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Physical Education Rationale

A calm, safe and welcoming place in which to work and learn.
A place where everyone supports each other to achieve.
A place we enjoy coming to each day.

Physical education (PE) is a unique subject in the school curriculum. At the very heart of PE is movement. PE plays a key role in not only developing physical movement of pupils but also in developing confidence, resilience and knowledge. PE helps to develop fundamental movement an early age. Pupils who are not physically active struggle to engage comfortably with their environment and with other subjects such as English and Maths. PE is a big part of every pupil’s National Curriculum entitlement.


PE is relevant for all pupils at Childwall Abbey School (C.A.S.), providing opportunities for sensory breaks and supporting engagement with individual programmes e.g. Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy interventions. At C.A.S. we support pupils with mental and physical disabilities and many other identified needs such as ASD, ADHD, and SEMH. PE is vital in helping these pupils to not only stay active but to also improve their overall well-being and behaviour for learning.


Our pupils may come to C.A.S. with no assessments of previous attainment in P.E., they often have poor attendance and engagement records and a big factor is that they come having had non-specialist PE teaching throughout their time at primary provision. It is imperative that we provide our pupils with regular access to high quality PE and enrichment of their physical experience.


Pupils arriving in year 7 receive the required minimum 2 hours a week of PE teaching. (This roughly adds up to 390 hours/year or 1950 hours in total during their time at C.A.S.). We make the most effective use of this time to engage all our pupils in a variety of ways. In order to enable this to take place, we consider a range of different factors and ensure the right foundations are in place to support all pupils when they arrive at CAS.


C.A.S. PE curriculum design is inclusive, ambitious, logical, sequenced, and progressive, with added opportunity for enrichment linked to wider areas, both in school and beyond school life, for all our pupils. Our PE curriculum design connects to the whole school curriculum’s aims and objectives, and where possible, connects to other curriculum subjects across the school.


The curriculum design for PE is a developmental, spiral approach and can be adapted so that it can be coherently sequenced to meet pupils’ group and individual needs, starting points and aspirations for the future. The spiral approach allows for a lot of revisiting of activities, which is extremely important for our complex cohort of pupils (including those with ASD) as it reinforces and embeds previous experiences and learning during each revisit. This enables pupils to move on in their P.E. learning journey taking small progressive steps along the way. Using the analogy of building a house, unless the foundations at the start are in place pupils are not able to move on securely in their learning. Gaps in prior learning make for gaps in future learning.


We provide high quality content and teaching based on effective assessment. This helps develop competence, confidence, and creativity. Pupils expand on and use knowledge gained earlier on.


The C.A.S. PE curriculum gives all pupils the opportunity to enjoy and succeed in many kinds of physical activity. They develop a wide range of skills and the ability to use tactics, strategies and compositional ideas to perform successfully.


When performing and working as part of a team, pupils think about what they are doing, analyse the situation and make decisions. They reflect on their own and others’ performances and find ways to improve them. They develop the confidence to take part in different activities and learn about the value of healthy, active lifestyles. These skills prepare pupils for transition from school to the wider world. PE helps pupils develop personally and socially. They work as individuals, in groups and in teams, developing concepts of fairness and of personal and social responsibility. They take on different roles and responsibilities, including leadership, coaching and officiating. Through the range of experiences that PE offers, they learn how to be effective in teams and resilient in competitive, creative and challenging situations.


PE in the timetable has never been more relevant for the development of our cohort at CAS. Applying appropriate flexibility to meet pupils’ individual needs while working within the National Curriculum programmes of study allows us to prepare pupils for next steps into further education, employment, independent living, participating in and contributing to society, as well as enjoying a healthy adult life.

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