At St Catharine’s CE Primary School, PE is led by a combination of class teachers, all of whom have great enthusiasm for the subject, and a specialist teacher from within the school staff. This combination allows the children to receive highly effective quality first teaching from a specialist whilst not de-skilling class teachers who are also enthusiastic about PE.
In our setting, promoting healthy lifestyles and healthy living is a priority. PE sessions should be highly active and productive for the children and promote core skills and physical development in a structured, progressive manner.
Lessons should be inclusive for all abilities within the class so that all children feel valued, included and challenged. There should also be clear links made to children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural also being developed within those lessons.
PE lessons should also provide all children with the opportunity to be competitive, both with themselves and against other children. From this there should be a pathway towards opportunities to represent school for as many children as possible in their time at St Catharine’s.
At St. Catharine’s we decided, in September 2018, that the long term PE planning we were using was outdated and no longer relevant to the needs and ability of our children.
Our specialist PE teacher attended some training by Real PE on the use of ‘Jasmine’, an online platform which focuses on social and emotional needs within lessons as well as developing core physical skills. Following a meeting at school with a Real PE representative and members of our SLT, it was agreed that this unique methodology for teaching PE is ideally suited to the needs of our children.
Staff have attended two twilight training sessions to familiarise themselves with the new scheme of work and especially the supporting digital content.
For the majority of year groups, one PE lesson is taught by our specialist PE teacher and the other lesson by the class teacher. Our specialist teacher also supports the rest of the staff in using the Jasmine platform.
The scheme of work is not used as a prescriptive teaching tool. During the course of the year units of bespoke lessons may be taught to either make direct links to project base learning (eg Egyptian dance) or to prepare the children for upcoming sporting events (eg Y2 football festival).
Wherever possible, lessons at the end of a half-term will be an opportunity for the children to participate in a competitive ‘house’ competition. This provides the children with a safe, comfortable environment in which to experience competition at an ‘intra-school’ level (ie within their own school setting) and can occasionally be used as a pathway to selection to a team which will represent school at an ‘inter-school’ level, (ie representing St Catharine’s against other schools, usually at an external venue.)
The new scheme of work has created improved clarity and progression within Physical Education. The emphasis on also meeting emotional needs is allowing children to make links between spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness and attitudes and behaviour during sport and physical activity.
Links are being made to creative elements of the PE curriculum with the project (topic) being taught in class. Teachers feel more confident delivering PE and can see clear progression both within their lessons and over time.
We are beginning to see improvements in our teams attending competitions, both in terms of behaviour and performance. The individuals are more aware of their role in a team and supporting each other.