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I really think a champion is defined not by their wins but how they recover when they fall – Serena Williams


Curriculum Intent

At John Burns are intent is to:

  • Provide a high-quality, broad and balanced PE education that engages children in physical education through a wide range of physical activity which will enhance life-long fitness and life choices.
  • Provide all pupils with the opportunity to become physically confident in a way which supports their health and fitness, promoting a healthy lifestyle.
  • Ensure children attain optimal physical, social and emotional development.
  • Develop positive attitudes and perseverance to physical challenge.
  • Provide opportunities for all children to take part in competitive sport and activities, embedding our school values.

Curriculum Implementation

At John Burns Primary:

  • Programmes of Study are blocked to allow children to focus on developing their knowledge and skills across all areas of PE.
  • The National Curriculum is followed to build on previous year’s learning. Children have two 1-hour PE sessions a week.
  • At the end of each key stage, children are expected to know, understand and apply the skills specified in the relevant unit of work. Each lesson plan has progressive activities that are designed to inspire and engage pupils, allowing them to explore and develop skills and embed knowledge.
  • PE lessons are taught by a Progressive Sports coach and the in-school Sport’s coach to ensure a whole-child approach to PE and coverage of the objectives, demonstrating how to use equipment and the various skills needed.
  • Planning shows clear progression built in amongst each year group, ensuring the children are increasingly challenged as they move up through the school.
  • Adaptations are provided during activities with simple changes to appropriately challenge all pupils.
  • By the end of KS2, children will have been exposed to a wide variety of sports and given opportunities to showcase their skills by partaking in school tournaments and competitions. These skills will be revisited with increasing complexity as pupils prepare for the next stage of their education (KS3).
  • Pupil outcomes are monitored regularly to ensure that they reflect the learning and understanding of the key knowledge and skills embedded across the lessons. Children are encouraged to become increasingly more independent as they move throughout the school.
  • In EYFS, we encourage children to develop confidence and control of the way they move, and the way they handle tools and equipment. We give all children the opportunity to undertake activities that offer appropriate physical challenge, both indoors and outdoors.
  • Swimming is taught regularly with attainment tracked and monitored to ensure that children, by the end of KS2, can swim 25m and have basic water skills.
  • Summative judgements are recorded in end of year reports for all KS1 and KS2 (EYFS profile assessment – ELG Physical Development).
  • Cross curricular outcomes in PE are specifically planned for, with strong links between the PE curriculum and science and PSHE lessons. For example, in PE children are taught ways to stay healthy through nutrition and exercise and in KS2 learn about muscles and bones, and why these are important to us. They also learn about ways to support their mental health and wellbeing.
  • Pupils have access to extra-curricular activities such as lunchtime clubs led by Junior sports coaches, after schools clubs and inter-house competitions.
  • The Sport Premium funding increases opportunities for physical activity and wellbeing, within and outside the curriculum. 

In addition to PE lessons:

  • Pupil leaders (Junior Coaches) are trained to lead play activities in the playground at lunchtime.
  • Year 6 pupils take part in Outdoor Adventurous Activities (OAA) during residential trips and educational visits.
  • Visitors, speakers and sport workshops raise the profile of Sport and PE (GB Olympic Athlete Fredrick Afrifa).
  • Participation in extra-curricular and competitive sporting activities through clubs. This provision fosters qualities such as self-confidence, respect, team spirit and commitment. Throughout the academic year we take part in a wide range of sports competitions.
  • Our high-quality provision has received national recognition, with the school achieving the ‘Gold’ award in the School Games Mark (2022).


At John Burns Primary School:

  • Be observed and informally assessed during lessons. This will be against specific objectives set out in the national curriculum.
  • Develop their fundamental knowledge, understanding, skills and techniques and apply these to a wide variety of different sports and activities. They also develop positive attitudes towards PE, understanding how it impacts their health and wellbeing, reinforcing an expectation of all children being capable of achieving high standards.
  • Become confident within the different strands of PE and show resilience when tackling new skills.
  • Have access to the full curriculum offer in PE. All pupils will be able to access PE.

Swimming and Water Safety

Swimming is the only sport to be included within the national curriculum physical education programme of study. All primary schools must provide swimming and water safety lessons in either Key Stage 1 or 2.

Each pupil is required to do the following:

  • Perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations
  • Swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres
  • Use a range of strokes effectively, for example, front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke. 

Swimming lessons take place at Emanuel School and Clapham Leisure Centre. 

The following swimming programme is in place:

  • Autumn Term = Year 6
  • Spring Term = Year 5
  • Summer Term = Year 4