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St Mary’s Catholic Primary School ‘Faith in Education’

Physical Education

PE at St. Mary’s


At St Mary’s we want to inspire and support each child to fulfil their potential in sport and games. We want the children’s experience of PE to be positive and motivating.  PE at St. Mary’s will enable pupils to become physically confident. This supports their health, wellbeing and fitness and provides the foundations for lifelong activity. We want them to feel comfortable accessing sports at whatever skill level they are at and promote this through our festival programme. We strive to create opportunities for our pupils so they can succeed and excel in competitive sport and physical activities and we achieve this through our competitive sport programme. We offer all children chances to compete in sport and other activities. This helps them build character and learn values such as fairness and respect. Through PE children will have access to progressive physical activities in which they can acquire varying skills, build confidence and competence and experience opportunities for success, co-operation and team building.


Our curriculum is progressive and sequentially structured so that children develop the fundamental movement skills of agility, balance and coordination and are physically active for sustained periods of time.  They develop a love of physical activity and understand the importance of good diet and the impact of exercise so that they lead healthy, active lives.  The curriculum offers them varied opportunities to lead and join in PE games with growing confidence and at their own level of development, developing their speaking and listening skills and an understanding of the basic rules of a range of games.   They develop a sense of fair play and good sportsmanship so that they can demonstrate good sporting values such as motivation, resilience, determination, respect and confidence whilst having an appreciation of each individual’s limitations.  They learn useful PE vocabulary and knowledge that help them to actively engage with the subject in our school and in the next phase of education.  Each child receives 2 hours of PE a week with class teachers. We plan PE sessions to cover a broad and full range of skills and activities. We teach lessons in a way that ensures children learn in a safe environment, have fun, experience success in sport and build a secure range of skills.  Children in key stage 2 attend swimming lessons in a local pool. They learn to swim 25 metres competently and confidently in a range of strokes and complete safe self- rescue skills. Children also have the chance to be active in wide range of clubs.  

Our festival programme enables all of our pupils to compete against other schools which helps to develop their social skills as well as their understanding of competition, it also give them the opportunity to try new sports. We encourage every child in KS2 to attend at least 1 festival per year. The programme is fully inclusive and we attend a range of festivals with ranging squad sizes. For example, Y5 attend the dance festival and that is a whole class festival meaning the whole class are given the opportunity to represent our school. Winning and performance are not a priority; participation and inclusion are the main priorities of our festival programme.

Our competition programme allows the pupils to learn what competition is like and how they should perform and conduct themselves when winning and good performances are a priority.

During ‘Healthy Week’, the children (at an age appropriate and progressive manner) will develop their knowledge of the human body and the positive /negative impact exercise, diet and habits can have. They will experience a ‘sports trip’ during healthy week and each trip has been carefully selected so that as they journey through school:

They are introduced to local clubs         

  • REC – gymnastics with Gail Robson (Whitley Bay Gymnastics)
  • Y1 – martial arts at Burns School of Black Belts
  • Y2 – Ice skating lesson at Whitley Bay ice-rink
  • Y4 – Tennis lesson at Beverly Park Tennis Club

They have the opportunity to try an activity they may otherwise never try

  • Y5 – Paddleboarding and kayaking
  • Y6 – Skiing at Silksworth dry ski slope

They become connected to outdoor activities in our local area

  • NUR – visit Northumberland Park
  • Y3 – visit our local beach for a day of beach games (and a cold water dip!)

Substantive knowledge in PE is based on deliberate practice and development of specific skills that can be used in a variety of disciplines, sports and games for example: running, jumping, throwing and catching. Tactics within a team game e.g. strategies for attacking and defending. Being able to perform specific actions, balances and movements in line with year group expectations. Being able to swim confidently and competently over 25 metres. Being able to perform a safe self-rescue in water.

Disciplinary knowledge in PE comes through opportunities for the children to choose and apply their own actions, balances, movements and skills. Once they have mastered the specific skills, they have opportunities to apply these within sports and games and therefore have to choose different strategies and the best way to approach different challenges. Our curriculum is formulated around the development of skills; therefore, the children are given opportunities to apply their acquired skills to various sports within a unit. An example of this is attacking and defending in Year 6. The skills of attacking and defending are the same/similar in many invasion games such as basketball, hockey and football. Giving the children opportunities to demonstrate their attacking/defending skills in a range of sports removes the assessment focus from being based on sports ability and allows children, who maybe aren’t proficient footballers but fantastic hockey players, the chance to showcase the level of their attacking/defending skills at some point in the unit – a whole unit on football would not provide this opportunity.


The children will be offered a wide range of opportunities to ensure they are able to clearly show their knowledge, understanding and ability. This will be through verbal discussions or responses, visual observations, videos, peer assessments and self-assessments. The children will be assessed as an ongoing process and assessment data will be uploaded to our tracking system once a term.


All children receive a broad and balanced PE curriculum. In EYFS children begin to improve their movement skills and begin to develop their agility, balance and coordination. In KS1 Pupils develop their movement skills. They extend their agility, balance and coordination. They begin to engage in competitive and cooperative physical activities. These include games, dance and gymnastics. In KS2 pupils continue to apply and develop a broader range of skills such as running, jumping, throwing and catching. They use these skills in competitive games and performances. They also evaluate their own and others’ work. Pupils communicate and collaborate with each other. They learn how to improve in physical activities. There are many chances for children to take part in competitions in school and against other schools. Children enjoy PE and experience success in sport and games within school and through sporting ventures outside of school.  We celebrate their successes so that they are motivated to continue to engage in physical activity which in turn will support positive mental health and well-being in the next phase of their education and for life.