The Department for Education explains that a high-quality physical education curriculum inspires all pupils to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically-demanding activities. It should provide opportunities for pupils to become physically confident in a way which supports their health and fitness. Opportunities to compete in sport and other activities build character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect. (The National Curriculum in England: Key Stages 1 and 2 framework.)
At St White’s Primary School, our aim is to embed the idea that regular exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle so that pupils leave school with the knowledge, skills and motivation necessary to equip them for a healthy lifestyle and lifelong participation in physical activity and sport. We value not only physical activity but also the importance of developing pupils’ social, emotional and interpersonal skills by providing pupils with opportunities to be creative and competitive whilst learning to communicate and respect others during physical activity. As a school we have fostered a new sportsmanship curriculum which underpins all of our Physical Education lessons, competitions and sporting experiences. Pupils develop their knowledge and understanding of sportsmanship and are challenged within different areas such as determination, honesty, self-belief, respect, teamwork and passion and our pupils will become advocates when demonstrating these skills within school and at local sporting events.
At St White’s, we provide two hours a week of high quality Physical Education for every child throughout the school, as a minimum. In the Foundation Stage, pupils are encouraged to take part in a wide range of physical activity opportunities developing fundamental movement skills, coordination, balance and control. In KS1, pupils build on these fundamental skills by beginning to engage in competitive and cooperative physical activities and begin to link these to a variety of sports.
Pupils participate in team games to develop the values of fairness and respect and also to explore and link actions and improve coordination through, for example, dance and gymnastics. In KS2 pupils further extend their previous experiences with a focus on developing the confidence to evaluate their own and other’s performances and to reflect on how they can improve both individually and as a team. Pupils will ensure that they work collaboratively, therefore taking responsibility for themselves and their team. Pupils in KS2 are also offered swimming lessons. At St White’s we aim for every child to be able to swim at least 25m by the end of Year 6.
Our rich curriculum, in which supports the development of a ‘can do’ attitude is promoted through pupils having a wide range of sporting extra-curricular clubs which accommodate a wide variety of interests, during and after school. These clubs vary throughout the year but include football, gymnastics, dance, fencing, dodgeball, tri-golf, multi-sports, tennis and archery. As well as many sporting opportunities within school we provide pupils the opportunities to cherish sporting events within the local community and a far, for example experiencing professional ‘real-life’ sporting events, such as basketball, football and netball. We believe that these sorts of opportunities help to develop links within the community and provide pupils the chance to engage, motivate and aspire to achieve anything they wish to do within sport.
As well as sporting opportunities within the school and the community, the school also enter many sporting competitions, events and festivals across the year to allow for pupils to enrich their sporting experiences and to apply their sporting skills, develop their sportsmanship qualities and learn how to participate competitively. The pupils have opportunities to represent St White’s in a range of sports including gymnastics, boys’ and girls’ football, indoor and outdoor athletics, cricket, mountain biking, dance, archery, new-age Kurling hockey and netball among other sports and activities.
The team here at St White’s are extremely proud of the diverse and rich curriculum that it provides for all our children. Our awards, including the School Games Mark Gold achieved this year, and our Mental Health Champions Award are testament to our commitment to ever broadening our children’s knowledge, experiences and skills.
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