Physical and Emotional Health





This area of the curriculum deals with the handling of human emotions and relationships and with the human body, its development and health, together with the skills of agility, coordination and teamwork. These skills can be acquired through other areas of the curriculum as well but this area addresses them through the teaching of Sport and Physical Education. It makes medical and as well as educational sense to put physical and emotional development together.





Our Mission Statement

“We want our children to leave us with the ability to live the rest of their lives as healthy, free moving individuals with a love of exercise and sport.” 




As a PE team we decided that we wanted to change the way we approach our PE curriculum. To do this we would base our changes on evidence based research. (See appendix at the end of this Blog) The PE staff also discussed what we wanted PE to look like at our primary school. We asked the children what areas they enjoy and what they would change about what we do. 

Equipped with all this knowledge we also looked at the current generation of children and compared it to our own childhoods. 

When we were young we spent a lot of time outside. We climbed trees, played in the local park, made go carts and built dens in the woods. We asked the children how they spend their spare time. The most common response was that they choose to spend their free time playing on games consoles. We concluded that the current generation are not getting the opportunity to take part in adventurous and challenging activities. They are not taking physical risks. They are sat on their backsides for too long!

With this information we decided to shape our curriculum around how we can fill these obvious gaps in their childhood experiences and physical development. 

To build the best curriculum for our children we had to work out what we wanted our year 6’s to look like when they left us. Next we had to work backwards, year by year, to create a curriculum that would get the children to our desired outcomes for an 11 year old. 

We had to create a program that starts off in our Foundation Stage with a focus on exploration, imagination and play. It then has progression built in all the way up to Upper Key Stage 2. As a PE staff we worked on some keywords, a vocabulary, that we wanted our PE program to be based around. This is what we came up with:




The program we have created at the Fulbridge Academy is built with our clientele in mind. We are a large multicultural school with 120 children in each year group.This bespoke program works extremely well for our children with their backgrounds, growing up in an identified area of high deprivation. We believe that many of the principles of this approach would work well in other schools. There may be some elements that are not so relevant. We do believe that the core principles of our approach are definitely something that could be taken to build any successful Physical development program around. 







Our Core Principles:

A Child-Centred Curriculum- with this like anything the child is the reason why we do what we do. Their needs were the most important factor when creating our program. We wanted a curriculum that inspired them and would give them a love of exercise and sport. It must include experiences that they are not getting in their home lives.

Play/ Practice- we must constantly weigh up the balance between play like activities and structured practices or drills. Too much of either one will be counterproductive to our children's development. With every game/ exercise we must know what the desired outcome is. It must have a purpose. 

Constraints Based Learning- we try to design our lessons to have constraints so that we can control the learning outcomes. This is so children can work on specific skills within the games that they are playing.

Creativity and Freedom- this comes from the ethos and attitudes that we create in our lessons. We want to create an ethos where our children feel that they can learn and play with freedom. They must be able to have the opportunity to be creative, curious and use their imaginations.

Blending the Four Corners of our Holistic Intelligences (HI’s) Together- These are the life skills and character traits that our school has identified we wish to develop in each child. The HI’s are taught throughout our school. I will go into more detail about how we use our HI’s in PE later.

Lesson/ Curriculum Alignment- We want all our lessons to fit with the agreed identified outcomes of our PE curriculum. Each lesson is on the pathway to getting the children to achieve our end of each academic year objectives.

Decision Making/ Problem Solving- These are valuable life skills that are easily taught within a sport environment. These two life skills will be a part of each lesson. When we design our lessons we do so to allow our children the opportunity to make as many decisions as possible. We also allow the children to find the answers for themselves without constant adult intervention or directives. However there is a place for the latter. 

Independent Learners- by the time our children leave us we want them to have a love of learning. This will be achieved if we allow them to work out the answers to acquiring the skills and tactics that are integral to the games that they play. There is always the need for adult intervention and instruction but it must be timely and appropriate.

Broad and Balanced: Our PE curriculum must offer the children the opportunity to experience a wide variety of sports and physical activities. Both traditional sports and less high profile sports.


Support from Above

To allow our curriculum to work we have been very lucky to work with a School Leadership Team that really value the benefits that physical education can have in young children's lives. They have backed us financially to allow us to create our unique program with outstanding facilities and equipment. 

