Physical Education

“Sport has the power to change the world, it has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.”  

– Nelson Mandela -


Curriculum vision

We believe that PE is one of the most important subjects that students can study at secondary school, because it equips them with the skills, tools and experiences to enable them to maintain their own levels of physical and mental health for the rest of their life. We aspire for all students to lead healthy and active lifestyles throughout their school years and into adulthood, therefore we place a great deal of importance on students forming a positive relationship with physical education.

The taught PE curriculum uses a mastery approach, whereby students will heavily focus on ‘skills’ within the sport. Through consistent repetitionreviewingrevisiting and practising the content, students will aim to master each sporting discipline. This ensures that students form a strong understanding of the skills before moving onto more complex tasks such as application of skills into competitive game play.

The PE department offers a vast range of extra-curricular opportunities. Each term there is a selection of clubs each day after school that students can attend. After school sports clubs offer students additional practice and recreational play. Students have the added opportunities to represent the school in their chosen sport through local fixtures, local tournaments, and local and county competitions. 

  • All students will be taught an array of skills, techniques and tactics from a variety of invasion games, net and wall games, striking and fielding and expressional activities.
  • Fitness is strong focus here at Barnsley Academy. Students will gain an understanding of the importance of having a good well-being. We also aim to teach students the importance of nutrition and personal hygiene.
  • Our curriculum provides students with opportunities to try a range of sports such as, netball, football, badminton, dance, gymnastics, fitness, athletics, cricket, rounders and many more.
  • We ensure that students are not only taught practically, but theoretically as well. We provide students with an understanding of the scientific principles which underpin PE. Human biology, movement analysis, sports psychology and ethical and socio-cultural issues in physical activity and sport are some of the amazing topics that students will learn.

Intent – our ambition for our pupils; how we achieve the best in everyone:

In the PE and Health department we are committed to a collective vision: To deliver a curriculum that challenges, excites and enlightens our students, and ensures that ALL students develop confidence and skills that will enable them to be successful in exams and in life beyond the academy. This vision is divided in to four strands.

We want our students to:

  • Engage with and be passionate about our subject – enjoying being physically active and be able to demonstrate this in a variety of activities.
  • Make exceptional progress in their own context.
  • Develop a greater understanding of the society they live in and the values and events that have and continue to shape it.
  • Become confident and effective communicators who are ready to succeed in adult life.
  • Access opportunities to compete and excel in sport and other physically demanding activities in order to build character and to help to embed values such as ambition, determination and respect.

KS3 is the phase where we aim to build and nurture students’ enthusiasm through experiencing a wide range of activity areas and provide learning opportunities beyond the classroom. The aim is to introduce, develop and consolidate the essential knowledge and understanding of sport to be successful in theory qualifications at Key Stage 4.

  • In years 7, 8 and 9, students take part in 3 ‘core’ activities over the course of the year (badminton, athletics, and invasion games), as well as 3 ‘additional’ activities that support the learning needs of the students. Of these additional sports, there must be at least one team sport and one individual sport covered. This is to help to build the foundations needed for success at KS4.

In KS4, students follow the OCR Cambridge National in Sport Studies.

  • In Y10, students complete R185 (Performance and leadership in sports activities) and R187 (Increasing awareness of Outdoor and Adventurous Activities) of OCR Cambridge National in Sport Studies, which enables them to strengthen the practical skills that they have developed in Key Stage 3, and to extend these by taking on different roles in sporting contexts. Students are provided opportunities to do this through developing and applying their knowledge of leadership in practical contexts during lesson time, as well as within extracurricular opportunities.
  • In Y11, students continue with R187 (Increasing awareness of Outdoor and Adventurous Activities) and begin R184 (Contemporary issues in sport) of OCR Cambridge National in Sport Studies, which enables them to develop their understanding of how health and fitness positively impact our everyday lives, and the issues which can affect participation in sport and physical activity. It also gives them a deeper understanding of the values which can be promoted through sport.

In the PE and Health department, we are committed to ensuring our curriculum is challenging to all students, but scaffolded so all students can achieve their full potential. To enable all students to access the breadth of content and depth of skills, we have devised a curriculum that gives students the opportunity to explore concepts and ideas, alongside the development of knowledge and skills at a pace and level of challenge that are appropriate to the needs and abilities all students. All schemes of work, across both key stages, promote the understanding, development and application of knowledge and skills. They are designed to facilitate regular opportunities to assess and improve skills and opportunities in order to close the gaps until ‘mastery’ is achieved.  Enrichment time is used as an additional opportunity to extend student experience; to challenge the most able, as well as enable less able students to develop and refine their practice.

Implementation – how we expose our pupils to powerful knowledge and provide education with character

We use Barak Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction to develop our teaching practice. At the heart of Rosenshine’s principles is a simple instructional core:

  • Demonstration (explanation and modelling) of new material in small steps (I)
  • Guided practice with prompts and scaffolds (we)
  • Independent practice with monitoring and feedback from teacher (you)

At each point in this instructional core, teachers check understanding of all students by asking lots of differentiated questions and providing feedback.

The Rosenshine principles support the implementation of the curriculum by ensuring that students regularly recall prior learning, which is especially a vital part of continuing educational growth in PE and Health. You will often see this at the start of our lessons, when we recap skills or concepts through a ‘Teaching Games for Understanding’ model. When prior learning is committed to long term memory it becomes fluent or ‘automatic’, freeing space in our working memory which can then be used for comprehension, application, and problem solving.

