‘So encourage each other and build each other up.’ Thessalonians 5:11
At St Mary’s we aim to develop the enjoyment of being active through a wide range of sports and other physical activities and to improve the importance placed on health and wellbeing. Our aim is for pupils to develop the knowledge, skills and competence to participate in a broad range of sports and physical activities. They will learn to cooperate and compete fairly, understanding their own and the role of others. We value the benefits of PE and sport in helping to build children’s confidence, self-esteem and self-worth.
The national curriculum for physical education aims to ensure that all pupils:
Our provision includes other physical activities to promote fitness and wellbeing, such as yoga.
All children receive two lessons of physical education a week. Lessons are delivered either by class teachers or specialist PE coaches, who have expert subject knowledge and are extensively trained in the areas of the curriculum they teach. In addition, this enables to us to extend our provision further, for example, street dance. Within our PE lessons we aim to:
In Early Years the children experiment with different ways of moving, learning to adjust speed or change direction to avoid obstacles and learning to travel with confidence, negotiating balancing and climbing equipment. They learn how to use equipment with increasing control, including pushing, patting, throwing, catching or kicking an object or ball.
In Key Stage 1, our aim is for pupils to develop the fundamental movement skills of agility, balance and coordination and apply these in a range of activities. They will engage in competitive activities, not only challenging themselves to improve their personal best but also to beat others in competitions. Through team games, they will learn simple tactics for attacking and defending.
In Key Stage 2, the children develop a broader range of skills, learning how to apply them in a range of contexts. More specific competitive games and sports are introduced e.g. hockey, tennis, cricket etc. adapted where appropriate to the needs of the children. Pupils develop their creative skills whilst continually improving their strength, flexibility, control and balance.
Outdoor and adventurous activities are not only an integral part of the KS2 curriculum but delivered from Reception to Year 4. Once every half term, the children from all year groups collaborate on a range of problem solving activities and challenges enabling pupils to work both individually and within a team. In addition, this provides an opportunity for the children in Year 4 to develop and demonstrate their leadership skills in a range of contexts.
The School Games, which is funded by Sport England National Lottery funding and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, is a government led programme designed to deliver competitive school sport to all young people. Where possible the children attend inter school festivals and competitions within the Berwick partnership of schools providing an opportunity to compete with other children and achieve their personal best. Where teams are successful in winning tournaments, they progress to competitions at county level, the ‘Northumberland School Games’.
Due to the Covid -19 outbreak, there was a ‘Virtual School Games’ event delivered via You Tube with both children in school at home invited to participate. Officially opened by ‘Eddie the Eagle’ and with best wishes from sporting stars such as Stephen Miller, the Games included many different sporting and physical activities from ball skills to yoga as well as a design a mascot drawing competition. The children relished each new challenge with everyone choosing a different favourite activity at the end of the day.
In Year 4, pupils have the opportunity to further develop their leadership skills as sports leaders. After training, the Year 4s lead physical activities with the younger children at lunch time breaks, thus encouraging other pupils to become more active while still developing their own leadership abilities.
The boys in KS2 participated in a dance project funded by Northumberland County Council to support boys mental health and wellbeing. Michael and Jordan from Newcastle based dance company ‘Hit the Ground’, worked with the boys for two terms on two collaborative pieces. It was amazing to see how well the boys worked together and supported each other, with everyone excelling in their street dance production.
National Sports Week is usually held the last week in June. This was another virtual event this year, with both children at home and school accepting the challenge. We planned each day with a different themed physical activity: athletics, aiming sports, team sports, adventure sports and artistic sports. The children completed each activity with great enthusiasm and increasing skill while encouraging others too. This week also incorporated ‘International Olympic Day’, where the children chose from the ‘Tokyo Ten’ from the Get Set website, to have fun completing alternative physical activities using items that can be found around the home.
We have many visitors in school so we can experience a wide range of sports and physical activities. Over the past year we have worked with Sharon from Hoopstarz where we tried different hula hooping moves and tricks, Nat who came to teach us wheelchair basketball, Lisa and Megan from Exit 12 dance group who taught us about contemporary dance and Rhiannon from Yogi Bairns to name a few.
Here are some useful links about keeping active at home.