Introduction to PE

Defined as a process of learning through physical activities designed to improve physical fitness, develop motor skills, knowledge and behaviour of healthy and active living, sportsmanship, and emotional intelligence. Thus, Physical Education is not only aimed at physical development but also includes the development of the individual as a whole.

As a department, our primary aim in PE is to provide children with a wide range of physical experiences, knowledge and skill so that they may be more likely to make healthy and active life style choices in their futures – Senior School and beyond. Physical Education is an academic subject which is studied at GCSE and A Level and is a subject taken up by more and more pupils – Highfield pupils will be prepared for this subject if they choose to study it at their Senior Schools.

Physical Education differs from Games at Highfield. Games of course, can be considered as an extension of Physical Education, although at Highfield, Games is predominantly coaching for match play with the emphasis that all pupils will be fully integrated in this process and the benefits that come from being involved in a team. Physical Education is about providing children with a wider range of sporting experience, often focusing on individual sports, designed to reflect participation trends in sport amongst adults in post education, here in the UK.

Teaching in Physical Education aims to provide deeper learning of a variety of physical principles; understanding of the 'aesthetic' through Gymnastics for example, understanding the principles of movement, providing opportunities for the development for kinaesthetic feedback, building a knowledge of biomechanics in progressive sense as well as developing the acquisition of skill in our pupils. Alongside these principles, our passion is also teaching with enjoyment in mind, a principle which is crucial for life long participation and probably the main objective over the previous 13 years.

It is clear that Pupils at Highfield enjoy their Physical Education and games lessons. In Years 7 and 8, we are able to build on the strong foundation fostered in the younger years, by teaching for understanding and technical development in a much deeper sense. We encourage greater tactical and strategic awareness in racket sports and ball games, as well as continuing to hone individual technical abilities. We also have a much greater emphasis on the biomechanical aspects of movement, particularly in Athletics, Gymnastics and Swimming. To reduce the provision in any way would damage the progression that we carefully install in the department and disrupt the transition between levels of understanding and technical development in our pupils.

As a department, we are excited by the prospect of the iPad introduction and we plan to integrate this fully into the PE curriculum in each Year group where and when possible. How we teach Physical Education. A number of activities (non-games activities) are used to assist the understanding, development and progression of each pupil within a class. Therefore, the pupil will be learning the core skills or more advanced skills through games activities (Invasion, Net/Wall, Striking/Fielding), Gymnastics Activities, Dance, Athletic Activities, Swimming & Water Safety, Outdoor & Adventurous Activities and Health Related Fitness. Pupils will also learn the rules and tactics of the game or activity.

Physical Education lessons are mixed ability and mixed gender which is supported by the Department as the most effective way to teach the subject. Examples below are from Year 6 PE Lessons in Basketball & Swimming:

BASKETBALL: Recap the past three lessons (passing, pivoting & dribbling) by playing and developing End Ball. Intro basic B-Ball rules within the game related to the game of end ball so a natural and logical progression towards the game of basketball but working on the basic ball skills used in a variety of Game activities. 

SWIMMING: Recap the tumble turn from previous two weeks with a warm up exercise before working on the freestyle breathing technique. Work in Pairs, observing and analysing each other. Discussion and feedback followed by some basic principles and teaching points – PIRATES. Go through the procedure again once the class have some basic guidelines / further knowledge to use with their observations.

The Department works closely with ASPE - The Association for Physical Education & Sport for which we are members. All pupils participate in a double lesson of physical education every week. They also have games afternoons every week supported by activities.

Barnaby Gray is the Director of Sport & Head of Physical Education and Jo Gordon is the Assistant Director of Sport.

PE Year Group Subject Summaries

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