“Almost two thirds of respondents “strongly or tended” to agree that PE should be a core subject in the national curriculum, with 80 per cent agreeing that there should be more opportunities for young people of all ages to be physically active at school.”

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So, I survived the year (hurrah!).  I knew it would be tough, I expected it to wear me down, but with a job secured in my host school and a whole heap of positive memories from my first year ever working in a school, I can’t deny that it was worth it!

What’s been tough?

Teaching up to 90% alongside weekly lesson observations, mentor meetings, constant evaluations, masters’ level assignments, updating individual child profiles and what feels like a daily average of a billion hours of planning.  I said goodbye to my weekends right at the start and often found myself trawling through text books, Ofsted documents and government policies late at night.    Doesn’t everyone enjoy the National Curriculum as bedtime reading?

Without doubt, the hardest part has not been one individual task, but fitting it all in.  In the beginning, planning one lesson took me an eternity.  Even once I was happy with the lesson content I would have seventeen goes tweaking the learning objective.  I’ve made sincere apologies to my social life, fitness regime, bank balance (returning to student-ism, eeek), diet and boyfriend.

What’s made it easier?

Apart from surrounding myself with positive people, remembering the reason why I took this on has been crucial to my endurance.  I wanted to be a teacher for a long time for the love of working with children, helping them to thrive and being part of a constantly varied working environment.  Of course the holidays are pretty peachy too!

Making use of the support around me has been crucial to my success.  Worrying about the standard of PE lessons is something I haven’t done, thanks to using the PE HUB scheme.  Saving me time and stress, it’s been reassuring to know objectives and assessment opportunities are already in place.  I’ve been observed teaching PE on several occasions and feedback has been excellent.  Tutors noted engaging tasks, good questioning within the lessons and a fluent progression of activities.  The literacy and numeracy links are what made me look really super though!

So I say farewell to teacher training I look ahead to my  with year 6 (apparently the school trusts me!).  I’m not worried about it; I call it nervous excitement.  Nervous that the hormones in year six will be the end of me, but excited to embrace the challenge!

What is assessment for learning in PE (AFL) and how can you use it to support your pupils progress?  AFL is an assessment process used in all subject areas but lends itself very well to PE.  Assessment for learning is formative by nature and therefore involves specific processes to be truly effective.

Features of formative assessment

Task orientated

Assessment for learning is task orientated, and this makes it perfect for PE.  Set your pupils a task which shapes the learning to come.  An open task, yet outcome led and involves principles and skills you wish the children to develop.  Throughout the task encourage your pupils to analyse their progress, what’s working and what’s not?  Make sure this analysis is in line with the desired outcomes, e.g. if the task is based on attacking as a small group, try to shape all feedback around this principle.

As a teacher, you should facilitate questioning that is thought-provoking for pupils.  Try and provide feedback that is in line with the desired outcomes.  In the example above, it is counterproductive to comment on their defensive skills when you’re trying to develop attacking principles. Pupils should be encouraged to take part in peer evaluation and self-assessment to improve their work.

Example assessment for learning task

Suitable for net/wall game such as tennis. The aim of the game is to score points by making a ball bounce twice in an opponents area. Play the game 1 v 1 on a long narrow court over a bench. One player feeds the ball over the bench and the second player needs to either catch it before the second bounce or return the ball with their hand. Players score a point if their opponent does not catch/return the ball before the second bounce.

Development Using a larger ball, changing the size of the court or remove the bench.

Challenge Hitting the ball to return or rallying to get the ball back and forth.

What good looks like

When working in an AFL framework, children need to know what good looks like.  What are they trying to achieve?  How can they take steps towards good?  What are the key teaching points to achieve a good performance of the desired activity or task?  We can show children what good looks like through a combination of;

Encourage children to think for themselves

A key feature of AFL is children taking control of their own learning facilitated by the teacher.  The thought cycle below can be used by both the teacher and the pupils to devise the steps to success.


Try assessment for learning in your next lesson; you may be doing it already!  Check out AFL resources to support your teaching or sign up for one of our packages, which contains assessment for learning in every unit of work — wishing you the best for your next PE lesson.  Share with us what happens you can find us on Twitter @thepehub or on our Facebook page.

Enter your details to receive information on how we work with schools & organisations like yours. Or if you have a question, either contact us or fill out the form below. 


For the past month, you’ve been able to access example lesson plans for physical education.

Recent example lesson plans

Today we are sharing example lesson plans for physical education that include reception ‘Cooperate & solve problems’, Year 3 outdoor education, Year 1 gymnastics, Year 5 cricket and beginners swimming.

Reception cooperate and solve problems

Our latest resource for reception and key stage 1 is ‘cooperate and solve problems.  This scheme of work introduces the idea of pupils learning self-reliance.  It also guides children in working effectively together to complete tasks through which they improve communication.

