At Ash Grove Academy, we recognise the role that Physical Education plays in promoting a healthy, balanced lifestyle, establishing healthy habits for our children that they can take with them into the future. We are a Gold School Games Mark school, which demonstrates our commitment to the development of competition across our school and into the community. Through our spiral curriculum structure, children understand the importance of living an active life and how this can benefit their all-round wellbeing. We want our children to increase their fitness levels, be creative, co-operative and competitive, and learn valuable lessons about responsibility and self-discipline. Many of the positive attributes acquired through Physical Education can be applied beyond the school context: problem-solving, leadership, teamwork, fair play and honesty, to name but a few. We want our children to recognise these characteristics and become fitter, stronger and healthier as a result of their PE lessons, taking their skills, knowledge and enjoyment into all areas of their life.
Children at Ash Grove Academy each receive a minimum of 1½ hours of curriculum time for Physical Education on a weekly basis. We deliver our PE curriculum in partnership with The PE & Sports Hub, using their knowledge and expertise to collaboratively map out our long-term curricular overview through their online PE Passport. Each year group has two PE sessions a week, one delivered by our high-quality specialist PE coach from The Hub, and the other delivered by the class teacher. The children work closely with their teacher and Hub coach, building up positive working relationships and learning how to develop and refine their own knowledge, skills and tactics across a wide range of sports and activities.
Our Year 1 PE curriculum builds directly upon the skills and knowledge the children have gained during their time in the Early Years Foundation Stage. In the EYFS, children are given a wide range of opportunities, both indoor and outdoor, to develop their core strength, stability, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility. They are given repeated opportunities to develop their gross and fine motor skills and to develop proficiency and control, through games, small world activities, arts and crafts and the use of small tools.
In Key Stage 1, pupils are provided with opportunities to continue this development of their fundamental movement skills, including their agility, balance and co-ordination. We recognise the importance of these key areas in producing confident and competent sports men and women of the future, as they are the core elements essential for all sports and physical activity. The curriculum for Key Stage 1 covers a range of sports, including target games, striking and fielding games, athletics, dance and gymnastics.
In Key Stage 2, pupils continue to apply and develop a broader range of technical skills within the areas of running, jumping, throwing and catching, and striking. They begin to take part in competitive games, including familiar sports such as football, athletics, cricket and hockey, as well as less well-known activities such as handball and tag rugby. The skills needed for these sports are developed progressively from Year 3 to Year 6, and are applied in competitive games, gymnastics, or dance performances using movement patterns. Children are actively encouraged to assess and evaluate their own and others’ work, allowing them to take ownership of their progress and next steps. This embedded ethos of reflection, collaboration and collegiality is another aspect of PE supporting the positive wellbeing of our pupils.
All children take part in our extensive PE curriculum, regardless of ability or aptitude, thereby developing their skills, knowledge and physical prowess as they move through the progressive units. This small-step progression, year-on-year, reflects our mastery approach to all curricular areas, and allows our children to take these transferable skills to any sport they may encounter as they move on to Key Stage 3 and beyond.