One aspect of our Health and Wellbeing cog is Physical Education (PE) through which we strive to provide children with a curriculum which inspires them to actively take part and progress in a range of physical activities embedding a desire to be active and healthy for life. At St Mary’s, supporting and developing a child’s physical health and mental wellbeing is as important to us as improving their academic performance therefore it is a vital cog that runs through our curriculum.
Our focus as children begin their journey in our EYFS is on developing their skills such coordination, control, manipulation and movement which will support other important factors including harnessing their confidence in their abilities and enabling them to feel the positive benefits of being healthy and active. As they transition in to key stage 1, our intent is for children to continue developing their motor skills as well as acquiring basic game-playing skills and knowledge, for example throwing and catching and special awareness. When children reach lower key stage 2, they progress to applying these skills in a range of contexts, learning how to use them in different ways and to link them together to make actions and sequences of movements. In upper key stage 2, children begin to take control of their own physical development by assessing their strengths and weaknesses in terms of their knowledge and skills linked to different areas of the PE curriculum. We support children in become young leaders providing them with the ability to plan, deliver and evaluate sessions with other children.
Across the school, we ensure that children have access to at least two hours of PE a week. We have recently introduced the Merton PE scheme of work to support the implementation and consistency of approach within our PE curriculum. This is to ensure our staff have the confidence, knowledge and resources that they need to deliver a range of physical development sessions which actively engage all children enabling them to become physically literate. It also means that our PE curriculum builds on the skills and knowledge that the children have previously learned allowing for progress. Furthermore, this approach ensures that the vocabulary associated with PE is consistent across the school which is particularly key for us due to our high proportion of children with EAL. Our PE curriculum is also implemented through our school values of Koinonia, Truth, Compassion and Endurance, as we develop and encourage effort, good sportsmanship, teamwork and determination.
To promote healthy competition, enjoyment in sports and to deeply embed the learning, we regularly involve children from across the school in both intra-school and inter-school sports events as part of our North Oxfordshire School Sports Partnership (NOSSP) membership.