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St Pauls C of E (VA) Primary School

School Logo

St Pauls C of E (VA) Primary School


Physical Education

St Paul’s C of E Primary School
Physical Education Policy


St Paul’s is committed to providing high quality PE lessons within curriculum time and out-of-school learning as unique opportunities for physical development and social interaction. We believe that physical development has a major role to play in equipping our pupils for a society where sport is influential. It is also essential in providing pupils with an awareness of the benefits of a healthy and active life style. Physical education develops children’s knowledge, skills and understanding, so that they can perform a range of physical activities with increasing competence and confidence. These include dance, games and gymnastics in KS 1 and 2 and swimming, athletics, and outdoor adventure pursuits in KS2. PE is a statutory subject which children are required to do by law and it is expected that all children at St Paul’s will actively participate in lessons.


Aims and objectives


In our school we will aim:


  • to enable children to develop and explore physical skills with increasing control and co-ordination;
  • to encourage children to work and play with others in a range of group situations;
  • to develop the way children perform skills and apply rules and conventions for different activities;
  • to increase children’s ability to use what they have learnt to improve the quality and control of their own and others’ performances;
  • to teach children to recognise and describe how their bodies feel during exercise;
  • to develop the children’s enjoyment of physical activity through creativity and imagination;
  • to develop an understanding in children of how to succeed in a range of physical activities and how to evaluate their own success;
  • to work co-operatively and competitively during PE lessons;
  • to make up and play games that involve elements of co-operation and competition;
  • to provide opportunities for children to take part in intra and inter school competitions in accordance with the School Games strategy.


Teaching and learning style


We use a variety of teaching and learning styles in PE lessons. Our principle aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills and understanding and we do this through a mixture of whole-class teaching and individual/group activities. Teachers draw attention to good examples of individual performances as models for the other children to learn from and we encourage the children to evaluate their own work as well as the work of other children. Within lessons we give the children the opportunity both to collaborate and to compete with each other, and they have the opportunity to use a wide range of resources.


In all classes there are children of differing physical ability. We recognise this fact by providing suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this through a range of strategies such as:


  • setting common tasks that are open-ended and can have a variety of results, e.g. timed events;
  • setting tasks of increasing difficulty, where not all children complete all tasks; 
  • grouping children by ability and setting different tasks for each group, e.g. different games;
  • providing a range of challenges through the provision of different resources, e.g. different gymnastics equipment;
  • In KS2 children are encouraged to umpire, coach and act as officials in games activities.


Curriculum Organisation


Throughout Key Stages 1 and 2 each year group will be taught dance, gymnastics and games. Athletics will also be taught in both Key Stages, with children introduced to the skills of running, jumping and throwing in KS1. Swimming is taught in KS2 to Years 3-5 and year groups travel to Parkside Pool for a block of 12 weeks. Outdoor and Adventurous Activities are features of the Year 5 residential trip to Kingswood as well as being taught in Year 6. Every week in Key Stages 1 and 2 each child takes part in 2 hours of time tabled PE lessons in 2x 1 hour slots. Premier Sport provides specialist coaches to deliver Games and Athletics. In Foundation Stage each child takes part in 2 x 1 hour PE lessons per week as well as daily opportunities for organised physical play outside.


PE Curriculum Planning


The curriculum planning for PE is carried out in 2 phases (long-term and medium-term). The long-term plan (Curriculum Map) maps out the PE activities covered in each term during the key stage.


Our medium-term plans, which we have adopted from schemes such as the Cambridgeshire Scheme of Work and Val Sabin, give details of each unit of work for each term. These plans define what we teach and ensure an appropriate balance and distribution of work across each term.


All PE lessons are skills based and activities are planned so that they build upon the prior learning of the children. Children of all abilities develop their skills, knowledge and understanding in each activity area and planned progression is also built into planning via the schemes of work so that the children are increasingly challenged as they move up through the school.


The Foundation Stage


We encourage the physical development of our children in the Early Years as an integral part of their work. We relate the physical development of the children to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals, which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged three to five years of age. We provide opportunities that develop children’s gross and fine motor skills through physical activities that offer appropriate challenges, both indoors and outdoors, using a wide range of resources to support specific skills.


