In Physical Education we aim to provide opportunities for pupils to become physically confident in a way which supports their health and fitness. Children learn to become aware of their bodies and what they can do. They learn awareness of space and how to share it safely with others. We take every opportunity to compete in sport and other activities which build character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect e.g., Sports Day, Rother Valley Challenge Day (outdoor problem solving, teamwork, inclusive event).

A range of activities is delivered with adaptations made as appropriate to ensure accessibility for all, as far as is possible, e.g., balloons instead of balls for children who need more time to process the flight of the balloon for catching or striking. Children become very empathetic with others, accepting variations in a task to make it fair e.g., some children running a shorter distance in a race.

Children are encouraged to evaluate their own and others’ performances constructively.
Children are given opportunities and teaching which will help them to develop from their starting point to the highest level of their potential.
For appropriate pupils, there is the opportunity to take Short Course GCSE P.E. at Aston Academy, working with pupils from other special schools and Aston Academy. They also have the opportunity to qualify as Sports Leaders.

Physical Development in EYFS

  • In the Early Years, physical education is taught through weekly discreet PE sessions, with a heavy focus on physiotherapy for those children who require this intensive input from trained therapists.
  • Physical Development is one of the Prime Areas of learning in EYFS, and encompasses two aspects – Moving and Handling and Health and Self Care. These early stages of development focus on sensory exploration; allowing space to move, roll, stretch and explore safely; providing resources that stimulate children to handle and manipulate things; planning opportunities for children to tackle a range of levels and surfaces; and providing time and space for children to enjoy energetic play daily.
  • Health and Self Care focuses on children knowing the importance of physical exercise and a healthy diet for good health, and talking about ways to keep healthy and safe. This aspect also includes basic hygiene and managing personal care needs, including dressing and using the toilet independently.
  • Outdoor provision is accessed daily to encourage movement in wide open spaces and enable physical exercise in a stimulating outdoor environment.

At Key Stage 2 children work in one of two groups according to their needs.


One group, who have significant mobility difficulties or are not ready for a more structured lesson, explore a range of equipment on a large area of mats. Children are able to roll and to reach for small equipment or to crawl or climb on soft play shapes. As they are ready they are supported to play small games e.g. sending and receiving a ball.


The second group have a more structured lesson involving the activity areas of games, dance, gymnastics and athletics being taught in half term blocks. Swimming is done weekly and outdoor and adventurous activities are done on a special event basis.

At Key Stage 3 and 4 students who use wheelchairs and some other mobility aids work together on games, dance, and athletics. They work on adapted games such as tennis and on games designed primarily for people with mobility difficulties e.g., polybat.


In athletics they do the Disability Sport England athletics activities as appropriate e.g., wheelchair slalom, target boccia.


Ambulant pupils do games, dance, gymnastics, and athletics in half term blocks, swimming on a rota basis, alternate half terms in terms one and two. Outdoor and adventurous activities are done on a special event basis.

Children in EYFS to Year 6 have swimming lessons in the school hydrotherapy pool. From Year 7 students for whom it is appropriate have swimming lessons at Aston-cum-Aughton Leisure Centre, taught by their teachers. Students for whom this is not appropriate continue to access our pool for their swimming.

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