Physical Education (PE) is studied by all students from Reception through to year 9. Students in year 10 and 11 will continue with core PE on their timetable, and can choose to study the subject further as one of their option choices.
Reason for sequencing the Armfield PE curriculum for every year group in the way it is, and the subject specific/pedagogical approach taken:
In reception and Year 7, the objective is to create a love for physical education by experiencing a wide variety of different activities and developing respectful relationships, and not shying away from a challenge. Year 8 is designed to broaden sporting experiences and embed skills, such as applying tactics and strategies into a range of sports. This is then developed in year 9 by students applying more advanced skills, using Sports Studies terminology consistently and effectively. On our return to school following Covid 19 the curriculum has been adapted to close the gaps and help students catch up following long term absence of physical activity due to lockdowns etc. The OCR Sports Studies course encompasses a practical and theory element, with students being able to select the sports they wish to specialise in, having been introduced to a wide range earlier in their learning journey. We also engender an understanding of what it means to have a healthy lifestyle – including physical activity, developing social and leadership skills and how PE can impact emotional well-being positively – throughout Key Stage 1,2, 3 and in Core PE at Key Stage 4.
The physical education curriculum focuses on broadening knowledge, skills and understanding across a range of activity areas. Each year group has the opportunity to develop skill selection and application using tactics, strategies and compositional ideas that relate to specific activities. They will build on stamina, strength and flexibility and be able to apply themselves in a range of competitive, creative and challenging activities.
The curriculum opportunities at Armfield are broad and varied due to the variety of activity choices covered, such as dance, gymnastics and athletics. This enables students to start to think about specialising in specific activities and roles as they progress through their learning journey. The varied activities that are taught on a rotational basis throughout the year are determined by the sporting seasons and specific inter-school competitions that are on the calendar. Each activity selected provides a springboard for the Sports Studies practical performance assessment criteria, looking at skills in isolation and the application of skills, techniques and decision making. In the practical subject areas, pupils can progress and improve their knowledge and understanding in key activities and refine and adapt skills, and develop their fitness. This occurs through the use of progressive drills, modified games and competitive experiences.
The theoretical aspect of physical training and applied anatomy and physiology underpins each practical lesson at both Key Stage 1,2, 3 and Key Stage 4. This gives the pupils a basic knowledge and understanding of key concepts, such as subject specific vocabulary, before embarking on the OCR course and accessing the large theory and coursework content. This also includes reading about different sports and the rules and regulations that apply to them. The assessments for PE follows the Head, Heart Hands initiative promoted but the Youth Sport Trust. Progress can made practically, and results in a written tests. This provides a broad understanding of a student’s ability, both in the practical and theoretical element of the course and gives students an insight into the demands of the OCR Sports Studies with a particular focus on Leadership.
How we build on prior learning:
Hosting events for our primary school and other feeder primary schools in the community allows an initial insight into the skills level of potential students before they begin. At Key Stage 1 and 2, students will be taught basic fundamental skills, such as the principles of attack and defence and basic knowledge of movement. When students arrive in Year 7 we use Guided Grouping to empower the students and engage them from the start. Teaching is adapted according to the needs of the students, including allowing them to develop an awareness of tactics and strategies that can be utilised to outwit opponents. Students can begin to have an understanding of positions and rules as well as exploring movement using actions, space, relationships and dynamics.
Throughout Key Stage 3 students gain confidence in applying more advanced skills, showing accurate technique and consistency within both isolated drills and competitive situations. Students will further develop an ability to evaluate and assess movements and sequences to produce refined outcomes. Leadership opportunities are facilitated to improve communication skills, teamwork, organisational skills and confidence. Students will be expected to lead warm-ups and some sports related drills as well as score and officiate within a range of different activities.
The OCR Sports Studies Curriculum at Key Stage 4 focuses on the different physical and emotional requirements needed to compete at a good level within a sport. Students will be encouraged to study a small number of sports in more detail, refining technical accuracy and executing skills with accurate precision, control and fluency. Position specific skills, set plays, strategies, tactics and compositional creativity will be embedded and developed within the practical content and will empower individuals to meet the challenges in formal and competitive situations.
Theoretical content is re-visited from key stage three in a more formal environment and students are expected to link the key content to sporting examples. The OCR Sports Studies course is structured to enhance learning by grouping each component together to ensure fluidity and encourage recall of key terms. The coursework element creates a practical vision of the application of training to an individual’s performance and wellbeing as well as analysis of contemporary issues in sport, outdoor activities and leadership.
The PE curriculum and extra-curricular program is progressive and allows each pupil to flourish.
How we prepare students for the future:
The physical education curriculum at Armfield Academy is broad and balanced and will guide all students to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to maintain and improve health-related fitness as part of their commitment to lifelong healthy lifestyles. They will become educated with the relevant information and experiences to be physically active outside school and throughout life.
High quality physical education fosters the physical, moral, social, emotional, cultural and intellectual development of pupils. It improves psychological health and supports cognitive and academic performances. The main focus in our curriculum at Armfield Academy is to develop skills, nurturing the fundamental and advanced skills to competently perform in a broad spectrum of sporting activities. The learning of the theoretical understanding of PE and sport is key to improve effective performance outcomes and increase students’ understanding of the positive benefits of exercise.
Each activity area has been carefully selected to explore a multitude of holistic learning opportunities and ensure that we immerse students into a comprehensive diet of physical activities and sport, in the hope that we engage, excite and excel our students within the subject and for them to develop a lifelong commitment to participating in sport and exercise. We also work in partnership with several local partners to foster a strong pathway for our students to engage in physical activity in community clubs and teams.
Each activity taught in the physical education curriculum embeds key skills that the students learn and develop. These skills include communication, resilience, problem solving and leadership. Students are made aware through their lessons how they have used these skills and how they would be valued in the workplace. The students bank practical examples that can be referenced in personal statements for employers, colleges and universities.
Additional provision to support learning:
We aim to develop an atmosphere of encouragement, acceptance and respect for achievement and a sensitivity to individual needs in which self-esteem and self-confidence grow. To support learning, a broad range of extra-curricular clubs are on offer which supplement the curriculum focusing on key skills and techniques and building a cohesive team environment. There is an extensive competition sports calendar that gives the students the opportunity to compete against other schools both locally in Blackpool and across Lancashire.
Sports trips will be incorporated into the school calendar and include opportunities to attend rugby and football events as well as residentials to adventure centres, ski trips, football and netball tours.
Within the school environment, interventions, are used to enhance learning with the Key stage 4 curriculum and there are opportunities for leadership.