Our facilities consist of a 3G artificial pitch, a caving system, outdoor trampolines, large outdoor play equipment, a dance studio and 2 indoor halls that we have timetabled solely for PE use. They have also backed us by allowing us to create a PE Department which has 6 full time members of staff. All our specialist staff have a real love and passion to improve the children's physical development. Given this expertise, support and the high quality facilities and resources we were in a position to create the best learning environment and offer that we could. 


Organisation and Timetabling

We teach 2 classes at a time from each year group in school. This means that our PE team work with 60 children at a time. 

Here is an example of our working day: 


  • We split each teaching group into 4 groups of 15 children. 
  • These groups are split on ability to allow us to plan realistic and achievable lessons objectives for each group. 
  • We assign 1 adult to each group. Some activities need 2 adults. (There may be an important learning outcome. The activity may need an extra adult for health and safety reasons e.g. gymnastics, archery, roller skating etc.) 
  • Each of our lessons last 45 minutes. We feel this works extremely well: as the saying goes we want ‘quality over quantity’.
  • We also have morning fitness timetabled into every day that all of our children have access to either through adult lead activities or through one of our fitness workout videos which are student led.
  • We offer a wide range of extracurricular clubs available to all children.


Response and Feedback

After speaking to both children and class teachers our new approach has resulted in an increase in the level of enthusiasm and achievement. The children are progressing at a much better rate. 

Below is an example of how a typical Physical development day looks like. There are examples of the types of activities that may be going on throughout the day and how they differ for each phase of school. The activities will change on a monthly or half-termly basis. All sports are repeated throughout the year a number of times so the children get plenty of time to work at all the activities we cover over the year. 

 8am-

8.30am

 8.30am-

8.45am

 8.55am-

9.40am

 9.50am-

10.35am

 10.55am-

11.40am

 11.50am-

12.35pm


1.15pm-

2.00pm


2.10pm-

2.55pm 

 3.15pm-

4.00pm
 Morning Sports Club Morning FitnessYear 5&6

1: Handball (3G)

2: Archery (Sports Hall)

3: Volleyball

(Activity Hall)

4: Caving

(Cave System)

 
Year 5&6

1: Handball (3G)

2: Archery (Sports Hall)

3: Volleyball

(Activity Hall)

4: Caving

(Cave System) 
 Year 3&4

1: Handball (3G)

2: Archery (Sports Hall)

3: Roller Skating

(Activity Hall)

4: Caving

(Cave System)


 Year 3&4

1: Handball (3G)

2: Archery (Sports Hall)

3: Roller Skating

(Activity Hall)

4: Caving

(Cave System)


Year 1&2

1: Multi skills (3G)

2: Hand Eye Coordination (Sports Hall)

3: Roller Skating

(Activity Hall)

4: Caving

(Cave System)

5:Trampolines

(Outdoor Trampolines)


Year 1&2

1: Multi skills (3G)

2: Hand Eye Coordination (Sports Hall)

3: Roller Skating

(Activity Hall)

4: Caving

(Cave System)

5:Trampolines

(Outdoor Trampolines) 
After School Club

 

You may notice from this example that the PE team do not work with our Foundation phase. Even though we oversee their program we do not deliver it. This is down to the number of teaching hours in the week. I have explained how the Foundation phase program works later on in this blog.

We teach all our classes from Monday to Thursday based on the timetable format above. Fridays are used to take our children in Year 3 to 5 swimming. Each class gets 1 term of swimming each year. 

We also use Fridays to host intra and inter school tournaments. Our aim is to have every child in school compete in a tournament over each academic year. We try to cover as many different sports as we can in these tournaments.

We have also hosted cross curricular tournaments. For example we have hosted a physical development tournament that links to Maths. We also link tournaments to ICT, Science and Literacy. 

We want all of our children to experience a competitive environment. We try to make sure all our lessons have an element of competition. We want to teach children to both win and lose well. It is an important life skill to be able to deal well with both success and failure.

As mentioned above, throughout our school we work on ‘Holistic Intelligences’. Below I have included our Holistic Intelligences. These intelligences are planned into in all of our lessons throughout school. In our core PE principles we try to blend all 4 of the areas together and develop these skills in the children. 




In PE we can cover a lot of our ‘intelligences’ but we have found we do a lot of work with improving the ‘social corner’ in particular. During lessons if we notice a child using one of these intelligences we highlight it to them so they know we have recognised what they are doing. 

