Curriculum – PE

“Intelligence and skills can only function at the peak of their capacity when the body is healthy and strong”

John F. Kennedy

Physical Education is a central part of the curriculum at Newton Hall Infants School. We encourage all of our children to be physically active and to develop positive habits, which support their health, fitness and mental health and well-being. We are passionate about PE and recognise the crucial role it plays as recognised by our AfPE accreditation.

Teaching children to remain healthy and safe is an integral part of our curriculum across school. Our staff understand that sport and physical activities, support development not only of the working memory, but they build character, help to embed values such as fairness and respect and develop mental well-being. Scientific research shows that there are explicit links to being physically active and having positive mental health, which is why at Newton Hall Infants’ School, we value both areas of equal importance to a child’s development. As a school, we aim for pupils to learn about these two areas so that they continue to be healthy and active in later life. The school is committed to ensuring all children are physically active for at least 30minutes a day and have pledged this commitment with the Active 30 initiative ran by the County Durham Active 30 Hub. The links between physical and mental health support the development of greater self-esteem, self-control, and the ability to rise to a challenge through developing resilience. This work starts during a children’s early development in Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). In addition, we have developed a whole school system using characters to support children’s understanding of feelings and emotions from an early age. We teach children strategies to help them cope in different situations and give them the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings.

Our school grounds are fundamental for developing fitness. From the beginning of their school journey at Newton Hall Infants’ School, children are actively learning both indoors and outside; physical activity is encouraged wherever possible. In the EYFS outdoor area, the children have access to climbing equipment, a large construction area, a mud kitchen, large sand and water play and space to play games. In Key Stage 1 the children have access to climbing and balancing equipment, a variety of playtime toys and games to support their physical development.

P.E. lessons at Newton Hall Infants’ include gymnastics, dance, games, athletics, Outdoor, and Adventurous Activities (OAA). The children have the opportunity to work with qualified coaches and Specialist PE teachers alongside class teachers throughout the school year.

Lessons are planned so that children develop an understanding of the importance of health and fitness whilst they acquire and develop key skills. Children are taught to evaluate and improve their performance and are encouraged to use their collaborative and leadership skills. Physical activity is embedded within other curriculum areas and has been a huge success! Children learn most effectively when active which has had a huge impact on attitudes towards learning and outcomes.

Competition and collaboration are promoted, which in turn supports the development of independence, pride, belonging and the establishment of good relationships. Children at Newton Hall Infants’ School are given ample opportunities throughout the year to compete both within school, against other schools in the locality and within County Durham. We have excellent support from the School Sports Partnership who organise and run a variety of sporting opportunities for all children.

The impact of our clearly structured progressive physical education curriculum shows pupils are becoming increasingly confident with developing resilience and applying their knowledge and skills. Children at Newton Hall Infants’ School love P.E!

How is the content chosen?

At Newton Hall Infants’ School, we school follow the National Curriculum for physical education and ensure a clear sequenced progression, which is taught systematically so that all pupils to acquire the intended knowledge and skills alongside associated vocabulary as they move through the school. The content may be adapted or changed, based upon the needs or interests of specific cohorts or links to up and coming sporting competitions.

How is the subject taught?

The teaching of P.E lessons is protected time each week. Children across school from Reception to Year 2 receive two hours of discrete P.E teaching. Children in EYFS also have access to outdoor provision daily, which promotes the development physical skills, balance and coordination.

The school uses the “Real PE” scheme of work from Reception to Year 2. This scheme ensures all fundamental skills are covered in a child friendly, story based approach. It focuses on a different key element each half term. These skills are social, personal, creative, physical, health and safety and cognitive. Children become “physically literate” and recognise the importance of developing each skill and how they interlink.

Children in Key Stage 1 follow the core task activities and develop more sport specific skills. We have weekly support by a specialist PE teacher who upskills all staff in the planning, delivery and assessment of PE.

Children across school take part in daily bursts of physical activity including ‘wake up shake up’, ‘dough disco’ and the ‘daily mile’. These activities run alongside a wide range of PE lessons, active outdoor play and learning opportunities. During unstructured times such as break time and lunch, pupils are encouraged to stay active. Playground leaders are trained to lead and encourage physically active play. The lunchtime and after school curriculum have been developed to enhance opportunities, so that children can attend a range of active after school clubs run by qualified coaches.

Health and Well-being is embedded within the ethos of the school. As well as the discrete teaching of how to stay safe and healthy, children participate in workshops ran by “Team Up” and activities to promote their mental health and safety.

How do we know that our children are making progress?

Ongoing assessments of the children’s knowledge and skills is observed by the class teacher and sports leader. Children’s outcomes are compared to the subject specific skills document. At the end of a block of discrete teaching (or term) subject leaders gather an overview of children’s outcomes in each subject area. This is used to plan appropriate next steps for their future learning, as well as provide an overview of learning within a subject area across the whole school.

How do we promote Communication & Language, Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Physical Health and Well-being?

Children are taught about how to stay healthy and safe in all aspects of their lives. Themes from the curriculum ensure that this is often a lead focus for a topic. Healthy lifestyles permeate across the school day, from periods of relaxation (yoga) to extended physical activity and active learning. The mental health of our children is paramount and opportunities to support and promote ‘healthy minds’, as well as develop our understanding as a staff, are at the forefront of our Health and Well-being philosophy. Our children are given opportunities to develop their interest and creativity across the curriculum which in turn supports their mental well-being.

Through sport and P.E. our children are encouraged to build up good relationships their peers, work collaboratively and support one another. Children are taught the skills of resilience and perseverance, which prepare them for the challenges that they are given in school, as well as the wider world.

Children’s successes both in school and out of school are celebrated and they develop a sense of pride in their achievements.

What wider opportunities are provided for our children?

Children participate in regular internal and external sports competitions. They experience a range of different sport and physical activities with specialist coaches and PE teachers in school.

The School Sport Partnership organise and run regular sports festivals such as fun runs, multi-skills, football, athletics, gymnastics dance etc. We also participate in skipping competitions (ran by the skipping school) and Hoopstarz activity days.

Children and staff have also had the opportunity to participate in yoga sessions within curriculum time as part of both PE and well-being awareness. Change for Life Clubs have also been well established in previous years and have helped children to engage in healthy lifestyles. This includes both exercise and diet guidance.

Extra-curricular clubs throughout the year always include sports and physical activities. We encourage Physical Activity at home too and send home “Active Ted” home with children who document his weekend in a diary to share with the class. This motivates the children to maintain high levels of activity at home.

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