KEY MESSAGES of the Primary PE Curriculum
Physical Education is a child-centred curriculum. When implementing the PE programme, our
school, building on the principles of variety and diversification, consider:
1. The importance of enjoying physical activity. The child who associates fun and enjoyment
with physical education lessons and who gains a sense of achievement will develop the
positive attitudes so necessary for continued participation in physical education lessons and
2. The importance of play in its many forms in the learning and developmental process.
Through play the child learns to move effectively, to think, to interact socially with others
and to express feelings.
3. Maximum participation by all children in the physical education lesson. The desire by
children for active participation can be seen as the starting-point for the teacher when
planning and implementing physical education lessons. Lessons which can be identified as
successful in achieving the pre-determined objectives will inevitably be those where the
children were active throughout the entire lesson.
4. The development of skills and increasing understanding of the activities which the children
are experiencing. The development of skills forms a significant part of the curriculum for
physical education, beginning through structured play activities at infant level and extending
throughout the class levels. As the skills are developed there should be an emphasis too on
increasing the child’s understanding of the activities he/she is engaged in. This can be
achieved by adopting appropriate teaching methods where discussion is an essential part of
5. Providing a balance between competitive and non-competitive activities. Activities
incorporating some elements of competition can benefit the child as he/she progresses
towards the achievement of his/her potential. The positive opportunities presented include
the development of respect for opponents, rules and classmates as officials. However, the
pressures of competition can form barriers to progress for some children, and competition
does not always present the ideal environment for development of skills. A balance should
therefore be sought between provision for competitive and non-competitive activities.
6. Providing a balance between contact and non-contact activities. The needs of the
individual child should be considered when selecting suitable activities. A balance should be
sought which, for example, allows the child who favours non-contact activities to enjoy
those activities and yet be able to engage in contact activities, where possible modified to
suit his/her needs.
7. Providing opportunities for achievement for each child. It is essential that the child be
presented with achievable tasks, regardless of the activity he/she is engaged in. The
satisfaction of achievement is the factor that motivates many children to continue to
participate in physical activity.
8. Providing activities equally suitable for girls and boys. Activities which have traditionally
been associated with either sex can be presented, sometimes with modifications, to a mixed
class. Single-sex classes should be exposed to a range of activities from all six strands where
possible, thus ensuring that a balanced programme is presented to them.
The importance of enjoyment and play
Maximum participation by all children
Development of skills and understanding
Balance between competitive and non-competitive activities
Balance between contact and non-contact activities
Providing opportunities for achievement for every child
Providing activities equally suitable for boys and girls
In SS. Michael and Peter JNS we are focused on implementing the PE curriculum to its fullest. Our aim is to make Physical Education fun, enjoyable, diverse and as educational as possible.
As part of the Active School Flag we are focusing on one strand each year. Our Active Committee and whole school have discussed how we can improve our whole school approach to teaching PE and have come up with many exciting ideas . Year one of the Active Flag we discussed which area we were going to focus on for the new academic year and were really finding our feet but for the year 2018/2019 we decided to focus on the area of games.
This year and last year a number of our staff members engaged with courses to help support the development of PE in our school. We have found the Move Well, Move Often program alongside the PSSI website to be a fantastic resource for our school. It has made the teaching of PE in our school more structured and focused on the needs of the children. We have found that for years we have been focused on teaching the skills of specific games/sports but being a junior school it is important for us to focus on the basic skills the children need to master first like running, jumping, balance etc for them to be able to play many different types of sports. In 2017/18 only our Active School committee focused on the Move well, Move often program and taught a specific skill in 6 weeks blocks. For 2018/2019 more teachers gave it a go and found it very successful.
Some of our children practising their Games skills focusing on throwing and catching