primary pe

Key Contact

Helen Ostell
NASBTT Associate Consultant
Primary Physical Education

Twitter: @HelenOstell1

Latest News

Youth Sport Trust Conference

‘Change the score, change the future’ Wednesday 20th March 2024 at Telford International Centre For more details visit

Webinar with HMI and Ofsted Subject Lead for PE, Hanna Miller

Listen to Hanna Miller, HMI and Ofsted Subject Lead for PE, explaining the key findings of the recent Ofsted Subject Report in this afPE Webinar  

Recent information about the PE and sport premium

To find the most recent information about the PE and sport premium for primary schools visit PE and sport premium for primary schools – GOV.UK (

Subject Resources

Welcome to the resources area for Primary Physical Education. 

In this area you will find information about the Subject Association, links to useful websites, a recommended reading resource, links to relevant video clips, event recordings and resources, Ofsted subject reports and any other relevant information.

The area will be regularly updated to provide the best possible support for those involved in delivering training in primary Physical Education so that all trainee teachers are equipped with the relevant subject specific knowledge and pedagogy to successfully teach Physical Education and understand the wider role of the subject in supporting whole school outcomes. 

The area is far from exhaustive and if you cannot find what you are looking for in the information provided then please get in touch with me via the email address above and I will do my best to point you in the right direction.  Likewise, if you find anything that you think is useful and that you would like to see added to the area, please let me know by emailing me.

Thank you I am looking forward to working with you.

The Association for Physical Education (afPE) is the representative Subject Association for Physical Education in the United Kingdom.

Its purpose is to promote and maintain high standards and safe practice in all aspects and at all levels of Physical Education, school sport and physical activity, influencing developments at national and local levels that will impact on pupils’ physical health and emotional well-being.

It provides quality assured services and resources, and valuable professional support for its members and the Physical Education, school sport and physical activity sector.

There are a number of memberships plans available that can be viewed on the website, including those for schools, individuals, trainees and HEIs. There is also a dedicated ITTE Network area on the website which can be accessed by clicking on the Professional Leaning tab.

The Youth Sport Trust (YST) is the United Kingdom’s leading charity, improving every young person’s education and development through sport and play. There is a number of programmes, resources, and membership packages that can be viewed on the website. Of particular interest to primary practitioners are the ‘TOPS’ suite of CPD and resources (TOP Start, TOP Play and TOP PE).

Create Development provides training and resources to support primary schools, families, and communities to transform the culture of physical activity. The unique, inclusive approach aims to create habits and develop essential behaviours, physical literacy, emotional and thinking skills in EVERY child.

The School Games inspires young people to be physically active for life through positive experiences of daily activity and competition. It is funded by Sport England, delivered by the Youth Sport Trust and involves funded School Games Organisers (SGOs) at a local level and School Games County Alliances at a county level working together to create an annual calendar of competition. Resources for selected sports are available on the School Games website.

Get Set 4 PE provides schemes of work and lesson plans that are simple and easy to use, giving teachers the subject knowledge, confidence and support in assessment, development and delivery of high quality Physical Education. 

The PE Hub is a hub of high quality Physical Education planning resources that empower primary school teachers to deliver better Physical Education.

Primary PE Passport is an online Physical Education planning, assessment and tracking tool designed to enable primary school teachers to deliver, monitor and assess high quality, enjoyable and effective Physical Education. 

National Governing Bodies of sport, also known as NGBs, govern and administer a sport on a national basis. Aside from overseeing rules, clubs, coaching and competitions, the NGB of each sport decides how to spend income generated by membership fees, TV rights, Lottery Grants, and investment from Government and the four UK Sports Councils. Most NGBs offer CPD for coaches and teachers and a range of resources for those involved in coaching and teaching. Below is a list of selected NGBs:

As a starting point see the North East Partnership SCITT’s ‘Recommended Reading Resource for Physical Education’ The North East Partnership SCITT is a specialist Physical Education provider.

This resource comprises:

It is constructed around the ITT Core Content Framework and enables users to filter the spreadsheet entries by core content headings and phase of education.

Curriculum Design in PE

There are a number of video clips on the AfPE website in the ITTE Network area which can be accessed via the Professional Learning tab.

Intensive Training and Practice (ITAP) in Secondary Physical Education


Working as a DfE Associate, supporting providers around stage two readiness, has made me think about which aspects of the curriculum I would deliver through ITAP if I were still the Director of a specialist Physical Education (PE) SCITT.

What follows is an overview of the focus areas I would select, the rationale for these choices, where each would fit in the wider curriculum, how the ITAP blocks would be structured and the use of experts.

Focus Areas

Five key areas immediately spring to mind, which I would potentially reduce to four: 

  • Routines and Transitions
  • Effectively Linking Learning Objectives, Activities, and Plenaries
  • Explanations and Demonstrations (Modelling)
  • Questioning or Feedback
  • Adapting ‘in the moment’ Teaching

Subject to being well planned and delivered I feel that these would meet the requirements of the 2024/25 ITT Criteria.  Each is sufficiently granular and selected from a broader curriculum strand.  For example, the ITAP on routines and transitions is selected from the behaviour management strand and the one on questioning from the assessment strand etc.  All can be put into practice immediately and all have the potential to impact on trainees’ classroom practice irrespective of context.

Rationale for Choices

These choices are based on things that are quite specific to PE, things that the trainees I worked with traditionally found difficult, or things that I believe are important for trainees to master before being able to move on to the next stage of their development. 

