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Russell Lower School

Physical Education (PE)

Our physical education lead is Mrs L Bunney.
In July 2022 we were awarded the Platinum School Games Mark which will be retained for two years.
The aims for our Physical Education taken from the National curriculum
The national curriculum for physical education aims to ensure that all pupils:
  • develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities
  • are physically active for sustained periods of time
  • engage in competitive sports and activities
  • lead healthy, active lives

At Russell, we are all athletes. Our PE curriculum inspires our children to become enthusiastic, engaged competitor’s in sports and other physically-demanding activities. We are a values based school and firmly believe that values taught through PE, along with every avenue of our curriculum, is key in building children’s confidence, resilience and sense of personal achievement.

To help our pupils see their own potential, we often arrange visits from professional athletes, hold day-long sporting workshops and have guest sporting speakers. In recent years we have had the pleasure of visits from Steve Frew (Gold medallist gymnast at the commonwealth games) and Mike Mullen. (5 times UK pro halfpipe winner and 1994 world BMX champion.) Both of these visits offered our children the opportunity to watch the athletes perform live and then partake in workshops and question and answer sessions focussing on self-belief, letting go of fear and learning to accept mistakes as a part of learning. These both had long-lasting impact on our children, particularly the boys in KS2 who were constantly using the phrase ‘Flearning- failure=learning’ in their everyday lessons after being inspired by Mike Mullen to be resilient and learn from their mistakes.

We ensure all children from years 1 to 4 receive at least two hours of high-quality PE teaching each week from both teaching staff and specialised coaches from Premier Sport, with Foundation Stage receiving two quality lessons each week as well as lots of opportunity to develop their physical development over the school day.

As an active school, we aim to embed physical activity in our children’s everyday lives by also offering active lessons outside of their regular PE lessons with a range of extra curricular sports clubs running throughout the week. Some of our offer includes gymnastics, archery, fencing, dodgeball and Paralympic sports both at lunchtimes and after school. We offer both staff run and Premier Sport run clubs and we change the offered clubs every half term with the focus being on a broader sporting experience for all. This academic year we have fully funded two half terms of extra curricular sessions in order to further support children becoming more active again following COVID 19.

The Active 30:30, is another strategy we endeavour to implement at Russell. We recognise the importance of all young people striving towards 60 active minutes every single day; with school being responsible for 30 minutes and the other 30 minutes to be achieved outside of school. This supports children in their behaviour, mental health and should help tackle obesity nationally. To support this we have invested in trim trails on each of the key stage playgrounds and a new outdoor gym attached to the Key Stage 2 field to encourage pupils to stay active during their break times. Each year, we also have trained year 4 Sports Leader (this year we also have 10 trained year 3 Leaders) who engage other pupils in physical activity during lunchtimes. They, alongside our midday supervisors, encourage children to take part in personal fitness challenges during their lunch time break. At Russell, we are working hard to fulfil our role in exciting and creative ways such as incorporating moments within lessons whereby the children can be active and additional timetabled activities such as mindfulness yoga.

We ensure that all children have the opportunity to compete in sporting competitions and events in the local area within their time at Russell. We pride ourselves on attending many of the fixtures within the Redborne School Sports Partnerships, usually with multiple teams! We have consistently received the KS1 Redborne School Sports Award for the last 5 years due to our commitment to sport in the local area. We have also received the nationally recognised gold KS2 school games mark for the past 5 academic years and achieved their platinum award in July of 2022.

We also offer new and memorable opportunities to our children such as Bikeability Level 1 training to all of our year 4 pupils. This training gives our pupils the life-long skills of giving their bikes a safety check, riding stably and the basic highway code. We believe the transition to middle school is such an important step in our pupils’ lives and empowering them to have the choice to ride their bike to school safely can only ease that transition further. We also offer Scootability Level 1 training to all of our year 1 and 2 pupils to encourage more children to safely scoot to and from school each day. For the past two academic years, we have also offered a six-week block of swimming lessons to year 3 pupils, in addition to the statutory year 4 lessons, to give our pupils the opportunity to further improve this vital life-long skill. These opportunities are something that we intend to continue for all of our pupils in the future, to give all children the chance to achieve and excel.

Take a look at our sports premium and physical activity section to find out more.