Swimming for beginners

Our swimming lesson plans are not linked to a specific year group; we know children’s experiences of swimming vary widely.  We have 3 units available, beginner, intermediate and advanced.  Today we’re sharing a beginners swimming lesson plan to show you the level of expectation needed to get none swimmers, swimming.  It is gratifying to take a pupil who cannot swim and get them confidently swimming widths and lengths.  Lesson 4 looks at pupils’ gaining confidence by putting their face in the water.

Year 3 Outdoor and adventurous activities (OAA)

We make teaching outdoor education simple!  We’ve created all the scorecards, control points, pictures, or map icons you could ever need. Just print and laminate and you’re set to go!  Check out our Year 3 lesson 5 which focuses on working well together and being considerate of others.  OAA doesn’t mean children are not raising their heart rates; all our outdoor education lesson gets the blood pumping; working both mind and body!

Year 1 Gymnastics

At the PE Hub, we are passionate about gymnastics, and that’s why we’ve brought you two units for every year group!  For the next month, you have access to year 1 gymnastics unit 1.  In this lesson, children are supported to explore and demonstrate shape in their work and use tension to improve their performance.

Year 5 Cricket

We introduce cricket in Year 3, based around the school games format, so children develop gameplay skill and the capacity to engage in competition.  Lesson 2 for Year 5 pupils focuses on catching and throwing for accuracy.  The purpose of developing this accuracy is to attempt to run batters out during a modified game.

We change our example lesson plans for physical education once a month, you can follow our blog and stay updated via our Facebook pageor subscribe to one of our PE lesson plan services today!


Ready to find out more?

Children running around with smiley happy faces does not make a PE lesson good.  I was told this while shadowing an observation of a primary colleague.  This statement is something I’ve reflected on many times.

Teaching a good PE lesson is as refined as any subject,  but is not a mystery.  This blog will look at some of the areas that help us to teach PE well and the pupils to make the progress they need while having children with smiley faces!

Pupils are engaged in activity quickly in a good PE lesson

PE lessons are short and so are children’s attention spans.  Harness your pupils’ natural enthusiasm by getting them on task quickly at the start of a lesson.  If your main objectives require more lengthy explanation, then do this after a simple, fun but relevant starter activity.  Pupils can get their breath back and will be more inclined to listen. Other benefits of quick engagement in activity include:

Learning activities are differentiated

In a good PE lesson, all children are working towards the same outcome, how they achieve this is through effective differentiation. Pupils’ ability to achieve in PE is related to not only their physical ability but mental capacity and emotional understanding; we call this head, hand, heart.

Consider these factors when planning any activity.  In general, I advocate pupils of similar ability working together.  However, there are times when a mixed ability is more appropriate.

A good PE lesson can be differentiated by using the STEP method.  If we change the Space, Task, Equipment or People involved in an activity, it can increase the chances of success for those taking part.

An example of STEP in use would be swimming widths; the objective might be ‘swim one width without feet touching the bottom’.  The beginners would require armbands and both hands on a float to propel them successfully from one side to the other.  More experienced swimmers may require only one hand on a float to support their crossing.  The teacher would modify equipment by pupil need.  To learn more about the STEP principle check out our related blog.

Pupils are making progress

Children are improving.  Improvement does not just mean becoming physically more proficient but also meeting other areas of the national curriculum outcomes such as engaging in competition, working well with others and developing a deeper understanding of healthy active lifestyles.

What does progress in PE look like? Pupils are performing against progress markers.  It is important to consider what these progress markers look like over an activity,  a lesson and longer term.  Pupils must be aware of how they can make progress and describe and show this to others.

Pupils can link learning

A good PE lesson means that pupils can draw links to things they have previously learnt; which does not mean that they can reiterate what they discovered the last lesson, but can draw parallels in more sophisticated ways.

Linking learning could mean making comparisons between activities such as discussing an aspect of defending in gameplay in both netball and football.  Or another example, children can suggest that they could develop their work in dance by trying a concept that worked in gymnastics.  Linking their learning is a crucial aspect for pupils to acquire the knowledge to lead a healthy active lifestyle now and into their adulthood.

Time on activity

There is no substitute for it, time on activity is essential when learning new skills, developing mindset and honing interpersonal skills.  Unfortunately, teacher-led input can be as high as 70% in some PE lessons, which takes away from this activity-based learning.

To develop and master skills children must be able to try, fail, repeat and refine.  Teacher intervention should be only when necessary and to the pupils who need it.  Avoid at all costs stopping the class and sitting them down to labour a point.

Before you stop children, think, is what you’re about to say or show going to add to their learning or can they find out for themselves with a few prompts or through trial and error?

