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St Monica's Catholic

Primary School

Success for All within a Christ Centred Community

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Success for All within a Christ Centred Community

Physical Education

Physical Education, School Sport and Physical Activity




Our Vision Statement:

At St. Monica's Catholic Primary School, we intend to provide a Physical Education (PE) curriculum that helps every child succeed and reach their full potential. This curriculum will foster positive connections and experiences between children and movement, promoting healthy habits for all. Children should enjoy movement and find meaning in it, which helps them continue to be active as they grow.


Aims of our Physical Education (PE) Curriculum:

At St. Monica’s we value the importance of physical education, school sport and physical activity (PESSPA). We are committed to providing continuous opportunities for children to be physically active and develop a healthy lifestyle, which will benefit both their physical and emotional wellbeing. This is supported by AfPE who state ‘There is overwhelming evidence for the life changing benefits of being active from childhood through to old age’.


The aim of our PESSPA programme is to ensure all children learn to be physically literate through a wide range of physical opportunities. By the time they leave primary school they should have secure knowledge of the wide ranging benefits of regular exercise and should have developed a passion and enthusiasm for one or more sports or forms of exercise. This is supported by sport England who state ‘Positive experiences at an early age help build the foundation for an active life. If children and young people have experiences that feel fun, positive and give them a sense of confidence, they are more likely to want to be active in the future.’ Children will be able to use PESSPA to help regulate their physical and emotional health. They will have learnt how to work and play alongside others following and implementing rules and tactics. They will have learnt to win and lose well showing respect to teammates, competitors, coaches and officials.


We believe PESSPA has the potential to make a significant contribution to children’s development: increasing confidence and self-esteem, developing leadership, team working, concentration and problem-solving skills, and developing identity and improving social cohesion within the school and wider community. We want our children to develop knowledge and skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas and which can and are used to promote their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in PESSPA, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school and across the curriculum. “The PESSPA approach can have a big impact on students’ mental and physical health, attendance, attainment and behaviour – especially for those with SEND.” Head Teachers Journal.



At St. Monica's, we use the Get Set 4 PE platform to structure and plan our Physical Education (PE) lessons, which aligns with our whole-child approach to PE and the objectives of the National Curriculum.


Get Set 4 PE is designed to provide a progressive programme in which children are increasingly challenged as they progress through the school. PE curriculum planning is divided into three stages: long-term, medium-term, and short-term. 


The long-term plan outlines the PE activities for each term during the key stage. The lead teacher responsible for Physical Education plans the subject curriculum, considering the compulsory components of the National Curriculum for PE, the pupils' opinions, and what will benefit their overall development by the end of their primary education. The curriculum must be comprehensive, inclusive, engaging, and fun so our pupils can learn effectively.


Our medium-term plans provide an overview of each unit of work, including links to other areas of the National Curriculum and assessment criteria.


Our short-term lesson plans offer equal opportunities for children of different abilities to enhance their skills, knowledge, and understanding in all activity areas.


Our PE teachers assess the children's progress by making informal judgments, observing them during lessons, evaluating their performance against the specific objectives outlined in the National Curriculum, and recording their progress using video footage and our Excel assessment document. The attainment and effort of each pupil in every unit of work are closely monitored and regularly reported to both class teachers and parents. 


We use the Get Set 4 PE skills and progressions documents, key vocabulary documents, and knowledge organisers to demonstrate and align what our pupils should know, be competent in, and understand by the end of each stage of their education.


Swimming is a vital skill that can potentially save lives. Drowning remains one of the most common causes of accidental death among children, which is why knowing how to swim is an essential life-saving skill. It is crucial to remember that children who seem comfortable in the water are not always competent swimmers.


Swimming is an excellent activity for children. It keeps the heart and lungs healthy, improves strength and flexibility, and enhances stamina, balance, and posture. It is accessible to children of any age and provides challenges, rewards, and opportunities to make friends and grow confidently.


All schools must provide swimming lessons in Key Stage 1 or 2 as it is the only statutory sport in the Physical Education (PE) curriculum. Pupils must learn to perform safe self-rescue in water-based situations, swim at least 25 metres confidently and proficiently, and use different strokes effectively, such as front crawl, backstroke, and breaststroke.


Children in Year 3 previously attended swimming lessons, but we recently changed this so that Years 4 and 5 participate in regular swimming lessons at Bootle Leisure Centre. You may view our swimming data below in the impact section of our website.


At St. Monica's, we offer additional physical activity and sports opportunities to enhance our curriculum. Below are some of them.


