At Damers First School, Physical Education (PE) is taught several times per week by a range of qualified and specialist staff. All staff are committed to developing an inclusive curriculum which inspires all pupils to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically demanding activities.
Children from Foundation to Year Four participate in a weekly swimming lesson, every other half term, taken by either Mrs Scott or Mrs Hewitt. They are taught the range of strokes and develop a good sense of water safety. It is our aim to try to enable our pupils to, “swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres.”
Pupils from Year One to Year Four, participate in a weekly games lesson with coach Mr Senior who is supported by his assistant Mr Stone. In Key Stage One, the focus is heavily upon developing fundamental movement skills, through the extension of agility, balance and coordination as individuals, pairs or as part of a team. Pupils incorporate these skills through playing many fun games, and as the pupils gain confidence they begin to learn simplified versions of traditional games, such as football, tag-rugby, basketball and cricket.
In Key Stage Two, pupils begin to apply the broad range of skills taught to a wider range of games and learn and apply tactics to include attacking and defending. They are encouraged to understand how to improve their performance and level of skill in different physical activities and how to evaluate and recognise their own and others’ success. Pupils are given the opportunities to play a range of traditional, competitive games including tag rugby, football, tennis, basketball, cricket and rounders. In the summer term a programme of athletics skills has been developed to highlight the track and field events which are celebrated in the Key Stage Two Athletics/ Sports Day. Here, pupils are encouraged to do their best for their strand colour and pupils support and encourage each other with enthusiasm and great team spirit.
Dance in the new curriculum states:
Children in KS1 should perform dances using simple movement patterns.
Children in KS2 should perform dances using a range of movement patterns.
In order to fulfill this requirement to a standard of excellence the skills of choreography, performance and appreciation are taught across both key stages. There is a variety of stimuli and starting points including pictures, stories, the natural environment, music and objects.
Within this stage children are taught the basic forms of movement: hop, skip, jump, gallop, turn and roll.
Choreographic techniques: levels, shapes, expressive qualities, stillness, small group work and awareness of the rest of the class in the space.
Performance skills: basic body control and strength, balance, energy, the ability to remember and repeat and to dance confidently.
Appreciation skills: watch, describe and to share preferences on performances, including live shows and examples of dance in the media and in film.
Key Stage 2
Within this stage the children continue to refine, practise and extend the skills of Key Stage 1 and add to them.
Basic forms of movement: fall, twist, suspend.
Choreographic techniques: levels, shapes, expressive qualities, stillness, turns, dynamics, space, small group work, class work, use of cannon and unison.
Performance skills: body control and awareness of muscle strength and usage, balance, energy, the ability to remember a variety of phrases/sequences, practice, rehearse and perform confidently.
Appreciation skills: watch, describe and respond, discuss, share preferences on performances, including their own work, live shows and examples of dance in the media and in film.
All classes have an indoor Physical Education slot in the hall taken by the class teacher to teach either gymnastic skills, dance or to develop some of the games skills mentioned above. In gymnastics, pupils in Foundation and Key Stage One, learn simple movement patterns. In Key Stage Two, these skills are further to create sequences of movement which include strength, flexibility, technique, control and balance.
Damers is part of a fantastic sporting pyramid of schools (DASP). All schools within the pyramid are committed to developing a programme of sporting fixtures and festivals which cover a range of sports and year groups, and are added to each year. These friendly inter school festivals are organised and led by our DASP School Sports Coordinator Levi Dailey, and a small team of Olympic Legacy Leaders. These sport specialists work alongside our staff and pupils, to further develop and deliver high quality teaching and learning in all aspects of PE, to inspire further confidence and enthusiasm for sport and sportsmanship and to encourage children to have fun whilst taking part in sport. These leaders also help to run half termly lunchtime and after school clubs to raise pupil participation in sporting activities and holiday clubs with a sports focus.
Making Healthy Choices
Being healthy and staying healthy is an ever growing issue, and is embedded in all of the work that we do in PE and as part of our curriculum work as a whole. Damers is committed to providing pupils with the knowledge and understanding of the importance of making healthy choices in their lives both now and in the future. In addition to our overall curriculum provision, we also dedicate a special two week programme of activities to promote health issues and to give pupils and staff the chance to ‘try something new’. This might be a new food or it might be trying out a new sport. Every year an exciting programme of events is put together, to offer pupils different experiences as they move up through the school. Pupils are given many different taster sessions delivered by external providers and specialists such as Tai Kwon Do, the climbing wall and Parcour to name but a few. Children are also given information about these clubs should they wish to develop their interest further.
At Damers we strive to encourage pupils to take part in physical activities and as a result offer different lunchtime and afterschool sporting activities. These are seasonally based and lunchtime clubs change on a half termly basis so that all children have the opportunity to take part. We listen carefully to the views of our pupils and take these into account when deciding which clubs and activities will be on offer. To see the range of clubs and activities which we currently have on offer click here.
Every year, many pupils apply to be a Sports Leader. This is a popular responsibility in our school. 30 pupils are chosen, and these role models take part in a six week training programme led by PE coordinator Kirsten Thorpe. They learn how to develop their leadership and communication skills to prepare them for working with pupils in Key Stage One. The Sports Leaders extend their knowledge of a range of games and after their training spend one of their lunchtimes per week leading and developing lunchtime play with the younger children at Damers. Sports Leaders are also given other sporting responsibilities throughout the year such as working alongside Year 8 Sports Leaders from Dorchester Middle School and also supporting Foundation and Key Stage One sports days.