Physical Education and School Sport

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In Physical Education, a Roundwood leaver will know…

…physical education, school sport and physical activity contribute to a pupil’s emotional and physical wellbeing. Through the development of physical literacy, pupils will be given opportunities to build the knowledge, skills and motivation to lead a healthy, active lifestyle within school and beyond.  Opportunities in class and outside the teaching day, will expose pupils to a range of sporting activities providing them access to competitive and non-competitive pursuits.  It is our intention that all pupils develop positive experiences of physical education which will remain with them for life.

Physical Education is a key component of pupil’s experience at Roundwood Primary where we aim to provide pupils with the skills and knowledge to make positive choices and to ultimately lead a healthy, active life.  As children grow, so too should their physical literacy and in order to achieve this, we have developed a thorough curriculum and extra curriculum programme that allows pupils to be taught and practice movement patterns, skills, techniques and, within a sporting context, tactics which will enable them to learn to move and move to learn.  Our PE curriculum follows a multi-activity model whereby children are taught a unit of lessons based around a specific sport or activity for a block of 6 weeks or half a term. Some units last longer as pupils progress up the school as they require a greater level of teaching input. For example, Swimming will last a full term in the summer of Year 4. This allows us to make accurate assessment judgements which we are then required to publish when the pupils leave at the end of Key Stage 2.

Whilst there are some suggestions as to the skills that are taught, these are by no means an extensive list. Physical Education at Roundwood is taught through seven key themes:

Gymnastics & Dance – Reception aged pupils will initially learn how to negotiate space and begin to control their body movements however, as they progress up the school they will be taught basic skills and movements such as jumping and rolling. They are also taught how to move around, onto and off of a range of equipment.  By Upper Key Stage 2, children will be expected to compose dances and performances using compositional devices such as levels, direction and formation. They will be required to work in larger groups developing not only their physical ability but also their ability to cooperate and communicate ideas and thoughts.

Invasion Games – Traditional games are taught during physical education which in Key Stage 1 stems from early development of fundamental movement skills using a variety of body parts and with different equipment. In Key Stage 1, pupils are taught how to send and receive using balls, rackets and bats of different sizes. Within Key Stage 2 these skills are applied more specifically to sports such as football, netball, tag-rugby, handball, hockey and basketball. When pupils reach Upper Key Stage 2 they will be taught attacking and defensive principles of play which, along with their understanding of tactics and strategy, are then applied through small sided games.

Striking and Fielding – Children will start by learning how to catch, stop and collect a ball in Key Stage 1 as well as being taught how to hit a ball using a bat or racket of their choice. This continues into Lower Key Stage 2 where children will look at striking a bowled ball, bowling underarm and over arm as well as investigating some basic tactics involved in both cricket and rounders.  Finally, in Upper Key Stage 2, pupils will be able to deploy appropriate skills with accuracy and consistency in different game situations. Children experience, cricket, rounders and small sided striking and fielding games.

Net and Wall – In Key Stage 1, pupils will be taught the importance of the ready position before they progress onto developing simple movement patters and racket familiarisation exercises. In Key Stage 2, pupils will learn different strokes and will be taught how to manipulate the ball using groundstrokes and volleys in order to outwit their opponents and score points.

Athletics – In Reception, children will take part in activities that allow them to develop their fundamental movement skills which include balance, running, stopping, hopping and jumping.  These are then developed further in Key Stage 1 where children are taught to run at different speeds, change direction and throw. As pupils enter Key Stage 2, they are taught specific athletics disciplines such as sprinting, middle and long distance running, standing long jump, javelin and shot put. They are also taught to compare their personal best to their previous performances after they measure their time and distance. Finally, in Upper Key Stage 2, pupils hone their skills by learning technical information which will allow them to make improvements in their techniques. This is achieved through peer coaching and specific feedback.

Swimming – Pupils are currently taught swimming at the end of Year 4. They are taught how to swim the three main strokes (front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke) over a distance of at least 25 metres. Children are also taught how to perform self-rescue in water-based scenarios. At Roundwood Primary, to demonstrate our commitment to water safety, we have signed the Water Safety charter promoting our belief that we feel strongly that all children have the right to be able to swim by the end of their primary education and we are making progress in enabling this to happen.

Outdoor Adventure Activities – Children begin by taking on team challenges where they develop their communication and reasoning skills. In Years 3 and 4 children are guided to reflect on the strategies that they use to solve problems, while in Years 5 and 6 pupils are taught to orientate and read maps in order to participate in activities such as orienteering.  This is developed during the Year 4 residential trip to Burwell House where pupils undertake a range of team and individual challenges around the grounds using maps and continued further during the Year 6 residential trip.

Outdoor Adventure Education – Children predominately take part in OAE during their time in Key Stage Two where they may go on excursions to places like Stanborough Lakes to participate in a range of water-based activities like stand up paddle boarding, raft building and kayaking. In Year 6 children can currently take part in a residential where they spend a week at Kingswood, Norfolk and participate in a wide range of activities such as climbing, low ropes, zip wire, Jacob’s ladder and the giant swing.

Physical Activity

We aspire to ensure that all children meet the Chief Medical Officers recommendations (DfHSC, 2019) that children between the ages of 3-4 (pre-schoolers) take part in a minimum of 180 minutes of activity each day. This can be of any intensity and is achieved at Roundwood through structured and unstructured indoor and outdoor play.  Children between the ages of 5 and 18 should take part in a minimum of 60 minutes worth of physical activity, of moderate to vigorous intensity, on a daily basis across a week. In order to achieve this, we have taken a number of steps.  We have ensured that all classes have a minimum of two hours curricular PE each week; have increased the number of extracurricular clubs on offer both within and outside the school day and have invested in new play equipment on both the Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 playgrounds to develop fundamental movement skills with an emphasis on core body strength.  In addition to this, many pupils in Year 6 complete their play leader training which allows them to lead Key Stage 1 pupils in physical activity sessions and games during lunchtimes, ensuring that our youngest learners have access to structured physical activity opportunities.

School Sport

Throughout the year, there are many opportunities for pupils across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 to take part in competitive school sport. These activities change each term and are linked to the competitive events, leagues and fixtures that we opt to engage in. The Harpenden & District Sports Association run a wide variety of competitions throughout the year which affords schools in and around Harpenden the opportunity to compete in sports such as football, netball, tag rugby, kwik cricket and rounders. Within this, schools are awarded points depending on their performances which then accumulate to an overall ranking after the final event – district athletics.

In addition to this, we have entered the School Games which is a nationally recognised sports competition. Within this initiative we are able to engage children through a School Sport Committee who plan for, organise and run clubs, intra school competitions and in-house physical activities.

During their time at Roundwood, all pupils will have access to a variety of external coaches, equipment and resources that are used to enhance curricular lessons and extend the opportunities for physical activity and sport beyond the school day.  Developing the way in which we have used the PE Sports Premium over the last two years, we have provided staff with continuous professional development, overhauled the resources that are utilised during lessons and strengthened our offer of competition by playing a greater part in School Games events.  We take part in National School Sports Week every year, during which we often have guest speakers, a wide range of less familiar practical activity sessions lead by qualified coaches in addition to opportunities for the children to compete internally in intra schools sports.