Why PE important? Physical education (PE) is an integral part of the curriculum at St Mary’s. As well as providing high quality excise, we believe PE boosts confidence in children and breaks down barriers, creates long lasting memories, builds teamwork and helps to bring the children together which creates a real sense of community.
The curriculum At St Mary’s we take a skills-based approach to the way that we plan and deliver the curriculum to ensure that children leave the school ‘physically confident in a way which supports their health and fitness’ (The 2014 Primary National Curriculum in England). This means that teachers continually adapt lessons to match the needs of the children ensuring that each child has the opportunity to improve and clear progression can be seen across the school.
To further enrich the PE curriculum, St Mary’s employs a PE coach to teach each class for two terms alongside the lessons being taught by the teachers. As well as supporting the skills, the coach will develop the children’s knowledge and understanding across a range of sports.
We also weave PE into all areas of the curriculum by including active learning whenever possible. This approach not only allows the core curriculum subjects such as maths and literacy to be taught in a fun and engaging way but increases physical activity in children.
Active 10 To further encourage our children to exercise, we do a regular ten-minute Zumba session with the whole school where a dance routine is followed to music. The benefits for the children include increased concentration, improved coordination, better rhythm and timing and, most importantly, having lots of fun.
Throughout the year, we hold several PE focused days where we raise the profile of the subject. Last year this included a ‘New year, new you’ day on the first school day of 2018. The children and staff all came to school wearing sports kit and spend the day thinking about how to make an active, positive start to the new year. Throughout the day, the children had the opportunity to try activities that they might never have done before including Yoga.
We also ran events in aid of sport relief where children in the older years are supported in setting up their own sport activities for the rest of the school during lunchtime. The total raised last year was just under £100.
Towards the end of the year, we hold our annual sports day which includes all children in the school winning points for their houses. It is always a very inclusive event that show cases the strong community feel we have at St Mary’s with a focus given to our values as well as succeeding in the various events.
Matches and games At various times throughout the year, different children from across the school are chosen to participate in matches or games with children from other schools in Banbury. We aim to ensure that children have the opportunity to represent the school at a minimum of one event by the end of their key stage. These events are always very popular and children enjoy attending them and participating in healthy competition.
Sports Captains As part of our house system, one child from each house in year 4 are elected as sports captains for the academic year. Their role in the school is to promote an active lifestyle by encouraging fun and energetic games on the playground, supporting out Active 10 sessions and ensuring the smooth running of PE events. It allows them to develop a sense of responsibility as well as putting even more emphasis on the importance of an active lifestyle in our school.
Living Streets - Walk Once a Week Living Streets is a UK charity promoting children being active in the way that the travel to and from school. At St Mary’s, we think this is important too, so we have invested in their scheme where children log every day how they have travelled to school. If the children have been active on at least three occasions every week for a month, the will earn a special ‘Walk to school’ badge and there are 12 to collect. We hope that this scheme will encourage the children to skip using a car and instead be energised and ready for a full day of learning. https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/