Can School PE Wait?

published on 12th November, 2022

So much to do… Can PE wait until later? …

We are teachers, we understand how much there is to do in such a short time.  But please please please take a minute to consider our case for regular School PE and Physical Activity…

You have a class of 30’ish children.  Their progression of the core subjects varies hugely, you want to provide them with an exciting broad and balanced curriculum.  “So when the heck am I going to have time to fit PE in?”…

Actually, providing your pupils with regular School PE and a range of physical experiences is far more impactful than you may realise.  Physical Literacy is a concept that illustrates the long term effects on a person’s mindset, confidence and lifelong values.  Values that not only dictate a person’s health, but can effect the economic, financial and medical benefits of society.

Imagine that… by embedding a healthy, physical lifestyle into your pupils, you are taking the pressure off of our NHS staff!!  This is superhero stuff, but if this isn’t engrained at Primary School age, it is far less likely to meet its positive influences when a child gets older.

We are not talking about creating elite athletes here.  In fact, Ofsted have recently highlighted the difference between PE and elite sport.  PE should be a knowledge based subject, and healthy participation is one of Ofsted’s 3 Pillars of Progression.

“OK, I get it, PE and Physical Activity is important.  But what should I be doing, and how do I fit all of this in?”…


It is very easy to encourage children into physical activity.  As soon as the playtime bell rings, most children run, skip, jump into the playground.  Why not speak to your playtime supervisors about recognising and rewarding children for this?…

  • The children who play the most active game win a house point.
  • Use some of your PE Grant funding for playtime equipment such as pogo sticks, space hoppers, skipping ropes, dance mats, etc.
  • Set up a Play Leaders programme.
  • Print off and provide your playtime supervisors with Playtime Games resources.

PE Lessons

Then, of course, there’s your crucial PE lessons.  The Association for PE recommends 2 hours of PE per week.  Remember, PE should be a knowledge based subject and not the place for training elite athletes.  So, ensure your Long Term Plan offers a wide variety of sports and, most importantly, discuss and demonstrate skills throughout your lessons (see Knowledge Checks in all PE Planning plans).

Promote Healthy Living

Encourage and reward your pupils for leading healthy lifestyles.  Let them ‘show and tell’ their sporting achievements.  Discuss the healthy things they can do in everyday life with family and friends.

Your pupils look up to you.  So be a good role model, discussing the healthy things you have done at home, and wearing your tracksuit on PE day.  These are all small influences, but they engrain healthy values which can make profound lifestyle differences to the next generation.