At Clerkenwell we believe that Physical Education (P.E) is a key subject for a child’s overall development, wellbeing and education. Through students’ engagement in competitive (both against self and against others) and cooperative, team-building physical activities, students grow their mental and emotional capacity, developing social inclusion and self-esteem. In terms of physical development, students improve their fundamental motor skills, athleticism and endurance.
P.E at Clerkenwell aims to provide opportunity for all students at different levels of physical development and with diverse skillsets to develop their physical and mental capacity through a range of P.E areas. As an inner London school, many students do not live in houses with a backyard which limits their capacity to engage in physical activity. Therefore, students may not have the opportunity to be exposed to fitness and physical skill development outside of school, unless they are engaging in extra-curricular sports or fitness activities. As a result, Coram’s fields, in addition to the pitch, is vital to the teaching of P.E at Clerkenwell.
Clerkenwell follows a P.E scheme that is in line with the P.E National curriculum. The scheme has a logical progression of lessons within each P.E area, with each lesson building on the skills and knowledge from lessons before. Furthermore, each year builds on the skills and knowledge learnt in the previous years in all PE areas. In KS1 fundamental skills are a large focus, such as object control, balance, coordination, agility and athletics. These skills are frequently taught in isolation to master them, alongside incorporating them in combination through activities and team games. In KS2 students continue to learn fundamental skills in isolation, however use them in combination more frequently and in more complex ways through competitive games. Through competitive games in KS1 and KS2 develop their knowledge of simple tactics for attacking and defending. Students continuously progress their gymnastics and dance performance skills throughout KS1 and KS2. By the end of KS2 it is expected that students are able to swim 25 metres and self-rescue. The scheme provides high quality teaching and learning for P.E, with detail on technique, team building and engaging activities allowing students to access the skills and knowledge required to achieve a final unit outcome.
P.E at Clerkenwell will endeavour to be as engaging and developmental as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. P.E lessons will be adapted to ensure they are adhering to social distancing rules and P.E activities will be utilised during this time to help students understand social distancing. Each class will be allocated equipment and this will be cleaned after use.
The P.E curriculum at Clerkenwell is taught following a two year cycle. Due to COVID-19 the curriculum for Reception and Year 1 will be slightly altered. Initially, one reception unit each half-term will be taught to R/Y1 at school, whilst one Year 1 unit will be taught at Coram’s to R/Y1.This is to ensure the basic fundamental skills are covered at reception level as COVID-19 interrupted vital units for fundamental physical development, whilst also being exposed to Year 1 knowledge and skills to apply these skills in a more complex way. As the year prgoresses the units undertaken (whether they be reception units, year one units, or a combination of both) will depend on the children’s development in both Reception and Year 1. Year 2 will be taught independently following a Year 2 curriculum covering all skills required to be secure by the end of KS2. In year two of the cycle, Reception will follow their own curriculum, whilst Year 1 and Year 2 will be taught together following a KS1 curriculum.
In KS2 students are taught a range of sports from Years 3-6. Years 3 and 4 will be taught together, and 5 and 6 will be undertaking the same sports throughout the year, taught separately. Within each year the sports differ in the fundamental skills required. For example, in Year 3/4 netball, athletics and rounders require different fundamental skills. Within and between lower KS2 (LKS2) and upper KS2 (UKS2) skill progression continues within different sports. For example, in year one of the cycle rounders is undertaken in LKS2 with striking and fielding skills, and cricket is undertaken in UKS2 with striking and fielding skills. In the second year of the cycle, these sports will switch between LKS2 and UKS2. For example in 2021/2022 cricket will be taught in LKS2 and rounders will be taught in UKS2. This way, students are alternating sports each year and are therefore exposed to every sport at a LKS2 level before developing their skills further in UKS2.
P.E is taught twice a week throughout the school by class teachers, with each year group undertaking two P.E subject areas. Within the two hours of P.E each one lesson is taught at Coram’s Fields, which is used for sports that require more space, such as athletics, basketball and football. Each class is required to run around the 3 fields at Coram’s at least twice as a warm up to develop endurance, with this distance increasing as students increase their capacity in long-distance running. The beep test is undertaken at the start and end of each year to measure fitness progression. Other subjects which require less space such as catching and throwing and other ball skills in KS1, are taught on the school pitch. The hall is used predominantly for dance and gymnastics lessons, however is used instead of the pitch if the weather doesn’t permit outside learning. From Year 3-Year 6 students undertake swimming as one of their P.E units. During each lesson, children are encouraged to demonstrate skills to the class, work as a team and encourage each other to progress in a personal capacity with confidence.
Clerkenwell offers additional opportunities for sport in KS1 and KS2. Football club and Sports club are run throughout the year, as well as interschool sports days and football tournaments. Clerkenwell Sports Day is run each year at Coram’s fields allowing students to work within a team and to compete independently.