Preparing for primary school PE in 2023

Published on 10th January, 2023

Let us make your teaching life that little bit easier in 2023 not only by providing high quality PE lesson plans, but also helping with Curriculum Mapping, assessment, and other PE resources.

engaged primary school pe lesson

A great time to check your Primary School PE Curriculum is up to date, relevant & effective…

With the busyness of Christmas over, and the lighter days slowly creeping back in, the Spring Term is a great time to review your primary school PE Curriculum.

In this article, we have tips and advice for all teachers delivering primary school PE, and guidance for SMT/Subject Leaders mapping out their Primary School PE Curriculum.

Class Teacher tips for planning and delivering high quality Primary School PE

No matter what your experience in delivering primary school pe, these top tips can be useful as a check list, or as a refresher to ensure pupils are engaged, learning and progressing throughout PE…


Prior preparation for PE is the key to success.  Have your lesson plan printed out ready and share your plan with other adults within the lesson.  Whether they are supporting individual pupils, or your teaching, they should be aware of your Learning Objectives.  Ideally, you will have taken some time to discuss how to appropriately include any SEND pupils.

Check equipment before each lesson to ensure it is safe, and ready to go.  Also, having your equipment ready, or even set out if possible, will be a big help at the start of your lesson.

What space have you got to use for PE today?  Check the weather if you are planning to be outside, and check the indoor timetable to ensure the hall is definitely available to use.


Enthusiasm is contagious.  Introduce each PE unit of work with excitement, motivation and enthusiasm.  They might not always show it, but your pupils think you are fantastic, so the more engaged you are, the more engaged they will be, and a more engaged class is a better behaved class.

Whenever you can, include your current PE topic in other areas of the curriculum to create curriculum links and keep the children mindful of what they are learning.

Share Learning Objectives

Learning is an essential part of Primary School PE, and children engage more when they understand the task ahead.  Share your Learning Objectives in the classroom before each lesson and have them written on a portable whiteboard within your lesson.  A portable whiteboard is valuable for reiterating Learning Objectives, especially during discussions and demonstrations throughout the lesson, and during your plenary at the end of the lesson.

Differentiation & Challenge

You know your class and your pupils well.  Ahead of the lesson add progressions/regressions to allow all children to achieve success towards the same learning outcomes, and feel appropriately challenged.

As with other subjects, children who find things either too difficult, or too easy, will lose engagement, and in PE this can affect behaviour and focus. 

Remember the ‘STEP’ process and how changing the Space, Time, Equipment, or People can help alter the difficulty of an activity.

Whole Child Development

Primary School PE isn’t just about progressing the skills and techniques needed for sport and physical activity.  It aims to develop a child’s physical literacy and life skills, such as confidence, resilience and social skills.  Use opportunities within your lesson to identify and develop the whole child.

Mini Plenaries

Discussing Learning Objectives shouldn’t only happen at the beginning and end of a lesson.  Bringing the whole class in to sit down wastes valuable time, but stopping the class in their activity areas for a quick discussion/demonstration can be a quick affective way to check the children’s knowledge and understanding of a task.  Think of creative ways to discuss learning and knowledge throughout each lesson, and use that portable whiteboard!

Skill Repetition

For children to develop and refine a new skill, they must have the opportunity to repeat skills and develop muscle memory.  Allow children time to practice and repeat a skill.  Don’t rush your lessons just for the sake of getting through the whole lesson plan.  Progress games to allow children to practice skills in different ways.  For example, add challenges, such as targets or defenders when looking at a new pass in netball.

PE Curriculum Mapping for SMT / PE Coordinators

One of the biggest influences on Primary School PE is the weather.  Spring is here and we are all looking forward to seeing more daylight and sunshine!  However, we unfortunately have a few more months of rain and wind, and therefore need to plan our PE topics appropriately.

Here is a good practice example Long Term Plan.  But all schools are different, so here are some recommendations that may help during the wet weather…

New Year = New Me…

Fitness plans are something different, engaging, and a great way to start the year as we mean to go on!  Not only do they promote a healthy, active lifestyle for children, and increase fitness levels, they encourage inclusion, communication, and perseverance to be the best they can. 

Try these full fitness units of work available for all Primary School Pupils from reception to year 6.  Bring your kit and get fit with your class too!

dance, dance, dance

As an indoor topic, dance is perfect for the Spring term.  Your staff shouldn’t be intimidated or nervous about teaching dance lessons.  With a little planning and preparation, Primary School Dance can be so enjoyable and rewarding for both teachers and pupils.

These dance plans are super easy to follow and engaging for the whole class.  They are also a great way for children to work together, express themselves and develop performing with confidence.

Primary School PE pupils participating in activity

primary school pe

For those looking to review their school PE Curriculum Mapping, these intent, implementation & impact documents will help to ensure progression throughout a child’s Primary School PE journey.

We would like to wish all you amazing teachers a Happy New Year and best wishes for 2023.  Please remember that we are here to help you to deliver an exciting, engaging and inclusive PE Curriculum, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any PE related questions, no matter how big or small!

Learn more about a Free Membership to PE Planning as well as the different, low cost, subscription packages we offer to Teachers, Coaches, and Schools here