Love of learning
At Fern Hill, we aim to promote the importance of physical activity for all children, and to support their understanding of the benefits to both their physical and mental health. The children are given a broad and balanced programme during curriculum time and beyond, to include both indoor and outdoor sports, developing and acquiring a wide range of skills and knowledge as they progress through the school.
Our aim is for the children to find an activity, not necessarily a sport, that they enjoy, and one that can be continued as they grow older into adulthood, whether that is ball control, running or flexibility and strength.
The expectations of the national curriculum are taught through both indoor and outdoor lessons, and there is emphasis on the progression of skills as children move through the school. For example, understanding why their bodies need to be warmed up before starting an activity, and why technique needs to be taught in small steps are ideas that contribute to the level of knowledge that we would like the children to take away into further schooling and beyond.
A variety of skills including the fundamentals of running and jumping, the development of attack and defence, and the specific skills within handball or tennis are taught throughout their time at Fern Hill. In addition, children are encouraged to consider the rules that are in place within the sport, and how, and why, these are implemented, having opportunities to have a go at refereeing/umpiring. Children are encouraged to provide feedback on themselves and their peers, and through this develop an understanding of constructive comments.
In addition, children are supported with meeting the national standard of being able to swim 25 m, with top-up lessons provided for the older children, and with curriculum lessons for Year 4. Bikeability, a borough-run initiative, is also offered to some children, to provide them with the life skill of being safe on the roads when they are cycling.
Team games are key to having an understanding of empathy within sport and the children are supported in this as they move through the school. Working collaboratively with others, as well as having the personal attribute of being able to win, and lose, well are encouraged both in lessons, on the playground, and at events such as inter-and intra-school competition and the annual sports day.
Our PE offering is designed to provide children with the enthusiasm to want to be active and take part in sport, as well as to consider ways to stay healthy. We want our pupils to go on to secondary school looking forward to the further opportunities that they can take, as well as seeking out the extracurricular clubs and events.
Pupils take part in two PE lessons per week: one focusing on indoor sports skills and the other outdoors. Some skills, such as control, flexibility and collaboration have natural links across both areas.
Outdoor PE in the Early Years has a focus on the fundamental skills such as running, jumping, throwing and catching as well as carefully planned opportunities in the outdoor provision to further develop gross motor skills.
In Key Stage One, these move onto an introduction to ‘attack and defence’ and ‘strike and field’ - developing the skills that will be needed for specific sports. Children in Key Stage Two are taught a range of sports including Tag Rugby, Handball and Tennis with a progression of skills developed according to age and competence.
Indoor PE uses gymnastics and dance to build body control, strength and flexibility. Skills including balance, rolls and travelling are explicitly taught with small step progression to support their achievement.
Intra-school competitions and lunchtime tournaments between classes and year groups run regularly at lunchtime. Further opportunities are offered via the School Games organised borough-wide schedule of both competitive and participatory events. Children can compete against other schools in a safe and supportive environment, or develop their skills further with additional coaching sessions.
Additionally, there are a number of after-school and lunchtime clubs including karate, gymnastics, tennis, football, basketball and athletics.
Sports Day is an annual tradition, with the children competing in their house teams across a variety of disciplines/activities. With a focus on ‘doing your best’ the children are encouraged to recognise that their own achievement will combine with the achievement of others to enable success as a house team.