PE & Sport

PE & Sport

Skyswood Primary School and Nursery have a genuine commitment to encouraging a healthy lifestyle. Our children receive, on average, two hours of high quality P.E. over the course of each week. Our Key Stage 2 children receive swimming lessons each year which take place at the Sandringham School swimming pool. Years 4 and 5 have swimming lessons in the Autumn term, Years 3 and 6 have swimming lessons in the Summer term. Our P.E. curriculum goes beyond the QCA recommendations. Games, movement, gymnastics and dance are all embedded within our core P.E. curriculum.

National Curriculum: Physical Education Programmes of Study

Sports Premium Grant Funding

The school will receive £9,000 over two years (2013/14 and 2014/15) as Sports Premium Grant Funding to support the ‘sustainable improvement of P.E. and sport within the school’. Read more about the school Sports Premium here.

Sports Curriculum

In Key Stage 1 and lower Key Stage 2 there is a focus on building the key skills that can be applied to a range of games situations. (You can read our notes on the Skyswood P.E. and swimming uniform here.)

As the children progress into the upper juniors the scheme of work then focuses on specific sports. This scheme of work was reviewed last year and updated to include units on basketball, baseball and badminton. Other sports embedded within our curriculum include hockey, football, netball, try golf, tag rugby, short tennis, kwik-cricket and rounders. All classes enjoy a range of athletics activities in the summer term and our school have  invested in a wider variety of equipment to support indoor athletics (having enjoyed several successful indoor athletics competitions against other local schools during the past two years.

Our extra-curricular programme is exceptionally strong with regard to sport.Over the past two years the children have enjoyed football,netball, basketball, hockey, tag rugby, kwik-cricket, cheerleading, gymnastics, short tennis,street dance and athletics clubs. Skyswood took part in the Hockey Day at St Albans Hockey Club in early April and regularly compete in netball, football, cricket and tag rugby leagues, as well as the Annual District Sports Tournament and small schools swimming gala. Our football team were league champions last season for the second consecutive year and our kwik-cricket team performed superbly in the final of the Annual Kwik-Cricket tournament, losing out by a margin of just one run to our neighbours from Wheatfields. There is also an end of season netball rally and six-a-side football tournaments in April for Years 5 and 6.

The school also enjoys an Annual Sports Day towards the end of the Summer term.

Children compete in their four house teams during Sports Day (Balmoral, Buckingham, Sandringham and Windsor). The morning of Sports Day is run through a carousel of activities and the afternoon is made up of more traditional races. Parents are always welcome to attend our sports days, which have been extremely popular over the years. All children are centrally involved, taking part in all of the carousel activities as well as the traditional races.

Our P.E. curriculum is broken into three or four short units of study per term, starting with the development of generic skills and then applying these to specific sports as the children move forwards into the upper juniors. Mr Jones takes on the role of P.E. Co-ordinator throughout the school. This is a role that Mrs Jones previously held in KS1. Mrs Jones and Mrs Fox work closely together to co-ordinate Sports Day. Miss Caro also takes responsibility for the coaching of netball (and the school netball team). Mr Bridle takes responsibility for the girls football team.

The P.E. curriculum includes common threads for each unit, where children become increasingly aware of the importance of exercise and healthy lifestyles, come to understand the importance warming up and cooling down, and evaluate their own performance, and the performance of others. Children develop a growing understanding of how to apply tactics in game situations, and develop increasing control with basic skills and techniques as they progress through the school. A summary of our curriculum units of study is given below:


This unit is part of the LCP scheme that is followed in Key Stage 1. The children interpret elements of music and colour through expressive dance, developing movements and control to a variety of musical stimuli over the course of the unit, including titles such as ‘Playing in the Park’, ‘Walking the Dog and Flying the Kite,’ ‘Walking in the Cold’ and ‘Ribbons.’

GAMES ACTIVITIES – Autumn Term (Year 2)

This unit includes ‘dodge’ games such as Stuck in the Mud, circle games, catch games, basic racket skills, feeding and fielding, attacking and defending, and football skills. A real variety of activities, many of which can be applied to different games situations!


The unit start off with travelling in a space and keeping your balance, before combining the two and introducing forward rolls and simple sequences. After floor work, the children move on to using the apparatus, developing simple sequences and then working alongside a partner. The unit builds up to using the full range of apparatus by the end of term.

INDOOR ATHLETICS – Spring Term (Year 2)

The children experiment with different ways of running and jumping, and different techniques for throwing, depending upon distance and apparatus. They get to use a wide range of equipment and develop their control through using appropriate targets. The children then have the opportunity to apply these skills within simple obstacle courses and circuits.

