PE Intent and Rationale

Statement of Intent

At Marlborough, our intent in PE is to deliver a curriculum which develops children’s skills in a broad range physical activity and sport. It has been structured in a way that creates clear progression through developing fundamental movement skills and application of these in a range of games and activities, with increasing focus on more formalised games and sport. Our aim is to help all of our pupils in finding a sport that they love and encourage pathways that take our them to higher levels of participant both at school, within the community and in to adulthood.

Our PE curriculum allows skills and sports to be re-visited in order to build on previous knowledge, as well as chance to participate in new and exciting alternative sports such as Dodgeball and Ultimate Frisbee. We aim to achieve enjoyment for all and feel that the offering that we provide – along with lessons which carefully manage different abilities – caters for children of all abilities and interests.

Through our curriculum and extra-curricular offering, we are keen to promote active lifestyles for all of our children, regardless of individual starting points. We believe that PE and sport is not only about developing children’s physical health but is also supporting their mental and emotion wellbeing. For this reason, we take a holistic approach and place high importance on promoting teamwork, cooperation, communication skills, confidence, resilience, self-esteem, fairness and respect.



At Marlborough, we provide a broad offering of sport: combining a core provision of multi-sports invasion, striking and net and wall games, athletics, OAA, gymnastics, dance and swimming. Lessons focus on acquisition of the skills required for each area and their application. Skills are taught at the points where children are the most physiologically receptive . To ensure high quality and progressive lessons which build on prior learning, for our core sports, lessons follow the PE Passport scheme which mirrors the requirements of the National Curriculum.

Early Years Foundation Stage

In EYFS, skills are developed through provision based activities, in both inside and outside areas which allow opportunities for children to develop their fundamental movement skills (locomotion, object manipulation and stabilisation) and strength through both structured sessions and play based activities. Early mastery of these skills through play, exploration and rhyme and song, for example Dough Disco, allows children to more effectively move on to the learning of sport specific skills in later key stages.

Towards the end of the year, a games based approach to skill development is introduced. This build up allows the opportunity for children to build strength through body weight bearing activity – essential for successful development of fundamental movement, protection from injury and aerobic fitness. Equipment is specifically selected to improve both gross and fine motor skills and coordination – the theory being that if children are success in their movements, that they are more likely to be repeated so providing them with early success is beneficial for long term development.

Through physical activity, we help children to build skills such as independence, turn taking, goal setting, working as a team and self-regulation. Children work individually and in partnership with others. The aim is to develop cooperation and decision making as an individual, and a team of two.


Key Stage 1

During KS1, development of fundamental movement skills moves from a largely play-based approach to more structured activities. Here, children will continue to develop their body control and refine and master those introduced in EYFS. This included: running, jumping, throwing, catching, balance, agility and coordination – the basic movement required for all future learning. By the end of KS1, children lessons will increasingly focus on making links between these movements and application to small sided team games. Building from EYFS, these will increase from partner or 2V2 work to no more than 3V3 to allow continued building of cooperation, following of rules and decision making.

Acquisition of fundamental movement underpins the Key Stage 1 PE curriculum and, as such, units are built in to the early stages of both Year 1 and 2. Lessons focus on refining movement learnt in the previous year and development of new skills. This is achieved through specifically targeted units of learning on movement, multi-skills activities, gymnastics and dance and eventually, small-sided games which allow application. This supports progression from developing skills in isolation, to application through linking movements. Activities are pitched and differentiated in a way that challenges the children but also allows them to achieve success with reasonable levels of perseverance – the aim being to build confidence.

During this period, children will also learn how exercise impacts their bodies and will begin to think about both the short and long term impact of physical activity. This will be achieved through units of work such as Health Related Fitness during Year 2 and through discussions before, during and after activities in other units. This is built upon in Year 3 as part of the transition process.


Key Stage 2

Into Key Stage 2, our units of work continue to build upon key skills learnt in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. At this time the focus moves towards more formalised sporting formats and linking previously learnt skills together in order to become a more effective participant. Skill development remains at the heart of lessons throughout Y3-6 as the body needs to refine these as it changes and grows.


We recognise that individual pupil’s confidence, interests and motivations for taking part in sport vary – with some finding fulfilment in rigorous competition and others taking pleasure from participation; therefore, in order to promote enjoyment for all and allow children to have experience of range of different activities, in Key Stage 2, we incorporate alternative sports such as Dodgeball, Ultimate Frisbee, Circuit Training and Tri-golf.