Assessment and recording


CAS core tasks are the main vehicle for summative assessment in PE. They are also used as a starting point to assess children at the beginning of a unit so the journey of progression can be measured by the end. Written observations, oral contributions by the children, photographic and video evidence are other methods of assessments made by teachers in PE lessons, including those taught by Premier Sport. At the end of a unit of work, teachers evaluate the level of progress each child has made/achieved for that unit of work. The levels recorded at the end of each unit of work are later evaluated by teachers to determine the overall progress a child has made in PE over the course of the academic year. In addition, these assessments also contribute to the child’s annual report to parents.


Teachers can also take photographic and video evidence of children’s work as an aid to making assessments. Such evidence can be used to record what areas of PE have been covered. Any evidence recorded in this manner should be saved in a dedicated folder on the school server.




There is a wide range of resources to support the teaching of PE across the school. We keep most of our equipment in the PE cupboard by the hall, which is accessible to adults only. The hall also contains a range of large gymnastic apparatus, and we expect the children to help set up and put away this equipment as part of their work for gymnastics. By so doing, the children learn to handle equipment safely. KS 1 and 2 children use the school field for games and athletics activities and KS 2 children also use the local swimming pool for swimming lessons. The School Sports Partnership is another excellent resource providing us with access to coaches, courses, events and competitions for example.


Health and safety


The general teaching requirement for health and safety applies in this subject. We encourage children to consider their own safety and the safety of others at all times. We expect them to change for PE into the agreed clothing for each activity area. All pupils are required to participate in PE lessons. If pupils do not have their kit on the day of their PE lesson, they can borrow a kit from the stock of kit we loan out. The governing body also expects teachers to set a good example by wearing appropriate clothing when teaching PE too.


The policy of the governing body, which is in line with county policy, is that no jewellery is to be worn for any physical activity. Ear rings are to be removed, - even if they are recently pierced, and long hair should be tied back. For children who are unable to remove ear rings on their own, class teachers will ask parents/carers to take them out at the beginning of the day on which they have PE.


If children are excused from physical activity for medical reasons, this must be put in writing from parents/carers. Such children are still, however, expected to participate in modified PE activities such as whole class/group discussions, talking partners, peer assessments, peer mentoring/coaching and/umpiring activities for example. 

Appendix 1


Wet Weather policy 

The weather, more than any other external factor, is capable of disrupting the planned P.E. curriculum.


When should outdoor lessons be abandoned? 

1. When there is a potential risk to the children’s safety; if the surfaces are too slippery; or if the children do not have appropriate footwear for the activity. 
2. If the teacher deems that the weather will have a detrimental effect on teaching and learning. 
3. When the health of either party may be at risk.

In the event of an outdoor lesson being abandoned, the modified lesson should be taught in the school hall.


Monitoring and reviewing


The monitoring of standards of children’s work and of the quality of teaching in PE is the responsibility of the PE subject leader. The work of the subject leader also involves supporting colleagues in the teaching of PE, being informed about current developments in the subject, and providing a strategic lead and direction for the subject in the school. In collaboration with the Head Teacher, the PE subject leader evaluate the strengths and weaknesses in the subject and identifies areas for further improvement.


Extra-curricular activities


The school provides a wide range of weekly PE clubs, for example gymnastics, netball, football, cricket, tennis, multi skills and rugby. We also provide qualified sports coaches to organise and run clubs that support curriculum learning after school. Besides providing additional opportunities to develop their skills further, these extra curricular activities also encourage children to participate in active, healthy lifestyles. The school sends details of current club activities to parents at the beginning of each term as well as advertising these clubs on the school website.




Competition is a key element of PE at St Paul’s. Intra-school competition (level 1) takes place within the school environment in the form of our school Sports Day.

Inter-school competition (level 2) involves regular leagues and fixtures taking place between schools at local level throughout the year with the best school teams qualifying to take part at the county level School Games Festival;

School Games Festival (level 3) a county/area wide intra-school competition for those children/teams who qualified at level 2)


School-Club links


Through the School Sports Partnership St Paul’s has a broad range of links to local, community sports clubs with named contacts which can be recommend to pupils. These include links to local football clubs, including Cambridge City Football Club, as well as local athletics, rugby, cricket, gymnastics and tennis clubs for example.