The intent of our PE curriculum at St Thomas is to offer a wide and varied sports package which will develop the children’s skills and confidence; ensuring knowledge progression and sequencing of concepts is endorsed throughout. It is our intention for children to enjoy physical activity and are therefore able to adopt a healthy lifestyle - one where they can discover their talents and have a life-long love of sport. Our principles will also positively encourage children to share, respect, support, trust and work together.
The use of external sports coaches (with the Pennine School Sports Partnership) alongside the development of the school staff, ensures PE is delivered to a clear and structured timetable, in line with the National Curriculum, resulting in an effective curriculum implementation. As part of our intention to develop the children more effectively, following the "Covid Years", we've adopted the FUNdamental teachings of core skills (transferrable across many sports) rather than the previous method of isolated sports such as football. Skilled instructors will come in to work alongside the teachers, in order to develop and enhance our staff knowledge base, plus there will be ongoing support from the PE web-based company - Beyond The Physical.
The curriculum is successfully implemented to ensure pupils’ progression in knowledge, so they are basically ‘learning the curriculum’; Skills are learnt from the start of the child’s St Thomas journey, and developed, challenged and enhanced as they progress through school. Using a web-based package - Beyond The Physical - foundation skills are taught through an actual "Physical Education" giving them confidence to apply these skills across multiple sports. The diversity of our lessons also allows the opportunity for everyone to find an element they like and can pursue through extra-curricular activities, from fitness, dancing and yoga through to boxing and BMXing.
The PE Co-ordinator, the Head Teacher, and the Governors regularly review and quality assure the subject to ensure that it is implemented sufficiently well. The co-ordinator will make changes to keep in line with the National Curriculum Objectives, plus the expertise of the teaching staff will be able to adapt accordingly, to meet the needs of their children, and to link in with other subjects within their classroom topics. Additional support or CPD will be made available to any staff that feels the need to develop their knowledge further, using the PE lead, the Pennine Sports Partnership, and Beyond the Physical.
Assessments are carried out during lessons, mainly through observations besides through discussion with the children. A key feature of Assessment for Learning is children taking control of their own learning, facilitated by the teacher. Peer assessing is therefore used (the children know what “good” looks like and the steps needed to achieve good), which in turn develops the child’s speaking and listening skills as well, which all help towards the end of year school reports to parents. Photographic/video recordings are used to document and showcase the children’s work, mainly using our in-school Seesaw Learning Platform, which is web-based.
Conducting Surveys and Interviews with the children gives the coordinator a true perspective through the eyes of the children and also helps to assess the impact of the curriculum. "Pupil Voice" has been set up on Seesaw so the full cross-section of pupils can be assessed through their own voice - either typed up by themselves, a supportive adult, or even by recording their views.
The school also has Key Indicators to assess the impact of the Sports Premium Funding which is used to enhance our curriculum. Such indicators are; The percentage of children being able to swim 50 metres; The participation levels of extra-curricular activities, and; the number of children experiencing off-site activities such as competitions and the Yorkshire Dales Walking Challenges.