Lower Key Stage 2


In lower Key Stage 2, children’s learning continues to build up on the Fundamental Movement Skills developed in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 with an with an increased focus on application in fluid sequences of movement or game play.


In games lessons, the skills developed during Key Stage 1 are revisited and advanced by focusing on the correct stance and technique, the teaching of different pass choices or shot selection and the introduction of tactical play. Control and fluency of body movements comes to the fore as children refine and develop their movement skills. In the application stages of lessons, children apply these skills and, throughout a unit, build from partner, small group games or zone, towards more formalised games. Formats are age and development stage specific. For example: Bees Netball, 5 V 5 football, Quadkids and red and orange tennis. This allows children to build on their cooperation skills and decision making.


In athletics, skill development follows the pattern seen in games sessions with a focus on refinement and improvement of movement patterns introduced in EYFS and KS1. Technique and control are the key focus in this stage and children begin to reflect on how changes in body position, form and action can impact performance. For example, how pace should be used differently in a sprint and long distance race.


The refinement and control of movement is a common thread that can be seen throughout our Key Stage 2 curriculum. In gymnastics, lessons focus on taking skills learnt in EYFS and KS1 and progress these further by focusing on elements of control and technique required to start to move more fluidly between shapes and balances – both on the floor and travel when working on equipment.


After focusing on creating short motifs and copying and repeating movements in Key Stage 1 dance lessons, in the early stages of lower KS2 allow children begin to improvise and create their own sections of motif, responding to a range of stimuli. They begin to adapt motifs to create longer sequences of dance. In Year 4, this is developed further as pupils work on their improvisation skills to increase confidence and progress to working in small groups.


Children are given the opportunity to work together with peers and with their teachers, to review and reflect on their own and each other’s performances. In addition, through their analysis of their performance, they will begin to refine their skills with support from teachers and peers.


Upper Key Stage 2

In upper Key Stage 2, units of work continue to build upon prior learning through continued refinement of technique, stance and skill whilst refining precision, control and links between movements. Understanding the changes in the body during exercise link to science units covered in this period and children begin to take the lead in warming and cooling down as well as taking on roles as officials in games and at school events such as Sports Day.

In games based lessons, skills developed in lower KS2 are recapped and developed further with teaching focusing on varying of technique to achieve a particular outcome, tactical awareness and improving accuracy. During the application phase of sessions, children work on applying this to game situations his might include shot selection, fielding positioning and higher level decision making in relation to attack and defence. As children move in to year 5, they begin to move away from small side games and instead apply the skills learnt to larger sided or more formalised sports formats, with rules and regulations that feed in to our local competition offering.  

In upper KS2, in athletics, teachers work with pupils to develop effective techniques and refine skills acquired in KS1 and lower KS2. Through a process of review, reflection and teacher facilitation, children refine technique to improve their results and beat their personal bests. Pupils become officials and take on the responsibility for measuring and recording data collected.

By Year 5, children have had a regular offering of gymnastics since Foundation Stage and most will have mastered the basics of balance, creating shapes and creation of a sequence of movements. In upper KS2, learning builds on this prior knowledge and focuses on consistency and confidence in composing and performing their own complex sequences of movements. In Year 6, this is developed further through incorporating different pathways that require timing and communication when working in partnership with others.

Building on learning where children have created their own motifs and linked movements, in dance, lessons now focus on rhythm, expression and dynamics. Children begin to improvise more confidently and advancing from Year 3 and 4, work now focuses on linking movements with fluency and control.

In all areas of learning, pupils regularly review their work with a partner or individually in order to find areas for development which will improve overall performance and effectiveness. This may be through video replays and peer observation and often takes place throughout lessons to provide immediate feedback which is essential for avoiding repetition and permanent embedding of incorrect technique.

By the end of Year 6, our aim is for children to be able to draw on a wealth of prior learning in order to perform to their highest possible standard.  We aim for children to be self-motivated and analytical  accessing support that they require, whether it be teacher support, peer feedback or adaptation through practise and refinement. Rather than seeing challenge as something that might lead to perceived failure, we want the children to be able to draw on the knowledge and skills that they have developed during their time at Marlborough and use these to achieve their personal best.



Extra-curricular opportunities

Throughout the year, we have a wide range of sports on offer in addition to those which are part of the curriculum.

Our extra-curricular clubs include: Netball, hockey, lacrosse, basketball, cross country, athletics, circuit training, karate, football, cricket, rounders, athletics, gymnastics and fencing.