Aim for 20% teacher speak and 80% activity time.  A few ways to help you achieve this are:

There are other useful hints and tips I will share in future posts about what makes a good PE lesson, but for now, give these ago.  Wishing you the best for your next PE lesson.  Share with us what happens you can find us on Twitter @thepehub or on our Facebook page.

Enter your details to receive information on how we work with schools & organisations like yours. Or if you have a question, either contact us or fill out the form below. 

For the past month you’ve been able to access for free on The PE Hub as sample plans the following:

PE Primary Plans

Today we are sharing Reception dance, year 2 run, jump, throw, year 3 badminton, year 4 tag rugby and year 6 dance.

Reception Dance Lesson Plans

At the PE Hub, we are passionate about dance as part of the PE curriculum.  We have two units of dance for every year group!  The reception dance lesson plans show activities for creating patterns. The lesson includes the teaching of traditional dance movements such as promenading with a partner. For the next month, you can feast your eyes on both reception and year 6 dance PE lessons plans.

Year 6 Dance Lesson Plan

The year 6 dance lesson plan we have shared shows a snapshot of our west side story themed unit of work.  In this plan, year 6 explore more complex themes such as live aural setting. Furthermore, teachers have an extensive range of video resources at their disposal.  See one of our dance teaching videos below.

Claps – Lesson 3 from The PE Hub on Vimeo.

Year 2 Run jump throw

Run jump throw is our name for athletic activity at Key Stage 1.  These units taught at Key Stage 1 prepare pupils for the skills they will need to participate in athletics at Key Stage 2.  We have 2 units of run, jump, throw for both years 1 and 2 therefore is ideal to teach across an entire term.

Year 3 Badminton Lesson Plan

Once pupils hit Key Stage 2 they are expected to start specialising in recognised sports and activities such as badminton.  Our year 3 lesson aims to build on pupils prior learning from send and return (net-wall games) during Key Stage 1 PE.  Badminton is a brand new sport to The PE Hub, and we will be rolling out units across key stage 2.

Year 4 Tag Rugby Lesson Plan

Tag rugby is increasing in popularity and so we knew it was essential to include it for every year of Key Stage 2.  All our planning works in line with the school games.  For that reason, you can be sure that your pupils will know all the correct rules and tactics.  Competition between self and other features in our Tag Rugby PE lesson plans, this helps prepare pupils for extracurricular activities.

We change our sample PE lesson plans once a month, you can follow our blog and stay updated via our Facebook page—or subscribe to one of our PE lesson plan services today!


Ready to find out more?

This month’s featured sport is badminton! We have recently published our first unit of this exciting and inclusive net-wall game for year 3.  We will be adding a full complement of badminton lesson plans for the whole of key stage 2 in due course.

Develop hand-eye coordination

Hand-eye coordination is an essential skill for children to develop in their PE lessons and benefits many activity areas.  Children can master hand-eye coordination through a variety of net-wall games including tennis and racquetball; however, badminton can often be a more accessible starting point. The shuttlecocks natural flight is slower than a ball allowing more time to be hit.   This slower pace will enable children to get to grips with this fun and what can be, fast-paced sport in a manageable way.


Short handled racquets are available for children learning the sport, which are also useful for shorter pupils or pupils in wheelchairs.  The short handle means the shuttle is easier to hit as the head of the racquet is closer to the hand.  The further away it is the harder it becomes to hit.   A great way to start playing badminton during primary school PE lessons is with balloons and racquets. Pupils can play in small teams or pairs gaining points by keeping the balloon in the air.

Working cooperatively

Pupils can play badminton in pairs and groups which will help develop their cooperation skills.  There are many types of pairs games that can be played to develop cooperation such as maximum rallies to badminton ‘volleyball’ and ‘keep the kettle boiling’.


Competition doesn’t just have to be one player versus another.  Pupils can try to beat their score by hitting the shuttle or balloon into the air without dropping or teams working to keep a rally going.  Why not try this cooperative but competitive activity found in our badminton PE lessons plans with your pupils?

Rally = Unbroken returns between two or more players

Have you been teaching badminton in your school or club?   What are your experiences of this fun activity? Share them with us on Twitter @thepehub or on our Facebook page.

Enter your details to receive information on how we work with schools & organisations like yours. Or if you have a question, either contact us or fill out the form below. 

Recently my friend ‘had Ofsted’, and the usual stress ensued at her school.  My friend is a good teacher, in fact, a great teacher, and her school know it.  Listening to her talk about the stresses and strains of the event I was left to question what makes a great teacher.

I regularly speak with this friend about her classroom experiences. I enjoy hearing the developments, the successes, failures and everything in-between of her pupils.  But what makes her a great teacher is what she considers to be a success, and how she goes about drawing out this success in her pupils.

