Primary School PE in the UK is so varied! Some schools go above and beyond on their coverage of Physical Education but I strongly believe that every school, no matter what you are currently doing, could always find room for improvement. What are your schools biggest challenges with PE?
Not enough funding
Lack of good lesson plans
Teachers not confident in certain subjects
Lack of a whole school curriculum
Not enough time
You name it and we have heard it. There are so many fundamental issues with PE Delivery in primary schools. So, how should you go about approaching this complex subject to bring up the standard of school sport within your school?
Break it down...
As you look at PE in your school, identify the main parts of the schools current approach which need to be changed. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
There aren't a wide range of sports being delivered
PE Plans (are they accessible and are they any good?)
Are teachers confident in their delivery?
If you use a sports coaching company, when was the last time they were observed?
Is there a "Progression Of Skills" document?
Is there enough equipment in the school?
Are the spaces in your school being used effectively?
Is swimming prioritised?
Are children getting 2 hours of PE each week (getting changed doesn't count as PE!)
Is the PE culture generally positive or negative in the staff room?
With each of these points, identify which you could change and think about what you could do to start improving these. Some of these are simple and just need a quick fix. For example, you might need to invest in third party software for PE planning. You might need to have an audit of your PE shed and order the relevant equipment. You may need to have a review of the PE timetable to see if you can make any changes to improve the quality.
Whatever the issues are, look first to see what simple actions you can take to make the biggest change in the quality of PE delivery in your school.
What can you outsource?
Just because you are the PE coordinator, doesn't mean you have to be the oracle of all knowledge in PE! External companies like uSports can help you to make the most of PE in your school.
Teacher CPD (Weekly in class training or Twilight sessions)
Asking your sports provider to do an audit on the shed
Ask your provider for a suggested PE curriculum
Ask your provider for a suggested Progression Of Skills document - Feel free to email us email@example.com to have access to our one!
Chances are, your sports provider will have a strong bank of resources that they could share with you, and if they don't, well... 👀
How to improve the culture of PE in your school
Why do teachers not like delivering PE? Because they don't know how to do it! Like most things in life, if you don't know how to do something, the chances are you aren't going to like doing it. Upskilling your staff is one of the biggest changes you can make to the overall attitude around PE in your school. Your teachers need to be shown how to deliver a variety of sessions, could all of your teachers answer the following questions about sport?
Gymnastics - What are the 5 shapes?
Dance - How many beats do we teach children to count to?
Tag Rugby - How many tags do you need to make before your team gets possession of the ball?
Netball - What does pivot mean?
Football - What is the defenders stance?
Hockey - How many people can tackle the ball carrier?
Cricket - Name three different cricket shots...
These aren't designed to catch your teachers out but it might make you realise the importance of upskilling your workforce. And if your coaching provider can't answer these questions well that's another story!
So overall, the more confident your teachers are, the more likely that the culture of PE will improve.
Your job is not easy and there are lots of things to think about, but if you can help to improve the delivery of PE in your school you will have a big impact on the way young people think about PE and exercising! If you need some help with PE in your school, drop us a message and I would be more than happy to help.