The P.E. Curriculum at St Thomas'
At St Thomas’, we deliver a rigorous, progressive and balanced P.E. curriculum based on conceptual knowledge and key skills that aims to challenge and inspire our children to lead a lifelong healthy and active lifestyle. Our carefully sequenced P.E. curriculum, with foundations skills at its core, is organised coherently ensuring children revisit and build upon their knowledge and skills taught in Reception to Year 6. Each unit has been carefully selected to allow pupils to apply their growing skills, knowledge and understanding in a range of contexts. Our curriculum extends beyond our PE lessons; the daily mile, extra-curricular clubs and sporting competitions are all vital parts of our ‘PE, School Sport and Physical Activity’ provision. We ensure that all pupils have a chance to compete regularly as part of their curriculum through consistent monitoring and tracking of attendance. Alongside physical development, our school Sporting Values of ‘Respect, Friendship, Courage and Excellence’ are consistently taught through our curriculum.
Excellence permeates in our P.E. curriculum through the high standards of teaching and learning from Reception to Year 6. Teachers receive regular CPD as well as an abundance of pedagogical resources via the Primary PE Passport App to enable them to teach quality P.E. lessons with confidence. In addition, we carefully monitor, organise and upkeep physical resources such as rackets and inflated balls. All of this ensures that within our lessons, competitions and clubs, our pupils can effectively develop a broad range of knowledge skills which enables them to become competent and enthused performers. Our pupils are taught to self-assess their skills and knowledge against the lesson goals, enabling them to identify strengths and work on targets.
Through intra and inter-school competition, we offer all our children valuable opportunities to engage and excel in competitive sport. At St Thomas', we promote excellent outcomes for all. We take great pride in our gymnastics and swimming success, both of which are at the heart of our curriculum. All children from Reception to Year 6 have at least one unit of swimming and gymnastics each academic year. This priority is vindicated by our success at local and county-wide levels. In addition to providing elite performers opportunities to thrive, we carefully track assessment data to ensure that every pupil meets the ‘Swimming and Water Safety’ standards by Year 6; extended provision is targeted to those who need further support to achieve these.
Experiences and Life Skills
Through our curriculum, we aim to broaden horizons delving into a range of sports to allow children to experience life in all its fullness. This includes our diverse curriculum which encompasses all the key area of P.E. such as games, dance, gymnastics and athletics.
Our ultimate aim is to inspire our children to lead healthy, active lifestyles. We purposefully introduce pupils to a range of sports, including fencing in order to develop their cultural capital. We believe exposing children to a variety of sports will give them the confidence and inclination to try new sporting activities beyond school. We focus on the social and emotional aspects of Physical Education to encourage and motivate pupils to enjoy lifelong physical activity.
We want our children to understand the positive impact physical activity can have on our mental health. We explain the purpose and value of the daily mile upon their physical and mental health and ensure that this is prioritised in our school day.
Our school is split into four teams to encourage frequent inter-school sporting competition. Each of our teams are named after one of our school sporting values. These include the Olympic values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect (which are also part of our whole school Lighthouse Curriculum) and one of the Paralympic values, Courage. We frequently refer to these in lessons, and they are included in every knowledge organiser.
Opportunities to compete in sport and other activities build character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect which enable our pupils to celebrate diversity. Each year group is assigned a sporting icon to study. The list of people has been chosen carefully in order to celebrate diversity and inspire all of our pupils. Our curriculum is inclusive, with provisions and resources available for all.
Half of our school Sporting Values focus on our school Christian values: friendship and respect. We actively encourage and teach the importance of these values within PE and sporting activities through both competition and collaboration. We teach responsibility through participations in team sports and promotion of integrity through fair play.
Year six children are given the opportunity to become a sports leader which gives children the opportunity to have a great role within our school’s P.E. programme: making decisions, helping with the upkeep of equipment and accepting accolades on behalf of their house teams.
Reading and Vocabulary
We explicitly teach subject-specific vocabulary for children to learn and apply during our lessons. These are referred to throughout lessons and have been planned to ensure progression throughout the school. Retrieval tasks are carefully designed to recap vocabulary taught in previous lessons.
Our pupils will read biographies (about their class sporting icon) and sport related non-fiction texts in guided reading sessions. We recognise this is a purposeful opportunity to further inspire our pupils, and make links between curriculum areas.
Knowledge Rich and Academic
With a progressive, knowledge and skills-based approach, we inspire pupils to be the very best version of themselves enabling them to assess and improve their own performance. As well as learning sport-specific knowledge (rules, tactics and techniques), children will be guided in developing their understanding of a variety of sports and physical activities which will lead to transferrable knowledge across the curriculum. Children will also be taught the importance of physiology (what happens to the body and the benefits of exercise), psychology (how we can motivate and work as part of a team) and biomechanics (the science behind how the human body moves through muscles, ligaments and our skeletal system working together) which will be referred to, explicitly and implicitly, throughout the curriculum.