Our curriculum is sequenced to ensure skill progression from lesson to lesson and year to year with a focus on deepening and embedding key learning, knowledge and skills. Year group milestone documents have been created in order to support the above and assessment within the subject.

We have developed year group and subject specific curriculum plans which identify when the different subjects and topics will be taught across the academic year. The vast majority of subjects are taught discretely however staff make meaningful links across subjects through themes. For example, in year 2 where their dance unit is focussed Penguins during their Ice Worlds theme in the Spring term. 

Within PE we focus our teaching on the subject content outlined within the National Curriculum; athletics, team games, dance, competitive games, gymnastics, outdoor adventurous activities. In addition to this we provide specialist swimming teaching to pupils in Year 3 and Year 4.

These areas of learning are revisited year on year where pupils progressively build their skills and knowledge and can link prior skills and knowledge to new learning to deepen their learning. For example,

Early Years - children begin with cooperation and problem-solving units of work as well as manipulation and coordination to both support their social development as well as their physical.

Key Stage 1 - children work on discreet skill competence such as developing throwing and rolling skills.

Key Stage 2 - units become more focused around team sports/activities following the skill development and knowledge and understanding around the independent skills required for these sports in KS1.

Within all lessons we are working towards Rosenshine’s 17 Principles of Effective Instruction and use of the Great Teaching Toolkit. Short-term plans (taken from the PE Hub and adapted where needed) set out the learning objectives and success criteria for each lesson, identifying engaging activities and resources which will be used to achieve them. Within PE lessons we are working towards a more holistic approach and link to mental health and wellbeing by ensuring that all children feel they can succeed whether that is through hand (skill) head (knowledge) or heart (team spirit).

Children are taught a very clear and concise skill such as ‘To use the slap hit’ in year 4 hockey along with knowledge and understanding for example where to position hands and stick in relation to the ball.

Within the lessons prior learning from the unit and previous units is consolidated through re-cap and reinforcement to ensure children can make links between skills/knowledge and previously learnt skills/knowledge such as comparing the difference between the slap hit and the push pass and when to use one over the other.

Questioning, modelling and feedback are used to support the teaching and learning process, ensure progression within every lesson and aid assessment.

Pupils participate in two high quality PE lessons a week, covering two sporting disciplines every half term. One lesson led by the class teacher and one led by a sports coach. This helps to ensure sufficient time is allocated to PE and that PE subject matter can be revisited frequently. During 2021-2022 two members of staff undertook some team teaching in order to further develop their skills and confidence in teaching PE.

Staff are also supported and encouraged to include physical activity within other subjects such as the use of Supermovers to support timetable develop in year 4.

Physical education and activity are seen as key to developing healthy lifestyles in children at Russell Lower. At the beginning of each year we identify our least active children with the aim to increase their involvement and activity over the course of the year. We also provide a wide array of opportunities, visits, visitors and activities across the course of the year to support physical activity and sport outside of the National Curriculum.

For example:

  • Children can take part in extra-curricular clubs such as Gymnastics, Football, Fencing, Netball, Cricket, Ball skills and clubs linked to current sporting events
  • Pupils have the opportunity to compete against other schools through our links with Redborne School Sport Partnership and take part in a range of festivals such as tag rugby, multi skills, dance, table cricket gymnastics, swimming, quadkids, kwik cricket. Within these festivals there is an inclusive approach with a range of SEND specific opportunities as well as a focus on sporting values in order to develop well-being as well as physical development. At Russell we aim to ensure that all children from year 2 onwards attend at least one over the year.
  • Children in year 4 receive additional swimming in order to bolster the curriculum entitlement.
  • Playtimes are an important part of our pupils being happy, healthy and ready to learn. We have well-staffed and equipped playgrounds for each Key Stage, a sports field, three trim trails (one for EYFS, KS1 and KS2), outdoor gym equipment in KS2.
  • Selected Year 4 children are trained to become Young Sports Leader where their job is to encourage younger children to be as physically active as possible during playtimes
  • In year 4, children go on a residential course focussed on outdoor activities and team building skills
  • Enrichment activities to develop cultural capital and whole school development such as Maypole dancing, Bollywood dancing, BMX workshops, Irish dancing and Paralympic athlete visits based on resilience and determination
  • Communication sent home in order to encourage physical activity outside of school such as active travel to school and virtual sports days.
  • Whole school sports day which includes a range of activities and races in which all children are encouraged to take part. Parents are invited to attend, support their children and even participate.

