All teachers and parents will know that it doesn’t take much to get children running around and being active. In fact, sometimes we wish they weren’t quite so full of beans! PE in school is a fun way for children to stay fit and healthy, and to expend some energy throughout the day.
But Physical Education isn’t just about being active, PE is an important subject particularly in early years. Through PE and sports, children have the opportunity to refine their motor skills and spatial awareness as they become more confident with certain actions. Competitive and team sports also help to teach children how to work together towards a shared goal and strategise.
PE in Early Years Education
In early years, children will focus on getting used to their bodies and what they are capable of. Climbing, jumping, throwing, and catching are actions that children are encouraged to do in early years to help them improve balance, spatial awareness and coordination. Active play is promoted as a means of boosting confidence and encouraging children to try out different physical activities.
The Gonge Parachute is seen in many early years classrooms and nurseries, allowing children to develop basic coordination and interaction skills.
Springboard Supplies Gonge Parachute
PE in KS1 and KS2
In Key Stage 1 and 2 children are ready to take on more complex approaches to sports. Setting challenges to achieve certain goals like learning a gymnastics skill or running a distance are designed to encourage children to push their own limits and refine the physical skills they’ve learned.
Children will also be working together in teams or competing against each other to learn ways of working together and identifying strategies. Stocking up on PE class kits is a good idea to be sure you’re ready to tackle a range of different competitive sports and games. To switch things up from the traditional sports, you could challenge your students to a Space Hopper race with our Activate Space Hopper Race kit.
PE Resources for Teachers
The BBC’s PE archive is suitable for children at KS1 and KS2, with activities that can be carried out in the classroom as well as outside. Resources cover the ‘lava zone’, ‘dodge zone’, and the ‘dance zone’. Each activity comes with a video that can be played to show the children exactly what to do, accompanied by exciting animations that get them immersed in an imaginary environment.
Springboard Supplies Gonge River Stones
For early years and up to KS2, the NHS 10 Minute Shakeups are a fast track way to get kids active with little planning. Each of these activities comes with a video demonstration and clear instructions on how to play the game or perform the activity. The videos can be used to help you demonstrate to the children, but is more beneficial when watched altogether so that children can follow along.
Some Shakeups require props, check out our PE essentials if you need to supplement activities with equipment.
Get Set 4 PE offers teachers a full-service approach to planning PE lessons, perfect for teachers who haven't had a lot of time to prepare like teaching assistants and supply teachers. On the website, teachers can access a whole range of resources depending on the level of support they require. There are individual activities to choose from split into Early Years, KS1 and KS2, and into modules like dance, gymnastics and balls skills. All lessons are built in line with the National Curriculum.
Teachers can also browse the virtual PE cupboard to check which items they’ll need for each module so they can be fully prepared.
To blend sports and physical activity between the classroom and home life, something like this printable National Trust poster can give children ideas and goals to keep moving. The poster shows 50 outdoors activities and challenges kids to complete all of them before turning 11¾.
This is a great visual resource to print out and put up in the classroom, or to give to children individually as a worksheet to work through. Some activities can be done in school as a group and others can be set as personal goals.
The PE Hub tailors lesson plans and activities to children from nursery up to year 6. Resources are organised by age group and by theme, including ‘jump, throw, run’, ‘attack, defend, shoot’, and ‘hit, catch run’.
Each unit contains resources for complete support from skills development and conditioned games, all the way to learning assessments and tools for applying skills to future learnings. The PE Hub builds lesson plans with the National Curriculum in mind, stating that individual resources can be used to support children with SEN at different levels who may need some extra support.
PE should combine healthy competition with fun and confidence-building. By providing children with structured learning, fun, and by recognising individual achievements you’ll have every kid looking forward to PE.