DANCE – AT THE SEASIDE – Summer Term (Year 2)

The musical stimulus for this dance unit includes pieces on swimming, sandcastles, sunbathing, strolling by the sea and donkey rides! The children use the music to express and communicate different ideas and feelings and learn how to vary speed, level and direction to improve their dance sequences. There is also a session on Thunder and Lightning to contrast with some of the calmer and softer elements of the unit.

GAMES ACTIVITIES – Summer Term (Year 2)

The unit builds positively on the skills developed through the LCP unit in the autumn term, providing an opportunity for the children to apply these skills to a wider range of outdoor games activities.

BALANCES & ROLLS (GYMNASTICS) – Autumn Term (Year 3)

Children learn to develop greater control as they try out simple movement and gymnastics sequences involving a variety of balances and rolls. There are opportunities to work on improving individual skills, as well as working alongside a partner or within a small group.

INVASION GAMES – Autumn Term (Year 3)

This unit supports the development of generic skills that can be applied to team games, such as hockey, football, netball, basketball and tag rugby. The children are taught the skills of passing and receiving a ball, and strategies to develop spatial awareness, and how to gain or maintain possession within small sided team games.

DANCE (DIWALI) – Autumn Term (Year 3)

After learning about the story of Rama and Sita, children have the opportunity to develop simple dance phrases with a partner and within a group. They tell the story through their  dance, developing rhythmic, dynamic and expressive qualities within their routines and reflecting carefully on their dance compositions.

MULTI BALL SKILLS – Autumn Term (Year 3)

The children build on the Invasion Games unit by looking at different techniques for throwing and catching, travelling with a ball, and an introduction to using rackets and controlling a ball. The class have the opportunity to apply their skills in lots of game situations, including ‘under/over’ games and simple ‘circuit’ activities.

CONTRASTS (GYMNASTICS) – Spring Term (Year 3)

Children explore combinations of floor, mat and apparatus to find ways of using shape, balance and travel. The unit enables children to devise and perform simple gymnastic sequences, adapting their movements in terms of different levels of height, speed and direction. Children have the opportunity to create sequences of their own, as well as working alongside a partner and within a small group.

NET/WALL GAMES – Spring Term (Year 3)

Through this unit children develop increasing control and accuracy when using a racket and a ball. They learn about basic rules and tactics to support net games, develop their understanding of appropriate positioning, and practise their skills at directing a ball at different speeds, angles and heights. The unit involves a lot of ‘partner work’ and is a great introduction to short tennis.

ATHLETICS – Spring/Summer Term (Year 3)

The unit extends across the second half of the spring term and the first half of the summer term, and involves a wide range of both indoor and outdoor athletics activities. Children further develop their skills of jumping, throwing and catching, and are introduced to relay activities and simple hurdling techniques. The children particularly enjoy the opportunity to learn about different throwing techniques, using a wide range of equipment that includes foam javelins, primary discus and shot, cricket and rounders balls, and vortex howlers!

DANCE (MACHINES) – Summer Term (Year 3)

The unit explores dance phrases using simple dance structures and motifs. The children consider rhythmic, dynamic and expressive qualities of dance, developing routines around a selected musical stimulus. This unit emphasises the importance of good starting and finishing positions, and the need to adapt and vary speed and rhythm to the selected music.

STRIKING AND FIELDING – Summer Term (Year 3)

The children build on the skills that have been developed through the Athletics unit and focus on the key skills of striking and fielding. They learn about position and technique, in order to strike a ball cleanly and with increasing control. A range of bats and balls are used within this unit, including primary cricket balls, rounders balls and try-golf equipment.

SWIMMING – Summer Term (Year 3)

The children are introduced to school swimming at the Sandringham School indoor pool. The class are assessed during the first session, and then put into three groups (beginners, intermediate and more advanced). Each group is led by a highly experienced swimming instructor.


The unit focuses on generic skills but mainly concentrates on football and hockey, in line with the theme of ‘feet and sticks.’ Children develop their skills of travelling with a ball, changing speed and direction. They develop their ability to send an accurate pass and learn about controlling pace appropriately for passing and shooting. The children develop their awareness of using tactics in small game situations.

DANCE (GHOST DANCES) – Autumn Term (Year 4)

This unit has been supported through specialist Dance Teacher Outreach Provision, in liaison with Sandringham School. The children develop sequences of movement and dance that are linked to the theme of ‘ghost’ dances, and inspired through music. The children have great fun and the theme offers great opportunities for those who enjoy role play as well as dance.

SWIMMING – Autumn Term (Year 4)

The ten-week programme builds on the progress that the children have made during the summer term in Year 3. The children are re-assessed within the first session to take account of any progress made during the summer holidays, and once again split into three targeted groups for the ten-week block. Children may move between groups depending upon progress made during the sessions.

