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St. John's CE (VA) J&I School

Prepare the way of the Lord

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Physical Education


At St. John’s, we nurture the children’s physical development by providing them with high quality lessons where children feel included and supported regardless of their ability.  We strive to capture their interest through a range of teaching approaches which foster creative thinking, teamwork, skill development and leadership opportunities.  We work hard to develop the children’s confidence and resilience when facing a challenge.

We aim to help the children learn through discovery, peer learning and high quality teaching using high quality resources.  We want children to acquire skills quickly and then enable them to apply these skills to games or challenges.  We encourage and guide them to listen to and learn from each other, reflect on their performances and always strive for a better performance.

We aim to create a supportive environment where the children work together to complete challenges or play a game. The values of friendship, humility and endurance are a fundamental part of the children’s experience in games and competitions.  

We look for ways to ensure each child can succeed in their PE, sport & physical activity journey.  We provide them with role models, experiences and challenges which allow them to see themselves as active and healthy citizens who know how to look after their personal well-being and have the physical skills and mental resilience to achieve their best.


The PE curriculum is taught using the objectives taken from the National Curriculum.  A breadth of experiences is built into the long term curriculum plan so that children can become physically literate in a range of fundamental skills within the areas of gymnastics, dance and games.  In EYFS, children are taught the fundamental skills of balance, co-ordination and controlling objects.  In Key Stage 1, the children build on these skills and begin to play simple team games where they can apply the skills.  In Key Stage 2, the children learn more sport-specific skills and are taught how to apply these to cooperative and competitive games.

Teachers plan and deliver engaging lessons which are well-paced and allow all children the chance to succeed.  They ensure there is a clear progression of skills over a unit of work.  Teachers help the children to develop these skills by directly teaching the skill and then asking the children to apply them in challenges, games and competitions.  Teachers make dynamic assessments within lessons and adapt their plans to meet the needs of the children in their class.  They use the STEP (Space, Task/Time, Equipment, People) principle to help the children take ownership of their learning and become more confident at setting and achieving their own levels of challenge with the teacher’s guidance. 

School sports competitions are an essential part of the curriculum and they are carefully tailored to the differing needs of the children.  In Key Stage 1, the children are introduced to competition where they learn to work as a team to beat another team in their class.  In Key Stage 2, the children are introduced to more formal competition where they learn to apply tactics and skills to be a more effective team.  They all play competitively within their classes as well as competing in a more formal format against our partner school, Newton Hill.  The more able students are encouraged to participate in the competitions organised with ACES (Active Community Education in Sport) against local schools and in some cases these children can enter competitions at West Yorkshire level.  Our less confident or SEND children are given opportunities to meet other children at ‘friendly’ events.  The values of friendship, humility and endurance are a fundamental part of the children’s experience in all of these events. The annual School Sports Day is a fully competitive event where children can learn about and apply the key School Games values of self-belief, teamwork, passion, determination, honesty and respect.  The children’s achievements in competitions are celebrated in the weekly awards assembly.

The children are encouraged and guided to take on leadership roles where they can learn many valuable social skills.  At the simplest level, this involves children taking on leading roles in lessons: they choreograph a dance or take the lead in a team.  The Sports Council meets to discuss ideas for improving playtimes and running special events for the whole school to enjoy.  The children are specifically taught the skills to lead: Y6 children set up, run and help record in the PE challenge; Y5 children become ‘Fitbod’ leaders and support children in fun playtime activities. 

At St John’s, we encourage all children to be more physically active and teach them to understand how good diet and exercise choices can help them to lead a healthy lifestyle.  At playtimes, the children are encouraged to be active through timetabled use of the trim-trails and climbing frames, ‘weekly challenges’ led by the Sports Council, fun games led by the Y5 Fitbods and end of playtime exercises (eg: follow my lead, Summer Run).  We encourage physical activity in class too, through planned active learning (Burn2Learn), dance (GoNoodle or BBC Super Movers) and other activity (imoves, yoga, class challenges).  The children are also encouraged to walk to school through the Living Streets initiative which rewards children with badges for walking, scooting or cycling to school.  We aim to deliver 30 minutes of physical activity a day in line with government advice.

We positively encourage children to take up membership in sports or physically active clubs.  Children who do not attend any clubs are catered for by a lunchtime activity club run by ACES.  Children’s achievements in clubs outside school are celebrated in the weekly award assembly.  Clubs outside school are promoted through attending competitions (Hockey tournament at Slazenger Sports Club) or inviting club leaders to talk to the children in assemblies (Wakefield School of Tennis).

It is vital that children are inspired to be more active and at St John’s we strive to provide the children with good role models.  All class teachers lead PE and wear PE kit to set a good example to their classes.  We invite great role models into school to inspire the children and raise the profile of PESSPA (Sports for Champions, ACES, Wakefield School of Tennis).

The curriculum leader supports teachers in a number of ways to develop their subject knowledge, repertoire of skills and pedagogy.  This happens informally during discussions and more formally through mentoring, coaching or feedback from planning scrutiny or lesson observations.  Teachers’ skills and subject knowledge are also developed through the use of the PE teaching company, ACES, who provide mentoring and feedback within and outside lessons.

The curriculum leader carefully plans how to use the Sports Premium money in order to achieve the school’s objectives and the DfE’s 5 key indicators in the most cost effective way.  The 5 key indicators are: The engagement of all pupils in regular physical activity (30 minutes a day); The profile of PESSPA being raised across the school as a tool for whole school improvement; Increased confidence, knowledge and skills of all staff in teaching PE and sport; A broader experience of a range of sports and activities offered to all pupils; Increased participation in competitive sport.  The curriculum leader reviews the impact of this spending at the end of the academic year in order to build on progress and successes.

PE is assessed by teachers through observing the children in lessons and recording their observations on the PE passport app.  Teachers use this knowledge to adapt their plans so that they will meet the needs of the children and help them progress at a good rate.


The combination of well taught PE lessons, carefully tailored school sports competitions and the encouragement to keep physically active combine to create a strong foundation for every child’s health and well-being as they move through school. 

In PE lessons, children confidently talk about the skills they have learnt and can demonstrate these.  They show teamwork, respect and resilience when participating in competitive sports.  They can talk about the ways they lead a healthy lifestyle and share their favourite ways to be active. Older children will be able to explain how they have worked with other children to inspire them to achieve their best or encourage them to be physically active.

By the time they leave St John’s, the children have a clear understanding of how to work as part of a team, how to apply a wide range of skills to game situations, how to lead and inspire others and how they can follow a healthy lifestyle.

The impact of the PE curriculum is measured by teacher assessment using the PE Passport app, alongside pupil voice and lesson observations to ensure the curriculum is being delivered to a high standard.