Ofsted’s latest report on the quality of PE in primary and secondary schools recognised the importance of PE for children in helping them to build a healthy, active lifestyle. However, it concluded that ‘many schools are failing to meet the breadth and depth of the national curriculum’ and that only a small number of schools have a clearly defined and broad PE curriculum.
What does this mean?
In its research, Ofsted found that schools were focused on providing activities and sports rather than looking at how they could develop the skills pupils need over time to achieve the ambitious goals of the National Curriculum.
If a school has a strong focus on a specific activity area or sport, its pupils are potentially missing out on opportunities to practise and refine their skills and build their competence and confidence, before moving on to more complex skills. It also highlighted that a large number of teachers were unable to identify these gaps and adapt content to help children to embed knowledge and competence.
Why is it important to have a clearly defined and broad PE curriculum?
By setting a clear objective, considering the needs and abilities of the class then choosing the most appropriate activities and sports, you can ensure all pupils are supported, have a positive experience of PE and the opportunity to achieve their goals.
Putting in a plan where specific sports and activities work together and follow on from each other will also help your pupils to progress and develop their skills, understanding and experience as they move through the curriculum. Sequenced curriculums with clear intent are key.
What can you do to increase the breadth and depth of PE in your school?
Start off with reviewing your PE curriculum. Is it clear, comprehensive and well-defined? Does it meet the needs of the national curriculum? Is it well sequenced across a key stage? Does it allow the children to be continually developing key skills?
What is your plan for introducing different activities and sports? How will you do this and when? Is there a planned sequence that allows for development and progression as well as enabling pupils to experience different sports so they can find something they enjoy and do well in?
Are you providing opportunities for pupils to learn about the importance of being active and the wider benefits of PE?
You can make a start on developing PE in your school by working your way through these questions. However, given lack of confidence was cited as a reason why many schools weren’t achieving their potential when it came to PE, bringing in some external support could help to kick start the process.
We can help
Trainee teachers receive just six hours of PE training. Additional professional development is therefore essential to ensuring pupils get to experience and enjoy high quality PE in your school.
This is where Go Well can help. Gareth and Annalisa, our curriculum experts work with schools to help PE leads to develop a well-constructed, needs-driven curriculum that matches the aims of the national curriculum and supports pupils to lead healthy active lives.
We can audit your provision, work with you to develop a strategic plan, advise on implementation, look at your action planning and develop assessment opportunities. These sessions can be 1-2-1 or with small groups.
It is our mission to inspire more children to lead active, healthy lives. We would be delighted to work with you to develop and enhance PE in your schools. Get in touch to talk about how we can help you move PE in your school forward.