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Smithdon High School


Why are we teaching a knowledge-rich curriculum; how is it different?

Our knowledge rich curriculum is purposefully sequenced, delivered and assessed using the principles of ‘Head, Heart, Hands’. This method of delivery and assessment gives a subject specific focus to the whole learner and the qualities that can be developed through Physical Education and not just the practical ability of a student. 

Pupils will develop a deep and meaningful understanding of how their own body works, values to promote sportsmanship, leadership and physical competency in a range of activities in order to support lifelong involvement in physical activity and the health and well-being benefits that comes from this lifestyle. 

Why are we teaching this content?

The aim is to provide a high-quality physical education experience that inspires pupils to achieve a high level of competency and a level of enjoyment that promotes lifelong involvement in sport or physical activity. 

Within the Key Stage 3 curriculum, pupils develop knowledge on the stages and purposes of warm ups and cool downs, identification and types of bones, muscles and joints, the short term effects of exercise on the cardio-respiratory and musculoskeletal systems. They gain a knowledge of fitness components and methods and principles of training, short and long term effects of exercise on the body systems and diet and nutrition. 

Students experience a wide range of activities and sports and will develop and apply skills and techniques, rules, tactics and strategies to be successful. Examples of activities include Football, Netball, Rugby, Badminton, OAA, Basketball, Gymnastics, Dance, Handball, Table Tennis, Tennis, Cricket, Athletics, Rounders and Softball. 

The Key Stage 4 curriculum enables students to continue to experience a wide range of activities and sports and develop the skills and physical competencies gained during Key Stage 3. Sports and activities are delivered with a key life skill focus developed form the ‘Head, Heart, Hands’ skills developed in KS3. These life skills are delivered through practical activities that include Football, Netball, Rugby, badminton, OAA, Basketball, Gymnastics, Dance, Handball, Table Tennis, Tennis, Cricket, Athletics, Rounders and Softball as well as fitness and well-being activities catered to individual wants and needs.

Why are we teaching it in this order?

During KS3 the practical progression develops in each year group.  In Year 7 basic skills and techniques are introduced to be able to develop physical competence and play each sport or activity. In year 8 these skills are further develop to be able to outwit opponents through attacking and defensive principles. In year 9 skills continued to be developed along with a development of tactics and strategies to be successful in the sport or activity. Students will also experience different roles within a sport or activity and develop skills that are required in these roles. 

Throughout each year group pupils are encouraged to transfer fundamental principles and tactics between sports and activities. For example students may transfer attacking principles developed in football to a game of handball.

As pupils move into KS4 the physical competencies are further developed with the use of advanced skills and techniques along with health and well-being activities. Life skills are introduced on the back of KS3 head, Heart, Hands. These life skills are designed to further develop qualities and skills through the use of Physical Education that are valuable to students as they progress into future careers. Key leadership skills are delivered through a leadership course culminating in a student led sports festival for primary school students in the summer term. 

What do pupils need to remember and be able to do in this subject?

  • Specific anatomy and physiology linked to physical education and the effects of exercise, health, fitness and wellbeing principles and apply these into either practical applications. 
  • An understanding of how to apply this to their own life for health, wellbeing and to keep themselves physically fit whilst developing physical competency, self-confidence and enjoyment in sport and physical activity. 
  • Specific rules, tactics, skills and techniques to develop physical competency and enjoyment in a range of practical sports and activities.
  • Skills and qualities required to fulfil other roles within sport such as a leader, official or a coach. 

What methods do we use to help pupils secure this knowledge in long-term memory?

Teachers within the PE department use a variety of methods to help pupils secure knowledge and be able to demonstrate physical skills and techniques into a range of practical situations. 

Low stakes quizzing takes place at the start of every lesson to test students’ understanding of knowledge rich curriculum topics delivered in previous lessons. New content from students knowledge organisers are also delivered and re-taught and practised regularly to ensure it is embedded into student’s long term memory. 

There is also a large amount of class discussions or sharing of ideas on certain topics as well as a high amount of application into practical demonstrations of skills and techniques to ensure pupils have a good knowledge of the content in the sports and activities they are studying. 

There is an emphasis on robust teacher questioning to check for understanding.

To view the PE Curriculum Overview click here.

More information on the PE Department can be found on their website here