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Physical Education

Physical Education - The Whiteoak Way

'Physical education is the most effective means of providing all children and youth with the skills, attitudes, values, knowledge and understanding for lifelong participation in society.'

United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

At the Whiteoak Academies, we strive to live our motto, ‘Planting Dreams. Nurturing Hearts. Growing Minds.’ by providing our children with a rich and diverse curriculum. One of the key aspects that makes up our curriculum is Physical Education (PE).

We believe that PE can inspire every child to be the very best they can be and that our curriculum engages them in dynamic, varied and competitive exercise that nurtures them to challenge their minds, bodies and spirits. Furthermore, we aim for our PE curriculum to encourage our children to lead active and healthy lifestyles which will benefit their physical and mental health and wellbeing. Indeed, we strive to inspire our pupils through fun and engaging PE lessons that are enjoyable, challenging and accessible to all.

‘Intelligence and skill can only function at the peak of their capacity when the body is healthy and strong.’

John F Kennedy

Our Aims for Physical Education (PE)

At the Whiteoak Academies, we have developed our own curriculum to help ensure that each and every child thrives by becoming:

  • Knowledgeable & Curious
  • Respectful & Compassionate
  • Independent & Fulfilled

In support of our curriculum vision and aims, we follow Get Set 4 Education which develops children’s hearts and minds through physical activity and to foster their lifelong enjoyment in fitness and sport. All our children access a high-quality physical education through our curriculum that inspires all pupils to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically-demanding activities. It should provide opportunities for pupils to become physically confident in a way which supports their health and fitness. Opportunities to compete in sport and other activities build character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect.

As a family of schools we aim to ensure:

  • There are opportunities for children to experience a range of healthy competition against others, and competing for a personal best.
  • There are a variety of activities and planned sporting experiences to help children to learn about different forms of exercise and sport.
  • Children are provided with carefully crafted opportunities to compete in sport and other activities that build character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect.
  • An exciting PE curriculum is planned to provide children with opportunities to develop their fundamental movement skills and access a broad range of opportunities to extend their agility, balance and coordination, individually and with others.
  • Exploration of different physical activities allow the children to develop their skills and learn how to evaluate and recognise their own success.

The National Curriculum

Our PE curriculum has also been designed and developed using the National Curriculum which aims to ensure that all pupils:

In KS1:

  • master basic movements including running, jumping, throwing and catching, as well as developing balance, agility and co-ordination, and begin to apply these in a range of activities
  • participate in team games, developing simple tactics for attacking and defending
  • perform dances using simple movement patterns.

In KS2:

  • use running, jumping, throwing and catching in isolation and in combination
  • play competitive games, modified where appropriate and apply basic principles suitable for attacking and defending
  • develop flexibility, strength, technique, control and balance
  • perform dances using a range of movement patterns
  • take part in outdoor and adventurous activity challenges both individually and within a team
  • compare their performances with previous ones and demonstrate improvement to achieve their personal best.
  • swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres
  • use a range of strokes effectively
  • perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations.

Through our progressive PE curriculum that stretches from EYFS to Year 6, children are able to build on and improve prior skills which include communication, technique and strategy. All children receive two hours of curriculum PE per week and as they progress through the school, they are given the opportunity to experience different sports and physically demanding activities. Furthermore, our curriculum has been carefully crafted so that previously learnt skills and techniques can be successfully applied. For example, throwing and catching skills taught in Key Stage 1 will benefit them when playing cricket, rounders, netball and basketball in Key Stage 2. We understand that exposure to different types of physical activity and sport allows children to find their niche and activities their enjoy, and we aim to encourage and inspire children to follow these interests outside of school.

Through our PE lessons, we aim to:

  • Follow a progressive, evolving curriculum that, with time, builds on past understandings and combines new practices.
  • Find ways to actively engage all children in moderate to vigorous physical activity for the majority of every lesson, a minimum of 75%. 
  • Actively engage all children so that there are plenty of chances to practice the skill or technique being taught that day. Our quality curriculum will offer many practice opportunities, sometimes alone, sometimes with a partner and sometimes during small sided games in groups or teams.
  • Design lessons so that children of all levels of attainment and confidence have great rates of success.  
  • Foster and promote positive learning experiences in a warm, supportive atmosphere in which children are encouraged to exercise new skills and expand their fitness levels without feeling self-conscious.
  • Ensure all our classes are as enjoyable as they can be, so that children appreciate and look forward to PE, both at primary and secondary school.

