First Week of School PE Lesson Plans

published on 5th September, 2023

It’s the time of year again… A brand new school year! There’s lots of things to prepare and ‘get ready’ including preparations for the first week of school PE lesson plans.  How do you start PE lessons in a way that engages and inspires children from the off?

Create a passion for PE!

The start of the school year is a fantastic opportunity to reignite your passion for the physical education, and wellbeing, of your pupils. It is so important to create the right culture and it starts here, in Week One.

So, for your first week of PE lesson plans, we recommend the following steps.

Starting off on the right foot means establishing with children what your PE lessons are all about. Getting this right at the beginning means less chance of behavioural issues and disengagement further down the line.

Start with introductions – but make PE lessons active from the get-go

Begin building relationships with your pupils right from the start. You can ask them what they did over the summer break.  They will be bursting with stories about their holidays, trips, and fun they had with family and friends.

So, let them tell talk (you could even tell them about your summer). But this doesn’t need to be a sit-down group chat. Here’s a few ideas of how to make this an active chat…

  • In small groups of 3 or 4, ask one child per group to tell their friends about an activity they did during the summer. All members of the group must then act-out that activity. After a short practice time, ask 1 group to act out their activity in silence for the rest of the class to guess what the activity is.
  • Play 1 or 2 quick fun PE games where the children score points (you can find lots of quick PE activities in our resources section here). The winning children can then be given a 1 minute slot to share their favourite summer activity story with the class.
  • If any children have been on a Sport Camp, ask them to lead the class on their favourite Sport Camp activity.

Establish the rules

The first week of school PE lesson plans should take into account establishing the rules.  It is so easy to do this, and so important for avoiding accidents and injuries.  Here are some important rules that may not have been covered in everyday classroom lessons…

  • React to the whistle – all children should know to stop and listen immediately after hearing the whistle.
  • Safety – until instructed by the teacher, children should be aware that they never touch, hold or kick equipment and apparatus. 
  • PE Kit – all children should be aware of the school PE Kit policy.  This could be displayed on your PE display board. 
  • Respecting others – children are aware of the rule of keeping hands and feet to themselves and the importance of sportsmanship.

Just like your introductions, these rules can be practiced actively.  We have created some Early Years Games, Key Stage 1 Games and Key Stage 2 Games that focus on reiterating the rules of PE.  You can download these PE Expectation Lessons here.

Give out PE rewards

Issue more certificates than usual in the first week of PE to highlight good examples of children following the rules, and to demonstrate the rewards available for good work in PE, regardless of natural ability.

You can download ‘Star of the Week Certificates’ and ‘PE Superstar Certificates’ from the website here.

Share your PE Plan

If you haven’t already done so, you should speak to your PE Coordinator and agree a plan for the year. Here you can find guidance, and a recommended PE annual timetable.

It’s always good to share the whole year plan with your pupils. Not all children enjoy all sports, so seeing the range of activities throughout the year will keep your pupils excited about what’s to come. The first week is a great time to discuss positive attitudes and the importance of giving all sports a go, even if it’s not their favourite.

This discussion can be a perfect opportunity to introduce the concept of applying the same skills into different sports, such as using basketball space/positioning skills in hockey, or cricket coordination skills in tennis.  Tell the pupils that all sports have lots of ‘transferable’ skills, such as strength and flexibility needed in gymnastics is invaluable in sports such as football, so it is important to try our best in all PE activities.

Knowledge Organisers are a great way to summarise key points and provide the children with ‘steps to success’ required for the half term’s topic.  They are also very useful for children to become familiar with a new sport, and see the ‘bigger picture’.  All our units of work are now accompanied with Knowledge checkers.

Athletics lessons knowledge organiser

Have fun!

And most importantly, have fun! The PE Lesson Plans on our website are so easy to follow, and we have done all the hard work for you. So, please select your year group, choose your sport, print out lesson one and have a go. There is no better feeling than seeing children actively developing and having a great time!

And once you get through your first week of school PE lesson plans, please don’t forget that we are here for you.  No matter how silly a question may feel, please just ask and we will do everything we can to help you provide the best possible primary school PE.