BALL HANDLING – Spring Term (Year 4)

Children build on previous learning, developing skills of passing, kicking, bouncing, receiving or travelling with a range of different balls. The children then apply these skills to small game situations, showing increasing control, speed and flow. The unit looks at applying simple tactics, and adapting these to suit different situations. There is a great emphasis on co-operation, teamwork and communication when applying skills within teams.

GYMNASTICS (CHANGES) – Spring Term (Year 4)

Through this gymnastics unit, children work on controlling body tension, balance, and transfer of weight. Gymnastics sequences are created using the floor and apparatus. Children consider changes of speed, levels, direction and shape when putting their routines together. There is a real focus on posture, and further input on perfecting appropriate starting and finishing positions.

ATHLETICS – Spring/Summer Term (Year 4)

The unit builds progressively on the athletics skills that were developed during Year 3. Indoor Sportshall Athletics form a major part of the programme, including further development on the five basic styles of jump, leading to combinations of jump sequences. Children compare strategies for short sprints and longer distances, and think about the idea of pacing themselves appropriately. The Sportshall Award Scheme enables children to evaluate their progress, consider targets and build upon previous experiences.

SHORT TENNIS – Summer Term (Year 4)

This unit focuses purely on the skills associated with short tennis. Children are taught correct grip, positional awareness and techniques for both forehand and backhand shots. Emphasis is given to anticipating the behaviour of the ball and controlling the placement and speed of the ball. The children learn to receive a ball, and then receive a ball over an obstacle, before being introduced to the net. They also practise hitting balls on the bounce, as well as volleying. A lot of preliminary work is carried out in pairs, with partners feeding and returning balls, varying speed and height.

STRIKING AND FIELDING – Summer Term (Year 4)

The unit builds on the generic skills that have been developed in Year 3. Children learn various techniques for striking and controlling a ball, using rackets, tees and a range of bats. Different balls (such as air-flow) help to develop their basic technique, and striking ‘tees’ are used to support the development of rounders/baseball style strikes, with empasis on striking through the ball. Fielding skills are further developed, including underarm and overarm throwing, receiving a ball, and throwing at various targets.

GYMNASTICS (MIRROR! MIRROR!) – Summer Term (Year 4)

The unit looks at synchronised performance, with children developing increasingly complex sequences of action with a partner. The children start off with floor exercises and then begin to incorporate a wider range of apparatus. Key areas include control, consistency, timing and accuracy. Children develop an awareness that strength and suppleness are key features for gymnastic performance, and devise their own routines for stretching exercises in preparation for gymnastics activities.

TAG RUGBY – Autumn Term (Year 5)

An exciting introduction to tag rugby. The children learn to hold and carry the ball correctly, handle and pass the ball confidently, and run and dodge with a ball in their hands. The skills are then applied to mini-game situations, where the children learn the basic rules of tag rugby and learn techniques for tagging an opponent. Simple tactics are introduced to support small-sided games and children are often eager to take part in inter-school competitions once they have received this introduction to the sport.

SWIMMING – Autumn Term (Year 5)

The children build on previous swimming experiences through a ten-week programme at Sandringham. They are divided into three groups, each group has a highly experienced swimming instructor leading the session.

HOCKEY – Autumn Term (Year 5)

Children use junior hockey equipment (plastic sticks and softer balls) to develop their skills in controlling and dribbling, passing and receiving. They also consider effective use of space and simple tactics for defence and attack. The children particularly enjoy the mini-game situations, which enable them to apply and develop their skills in a competitive team situation.


Through this gymnastics unit, children build on previous learning and reflect on the significance of body tension in order to maintain control and balance. Opportunities for working with a partner, or within a small group, focus on the creation of symmetrical and asymmetrical shapes within extended gymnastics routines.

BASKETBALL – Spring Term (Year 5)

A firm favourite with the children! The unit is a fantastic introduction to the sport of basketball. Children practise skills of catching, various techniques for passing, along with the skills of dribbling and shooting. They are introduced to the basic rules of the game, and some simple strategies for attack, defence, and team organisation.

ATHLETICS – Spring/Summer Term (Year 5)

The unit builds upon skills acquired within the lower juniors, with the Sportshall Indoor Athletics Scheme helping to guide the appropriate level and subsequent targets for each pupil. As from Year 5, all pupils are eligible to be selected for the school District Sports Team for the field events,and Cross-country teams for local inter-school competitions.

TUDOR DANCE – Summer Term (Year 5)

This historical dance unit is great fun, providing an interesting contrast to contemporary dance and teaching the children some simple steps that were commonly used in Tudor Dance routines. The unit goes hand in hand with the History project on the Tudors and the final routines are often presented to the rest of the school (and parents) in a class assembly.


