Physical Education (PE)
"An active mind cannot exist in an inactive body." (George S Patton)
At St Chad's, we understand that physical health and mental wellbeing are interlinked: good physical health contributes to good mental wellbeing, and vice versa. This is why we are committed to ensuring that our children's physical health, well-being and emotional and social understanding are at the heart of our curriculum design. We strive to create a culture which aims to inspire an active generation to enjoy PE, encourage each other and achieve.
Children begin their journey to becoming healthy, physically active young people in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Physical Development is one of the three prime areas within the statutory Early Years Framework.
Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives. Gross and fine motor experiences develop incrementally throughout early childhood and provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye co-ordination, which is later linked to early literacy.
In our EYFS, children have the opportunity to access planned activities that offer appropriate physical challenges through continuous outdoor provision. We encourage the development of fine and gross motor skills through the provision of suitable resources, for example using scissors and having access to a climbing frame, throughout the day. Repeated and varied opportunities to explore and play with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts and the practice of using small tools allow children to develop proficiency, control and confidence.
Across Key Stage 1, children are taught to:
- master basic movement 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.
At St Chad's, PE is taught from Reception upwards with the support of Derby City School Sport Partnership. Derby City SSP are an organisation which facilitates training and professional development in Derby City.
SSP's curriculum delivery focuses on the head, hand, heart model which aims to develop the whole child, including their physical, social and emotional and cognitive skills:
- To think creatively and confidently.
- To make decisions independently.
- To be engaged in a healthy active life-style.
- To have a positive attitude towards sport.
- To value the social and emotional well-being it can bring and have fun.
- To grow in strength, co-ordination and technique
- To become physically competent.
SSP also look to develop children’s physical literacy (the development of fundamental of movement and sports skills) to enable children to have a lifelong love of PE, as well as being physically active. The SSP resources cover the National Curriculum, with a focus in every lesson on supporting and developing social, emotional and cognitive skills.
At St Chad's, we value the importance of subject expertise. Funded through our Sports Premium grant, a member of DCCT works in our school on a weekly basis alongside teaching staff during PE lessons. By team teaching, we are able to upskill and develop teacher's knowledge and skills for long-term future sustainability.
As a school, we understand and embrace the wonderful pathway into extra curricular activities that PE brings. With the support of SSP, we run weekly lunchtime and after school clubs. We are committed to delivering a choice of after school physical activities. Popular clubs with the children have been multi-sports, football, cheerleading and skipping. We look forward to trying out different choices in the future as we aim to follow the children’s interests.
Throughout the year, children also have the opportunity to use, apply and develop their PE skills in the wider community by attending events in the City hosted by SSP, such as the Derby Dance Festival. With the support of Cycle Derby, our children also have the opportunity to learn how to ride a bike.
The importance of mental and physical health are threaded in our curriculum design beyond PE so that our children are equipped with the life skills to enjoy a happy and healthy future. We have in place daily and weekly routines to promote an active lifestyle, for example, encouraging families to walk to school and spending time playing outdoors. Children learn about the importance of healthy eating through their Science and PSHE lessons. Through our PE and wider curriculum design, our children are taught yoga and mindfulness - both of which have been shown to improve physical and mental health. As a Church of England School, our daily acts of Collective Worship play an integral role in supporting our children to connect with their mind, body and soul. Each year, children have the opportunity to take part in Health and Fitness Fortnight and Mental Health Awareness Week.