Listening empowers you as a teacher

She listens and listens deeply.  She’s never told me this, and I’ve never seen her teach, but I know it’s what she does.  I can tell because she knows exactly how to support the pupils to progress.  She can tell you all about what her children do in and out of school and the things they enjoy and are worried about.  This helps her teach excellent lessons.

Listening is a skill

Ever been with a friend for a coffee and left thinking, gosh all I did was talk about myself?  I’ve done it.  It’s a horrible feeling and makes you feel a bad friend and a little bit selfish.  The same thing is true in teaching, even though we have the best intentions.  We spend a lot of time talking and very little time listening.   We expect the children to do all the listening and then regurgitate the past hour on to paper or through demonstration.

Stop, Look, Listen

To listen we need to ask questions.  We need to create space to watch pupils on task to listen to their concerns or help them to solve their problems through trial and error.

PE is an outstanding opportunity to develop your listening skills as a teacher.  PE and after-school clubs can help you increase your observation of the pupils;

The simple stuff.  But it takes practice, maybe start with listening to your friend or colleague over that coffee, I know I shall!



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Physical Literacy is now common talk amongst teachers, both primary and secondary.  However, there are some mixed messages about what ‘physical literacy’ is and what it means in a school context.

The IPLA defines physical literacy as;

“the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life.”  (IPLA, 2017)

Can Physical Literacy be taught?

The short answer is ‘No’.  Physical Literacy is not a sport or activity area such as hockey or dance.  Therefore, physical Literacy is a by-product of exposure to many and varied physical challenges. These can range from simple to the complex.  Exposure to physical challenges begins at birth and carries on throughout our lives.

How children become physically literate

As a concept, we cannot teach physical literacy because it is not a specific skill (see IPLA definition above).  It is layers of physical competencies built up from birth and continuing throughout life.  The most significant window opportunity for children to develop their physical literacy is between the ages of 0 and 7 years old.

How to support the development of Physical Literacy in schools

The key is lots and lots of opportunity through PE lessons and beyond.  Develop a varied and progressive PE curriculum (explored further in next blog) made up of both indoor and outdoor activity.  Provide before and after school clubs with a mix of formal and informal sessions.

Above all, allow for physical challenges, both team and individual.  Furthermore, encourage active breaktimes, incorporating trim trails, playground games and small equipment. Every child should learn to swim, consider developing this area even if your pupils have had their statutory teaching.

Think motivation, confidence, competence and understanding when planning PE lessons and other activities for your pupils.  Certainly, the conversation surrounding physical literacy and schools’ contribution to children’s development will continue and is an exciting area for debate.

“Crucial questions, or conflicts, arise when an abstract concept such as physical literacy is put into the educational context for learner mastery and the assessment of the mastery of the concept in its entirety…physical literacy is far from a neutral or simple concept.”   Physical literacy in the field of physical education – A challenge and a possibility, Suzanne Lundvall

Enter your details to receive information on how we work with schools & organisations like yours. Or if you have a question, either contact us or fill out the form below. 

It is the responsibility of primary schools to teach the swimming.  The swimming attainment target states all pupils should swim confidently, competently, and proficiently over 25 metres.  There is no longer ring-fenced money for this aspect of the PE curriculum. Therefore, head teachers must fund swimming lessons from their central school budget.

National Curriculum Requirements for swimming

The guidance in the national curriculum in relation to swimming are clear and can be seen below.   Swimming and water safety – All schools must provide swimming instruction in key stage 1 or key stage 2.

In particular, pupils should be taught to:

The attainment targets should be measured and recorded by the time pupils leave in year 6.

How can your PE and Sport Premium Funding be used for swimming?

The Primary PE and Sport premium is not to be used to deliver core national curriculum requirements.  Consequently, you cannot pay for swimming lessons for your pupils.  As part of their swimming provision schools will now need to measure how many pupils can swim 25 metres and safely self-rescue.  Children that do not reach these requirements, can, however, be targetted using funding to pay for instance, additional swimming lessons or teachers professional development.

Swimming primary school curriculum – Recording and reporting data

Schools are now required to record and report on their website the figures relating to pupil progress in swimming.  You can use afPE’s website reporting tool to do this. The form covers all aspects of evidencing your use of the PE and sport premium, including your percentages of pupils swimming.

If your school needs planning to support the delivery of swimming take a look at what we do at The PE Hub.   Our swimming lesson plans and schemes of work offer support from beginners to advanced.  Also, you can also find a considerable amount of useful swimming information on the Swim England website.

Enter your details to receive information on how we work with schools & organisations like yours. Or if you have a question, either contact us or fill out the form below.