Physical Education, within the curriculum, extra-curricular activities and lunchtime provision, has expanded and developed in the last couple of years, aided by the increase in P.E. and sports funding and dedication of staff.
We have seen huge increase in opportunity since the start of 2018 and the continued hard work of our PE Lead has developed our school curriculum, widened the extra curricular curriculum, developed lunchtime provision and created more opportunities for children to represent school in competitions with partnering schools.
We are focused on using staff knowledge and experience to upskill other members of staff in school to ensure that there is high quality PE being delivered, which allows children of all abilities to participate and succeed in competitive sport and physically demanding activities.
Throughout this work we have been focused upon our two main goals:
1) More children will become physically confident, physically active every day in school and have the desire to want to represent school in sporting fixtures.
2) Pupils will understand the importance of health and fitness and the impact this will have on their physical and mental well-being.
Our Sporting Ethos at St James is that children understand the importance of sport, the rules and gamesmanship. We believe that the experience of participating in PE and competing in competitions (win, lose or draw) is hugely beneficial in helping children develop mentally and physically.
Alongside the two PE lessons a week, once a half term children in all year groups participate in a variety of Intra – House Competitions where they learn and support their team mates in a competitive event. We help the children to understand fairness, respect and reflect on their experience.
The school vision of “Ready for the Future” is a vital part of our PE curriculum and sports ethos. The activities and events which we expose the children to helps them understand the idea of “rule of law” with following rules, mutual respect and tolerance. During team activities; the values of togetherness and trust are central to what we aim to achieve. Physical education is the ideal driver to embed the school values for our children to make sense of them.
At St James we understand the importance of physical education and the impact it has on day to day life at home and in school.
Each class has two PE slots a week (Indoor and Outdoor). We have created a curriculum (supported by PE Hub and iMoves) to ensure that in our two year rolling programme, children have the opportunity to develop previously learnt skills. Children in Year 4 also attend swimming lessons once a week.
Each year, we actively use Pupil Voice and Stakeholder Evaluations to continue to improve our Lunchtime Provision, PE and Extra – Curricular Curriculums to provide children with a wide range of opportunities to be active. There has been an increased amount of extra – curricular activities led by our PE Lead and supported by staff and external companies which are designed to accommodate children of all abilities and age groups.
We are part of the Kettlethorpe Pyramid and the All Saints Partnership where competitions are organised which allow children the opportunity to not only represent St James, but also Wakefield and then Yorkshire. Alongside this we participate in a number of competitive and non - competitive competitions within the School Games Scheme to which gives children an opportunity to experience new sports, develop teamwork and also improve their confidence.
To ensure that all children have experience to participate in these festivals, we have adapted our PE Curriculum and Extra – Curricular Curriculum to ensure that all children have an equal chance at representing school and also have an understanding of the sports which we compete in.
Our lunchtime provision also supports children’s physical development with staff and lunchtime play leaders leading sporting activities in zones and also offering extra sessions in preparation for competitions. We have a number of Lunchtime Play Leaders who support our Pupil Leadership Team outside managing and leading a range of sporting activities for the children. Some of these include: tennis, carpet bowl, table tennis, football, gymnastics, volleyball, basketball and rounders. The Lunchtime Play Leaders and Pupil Leadership Team also support more fine motor skill activities such as lego, building and small world where they assist where required and also help with communication.
Our PE lessons are structured so that they include a warm up, skill, application and cool down. With the current climate in 2020-2021 and the introduction of remote learning we have introduced a mindfulness activity to the end of PE lessons at home and at school so children have time to relax. We use PE Hub as the main driver for our PE lessons and imoves as a supplementary curriculum and as an aid to develop extra - curricular activities.
We have developed our curriculum to ensure that the children at home and at school are being active and following the same programme of study.
Every day in Reception the children have access to the outdoor environment where they can build, dig, make and play games which are important to helping develop their fundamental movements. Through the autumn term the children were introduced to PE in school and the expectations during PE lessons. They began to practise a range of individual skills: throwing, catching and kicking and they slowly introduced these into team activities.
Reception have invested in “balanceability” to give children the opportunity to learn how to ride a bike and also use the resources provided to learn about road safety.
In the classroom the children have a range of provision areas which are integral to their fine motor development. The teachers assist the children in these areas as well as allowing children to be more interest driven.
Throughout the autumn term in Key Stage 1 the children’s Indoor PE focused around dance and learning different moves which they could then sequence to create their own dance. They also learnt how to mirror a partners movement, which made them aware of the importance of communication. The children also had the opportunity to practise hitting, catching and running, learning a new skill each week before putting the skills into action in a small cricket like game. It was great to see children challenge themselves choosing a ball size which they were able to hit and one which they found more difficult.
With the New Year we took a new direction with our PE introducing Pilates to our PE curriculum to help the children improve their flexibility and balance muscle strength.
In Lower Key Stage 2, the children focused on their ball skills during the autumn term learning how to attack and defend in football and netball. This was wonderful opportunity for children who participate in these sports externally to support and share their knowledge with the other children. During Indoor PE the children have been busy learning how to practise and put together a performance, remembering to use their facial expressions and props.
During the Spring Term the children have been learning about Pilates and the importance of body control and breathing during exercise and will be continuing to learn a range of dances. This is taught both in school and remotely.
Upper Key Stage 2 started the 2020-2021 year learning Bollywood dancing. It was a great experience for the children to understand dancing in a different culture. They worked very hard on refining and improving the dances adapting them to include the use of space, rhythm and expression. In Outdoor PE the children developed their netball and football skills, where they used their knowledge of attacking and defending in more game scenarios. Children were keen to lead their learning with their knowledge from external clubs and led warm ups and supported their peers.
In the Spring term the children joined in with Pilates and Dance. They have been learning about the importance of self control, breathing and relaxing during exercise.