At Cove Infant School our vision is to promote a long term healthy lifestyle that is enjoyable and fulfilling. Our children are inspired to engage in lifelong activity, raise their attainment and build self-esteem. Physical education is an important and unique part of the curriculum that contributes to the development and maintenance of fitness, motor skills, health and brain development.
Pupils learn social skills through activities involving co-operation and collaboration which enhances teamwork and leadership. Pupils will develop positive attitudes towards themselves and will gain a sense of fair play, understanding how to conduct themselves in competitive situations. Sport transcends cultural boundaries and children are given opportunities to experience other traditions through dance and games.
‘Intelligence and skill can only function at the peak of their capacity when the body is healthy and strong’
‘Sport is a universal language that can bring people together, no matter what their origin, background, religious beliefs or economic status’
PE in Year R is known as physical development. Children learn the skills required to keep healthy and safe, including dressing and hygiene through to working on large outdoor activity such as ball skills and bike riding.
Young children learn best through play and in Year R they experience activities which help to develop both their gross and fine motor skills. We first develop body and spatial awareness through our ‘Wake Up! Shake Up!’ project which teaches children the essential skills required for writing.
Children enjoy physical play, indoors and outdoors. They revel in freedom of movement and in play that is inventive, adventurous and stimulating. Skills are taught in a progressive manner through a structured curriculum. Some activities promote hand-eye and eye-foot co-ordination, including catching balls, kicking and pedalling bikes.
These are some of the gross motor skills that the children take part in during their learning.
- Crawling through tunnels
- Balancing planks
- Lying on tummy
- Riding bikes
- Marks in sand
- Large construction equipment
These basic activities develop body management, balance, bodily co-ordination, strength, agility and confidence.
Children also have opportunities to use different equipment and tools in order to develop their fine motor skills.
- Building blocks
- Paint, pencils
- Tweezers, nuts and bolts, pipe cleaners into colanders,
These activities promote hand-eye co-ordination, spatial awareness, fine motor control, accuracy, two handed co-ordination and manipulative strength
As children enter Year One they develop their gymnastic skills further by learning to control and co-ordinate their bodies more accurately. They also begin to apply these skills in simple sequences, linking movements and skills together. Moving through different levels, children explore and develop further their skills and speed in movement, balance and shape.
Throughout Year One children will use stories to enable them to create movements in response to music. They will communicate the thoughts, mood and feelings of the characters in the stories through movement and gesture. They will also learn traditional dances and will begin to perform simple rhythmic patterns and repeat these in different formations.
As the year progresses the children have access to multi-skills sessions which develop their throwing, catching, aiming, hitting and kicking skills. They become more accurate and consistent and they are able to work independently or with a partner. They also begin to apply their skills in small sided team games and learn how to be a good team member. During the summer term, the Young Leaders at the secondary school run multi-skills sessions for the Year One children. In these sessions the children learn new games enhancing their ball and running skills while developing their understanding of being a good team member.
‘It doesn’t matter what level of ability or disability, what age, height or size you are, you can do it and that is what sport is about’
In Year Two children begin to take part in small sided games, which enables them to apply their skills and tactical thinking. The children are given the opportunity to create their own games, including developing rules to control the game and more sophisticated scoring systems. During the summer term, the children take part in a weekly tournament of Wacko, which is a game similar to Rounders. This fast moving team game allows children to be constantly engaged in the play, scoring points for their team. This inter class event enables the children to experience the competitive aspect of sport and teaches them the ability to cope with winning and losing. Later in the summer term, the Year Two children have the opportunity to work with the ‘Young Leaders’ at the neighbouring secondary school, where they participate in weekly multi-skills sessions.
In gymnastic sessions, the Year Two children begin to produce sequences of movement, applying all the key skills that they have learned in previous years. They perform more complex tasks with enhanced control, co-ordination, flexibility and balance. They also develop a more sophisticated understanding of the importance of exercise and how to eat healthily.
The dance units allow children learn to create their own dances as well as working in pairs or trios. Their movements increasingly show contrast in shape, speed, level and size. The children learn to appreciate each other’s dances and become ‘critical friends’ giving suggestions about how to improve their routines.
The project ‘Let’s Get Going’, has a strong PE lead and starts with an outdoor pursuit visit to Runways End. Here children are able to experience a range of outdoor sporting activities, which help them to develop their self-esteem, as well as, their thinking and problem solving skills. They learn to work as a team to achieve an outcome through participating in exciting activities such as climbing, caving, orienteering and archery.
The school holds an annual family sports day when children work competitively in a variety of multi-skills activities. Across the year groups four colour teams compete to win points. All children contribute and a trophy is awarded at the end of the day.
‘I do genuinely believe that young people who play sport at a competitive level, sensibly controlled, sensibly organised, that has to be a good thing. It will teach them to win, it will teach them to lose with dignity and magnanimously – all the things you want. It’s a pretty good metaphor for life’