PE and School Sport
Why is PE part of the RFA curriculum?
At RFA, we believe that it is essential to teach our children how and why they should lead physically active lives; developing a love of exercise at primary school is a vital starting point for children to maintain active, healthy habits all the way into adulthood. We want our children to understand and recognise the positive impact that exercise can have on both their physical and mental health and wellbeing. It is our responsibility to not only introduce children at RFA to a range of games and sports, but to also develop their competence and confidence to excel in a broad range of physical activities. Therefore, we focus firstly on the fundamental movement skills and then the physical literacy of all children, providing them with the essential foundation for participation in physical activity of any kind and at any level of difficulty. We also recognise the many ways that PE strengthens essential personal and social skills such as communication, cooperation, respect, resilience and self-belief. At RFA, we want children to see exercise as something achievable and therefore enjoyable; we must equip them with the physical skills, knowledge and understanding, as well as the social and emotional tools, to feel successful in whatever activity they may participate in now and in the future.
What is taught as part of the PE curriculum?
In EYFS, children strengthen their fundamental movement skills as a foundation for their PE learning but also as essential skills for life. They can be grouped into body management and body awareness skills, locomotor skills and object control skills; within these, children are also supported in developing their agility, balance and coordination. During PE lessons, the children explore and develop these skills through a range of ‘multi-skills’ games and activities, as well as through specific dance and gymnastics teaching.
In KS1, children continue to build on the fundamental movement skills explored in EYFS. They continue to focus on body management skills and their own body awareness, as well as increasingly being aware of the space taken up by others. They further strengthen their knowledge and understanding of object control both individually and with a partner, before progressing game-playing skills and participating in simple games. They are also more aware of the ways in which their bodies can move, and the correct techniques for these movements. Agility, balance and coordination are a particular focus through the gymnastics and dance, while locomotor and object control skills are explored in different ways through athletics.
In KS2, children can begin to apply their strong foundation of fundamental movements skills to more specialised, complex skills used in more traditional sports, games and activities, as well as the continuing development of agility, balance and coordination. Children develop secure knowledge and understanding of the skills and techniques required to participate in a range of sports and other areas of PE throughout this key-stage, with the opportunity to revisit and consolidate these regularly by applying throughout half-term’s unit of lessons but also each time a sport or PE area is revisited each year. ‘Game-sense’ is increasingly important throughout KS2, with children learning how to exploit space, apply tactics and follow more technical and detailed rules. Their personal and social skills are continuously strengthened as teamwork is also explicitly taught. Children are challenged at the level appropriate for their skill and confidence level, to ensure that all children feel successful and make good progress. Physical literacy is a continuous focus throughout KS2: raising the children’s levels of stamina, strength, speed, flexibility and mobility (in addition to motor skills) enables them to participate fully and maximises the impact of each PE lesson.
How does RFA deliver PE?
All children at RFA have the opportunity to be taught PE by a specialist teacher or coach on a weekly basis. This allows for lesson content to be delivered consistently and expertly, maximising the learning opportunities, physical development and personal outcomes for each child in each lesson.
In EYFS, children have one formal PE lesson (delivering fundamental movement skills teaching through ‘multi-skills’, gymnastics and dance units), in addition to highly personalised and tailored activities on offer through continuous provision and other adult-led small groups. Across KS1 and KS2, children receive two PE lessons each week. One unit of work is taught per half-term, to allow for in-depth learning as well as consolidation and further development of skills to take place. In KS1, children are taught one area of PE per term, comprising of ‘multi-skills’ (games), gymnastics, dance and athletics. In KS2, children are taught games knowledge and specific sports understanding through netball, hockey, cricket and tennis. They also cover gymnastics, dance, athletics and outdoor adventurous activities.