor patterns are often inefficient when pupils join us in EYFS and our aim is to develop these so pupils can be more proficient and mature in their movements.
The EYFS curriculum covers all elements of FMS (locomotor skills eg running and jumping, stability skills eg twisting and balancing and manipulation skills eg throwing and catching). These progress from very simple in F1 to more complex in F2.
Teachers give explicit instruction and feedback as they are delivering the curriculum about what makes FMS successful eg landing on balls of feet.
Pupils learn through the themes of Body Management, Cooperate and Solving Problems, Speed, Agility and Travel and Manipulation and Co-ordination and are introduced to the domains of Gymnastics and Dance.
Pupils are introduced to the early stages of healthy participation learning about exercise in our lives and how to participate safely (eg following explicit instruction).
In KS1, the curriculum builds on the early knowledge of EYFS. FMS is still a guiding principle with ample opportunities for direct instruction in basic learned motor patterns. Pupils are introduced to transitional activities where they can challenge and extend their knowledge, for example they are introduced to Attack, Defend, Shoot and Hit, Catch, Run concepts that enable them to practise varying speeds and simple game situations.
As they progress through KS1, pupils begin to learn about rules, strategies and tactics. They start to engage and have opportunities to practise their skills in small-sided game scenarios. Their understanding of safe and effective participation is extended by learning about some of the short and long-term benefits of physical activity.
Pupils build on their learning in EYFS and KS1 and are taught a broad range of domains. There is a tight focus on the progression of their declarative knowledge (knowing ‘what’ such as rules, tactics and health) and procedural knowledge (knowing ‘how’ to apply the facts and tactics).
The activities pupils are taught in KS2 have been carefully selected. There are a range of sports and physical activities that develop a range of motor competencies, rules, tactics and strategies that enables healthy participation. There is a balance of object- control activities and loco motor to ensure those pupils less developed in some areas due to lack of experience are still able to achieve competency in all areas ready for KS3.
Leaders have ensured there is sufficient time in each domain to become competent and acquire a depth of learning, they are aware that research shows pupils can find it difficult to make the links and draw upon prior knowledge in a new context and so teachers make this explicit in lessons. Some domains such as dance, gymnastics, cricket and athletics run across the whole KS2 curriculum to enable acquisition of component knowledge for KS3.
The KS2 OAA curriculum builds on pupils’ experiences in EYFS and KS1. This has recently been given a greater weighting within the curriculum in recognition that our pupils often lack confidence when facing new challenges and the ever-transient nature of the classes requires a strong team ethos.
Following COVID and the changing nature of the school population, leaders are aware that swimming competency has been affected. For the last two years the school has invested in additional lessons at a local secondary school focusing on Y4, Y5 and Y6 pupils with the aim of achieving basic competency in this necessary life skill.