Whole School Overview - Get Set 4 Education


North Somerset PE Association

As members of the North Somerset PE Association, we take part in the School Games inter-school competitions. The School Games values (passion, self-belief, respect, honesty, determination and teamwork) are at the heart of these events which allow our pupils to engage with other children across the local authority, in fair and engaging competition, where their skills developed in school can be showcased on a larger stage.

‘The important thing in life is not the triumph, but the fight; the essential thing is not to have won, but to have fought well.’

The Olympic Creed, Baron Pierre de Coubertin

British Values and SMSC in Physical Education

To help ensure that children leave school prepared for life in modern Britain, the DfE issued guidance to all schools on improving the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of children through the promotion of fundamental British values.

Across our family of schools, we aim to develop a climate where the British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs are deeply embedded at every level and lived through our vivid vision, core values and curriculum.

As outlined in our aims and vivid vision, we seek to encourage our children to act with integrity and respect so that they embrace and celebrate diversity and understand our rich cultural history. Furthermore, we aim to empower our children to become humble, compassionate global citizens who learn how to live successful and happy lives where they are informed, courageous advocates of the things that matter to them. Underpinning this are the key concepts of being and belonging: being hopeful, considerate human beings who know they matter and that they can shape a positive future for themselves and others, understanding how they belong to their community, modern Britain and the world, recognising they can make a difference now.

At the Whiteoak Academies, Physical Education plays a vital role in helping us to deliver our vivid vision by supporting the personal development of children and promoting fundamental British values. Through a variety of activities and sports our children are taught about different roles and responsibilities, including team work and decision making. In every lesson, children are provided with opportunities to work individually and in groups where they learn about age appropriate rules, fairness and respect. There is an established ethos in PE with regards to how to win and lose fairly and develop an understanding of good sportsmanship. Personal best and self-improvement is an important part of our PE curriculum to encourage competition against oneself and each other. PE recognises individual differences and develops an ethos where the views of individual children are listened to and respected. Our PE curriculum enables children to engage in competition not only with their peers but also across the whole school and within the community.

Our pedagogical approach to the delivery of PE at the Whiteoak Academies is designed to make a genuine impact on the spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding of our children; therefore, helping to promote British values. Children should develop a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them during a range of activities in every lesson. Our delivery of PE should showcase a willingness to reflect on our experiences by critiquing performances through positive and constructive peer feedback. We celebrate sports success both in and out of school and encourage our children to recognise their differences. Through our PE curriculum our children are nurtured and supported to understand their rights and role within society in order to help them shape a positive future for themselves and others in an increasingly complex and dynamic world.

Why is Physical Education so Important?

At the Whiteoak Academies, we recognise that PE is a vital part of a child's education, growth and development. It forms a key part of our curriculum because:

  • Children learn to appreciate the significance of exercising for a lifetime.
  • Research shows that physical activity can boost our self-esteem, mood and sleep quality, making us less prone to illness and disease.
  • Children learn the fundamental motor skills that will allow them to develop the physical capability that in turn will produce confidence and leads to safe and successful involvement in a wide range of sports.
  • Children are encouraged to increase their fitness levels during PE, including muscular and cardiovascular endurance, strength and flexibility.
  • Children can learn valuable lessons about accepting responsibility for their individual development leading to greater self-discipline.
  • PE gives chances for children to be creative, cooperative and competitive and to face up to diverse challenges both as individuals and in groups.
  • Physical activity can help to ease anxiety, tension and stress and will result in improved attention in class.
  • Movement can be used to strengthen the understanding of several subjects taught in the classroom e.g. mathematics and has been shown to heighten the function of our brain.
  • Many activities taught in PE require children to work in groups to solve problems.  These opportunities are outstanding for learning both leadership and teamwork.
  • Sports activities are a superb way to meet and make new friends.  Being confident in your own physical capabilities inspires youngsters, and later adults, to be more social.
  • PE is particularly vital to children who have yet to progress their verbal communication abilities.
  • Children learn to develop the concept of fair play, honest competition, good sportsmanship and how to handle both success and defeat.

The importance of being active

Association for PE - Definitions

PE in the National Curriculum