There are obvious life skills that PE improves. Areas such as courage, initiative, risk taking, effort, resilience, composure and collaboration. PE also improves a child’s imagination, their curiosity, common sense and their problem solving skills. Sports are also good for developing the skills of cooperation, perseverance, patience, empathy and compassion. 

Competitive situations, when taught and done well encourage the skills of communication, criticism, responsibility and respect. 


The National Curriculum states that the aims of PE are to:


  • develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities
  • be physically active for sustained periods of time
  • partake in activities that develop flexibility, strength, control and balance – activities should be physically demanding
  • partake in Outdoor and Adventurous Activities and Swimming
  • perform dances and partake in team games,
  • engage in competitive sports and activities
  • lead healthy, active lives
  • lead emotionally healthy lives


Our PE Programme:

In this context I will now outline what each phase in our program looks like and hopefully show the pathway that our children travel during their physical development journey whilst at the Fulbridge Academy. 

Whilst we teach PE through the medium of specific sports we are essentially teaching the children to be physically literate. In other words if children are to be successful in PE we must consciously develop the following skills in each Key Stage. PE is about the development of these physical literacy skills. We will not produce successful sports people unless they have mastered the following skills: 


The Foundation Phase

In this phase we focus on children's ABC’s (Agility, Balance and Coordination). We do this because we want our children to be able to move well before we start to teach them sport specific skills. As the saying goes “you can’t run before you can walk”. Our early years program is designed so that the children can access their physical development throughout their school day. Each class has designated time slots on our outdoor play equipment where they are encouraged to climb, jump, swing and balance on the equipment. They also get time slots in our Foundation Stage hall. Small groups are taken in to play simple chase games that work on developing their coordination and agility. 



Key Stage 1

In this phase of school we develop further the skills they have gained in the Foundation Stage. We do this by using a multi skill approach which is based around using fun and engaging games. These games develop basic sport skills whilst continuing to improve their movement skills. The ‘fun’ element begins the process of building a foundation of enjoying exercise and sport. We want to show them that exercise and playing sport is fun to do. 

We also introduce in this phase basic team games. This is so they can start to see how the skills they are learning in their multi skill games can transfer into team games. In this way the basics of the tactics involved in games are being learnt. They learn which direction to go in to score and the different ways in which you can score in a variety of sports. Other basics such as what happens when the ball goes out of play and how play restarts are learnt.

We do this through:


  • Chase Games
  • Circle Games
  • Stick Wrestling
  • Tug of War
  • Gladiators
  • Races
  • Basic Trampolining Skills
  • Caving
  • Obstacle Courses
  • Gymnastics
  • Dodgeball
  • Hand Eye Games
  • Striking Games
  • Throw & Catch Games
  • Roller Skating


Lower Key Stage 2

We split our Key Stage 2 in half. Lower Key Stage 2 is Years 3 & 4 and Upper KS2 is Years 5 & 6. In Lower Key Stage 2 we have a skill based approach but all of our skills are taught through game based learning. This means that we place our children in a game designed to work on a specific skill. The idea is that they learn and hopefully become competent at the skills in the context of a game. The result is that they will not only now how to perform the skill they will also know how and when to use this skill in a game situation. Skills taught in isolation, in a drill, are often not successfully transferred into the game situation. This does not mean that we will never use this approach, we will simply use it when appropriate.

Activities we cover:


  • Gymnastics
  • Tennis
  • Tag Rugby
  • Archery
  • Boxing
  • Fencing
  • Volleyball
  • Badminton
  • Curling
  • Hockey
  • Handball
  • Football
  • Netball
  • Basketball
  • Cricket
  • Rounders
  • Athletics
  • Roller Skating
  • Caving


Upper Key Stage 2

In the last phase of their program our children get a games based learning approach. All of their lessons are based around specific sports. The main focus is to teach the children how to use the skills they have learnt throughout their time at Fulbridge. But most importantly they now put them into a game environment. We also have a focus on the tactics of a game and how they can use tactics to outplay the opposition.

Activities we cover:


  • Gymnastics
  • Tennis
  • Tag Rugby
  • Archery
  • Boxing 
  • Fencing
  • Softball
  • Volleyball
  • Badminton
  • Hockey
  • Handball
  • Football
  • Netball
  • Basketball
  • Cricket
  • Athletics.


