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Physical Education

At The Vale Academy, we aspire for all the pupils leaving primary school to be physically literate and with the knowledge, skills and motivation necessary to equip them for a healthy, active lifestyle and lifelong participation in physical activity and sport. We believe that physical education is a vital component in the development of children's physical, cognitive, social and emotional well-being. We ensure all pupils, irrespective of their academic or physical ability, are given the opportunity to explore, develop and apply their physical literacy skills through a balanced and broad range of activities. 


Our bespoke curriculum and experienced teachers promote curricular development through the PE concepts of 'Head' (cognitive learning), 'Hands' (physical learning) and 'Heart' (social and emotional learning) to achieve their potential. Pupils are encouraged to problem-solve, collaborate and lead alongside their peers, develop positive relationships, grow resilience and celebrate progression. Throughout the school year, we focus on the School Games values through School Sports, Physical Education and Physical Activity, with a particular focus on a certain value each half-term. These values were developed by young people to recognise how the experience of sport should be epitomised and embodied within schools and to reflect the 'spirit' of the School Games.

To see our School Games profile, visit


Early Years National Curriculum Requirements

Pupils will build a foundation for igniting their curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving in PE and their physical development. Physical activity is vital in children's all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives. 

Pupils will be taught to:

Fine Motor Skills

  • Control and precision with hand-eye coordination
  • Sensory exploration
  • 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, allowing children to develop proficiency, control and confidence

Gross Motor Skills

  • Develop healthy bodies and social and emotional wellbeing
  • Development of a child's strength, coordination and positional awareness
  • Participate in game-based activities with opportunities for play both indoors and outdoors, develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility

Key Stage 1 National Curriculum Requirements

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 cooperative physical activities, in a range of increasingly challenging situations. 

Pupils will be taught to:
  • master basic movements including running, jumping, throwing and catching, as well as developing balance, agility and co-ordination and begin to apply these in a range of activities
  • participate in team games, developing simple tactics for attacking and defending
  • perform dances using simple movement patterns

Key Stage 2 National Curriculum Requirements 

Pupils should continue to apply and develop a broader range of skills, learning 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
  • play competitive games, modified where appropriate (for example, badminton, basketball, cricket, football, hockey, netball, rounders and tennis) and apply basic principles suitable for attacking and defending
  • develop flexibility, strength, technique, control and balance (for example, through athletics and gymnastics)
  • perform dances using a range of movement patterns
  • take part in outdoor and adventurous activity challenges, both individually and within a team
  • compare their performances with previous ones and demonstrate improvement to achieve their personal best

Swimming and Water Safety

We provide swimming lessons for our year 3 and 4 pupils, who are taught to:

  • swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres
  • use a range of strokes effectively (for example, front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke)
  • perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations