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Rickleton Primary School

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Physical Education

An Aspirational Curriculum:


We believe that each child at Rickleton has the potential to be successful in any area of curricular or extra-curricular life now and for their future. The curriculum they access must be the driver of this in offering them deep learning and inspirational experiences in a broad range of areas. Working out where their talents lie and the things they enjoy are a huge factor in this and we expect that all children give their all in all lessons.


In September 2023, we introduced our 'aspirational concepts' to support children and staff to understand the key skills and knowledge which they are building when studying a subject and where this could lead them in their future. We want our children to be driven by their future possibilities and see each lesson as a stepping stone towards this.

A Clear and Well planned Curriculum:


Subject leaders have worked hard to ensure that our curriculum fulfills not only national expectations but also the learning necessary to allow a child in Rickleton, in the North East of England, to be successful.


By carefully considering how knowledge and skills progress, ensuring that learning carefully builds on and consolidates prior knowledge, children have the best chance to feel confident and successful in their studies and to retain their learning as they move forward in their education.


The documents below show what we want children to achieve via the subject and how we plan to make this happen (commonly known as Intent, Implementation and Impact). They also show how topics and and skills are planned to give pupils a deep knowledge and hopefully a passion for the subject to support their future aspirations.

Active Marks and School Games Awards

Each year, stretching back for many years now, we apply as a school to receive the Active Mark Awards and School Games Award. Whilst it is always nice to be recognised for the hard work that staff and pupil put in to PE, we also find these awards are superb ways in which to monitor our provision and ensure it is of the highest standard. The awards monitor areas such as lesson delivery, additional opportunities, pupil leadership, active breaktimes and healthy lifestyles. We have consistently been grade as a Gold Standards school.

Our end of year newsetters explains how much happens in school:

Fundamental Movement

Our focus for all pupils is to ensure they develop the basic skills and fundamental movement needed to be successful and fit and healthy in life. To supplement the strong curriculum time focus on this throughout the school, every year our Nursery, Reception and Y1 classes receive an additional block of PE based on developing their basic skills. These blocks are delivered by Simply Sport using their training and qualifications in this important building block of all sport.


For those identified as needing more support to develop these skills, we were able to offer additional intervention blocks with individuals and small groups to support their progress.

Bike riding

Included in our focus on fundamental movement and important life skills, we include learning to ride. We have been able to invest a lot of our sports premium money in to learning to ride and now have road markings on our EYFS yard and a kit of 10 balance bikes and 10 early riding bikes. 


Nursery and Reception received training from 'Wheel Education' who worked with pupils and staff to learn how to balance and then ride. Staff then continue to build and practise these skills over the year with the aim being that every child can balance bike and know the basic of peddle biking by the time they leave reception.


We were then able to find additional support from Sunderland Authority road safety team who came in to school to work with 20 Y2 children who were less confident in their riding.


Like many schools, our Y5 children then receive the 'Bikeabilty level 2' training with Sunderland Authority who work with the pupils outside of school on the roads to develop their understanding of road safety. Sadly, at this stage, those children who do not have safe and competent riding skills are obviously unable to ride out on the roads. For this reason, we have worked with Sunderland and, last year, were able to get them to work with our Y4 pupils on the Bikeability Level 1 award which focusses on developing strong bike control.


We hope to continue to grow and develop this important skills so that all children leave the school being able to confidently and competently ride a peddle bike.

Additional Coaching

Each year, every year group receives the offer of 2 additional half terms of PE coaching with a specialised coach. The focus in EYFS and KS1 is on movement development and includes dance, skipping, bile riding and basic movement. As children move in to KS2, they then get the opportunity to work with highly experienced, sport specific coaches such as netball, tennis, cricket, athletics and golf. A plan of coaches can be seen below as well as some photos of children in action.


When working with these coaches, our children are always supported by their class teacher to ensure additional adult support but to also ensure that staff gain invaluable CPD from the unique skill sets which these coaches provide.

Competitive Sport and Competition

We have a firm belief that competitive sport is a vital tool for all children to learn skills of resilience, fair play, developing performance and also learning to lose! We would consider our provision for sporting teams to be exceptional, being lucky to have so many staff who are prepared to offer their time to train, selected and coach teams. In recent years, pupils in Upper KS2 (at the point where national governing bodies allow competitive sport to begin) have had access to competitive teams in football, girls' football, athletics, cross country, netball, swimming, cricket and disability athletics.


As a large school, we are very aware of the need to offer competitive sport to all children who enjoy and benefit from competitive sport. As well as offering regular competition in lessons and via in school events such as cross country and sports day, we're massively proud of the work in recent years to provide additional teams in most sports. In the last year, we have offered more than one team in football, girls' football, athletics, netball and cross country. This means that all pupils in Y6 as a minimum get to pull on the school strip and enjoy competing against other schools if they are keen and willing to do so.


With all of effort which goes in to competitive sport has come the reward of great success. Since the return to competitive sport since Covid, we have been proud to achieve many successes including being North of England Girl's football representatives, Girls' Football County Cup and League winners two years running, Sportshall athletics area winners and regional top 3 two years in a row, Area Cross Country overall winners two years in a row, Sunderland region swimming winners two years in a row, Football Washington cup winners, Netball league winners and regional finalists.

A sporting hub for the area

We are very lucky with the facilities and staffing that we have here at Rickleton. This ensures that our children, but also children from the local area, get to enjoy more sport which is safely and effectively organised to offer a positive experience for those involved.


Images below show the school being used for the District Cross Country competition organised by Mr Baker. This year alone, with Mr Woodhead organising football in Washington and Mr Baker organising football in Chester le Street, the site has also been used to host Washington league and Girls' league 7 a side competitions, Chester le Street league and Girls' league 7 a side competitions, Durham County and Girls' County football competitions, plus Washington District Representative team matches.

Community Club links

Whilst we have a huge passion for sport as a school, we also appreciate that we can only offer a healthy, sporting lifestyle for our children until they reach 11 years of age. Due to this, we have a vision to engage as many children as possible in activity outside of school, where we hope they develop a life long link with sporting activity.


We have forged strong links with several local clubs and many of or children access these clubs, a good proportion due to experiences they have begun in school. Relationships currently exist with Birtley Town Football club, Washington United football Club, Fast Feet Football Coaching, Simply Sport Multi Activity Coaching, Apollo Trampoline Club, Birtley Harriers, Washington Cricket Club as well as directing families to events such as the Chester le Street Park Run.


Whilst many of our pupils enjoy and benefit from these popular team and individual challenge sports, we are very aware that this style of fitness is not for everyone. The other aim of school, via the additional coaching blocks and extra curricular clubs is to encourage those children who prefer lifestyle sports. We are proud to have developed links with Diddy Dance, Dance Asylum, Houghton Golf Club, Sunderland 3k, Derwent Hill Outdoor Centre and the Houghton Triathlon and Cycling Club. We are currently working to develop links and coaching sessions with Oxclose Judo club, South Tyneside Climbing Wall and Beamish Golf Club as we believe these are the activities which may still be keeping our pupils fit in to their later life.

Extra Curricular Clubs

We're very proud of the quantity and quality of the after school clubs which we offer in a range of activities, including sports. We have worked with pupils to try to offer clubs in the sports they enjoy to ensure high levels of participation. We are also lucky in using Mr Todd, who delivers a lot of our curriculum PE, to run many of the after school clubs across the year. This ensures that his knowledge of ability levels and also particular needs and challenge is very strong.


To encourage commitment to clubs, we introduced a charge of £1 per week, with clubs being fully funded for pupil premium children. Our booking system allows parents to book clubs a term in advance, helping support child care need and also ensuring more children get to access the clubs they are keen on. Our clubs have been so popular that we have had to introduce a system where those who were unable to book the previous term get preference the term after.


As part of our commitment to develop higher ability skills and love of competitive sports, we also offer several clubs which invite pupils who are identified as higher ability to train to develop game skills. This has had a hugely positive impact on participation, ability levels and competitive success. We currently offer these opportunities for football, girls' football, netball, athletics and cross country.

Xbox to 3k

One of our proudest sporting achievements came in 2023 when we set up the 'Xbox to 3k' club. Trying to replicate the success of the adult Couch to 5k scheme, we were able to aquire 10 tickets to the Sunderland 3k fun run.


Linking to the idea of switching of the game console and getting fit, we asked pupils to write an application about why they felt they wanted to increase their fitness or confidence with running. We were inundated with applicants and we delighted to be able to increase the number of entries to the race from 10 to and astounding 32 pupils. The pupils trained on a lunch time over ten weeks with Mr Todd and all pupils turned up on a beautiful May Sunday morning to complete the amazing achievement of running 3km through Sunderland City centre.


One lucky pupil even ran the event in his new trainers after being drawn from the raffle of pupils who had attended all the weeks of training leading up to the race.


We even received some press coverage: 


We were also very proud that 5 school staff opted to join the training sessions and run the Sunderland 3K!

This will certainly become and annual event in school over the coming years.


Visit from EFL Referee Andrew Kitchen

As part of our focus on future aspirations, local EFL referee Andrew Kitchen visited the school to talk to Y5 and 6 pupils. He discussed his role as a Championship referee, how he started out in grass roots football and his journey to officiating at the highest level of the game. Our children asked lots of insightful questions, particularly thinking about respect and resilience which the role takes. They also got the opportunity to see and try some of the modern equipment which helps him do his job and spent some time designing some new equipment they thought might help him in his role. Thank you to Andrew for giving up his time.

Swimming Curriculum

Swimming is part of the National Curriculum and statutory in schools. Government expected outcomes are as follows for this important and potentially lifesaving skill:


1. Swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres. • Swimming at least 25 metres should be viewed as an absolute minimum. Every Year 6 child should achieve this distance, with an expectation that the majority of pupils will swim significantly further. • The swim should be continuous and completed without undue stress. The stroke or strokes used should be as strong at the end as at the start of the distance. • In completing at least 25 metres some element of this must include in deep water, defined as greater than shoulder depth.

2. Use a range of strokes effectively. • The strokes used should be recognisable to an informed onlooker. The minimum expectation will be: - Alternative strokes: Front Crawl, Backstroke - Simultaneous strokes: Breaststroke, Butterfly

3. Perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations. • Emphasis should be on young people being able to safely enter and exit the water. This includes falling in and using ladders to get out of pools. • The ability to tread water and keep yourself afloat is vital for safe-self rescue, as is the ability to get back to the side. • Schools should also ensure pupils have practical experience of using their skills in outdoor swimming environments, such as the sea, canals or rivers. The Swim Safe schools programme run by Swim England and the RNLI provides practical water safety sessions for schools during the summer term and are committed to working with schools to ensure all pupils are able to access a session by 2020.


We are lucky to work with Washington Leisure Centre as our swimming provider, a beautiful, newly built pool with access to small and large swimming pools. We have designed our swimming curriculum to give pupoils access to swimming at an age where they hopefully have not developed a barrier to swimming, beginning at Christmas in Y4. We do, however recognise that to achieve the required distance and stamina of swimming, pupil need to be phyiscally strong and fit enough. For this reason, pupils swimming for an hour a week for a whole school year, finishing their swimming at Christmas in year 5.


Our teachers assess the growing ability of each child over this time, using the same assessment systems as for other areas of PE. By the end of their curriculum swimming, we generally find that approximately 20% of pupils are not able to achieve all elements of the national expectations. We have introduced Y6 booster swimming for these children who receive 2 hours of intensive, small group swimming tuition. With this tailored support and due to the additional strength and stamina many now possess, there is a positive success rate in bringing these children up to the expected level. In 2022/23, of the 19 children returning to the pool for booster swimming, 14 were able to achieve national expectation, with 5 still reaching a competent level of survival swimming.


To supplement this survival knowledge, we are delighted to welcome the RNLI Lifeguards to school to share important messages with all children about water safety.