Establishing clear routines and smooth transitions is important in practical PE lessons if trainees are to maximise learning time and minimise low level disruption.    How many times have you observed a trainee sending a whole class of thirty students to collect a piece of equipment all at the same time from the same area, or students waiting between each phase of a games lesson while a trainee frantically runs around setting out cones or setting up pitches, or the equipment being left on the field at the end of the lesson?    Equally, it is important that PE trainees can give clear and concise explanations supported by high quality demonstrations.  This is particularly pertinent when teaching outside in the winter to minimise periods of inactivity and when teaching complex skills such as a lay-up shot in basketball or a somersault in trampolining.   How many trainees have you observed giving a lengthy explanation with no demonstration to support it, leaving students with no visual image of what they should be practising? 

It is imperative that trainees understand the principles of planning and in particular the importance of the links between learning objectives, activities, and plenaries if students are to make progress.  Too often this was set as a target during first placement either because trainees had selected their activities first then made their learning objectives match or because mini plenaries were forgotten about and/or plenaries rushed.  Likewise, later in the year a common target was one linked to adaptive teaching and to using the knowledge they were gathering from on-going formative assessment to adapt ‘in the moment’ teaching, rather than waiting until the next lesson to make adaptations.

Finally, effective questioning is key if trainees are to have a clear picture of what students know and understand.  This is important to get right if they are to then adapt their teaching accordingly.   

Whilst these choices are quite specific to the context of my former provision, they will also be relevant to other subjects and phases if contextualised appropriately. 


The timing of each ITAP is crucial and would be linked to the wider curriculum sequence and to trainees’ stages of development to achieve maximum impact.  

Early ITAP blocks, such as routines and transitions and effectively linking learning objectives, activities, and plenaries, would become part of training on behaviour management and how pupils learn respectively and would take place prior to first placement to provide solid foundations on which to build during the rest of the year.    Others, such as questioning and adapting ‘in the moment’ teaching would become part of training on assessment and adaptive teaching and would be introduced at pivotal points in trainees’ development to build on prior learning.   All would act as springboards to future practice.     


Each ITAP would last for either four or five days, depending on if I decided to deliver four or five.  The curriculum structure that I had would lend itself to each being blocked into either one full week or the end of one week and the beginning of the next to maintain intensity. 

The structure of each would initially be informed by Pam Grossman’s five-element framework:

  • Introduce
  • Analyse
  • Prepare
  • Enact
  • Assess

In essence, during each ITAP trainees would:

  • Have some taught content, engage with research, and make links to the relevant CCF statements.
  • Observe and deconstruct practice in a variety of general and PE specific contexts.
  • Have time to plan for a range of practice scenarios.
  • Practice, get feedback, refine plans and re-practice specific skills in both low and higher stakes environments.
  • Reflect on what they had learnt. It is important that those planning ITAP blocks are clear about what they want trainees to know, understand and be able to do by the end of each block.  This will ensure that each ITAP develops trainees’ knowledge, understanding and skills and that trainees are then able to reflect against these three things, set clear targets for future practice and understand the links between theory and practice. 

Use of Experts

Experts would play a key role in all aspects of each ITAP and selecting the right experts would be crucial to the success of each and would determine where each would take place.   Experts could include Course Leaders, School Senior Leaders, Lead Mentors, Subject Specialists or General Mentors and may differ for each ITAP.   All would need to receive training and if General Mentors were used, strong quality assurance processes would need to be in place.  ITAP settings could include Lead Schools, Specialist Schools, or Placement Schools.  Where Placement Schools are used it must be made clear to Mentors that ITAP is additional to and different from normal placements. 


If anyone would like to discuss the information above in more detail or talk through your own choices and thoughts, please do not hesitate to get in touch on   

See also:

Developing High Quality Secondary and Primary Physical Education Provision

Watch the recording here.


Secondary Physical Education

Primary Physical Education

Youth Sport Trust

Primary with a PE Specialism Curriculum Design

Click here to view the resources

Themed Presentations

This bank of six narrated power point presentations has been designed for providers to use with their trainees to develop subject specific pedagogy around the key themes of; organisation and safety, behaviour management, making it stick, adaptive teaching, and assessment for learning.  

It is suggested that the presentations are used in number order, with the first one acting as an introduction to the following five.  Although trainees will be able to engage with each presentation virtually and as individuals, to get the best out of the presentations it is suggested that they are delivered as face-to-face workshops with time built in for discussions, reflections, and opportunities to observe expert colleagues.

Thank you to Lesley Doughty for producing these presentations.  Lesley is a trained primary teacher with a PE specialism. After teaching in various primary schools, she worked as an advisory teacher for PE and Sport in both Newcastle and Northumberland local authorities. Since then, she has been working as an independent PE, physical activity and sport consultant developing and delivering training, authoring resources, and providing advice and support for a wide range of local and regional organisations including schools, local authorities, school sport partnerships, SCITT programmes and national organisations including the Youth Sport Trust, AfPE and Sport England among others.

PE guidance published by the DfE March 2024.

New PE guidance for schools strengthens equal access to sport

Read the guidance here.

Curriculum Research Review (March 2022)

Physical Education: Subject Curriculum Insights for Primary and Secondary Teachers and Leaders

  • Ofsted has published a free video specific to Physical Education which provides subject curriculum insights for primary / secondary teachers and leaders, delivered by Hanna Miller, HMI and PE Subject Lead.

Access this video here 

Levelling the playing field: the physical education subject report (September 2023)

This report evaluates the common features in PE in 25 primary schools and 25 secondary schools.  It identifies the strengths and areas for development in how pupils are taught the subject.  It builds on the PE research review of March 2022.  Levelling the playing field: the physical education subject report - GOV.UK (

Twitter is a valuable platform for sharing resources.   Below is a short, suggested follower list to get you started:

The views expressed in any links, documents or social accounts in these resources belong to the content creators and not NASBTT, its affiliates, or employees.