PE Activities to Overcome The Challenges of Autumn 2

Published on 20th October, 2022

The first half term is over. The summer is a distant memory, and Autumn one has taken its toll on you. With the leaves on the trees changing colour, the mornings becoming crisper and the dark nights creeping up on us, what are the challenges of Autumn Two?

Challenges of Autumn 2 PE

“Summer”… What summer??? The first half term is over and the winter is here with a bang. Cold gloomy days can really affect us all, particularly children, but the PE Planning team will not allow Autumn 2 to cast dark clouds over Physical Education!

This blog post offers useful advice for dealing with PE challenges such as wet weather PE and less hall space, but also how teachers can check on their children’s mental health during the colder darker days.

What if outdoor PE is not possible?

Let’s begin with the obvious… it’s getting colder and wetter outside! Indoor break and lunchtime can impact on hall availability, as well as restricting that crucial opportunity for children to run around, let out some steam, and keep behaviour as it should. And, in the next few weeks it is likely that your school hall will be host to Christmas trees, decorations and nativity stages.

Yes it’s challenging, but please please please do not cancel PE!!  The PE Planning website has so many PE activities for limited spaces.

For those with some hall space, think about delivering your dance or gymnastics Units in Autumn 2, these sports can easily be adapted to suit smaller spaces, but also lead to a final performance that could be presented to parents as part of your nativity performances!

What if the school hall can’t be used for PE?

For teachers with no hall space at all, check out our classroom PE activities.  This area is packed full of EYFS PE lesson plans, KS1 PE lesson plans and KS2 PE lesson plans from fun games for keeping children actively engaged to fitness sessions for burning up reserve calories, there’s so much that can be done without leaving your classroom. 

What if we do PE outside in bad weather?

Some headteachers insist on PE whatever the weather!  Fabulous for showing children resilience and a ‘can-do’ attitude.  But plan carefully for outdoor PE in bad weather.  The ground can be slippery and children can get cold very quickly. Think about activities that don’t rely on turning at speed, but activities that do keep ALL children moving.  We recommend sports such as running and handball. Keep discussions to a minimum and conduct introductions and plenaries in the classroom.  If you plan to play an invasion game like handball, set up various courts so teams do not have to wait for their turn to play.  For outdoor PE, also remind parents about outdoor PE kit, spare jumpers, socks and shoes.

Why is PE so important in Autumn 2?

Autumn 2 is one busy half term, and it is so tempting to use your PE time for other important topics, especially as the weather is poor.  But think about what all children do as soon as they are given space and time… they run!  This is an instinctive act of releasing built-up energy, using newly developed muscles and feeling happy.  And, it is crucial.

There is so much evidence that poor weather, darkness and inactivity can affect children’s mental health.  That’s why we feel it is imperative that PE goes on!  

Use this difficult half term to check on your children’s mental health.  Our Mental Health and Wellbeing activities give teachers the opportunity to assess the mental health of their pupils, and deliver activities that alleviate stress.  Most of these activities can be delivered in small spaces, indoor or outdoor, and are highly recommended regardless of your children’s mental wellbeing.

We hope you manage the challenges of Autumn 2 and enjoy this time in school watching the excitement grow as Christmas gets closer!

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for tips and free PE resources to help throughout the half term!