Physical Education (PE)
Physical Education (PE) is studied by all students in year 7 to 9. Students in year 10 and 11 will continue with core PE on their timetable, and can choose to study the subject further as one of their GCSE option choices.
Reason for sequencing the curriculum for every year group in the way it is, and the subject specific/pedagogical approach taken:
In year 7, the objective is to create a love for physical education by experiencing a wide variety of different activities and developing respectful relationships, and not shying away from a challenge. Year 8 is designed to broaden sporting experiences and embed skills, such as applying tactics and strategies into a range of sports. This is then developed in year 9 by students applying more advanced skills, using GCSE terminology consistently and effectively. The GCSE course encompasses a practical and theory element, with students being able to select the sports they wish to specialise in, having been introduced to a wide range earlier in their learning journey. We also engender an understanding of what it means to have a healthy lifestyle – including physical activity, developing social skills and how PE can impact emotional well-being positively – throughout Key Stage 3 and in Core PE at Key Stage 4.
The physical education curriculum focuses on broadening knowledge, skills and understanding across a range of activity areas. Each year group has the opportunity to develop skill selection and application using tactics, strategies and compositional ideas that relate to specific activities. They will build on stamina, strength and flexibility and be able to apply themselves in a range of competitive, creative and challenging activities.
The curriculum opportunities are broad and varied due to the variety of activity choices covered, such as dance, gymnastics and athletics. This enables students to start to think about specialising in specific activities and roles as they progress through their learning journey. The varied activities that are taught on a rotational basis throughout the year are determined by the sporting seasons and specific inter-school competitions that are on the calendar. Each activity selected provides a springboard for the GCSE practical performance assessment criteria, looking at skills in isolation and the application of skills, techniques and decision making. In the practical subject areas, pupils can progress and improve their knowledge and understanding in key activities and refine and adapt skills, and develop their fitness. This occurs through the use of progressive drills, modified games and competitive experiences.
The theoretical aspect of physical training and applied anatomy and physiology underpins each practical lesson at both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4. This gives the pupils a basic knowledge and understanding of key concepts, such as subject specific vocabulary and training methods, before embarking on the GCSE course and accessing the large theory content. This also includes reading about different sports and the rules and regulations that apply to them. The assessments for PE include both progress made practically and results in a written tests. This provides a broad understanding of a student’s ability, both in the practical and theoretical element of the course and gives students an insight into the demands of the GCSE.
How we build on prior learning:
Hosting events for our primary feeder schools allows an initial insight into the skills level of potential students before they begin. At Key Stage 2, students should have been taught basic fundamental skills, such as the principles of attack and defence and basic knowledge of movement. In order to ascertain the skills each student has, they begin with a benchmark test, focussing on their general fitness and skills in sport. Teaching is adapted according to the needs of the students, including allowing them to develop an awareness of tactics and strategies that can be utilised to outwit opponents. Students can begin to have an understanding of positions and rules as well as exploring movement using actions, space, relationships and dynamics. GCSE theory content, such as principles of training and knowledge of the muscular-skeletal system, is drip fed into each year group to give them basic knowledge of key topics of Physical Training, Anatomy and Physiology.
Throughout Key Stage 3 students gain confidence in applying more advanced skills, showing accurate technique and consistency within both isolated drills and competitive situations. Students will further develop an ability to evaluate and assess movements and sequences to produce refined outcomes. Leadership opportunities are facilitated to improve communication skills, teamwork, organisational skills and confidence. Students will be expected to lead warm-ups and some sports related drills as well as score and officiate within a range of different activities.
The GCSE Curriculum at Key Stage 4 focuses on the different physical and emotional requirements needed to compete at a good level within a sport. Students will be encouraged to study a small number of sports in more detail, refining technical accuracy and executing skills with accurate precision, control and fluency. Position specific skills, set plays, strategies, tactics and compositional creativity will be embedded and developed within the practical content and will empower individuals to meet the challenges in formal and competitive situations.
Theoretical content is re-visited from Key Stage 3 in a more formal environment and students are expected to link the key content to sporting examples. The GCSE course is structured to enhance learning by grouping each component together to ensure fluidity and encourage recall of key terms. The coursework element complements the knowledge and understanding needed in component one and creatives a practical vision of the application of training to an individual's performance and wellbeing.
The PE curriculum and extra-curricular program is progressive and allows each pupil to flourish.
How we prepare students for the future:
The physical education curriculum is broad and balanced and will guide all students to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to maintain and improve health-related fitness as part of their commitment to lifelong healthy lifestyles. They will become educated with the relevant information and experiences to be physically active outside school and throughout life.
High quality physical education fosters the physical, moral, social, emotional, cultural and intellectual development of pupils. It improves psychological health and supports cognitive and academic performances. The main focus in our curriculum is to develop skills, nurturing the fundamental and advanced skills to competently perform in a broad spectrum of sporting activities. The learning of the theoretical understanding of PE and sport is key to improve effective performance outcomes and increase students' understanding of the positive benefits of exercise.
Each activity area has been carefully selected to explore a multitude of holistic learning opportunities and ensure that we immerse students into a comprehensive diet of physical activities and sport, in the hope that we engage, excite and excel our students within the subject and for them to develop a lifelong commitment to participating in sport and exercise.
The demands of the GCSE course prepares students for the expectation at A Level as there is a clear cross over between the two courses. Students are provided with A Level style activities to enable them to begin preparation for potential A Level courses in the subject.
Throughout the PE learning journey, each student is exposed to information about the possible career paths that come under the umbrella term of sport. This is displayed in their changing rooms and a page has been integrated into the assessment document. Specific career links are referenced in lessons and within extra-curricular activities where they provide the scope to enable the student to clearly see the progression. This would entail writing up a match report that would link well to a career in sports journalism or leading a warm-up or skills session in a lesson which would link to a career as a sports coach or personal trainer.
Each activity taught in the physical education curriculum embeds key skills that the students learn and develop. These skills include communication, resilience, problem solving and leadership. Students are made aware through their lessons how they have used these skills and how they would be valued in the workplace. The students bank practical examples that can be referenced in personal statements for employers, colleges and universities.
Additional provision to support learning:
We aim to develop an atmosphere of encouragement, acceptance and respect for achievement and a sensitivity to individual needs in which self-esteem and self-confidence grow. To support learning, a broad range of extra-curricular clubs are on offer which supplement the curriculum focusing on key skills and techniques and building a cohesive team environment. There is an extensive competition sports calendar that gives the students the opportunity to compete against other schools, both locally and nationally.
Sports trips are incorporated into the school calendar and include opportunities to attend tennis, rugby and football events as well as residentials to adventure centres, ski trips, football and netball tours.
Within the school environment, interventions, including revision sessions, are used to enhance learning with the Key Stage 4 curriculum and there are opportunities for leadership.