Physical Education

The primary purpose of Physical Education is to develop an understanding of the positive impact an active lifestyle will have on their lives. The developmentally appropriate program also provides a unique learning environment where effective, motor and cognitive skills can be developed. In addition, good health practices, sportsmanship, self-control, self-expression and the opportunity for positive social interaction with peers are fostered. Research clearly shows that the active, healthy child is more likely to be academically motivated and establish habits of behaviour that will promote lives that are models of wellness.

At Heddon-on-the Wall St. Andrew’s Primary School we believe a high-quality PE programme develops knowledge skills and understanding so that pupils can perform with increasing competence and confidence in a range of physical activities.  We have targeted PE teaching throughout the school with specialist teaching for all children on a weekly basis and in addition to this, we encourage children to take part in a variety of sporting clubs and competitions. In KS2, children learn to swim with specialist swimming instruction at Ponteland Leisure Centre.  


  • To develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities
  • To ensure pupils are physically active for sustained periods of time
  • To engage in competitive sports and activities
  • To lead healthy, active lives and understand the importance of this

Early Years Physical Development 

Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives. Gross and fine motor experiences develop incrementally throughout early childhood, starting with sensory explorations and the development of a child’s strength, co-ordination and positional awareness.  By creating games and providing opportunities for play both indoors and outdoors, adults can support children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility. Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye co-ordination, which is later linked to early literacy. Repeated and varied opportunities to explore and play with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts and the practice of using small tools, with feedback and support from adults, allow children to develop proficiency, control and confidence.

Key Stage 1

In Key Stage 1, pupils should develop fundamental movement skills, become increasingly competent and confident and access a broad range of opportunities to extend their agility, balance and coordination, individually and with others. They should be able to engage in competitive (both against self and against others) and co-operative physical activities, in a range of increasingly challenging situations.

Pupils will be taught to master basic movements including running, jumping, throwing and catching, through a variety of competitive sports and non competitive games, as well as developing balance, agility and co-ordination, and begin to apply these in a range of activities.  Through participating in team games, children will develop simple tactics for attacking and defending.  Children will learn to move appropriately to music, and perform simple movement patterns.  

Key Stage 2

In Key Stage 2, pupils will continue to apply and develop a broader range of sporting skills, learning how to use them in different ways and to link them to make actions and sequences of movement. They should enjoy communicating, collaborating and competing with each other. They should develop an understanding of how to improve in different physical activities and sports and learn how to evaluate and recognise their own success.

Pupils will be taught to use running, jumping, throwing and catching in isolation and in combination.  They will also play competitive games, modified where appropriate, and apply basic principles suitable for attacking and defending.  Through teaching of gymnastics, pupils will develop flexibility, strength, technique, control and balance and will perform dances and sequences using a range of movement patterns.  All children take part in outdoor and adventurous activity challenges both individually and within a team and in addition to this, pupils are encouraged to compare their performances with previous ones and demonstrate improvement to achieve their personal best.  

In Key Stage 2, Children will be taught to swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres, using a range of strokes effectively.  They also learn to perform a safe self-rescue in different water-based situations.  

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

All children with SEND will have equal access and opportunities within the curriculum. The School will support these children to ‘catch up’, ‘keep up’ and experience success in the following ways (where appropriate):

  • High quality teaching each day through Ordinarily Available Provision (formerly Quality First Teaching);
  • Opportunities for pre-learning (particularly new vocabulary) before lessons;
  • Appropriately scaffolded or differentiated work or materials;
  • Classrooms and materials set up to reduce cognitive load and follow dyslexia friendly strategies;
  • Children with SEND have a Pupil Passport which identifies approaches and strategies to be used which will help them to succeed;
  • For children with Education, Health and Care Plans there may be 1:1 adult support in lessons.

The School recognises that while a child may have additional needs in one area of the curriculum they may well have skills and talents which allow them to shine and be successful in another and this is to be celebrated.