At St Joan of Arc, a high-quality PE curriculum is well promoted and compliments the message that good health, both physical and mental, is vital for everyone. We place great value on children’s ability to express themselves through sport and dance. PE plays a vital role in developing collaborative team-work, problem solving skills, building resilience and helping embed values such as fairness and respect.
We use the PE Hub scheme of work to plan lessons, develop skills and assess accordingly. Our PE curriculum is broad and offers a wide range of activities to be taught across the school. The strands of PE taught are games, dance, gymnastics, athletics, outdoor and adventurous activities and swimming (for year 5 children only).
Alongside the broad PE curriculum, we regularly invite external coaches to deliver tailored sessions, often linking to wider world events i.e. football and rugby world cups. St Joan of Arc are regular competitors in Islington led sporting competitions and have a high success rate.
PE is taught across all years, starting with the Early Years where valuable time is spent developing the children’s fine and gross motor skills, where they learn how to control and coordinate their body movements. Through the continuous provision in both nursery and reception, the children have many opportunities to develop these skills along with their physical development e.g. balance beams, bikes, stepping stones and hoops. Along with Years 1 and 2, all children in EYFS have focus music/ dance sessions weekly led by an experienced music teacher; this allows them to develop their dance skills in fun, creative ways.
Each week the children receive two PE sessions, covering different aspects of the PE curriculum. The use of the PE scheme promotes a wide curriculum being taught and fosters skills development.
Across Years 1-6 the children will be taught many elements of games including netball, handball, tennis and tag rugby. They will develop their dance and performance skills; in gymnastics pupils will follow routines, practise ‘floor work’ skills alongside using a range of gymnastics equipment to develop balancing skills, travelling, jumping off safely etc. In athletics, pupils will participate in track and field sports where they develop their agility, speed, throwing and running skills. Years 3-6 will also be taught outdoor and adventurous activities (OAA) to develop problem solving skills through a range of challenges; here they work collaboratively to plan, solve, reflect and overcome challenges. Our Year 5 children follow an intensive two-week swimming course at Highbury Leisure Centre.
The children in St Joan of Arc enjoy physical activity and show increasingly developed skills and techniques across a range of games, gymnastic routines and dance performances. At all ages children are given time and support to develop both their fine and gross motor skills.
An important part of the PE curriculum is aiding the children in their understanding that exercise is good for both their physical and mental health. The children develop strategies to help understand and manage their own mental health and to develop resilience in all that they do.
When participating in sporting competition they do so with a clear sense of fairness to both their team mates and opponents. Each year, Year 6 children have the chance to apply to be a St Joan of Arc sports captain. This gives 4 students the opportunity to organise inter-house sporting competitions, assist in the organisation in our yearly sports day, help run sessions for younger children and assist with many other important tasks.
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