Physical Education

Physical Education: Curriculum Intent

At the Holy Spirit, we strive for our children to be active, skilful and to recognise the benefits of a healthy lifestyle as they progress through each year group and to benefit from these values as they continue their journey. The PE scheme is built around the threshold concept and strengthening it with knowledge. These areas of knowledge include movement, tactics and strategy, personal and social, vocabulary, healthy lifestyle and leadership, which together develop the pupil's practical skills and allow them to participate in fun, comprehensive lessons.


Our Curriculum Drivers

Spirituality: As a Catholic School we are driven by a spiritually rich curriculum that holds Gospel values at its heart, encompassing the importance of British values and Equality.

Possibilities: A curriculum that provides quality experiences, encouraging our children to have high aspiration for their future and to be aware of all the opportunities available to them.

Resilience: Our curriculum encourages children to learn how to think well, it seeks to remove barriers to learning through growth mind-set, developing problem-solving skills and bounce-back ability.


Characteristics of a Physically Educated Pupil

The ability to acquire new knowledge and skills exceptionally well and develop an in-depth understanding of PE.

• The willingness to practise skills in a wide range of different activities and situations, alone, in small groups and in teams and to apply these skills in chosen activities to achieve exceptionally high levels of performance.

• High levels of physical fitness.

• A healthy lifestyle, achieved by eating sensibly, avoiding smoking, drugs and alcohol and exercising regularly.

• The ability to remain physically active for sustained periods of time and an understanding of the importance of this in promoting long-term health and well-being. 

• The ability to take the initiative and become excellent young leaders, organising and officiating, and evaluating what needs to be done to improve, and motivating and instilling excellent sporting attitudes in others. 

• Exceptional levels of originality, imagination and creativity in their techniques, tactics and choreography, knowledge of how to improve their own and others’ performance and the ability to work independently for extended periods of time without the need of guidance or support.

• A keen interest in PE. A willingness to participate eagerly in every lesson, highly positive attitudes and the ability to make informed choices about engaging fully in extra-curricular sport.

• The ability to swim at least 25 metres before the end of Year 6 and knowledge of how to remain safe in and around water. 



Key Stage 1 Key Stage 2

• Participate in team games, developing simple tactics for attacking and defending.

• Perform dances using simple movement patterns.

• Swimming and water safety: take swimming instruction either in Key Stage 1 or Key Stage 2. 

• Play competitive games, modified where appropriate, such as football, netball, rounders, cricket, hockey, basketball, badminton and tennis and apply basic principles suitable for attacking and defending.

• Take part in gymnastics activities.

• Take part in athletics activities.

• Perform dances.

• Take part in outdoor and adventurous activity challenges both individually and within a team.

• Swimming and water safety: take swimming instruction either in Key Stage 1 or Key Stage 2. 


The progression of skills from Year 1 to Year 6 is outlined in the following Milestones:

Threshold Concept Milestone 1 - Year 1 & Year 2 Milestone 2 - Year 3 & Year 4 Milestone 3 - Year 5 & Year 6
Develop practical skills in order to participate, compete and lead a healthy lifestyle
This concept involves learning a range of physical movements and sporting techniques.

• Use the terms ‘opponent’ and ‘team-mate’.

• Use rolling, hitting, running, jumping, catching and kicking skills in combination.

• Develop tactics.

• Lead others when appropriate.

• Throw and catch with control and accuracy.

• Strike a ball and field with control.

• Choose appropriate tactics to cause problems for the opposition.

• Follow the rules of the game and play fairly.

• Maintain possession of a ball (with, e.g. feet, a hockey stick or hands).

• Pass to team mates at appropriate times.

• Lead others and act as a respectful team member.

• Choose and combine techniques in game situations (running, throwing, catching, passing, jumping and kicking, etc.).

• Work alone, or with team mates in order to gain points or possession.

• Strike a bowled or volleyed ball with accuracy.

• Use forehand and backhand when playing racket games.

• Field, defend and attack tactically by anticipating the direction of play.

• Choose the most appropriate tactics for a game.

• Uphold the spirit of fair play and respect in all competitive situations.

• Lead others when called upon and act as a good role model within a team.


• Copy and remember moves and positions.

• Move with careful control and coordination.

• Link two or more actions to perform a sequence.

• Choose movements to communicate a mood, feeling or idea.

• Plan, perform and repeat sequences.

• Move in a clear, fluent and expressive manner.

• Refine movements into sequences.

• Create dances and movements that convey a definite idea.

• Change speed and levels within a performance. 

• Develop physical strength and suppleness by practising moves and stretching.

• Compose creative and imaginative dance sequences.

• Perform expressively and hold a precise and strong body posture.

• Perform and create complex sequences.