Fulbridge also has a great tradition in Dance which falls somewhere between our PE curriculum and the area of Arts and Creativity. Our dance club has performed at local theatre venues, the Cresset and the Key. They have also performed at the O2, the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, Her Majesty's Theatre and the Sadler's Wells theatre - The Home of Dance.


In Summary

Hopefully from this explanation of how each phase of our program works you can see the physical development journey our children get to experience. We are also aware that the physical development world for children is changing. One of our aims is to get our children to love being active and want to carry this on all the way into their adult lives. 

Within our program we start to introduce them to activities that they may choose to take part in when they are adults. We teach boxercise, yoga, zumba and encourage them to enjoy running. Hopefully when they are adults they may look back at these activities fondly and then want to continue with them to keep active and healthy as adults.

We live in a time when ‘lifestyle’ is a buzzword. A time when issues and concerns to do with mental health are frequently hitting the headlines. Rates of obesity, inactivity and mental health issues in young children are at an all time high. We believe that a PE curriculum must address the issues of physical and emotional health in the context of a healthy lifestyle. PE can address issues of nutrition and what a healthy diet looks like. It can also emphasise the importance of hygiene and physical fitness.

One of the biggest positives we have in our PE team, and it's reflected in the way we deliver our broad curriculum, is that we are not afraid of change. We are always looking to introduce new ideas to our ever growing program. This will hopefully allow us to better achieve our mission statement.

We have an open door policy at The Fulbridge Academy. If ever anyone wanted to come and see how this works in practice just contact our Head of Physical Development on the contact details below. You can see what we are up to on a week by week basis on our Facebook page “Fulbridge Academy PE”.


Contact details

Tom Erskine

Head of Physical Development

The Fulbridge Academy

Keeton Road

Peterborough

PE13JQ

Email: tom.erskine@fulbridgeacademy.co.uk

Phone: 01733566990




Appendix: The importance of evidence based research

The Fulbridge Academy is a Cambridge Primary Review Trust Alliance school. We are an evidence based school and value high quality educational research. We believe that such an approach leads to a high quality provision. 

Evidence shows that PE is a subject that involves essential life skills. It helps to increase a child’s physical competence, moral development, health-related fitness, self-responsibility and enjoyment of physical activity. We all want our pupils to be physically active for a lifetime. 

As the Fulbridge Academy is a Cambridge Primary Review Trust Alliance school, we teach to the 8 domains of the Cambridge Review. All the domains are equally important, Robin Alexander, who led on the Review, listed them alphabetically to emphasise this point. One of the domain areas is entitled ‘Physical and Emotional Health’ (PEH).

The review highlights that PEH is so much more than competitive sport and physical fitness. Just as a school’s curriculum must be broad and balanced so should a PE curriculum.

Physical education is important because it helps children stay physically active, develop interests in different types of physical activity, build teamwork and other social skills. It also improves focus and academic performance. 

Being able to participate in dances, games and sports is an important part of peer culture. Physical education instills a strong sense of self-worth and confidence. 

Children can master complex physical skills and challenging concepts in physical activity. It encourages an understanding of tactics, an awareness of others abilities as well as the chance to be able to master complex physical moves and skills.

Research shows that a Physical and Emotional Health programme can provide:

Experience in Setting Goals: PEH provides children with the opportunity to set and try to attain personal, achievable goals.

Improved judgment: High quality PEH can influence moral development. In PEH children have the opportunity to be leaders, cooperate with others; question and challenge actions as well as accept responsibility for their own behavior.

Improved physical fitness: Increased muscular strength, flexibility and cardiovascular endurance. 

Improved self-confidence and self-esteem: Physical education instills a stronger sense of self-worth in children based on their mastery of skills and concepts in physical activity. They can become more confident, assertive, independent and self-controlled. 

Regular, healthy physical activity: We provide a wide-range of appropriately differentiated activities for all children.

Self discipline: Encourages the development of a pupil’s responsibility for their health and fitness.

Skill development: Develops motor skills to improve a child’s success in physical activities.

Strengthened relationships: PEH helps children socialise with others successfully. It provides opportunities to learn positive people skills. 

Stress reduction: Physical activity can help release tension and anxiety. It helps with emotional stability and resilience.

Support for other curriculum areas: Reinforces knowledge that is taught in other subject areas in a physically active context. 



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