This year in an attempt to support our children in being more physically active outside of school (Active 30:30) we plan to hold a community fun day in which local sporting groups will attend in order to promote their services as well as give our families some ideas of how to be active outside of school. We hope to be supported by RSSP to achieve this.

As we move forward with our PE curriculum we will continue to identify gaps in learning and address these through changes to planning and unit sequencing to ensure the best possibly progress is made.

Long term plans
Milestone example
Further milestone documents for all year groups are available, on request, to demonstrate our skill progression.
Impact 2022/23

In order to measure the impact of our PE curriculum we use a range of formative and summative assessment in all lessons such as:

  • Questioning

  • Pupil, parent, staff voice/questionnaires

  • Observations/learning walks/drop ins

  • Analysis of our assessment tool linked to milestone documents/National Curriculum for each year

  • Assessment provided by our sports coaches to ensure the teacher is aware of children’s strengths and areas for development across all areas of the PE curriculum for their year group.

Assessment information is collected frequently and analysed as part of our monitoring of teaching and learning cycle. This process provides an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the quality of education in PE as well as indicating areas for development.

Academic outcomes and impact:

For 2022/23 we are aware of the following outcomes for PE:

Early Years - Gross Motor skills - 96.7% expected July 2023 which is 2.7% higher than 2021/22


The average ARE+ is 95% ARE+ which is 2% higher than the outcomes for July 2022. Greater depth is currently an average of 11.5%.


Other outcomes and impact:

At Russell Lower we have held the KS2 Gold Quality Mark for several years and we successfully achieved the Platinum award last year 21/22 and retain this again for this year 2022/23.  We have also held the KS1 RSSP Gold Mark for several years.

In years 2 to 4 all children take part in at least one inter-school festival over the course of the year. This is supported by RSSP.

In the Autumn term (2022) we identified 19% of KS1 and 4% of KS2 as having never been to a sports club inside or outside of school. During Autumn 2 and Spring 1 we worked signing these children up in order to increase their activity levels. By the end of the Spring term in KS1 47% of children who had never been to a sports club in school had attended at least one. 46% who had never been to a sports club in or out of school had attended at least one club. In KS2 31% of children who had never been to a sports club in school had attended at least one. 37% who had never been to a sports club in or out of school had attended at least one club.

Activity levels across the school remain high which has been supported by the presence of the Sports Leaders during the Summer term on all three playgrounds. Children continue to actively travel to school as a result of various initiatives we have signed up to and promoted such as Walk to School Week. Bikeability in year 4 and scoot sessions in years 2 and 3 have also given children the basic safety elements needed to do this with confidence.

This year we also purchased home activity packs (including a number of items such as beanbags, balls, tennis rackets etc.) for all KS1 children which were sent home with some links to activities that could be completed at home to encourage families to be active at home. Parent feedback was very positive for this with 83% of parents feeling the packs would help their children become MORE active outside of home. 99% said they would use the pack to do some physical activity with their children. Some feedback comments included: ‘Great excitement with the sports pack - straight into garden using. Kids already do obstacle course building - this has increased their interest. Great idea, thank you. My child is very excited about the activity pack and embraces outdoor time more than before. We will definitely be using them a lot in the garden. This is a fantastic initiative to support children who perhaps aren't able to access clubs that increase their level of physical activity. We are very lucky at Russell to have great resources and our family is fortunate enough to be in a position to send our children to sports clubs etc. A very good idea providing this activity pack.’

This year children have continued to be able to partake in a wide range of enrichment opportunities such as Bhangra dancing 90% of children enjoyed the sessions, 89% of children felt they learnt something new; Irish dancing 81% of pupils said they enjoyed the sessions, 66% of pupils felt they had learnt something new; World Cup football dance 87% of children enjoyed the sessions, 86% of children felt they learnt something new and wheelchair basketball 99% of the children enjoyed the sessions as well as all the adults who took part, 100% of children felt they learnt something new. Parents have also seen the impact of these sessions at home and have sent thank you emails and how the children have gone home and shared their skills and knowledge.

Please see our Sports Premium review for more information on the impact of PE/sport this year.