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Thornhill Primary School

Thornhill Primary School

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Thornhill’s key principles for the teaching of PE:


A high-quality physical education curriculum inspires all pupils to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically-demanding activities. It should provide opportunities for pupils to become physically confident in a way which supports their health and fitness. Opportunities to compete in sport and other activities build character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect.

- National Curriculum Physical Education Programme of Study (DfE 2014).


The Physical Education programme at Thornhill recognises PE as a vital catalyst in better preparing pupils for life and employment opportunities. A quality PE programme allows all pupils to master fundamental skills and concepts that further their self-confidence. Developmental PE ensures that pupils are appropriately challenged and are properly ready to move on to their next stage of learning through PE. Assessment for learning teaching techniques ensure that staff are aware of how to maximise pupil progress by developing a dialogue with pupils and share with them how to be reflective and independent learners. Pupils’ positive engagement with the PE programme supports them all in developing healthy active lifestyles.


Physical Education Aims at Thornhill:

  • 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


The effective teaching of PE at Thornhill:

We teach with a child-centred and holistic approach:  We teach PE using a holistic and child-centred approach, which incorporates the three learning domains - Psychomotor / Cognitive / Affective (Doing, Thinking and Feeling) - to support how children learn.  In PE teaching, we refer to this as Hands, Head and Heart. For example, we teach children how to throw and catch; we teach children how to apply throwing and catching during; we help children to develop their confidence with throwing and catching.


We use a developmental approach: PE lessons are taught to a level that is appropriate to age and stage. Teachers know, understand and teach according to a clear progression map throughout the key stages. New knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before and previous content supports consequent learning.  Assessment for learning techniques ensure that we and pupils are on track with learning and make better progress.


We offer wide coverage and challenge: Our PE curriculum matches the breadth of the National Curriculum.


We teach Fundamental Movement Skills: We teach children ‘the building blocks’ of sport and physical activity, the Fundamental Movement Skills.  These include locomotor, balance and object control.   Pupils can develop their confidence in the various skills through a range of physical activities (individual and cooperative) before moving into competitive situations, such as invasion games (football, netball, basketball, for example).


We develop vital behaviours and attitudes: We help children to develop vital behaviours along the way to a healthy, active lifestyle, because we have given them a positive and coherent PE programme.   There are many opportunities to develop the qualities of resilience, perseverance and concentration through PE activities.  Through the teaching of competitive sports, pupils learn to collaborate, compete well and challenge themselves, too.

  • Thornhill Primary School,
  • Thornhill Road,
  • London,
  • N1 1HX