The children have the opportunity to apply generic skills to small sided team game situations. They learn the different techniques and positions for batting (with both rounders and cricket) and emphasis is placed on the importance of correct body position, hand-eye co-ordination and footwork. The introduction to these sports includes a basic understanding of rules, fielding positions and team-play. In mini-game situations children get equal opportunities to practise batting, bowling, fielding and wicket-keeping/back-stop.

BADMINTON – Autumn Term (Year 6)

This unit is being introduced following our recent review of the P.E, curriculum, giving children to experience a wider range of net/wall games and providing an exciting introduction to the sport. The children will learn how to hold a racket correctly, and be taught a variety of shots, along with defensive and attacking strategies. Striking the shuttlecock will be a primary skill, as there is obviously a big difference between techniques for short tennis (with a ball) and techniques appropriate to badminton.

FOOTBALL – Autumn Term (Year 6)

The children will build on generic skills that have been previously taught, and develop greater contol when travelling (dribbling) with a football, as well as techniques for passing, shooting, tackling and intercepting, and some simple strategies for defence and attack. As with all the sports units, this is a skill-based programme that takes account of the fact that some children will already have an absolute passion for the sport and play regularly for the school or local clubs, whilst others may not be so experienced. The unit is placed in the first half of the autumn term to enable children to select between trainers and boots for activities that are carried out on the school field. If weather is unacceptably wet, teachers may decide to re-schedule part of the football unit and adapt the timetable as appropriate, with consideration to the Year 6 units on gymnastics.

GYMNASTICS (FLIGHT) – Autumn Term (Year 6)

The children consider different levels, changes of direction, speed and shape on the gymnastic apparatus, performing sequences and reflecting upon their sequences of actions. Emphasis is placed on ‘take-offs’, ‘landing’ and polishing their gymnastic routines. The children have the opportunity to devise individual sequences, as well as working with a partner and within a small group.

GYMNASTICS (LEAN ON ME) – Autumn Term (Year 6)

Another mini-gymnastics unit. This time the emphasis is on balance and counter-balance. The children use a musical stimulus to support their gymnastic routines, and consider elements of rhythm and timing, reflecting on their movements in relationship to the music.

NETBALL – Spring Term (Year 6)

This skills-based unit builds on previous learning, introducing specific techniques for passing (eg chest pass / bounce pass). The children develop skills of receiving the ball and shooting, as well as considering movement and space. The programme provides an introduction to basic rules and strategies within the game, and gives opportunities for children to apply their skills in small-sided game situations.


Through this unit, the children are encouraged to select, combine and perform skills, actions and balances. They develop their understanding of how to improve control by transfer of weight, and consider fluent ways of linking actions and balances together. When working in small groups, the children are challenged to find ways of synchronising their movements and polishing their ‘finished performance’ through group evaluation.

ATHLETICS – Spring/Summer Term (Year 6)

Children build on previous skills, both with indoor and outdoor athletics. Where possible, this unit is enhanced through use of facilities at Sandringham School, enabling children to develop skills of jumping through the use of specialist long jump / high jump equipment. The Sportshall Awards Scheme runs through the school and informs targets and provision for all of our children, ensuring that they build on prior achievements and are able to evaluate their own progress in Athletics.

BASEBALL – Summer Term (Year 6)

Many of the generic skills applied to the rounders unit in Year 5, and fielding skills applied also in Kwik-Cricket, are developed further through the unit on baseball. Striking, fielding and bowling skills are specifically taught, and followed up with opportunities to apply these skills in small-sided games (where all children have equal opportunities to bat, bowl and field.)

SWIMMING – Summer Term (Year 6)

The final ten-week block of school swimming before children move on to their respective secondary schools. The children are re-assessed within the first session and placed into appropriate groups. There is also a Swimming Gala in the summer term. Many of our Year 5 and 6 pupils enjoy the opportunity to represent the school at this annual event, which is held at the Hertfordshire University Pool in Hatfield.

TRY-GOLF – Spring/ Summer Term (Year 6)

A really popular unit for the children. The junior try-golf equipment is safe and fun to use. Children learn about body position, and the different disciplines of driving, chipping and putting. They have great fun aiming at the try-golf targets and developing their ability to show greater control with force, height and length of their shots.

DANCE (MUSICALS) – Summer Term (Year 6)

This P.E. unit is specifically designed to support dance routines that can be used in musical performances. Sometimes these may link to summer shows (which have been performed at The Sandpit Theatre in recent years.) However, the school policy as from September 2012 is to put on a larger scale performance bi-annually (involving Year 5 and Year 6 pupils). Where a summer performance is not specifically scheduled, the dance unit is used to create routines that will support the special Year 6 Leavers Assembly.