• Express an idea in original and imaginative ways.

• Plan to perform with high energy, slow grace or other themes and maintain this throughout a piece. 

• Perform complex moves that combine strength and stamina gained through gymnastics activities (such as cartwheels or handstands).


• Copy and remember actions.

• Move with some control and awareness of space.

• Link two or more actions to make a sequence.

• Show contrasts (such as small/tall, straight/curved and wide/narrow).

• Travel by rolling forwards, backwards and sideways. 

• Hold a position whilst balancing on different points of the body.

• Climb safely on equipment.

• Stretch and curl to develop flexibility.

• Jump in a variety of ways and land with increasing control and balance.

• Plan, perform and repeat sequences.

• Move in a clear, fluent and expressive manner.

• Refine movements into sequences.

• Show changes of direction, speed and level during a performance.

• Travel in a variety of ways, including flight, by transferring weight to generate power in movements.

• Show a kinesthetic sense in order to improve the placement and alignment of body parts (e.g. in balances experiment to find out how to get the centre of gravity successfully over base and organise body parts to create an interesting body shape).

• Swing and hang from equipment safely (using hands).

• Create complex and well-executed sequences that include a full range of movements including: 

    • travelling 

    • balances 

    • swinging 

    • springing 

    • flight 

    • vaults 

    • inversions 

    • rotations 

    • bending, stretching and twisting 

    • gestures 

    • linking skills.

•Hold shapes that are strong, fluent and expressive.

• Include in a sequence set pieces, choosing the most appropriate linking elements.

• Vary speed, direction, level and body rotation during floor performances.

• Practise and refine the gymnastic techniques used in performances (listed above).

• Demonstrate good kinesthetic awareness (placement and alignment of body parts is usually good in well-rehearsed actions).

• Use equipment to vault and to swing (remaining upright).


• Swim unaided up to 25 metres.

• Use one basic stroke, breathing correctly.

• Control leg movements. 

• Swim between 25 and 50 metres unaided.

• Use more than one stroke and coordinate breathing as appropriate for the stroke being used.

• Coordinate leg and arm movements.

• Swim at the surface and below the water.

• Swim over 100 metres unaided.

• Use breast stroke, front crawl and back stroke, ensuring that breathing is correct so as not to interrupt the pattern of swimming.

• Swim fluently with controlled strokes.

• Turn efficiently at the end of a length.


• Athletic activities are combined with games in Years 1 and 2. 

• Sprint over a short distance up to 60 metres.

• Run over a longer distance, conserving 

energy in order to sustain performance.

• Use a range of throwing techniques (such as under arm, over arm).

• Throw with accuracy to hit a target or cover a distance.

• Jump in a number of ways, using a run up where appropriate.

• Compete with others and aim to improve personal best performances. 

• Combine sprinting with low hurdles over 60 metres.

• Choose the best place for running over a variety of distances.

• Throw accurately and refine performance by analysing technique and body shape.

• Show control in take off and landings when jumping.

• Compete with others and keep track of personal best performances, setting targets for improvement.

Outdoor and adventurous activities

• Not applicable.

• Arrive properly equipped for outdoor and adventurous activity.

• Understand the need to show accomplishment in managing risks.

• Show an ability to both lead and form part of a team.

• Support others and seek support if required when the situation dictates.

• Show resilience when plans do not work and initiative to try new ways of working.

• Use maps, compasses and digital devices to orientate themselves.

• Remain aware of changing conditions and change plans if necessary. 

• Select appropriate equipment for outdoor and adventurous activity.

• Identify possible risks and ways to manage them, asking for and listening carefully to expert advice.

• Embrace both leadership and team roles and gain the commitment and respect of a team.

• Empathise with others and offer support without being asked. Seek support from the team and the experts if in any doubt.

• Remain positive even in the most challenging circumstances, rallying others if need be. 

• Use a range of devices in order to orientate themselves. 

• Quickly assess changing conditions and adapt plans to ensure safety comes first.


Aspirations for the future

Pupils develop an understanding of how subjects and specific skills are linked to future jobs.

Here are some of the jobs you could aspire to do in the future after success in Physical Education:

  • Dancer / instructor
  • Professional Sportsperson
  • Coach
  • Emergency services (Firefighter, lifeboat crew member, lifeguard)
  • Fitness Trainer

For more careers, please visit First Careers.



Assessment of PE is on-going and children are taught to use self assessment as a tool for their own development. Children are encouraged to perform and improve their personal bests as they build upon their skills within the PE curriculum. Pupils are taught resilience and self improvement so that they strive to be the best that they can be in a fun, competitive and safe environment.

For children who would benefit from further practise of skills, opportunities are made available to ensure best outcomes.