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“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”

- National Curriculum 2014.


This domain deals with the handling of human emotions and relationships. It focuses on the human body, its development and health, together with the skills of agility, coordination and teamwork acquired through sport and PE as conventionally conceived. In line with the Cambridge Review, we believe that it makes sense to group together physical and emotional wellbeing, and indeed for wellbeing as such to be named as a mandatory component of the child’s curriculum for the first time. Our aim is to foster enjoyment alongside an understanding of physical fitness and how the body works, teamwork and participation. During the twice weekly hour-long sessions, all children participate in a range of physical activities including:

  • Gymnastics
  • Athletics
  • Swimming
  • Dance and Movement
  • Skills and Games

The Physical and Emotional Wellbeing curriculum at Lowbrook promotes a healthy, stimulating and competitive mentality through short- and long-term sporting involvements. Physical exercise is used to help inspire pupils to succeed and excel in sport and be health conscious by means of having a growth mindset. We teach children the importance of a healthy lifestyle and the link between sport and exercise with good mental health. We teach a progression of knowledge such as; effects exercise has on our body (sweating, out of breath, stretched muscles), measuring heartrates and breathing rate, levels of serotonin released, amount of water consumed, healthy eating and the effect sleep has on our body. We also look at the positive effects exercise brings to our mental health, with the research on the Daily Mile brought in to cross-curricular lessons throughout the school.

The aims of the National Curriculum ensures pupils:

  • Develop competence in a broad range of activities.
  • Are physically active for sustained periods of time.
  • Engage in competitive sports and activities.
  • Lead healthy, active lives.
  • Swim with confidence over 25metres by the end of Key Stage 2.
  • Participate in Outdoor Adventurous Activities.

PE is a foundation subject in the National Curriculum. Teachers refer to and use the objectives for each key stage. However, these objectives are extremely broad and need to be broken down into individual skills within each year group to demonstrate progression across the primary phase. A progression of skills document has been created which breaks the overarching national curriculum objectives into individual skills for teachers to use to aid planning blocks of lessons and assessing children’s development and progression across this domain. The curriculum demands children to have mastered basic movements including running, jumping, throwing and catching, as well as developing these skills to be applied to a range of sporting activities. There is a lot more emphasis on participating in team games and developing simple tactics for attacking and defending as children get older, which leads into intra and inter school competitions. Opportunities are provided for pupils to become physically confident in a way which supports their health and fitness, as seen with the daily Lowbrook Mile. Opportunities to compete in sport and other activities build character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect. Differences in PE from KS1 to KS2 includes the need to compete in Outdoor Adventure Activities, build on more advanced skills as well as be able to analyse performance.

New to the 2017/18 academic year was the need for children to be trained in Safe Self Rescue, to ensure children are equipped when within water. The sports premium funding allows the school to fund all children unable to swim 25 meters to receive extra coaching, ensuring all children are confident swimmers by the end of the primary phase. Premium funding is also used to provide specialist training ensuring all children receive high quality coaching and staff are confident with high subject knowledge.

Relationships and Health Education is delivered within this domain and has close links to Science and Technology, Computing and Citizenship and Ethics. A comprehensive Relationships and Health policy underpins this teaching and is to be read in conjunction with this document.

As an Academy we plan inter-house tournaments which provides every child with the opportunity to compete and these are therefore included in the curriculum. Teams will be entered wherever possible into Borough-wide competitions enabling our most talented pupils to be given the opportunity to perform at the highest possible level. PE, like any other curriculum area, is differentiated to cater for all abilities ensuring that all children gain a positive experience from their learning.

The allocation of time set out below is the starting point for planning, however the art in teaching is not determined by time and it is expected that teachers will act professionally within these guidelines to allocate appropriate and effective amounts of time to each area as they feel fit. 

In the Early Years Foundation Stage, the overlap of Areas of Learning makes hourly time allocation inappropriate. The curriculum will be planned and delivered by the class teachers, specialist teachers, higher level teaching assistants, teaching assistants and where appropriate, coaches.

Children at Lowbrook Academy continue to engage in weekly physical education lessons totalling a minimum of 120 minutes per week, per class in both Key Stages. Together with scheduled lessons, every class completes the daily Lowbrook Mile, highlighting the emphasis to sustain positive healthy habits through sustained running. Subsequently, this is tracked and timed, enabling learning across varying curriculum areas, such as analysing data within maths.

Some subjects or units of work may be taught in blocks; or more frequently during themed weeks, therefore the weekly figure is nominal only. Links to other Domains pervade this curriculum area, enhancing and reinforcing learning across the school. Good examples of this are during the Year 4 science topic of Animals (including Humans) when the children are asked to investigate the impact of exercise on our bodies. This is also then linked with maths, with measuring and displaying results in a line graph. During Sports Week, all children are asked to complete a Big Write using literacy skills taught during their literacy units. An example is a biography of Sir Roger Bannister in year 6.

Opportunities for Competition

Sport is by nature competitive, and we believe that if children are to truly excel in this subject, competition must be an integral part of their learning. As an Academy we understand the importance of teaching children the value of sportsmanship. We offer a range of competition opportunities for a range of year groups, to include the Maidenhead Football League, Maidenhead Schools Netball League, Tag rugby league, Mini-golf Tournament, Tri-school’s Cricket Tournament and other sporting matches with local schools.

As a small school, it is important that we teach children how to win with graciousness, how to lose with dignity and how to work together as a team. In particular, it is a necessity to ensure that boys and girls understand the benefit of working together in a mixed gender team and how every member plays a part. We are also demonstrating the importance of communication, a vital skill needed throughout their life.

The Daily Mile

In 2016, an all-weather running track was installed so that the children could continue to run the Lowbrook mile during the winter months. The #dailymile as it is now known, began at St Ninian’s School 3 years ago. The results were obvious but still surprised even the most discerning of fitness fanatics. They found that; obesity levels dropped, behaviour in class improved and after about 4 weeks the parents reported that the children also eat and sleep better. It therefore made sense for us to emulate this programme here at Lowbrook.

After the first year, we found that the school field was too muddy for us to continue. In summer 2016, we were successful in attaining a grant from Spoore, Merry and Rixman to install a small all-weather track that the children could run around.

Our competitive nature is never far from school development, however, as always, we are sensitive to those that find this type of activity challenging and we will find innovative and motivational ways of engaging these children- e.g. rewards, heading off in similar ability groups, etc. The Growth Mindset approach is therefore applied to the daily mile, rewarding effort. This is linked to the science of exercise throughout the school at appropriate ages, reinforcing the link between exercise and health.

Sports Week

It is our belief that consolidation of learning and knowledge is fundamental; and therefore creating ‘Awe and Wonder’ within our Physical and Emotional Health curriculum is key to this. The development of the Sports Week has been hugely influential with our pupils in achieving this. Annually we design a whole week of sporting activities where age-appropriate activities and lessons are designed into our curriculum. Experts from the world outside school are planned for and invited in to work with the children; trips are made to local sports grounds and specialists come to school to work with the children; equipment beyond the school’s means are used and parents join us for a whole school sports day.

Sports Week and Sports Day is a highlight of the Academic year and is used to complement and enrich our weekly curriculum.

We ensure that through well-planned lessons, a progression of skills is taught each week. This will allow children to build on their previous acquisition of skills with new skills taught. Lessons taught prior to Sports Day are progressive to allow children to use the correct techniques in the fundamentals of athletics, rather than just use the day as an opportunity to score as many points as possible in an ineffective way.

Physical, Emotional & Wellbeing Lead - Veronica Quinby