Active Playgrounds

Our active playgrounds offer a variety of equipment that aids in developing balance, coordination, flexibility, throwing, and catching skills without the pupils even realising it.



Bikeability is the government's national cycle training programme. It helps our pupils learn practical skills and understand how to cycle on today's roads. Bikeability gives our pupils the confidence to cycle and enjoy this skill for life.



Boxing is great for children, offering physical and mental health benefits. It improves cardiovascular fitness, coordination, balance, agility, and strength and prevents obesity. It also boosts confidence, discipline, respect, character, emotional control, and mental focus. 



Archery is an excellent way for our pupils to learn essential life skills. It can help them develop confidence, mental focus, teamwork, physical fitness, and resilience.



Judo is a martial art that emphasises balance, leverage, and timing. It uses an opponent's energy against them, making it perfect for children. Judo develops physical fitness, coordination, discipline, respect, confidence, and self-esteem. It teaches problem-solving, critical thinking, resilience, perseverance, teamwork, communication, emotional control, and conflict resolution.



Fencing is an exciting sport that enhances cardiovascular endurance, strength, speed, and stamina. It also improves hand-eye coordination and footwork coordination and develops self-discipline, focus, mental agility, strategic thinking, and quick decision-making. 



Yoga benefits children by promoting physical and mental well-being, self-esteem, and body awareness. It is non-competitive and helps develop flexibility, coordination, concentration, and relaxation. Research shows that practising yoga can improve brain function, immunity, cognitive performance, academic achievement, and classroom behaviour. 


Outdoor and Adventure Activities

Outdoor and Adventure Activities benefit children's physical, mental, and emotional well-being. They encourage exercise, improve athletic abilities, boost confidence, reduce the likelihood of nearsightedness, and have positive psychological effects. Outdoor activities also teach social skills and respect for the environment. We take our pupils on various outdoor and adventure activities to Winmarleigh Hall, Preston; Kingswood, Colomendy; and Crosby Hall Educational Trust (CHET), Liverpool.



Skiing is an excellent activity for children. It helps them become more aware of their bodies, boosts confidence and social skills, and improves health and coordination. Skiing teaches perseverance, elevates mood, and allows children to appreciate nature while bringing people together. In 2024, we took our pupils to Claviere, Italy, for a life-changing and memorable experience.


South Sefton Sports Partnership

We are a partner school, buying into the South Sefton Sports Partnership, and as a result, we regularly attend their festivals and competitions—these include football, dodgeball, indoor athletics, cricket, tennis, multi-skills, and golf. 


Health and Safety: 

At our school, we acknowledge that participating in Physical Education (PE) and physical activities comes with a certain level of risk. Our PE teachers are responsible for ensuring they are familiar with safe practices to reduce risks to the lowest possible level within their control. They are also aware of the specific needs of pupils who require special provisions due to conditions such as physical disabilities or asthma. 


Our PE teachers are well-informed about safe handling and use of equipment. They ensure pupils wear suitable clothing, remove or tape jewellery, and tie back long hair. 


St. Monica's has a specific PE uniform that all pupils must wear during PE lessons. You can find details about this by visiting the uniform section of our school website. During indoor activities such as gymnastics, dance, and yoga, pupils in Lower and Upper Key Stage 2 must remove their shoes and socks if using apparatus. We have suggested pupils wear grip socks if they have any medical issues preventing them from working barefoot.


We teach pupils the proper use of equipment and how to identify potential hazards, including completing a risk assessment for each area where PE and school sports occur. Equipment and apparatus get safely stored at the end of each lesson. Pupils prioritise their safety and that of others at all times.


The school premises and areas where physical education (PE) is taught are subject to an annual risk assessment, and the PE Lead reviews necessary equipment alongside the site manager, including PE equipment. Risk assessments are also in place for all school sporting trips.


Children in St. Monica’s have an understanding of the short and long term importance of PESSPA. They have a love of Physical Exercise and engage regularly in Physical Activity. They demonstrate fair play during competitions and have a drive to improve their own performance. However, they understand and demonstrate a knowledge and understanding that PESSPA is about their mental and physical health.

School Games Mark Awards

The School Games Mark is an awards scheme launched by the government in 2012 to acknowledge schools for their dedication to promoting competition within their school and in the community. By participating in this scheme, schools can assess their physical education (PE) provision and use the process to create an action plan for future improvement. Our goal is to consistently achieve the Gold School Games Mark over the next two years to be eligible to apply for the Platinum School Games Mark by the end of the 2026/27 academic year.