As we want pupils to master the fundamental skills within sport and to be able to transfer these into a variety of different sports, we study 1 sport per half term in greater depth so that pupils can securely demonstrate skills in isolation before applying them into competitive situations. Our lessons are prepared and delivered to instil challenge, but to also provide scaffolding and support so that learning is accessible to all. Where students are working at different rates, we aim to challenge our high attainers further through introducing them to roles where they will need to understand and learn about tactics and rules, whilst we give students who have not yet grasped a concept or skill the additional time they may require for mastery to be achieved.

The curriculum provision for Physical Education at Barnsley Academy is as follows:






1 x 75 minute lessons per week

1 x 75 minute lessons per week

1 x 75 minute lessons per week

2 x 75 minute lessons per week (OCR Cambridge National in Sport Studies)


1 x 75 minute lessons per week (Core PE)

2 x 75 minute lessons per week (OCR Cambridge National in Sport Studies)


1 x 75 minute lessons per week (Core PE)


Impact – how we measure and secure continuous improvement for all: 

At Barnsley Academy, the impact of our teaching is monitored in many ways to ensure that all sequences of learning are effectively meeting the needs of all students, resulting in clear, consistent opportunities to make accelerated progress. 

Within the PE department, we focus on the development of practical skills alongside theoretical knowledge which allows students to thrive at KS4. In KS3, we track student development using Key Performance Indicators. This allows us to determine whether students are meeting age-related expectations in order to bridge the gap for students where necessary.  

At KS4, to ensure that all students are given consistent opportunities to make accelerated progress, we have implemented and continue to refine our approach when necessary, the effective use of the following: 

  • Learning Checks: Including hinge and true or false questions, demonstration of learnt skills in different environments E.g. isolated, semi-opposed, high pressure 
  • Self and Peer Assessment: Including check lists and student-friendly marking criteria, which are underpinned by a developed understanding of criteria and frequent live modelling of how to assess and set relevant actions that facilitate progress. 
  • Demonstrate marking & Closing the Gap: A regular cycle of succinct teacher feedback is used to identify gaps in learning, offer students the clear developmental instructions and pose thought-provoking questions to enable students to develop a deeper understanding and application of skills and knowledge. 
  • Spot Marking: Following ‘guided practice’, staff monitor student application of skills and knowledge, in order to offer relevant verbal feedback (addressing misconceptions, developing thought processes) to enable more rapid progress.   

The PE curriculum at Barnsley Academy ensures that students leave our school with a love of physical activity, and an understanding of roles within sport beyond only that of a player or participant. We believe that sport and Physical Education have the power to change the lives of our students, both physically and mentally. We know how to get the best out of our students and how to engage them as we take the time to know our students on an individual basis. This allows us to develop their love of learning within PE and offer extra-curricular opportunities that will see them flourish and grow.  

The PE department has high aspirations for every single one of our students and aims to bring out the best in everyone through offering a differentiated curriculum which allows all students to pursue mastery.  

University and Careers


All staff share with students, via a high-profile display board, where they went to university and what they studied.


We work closely with our students and local colleges to promote studying Physical Education beyond KS4. Following KS5, many of our leavers can go on to university to pursue careers in a variety sports industries such as sports coaching, strength and conditioning, rehab and rehabilitation, media and journalism, teaching, diet and nutrition and many more.   

The students develop these skills through a varied curriculum covering; invasion games, dance, gymnastics, trampolining, fitness, athletics, striking and fielding, and net and wall games.  Students are assessed through the use of the newly developed KPI’s which embody the United Learning and Barnsley Academy PE departments ethos and aims for the curriculum. 

Examples of apprenticeships that relate to Physical Education:

Turning your sports skills into a high-flying career doesn’t necessarily mean landing a spot on the next Team GB Olympic team, or signing a contract with a Premier League football club.

A sport and fitness apprenticeship is a great way to get the qualifications and practical experience that can boost a career in this field. An apprenticeship can teach the skills necessary in several professions, like fitness instructing, personal training, sports coaching, lifeguarding, physiotherapy and injury recovery coaching. Hands-on experience can be gained through leisure apprenticeships that take place in gyms, clubs, recreation centres and in sports teams.

A sport and fitness apprenticeship allows an employer the opportunity to mould on-the-job training in the way that the company desires. Sports and fitness apprenticeships will take on apprentices at various levels, from school leavers to university candidates.

Take a look at these sporting apprenticeships for inspiration. 

Coaching apprenticeships

There are around 1.1 million coaches currently in the UK across schools, youth clubs, leisure centres and sports clubs. The demand for competent, qualified sports coaches has risen because of the popularity of sports in the UK.

Work in this area is usually community based, such as:

·       coaching a local football team

·       working for a regional sports society

Intermediate level apprenticeships - you could train in roles like:

·       diving coach

·       water polo coach

·       community sports coach

·       swimming coach

·       club coach/instructor

·       swimming teacher

·       community sports coach

·       tennis coach

Advanced level apprenticeships - you could train in roles like:

·       senior coach

·       fitness coach

·       club coach/instructor

The Physical Education Team

  • Mrs Lauren Duncombe - Head of Department
  • Mrs Rachel Wimlett - Teacher of PE
  • Mr Nathan Parkinson - Teacher of PE and Head of Year
  • Mr Harry Barlow - Teacher of PE and Teacher of Science
  • Mr Jacob Wilkinson - Teacher of PE and Teacher of Science

More Information

For more information on our curriculum, please contact:

Mrs Lauren Duncombe
Head of PE

Curriculum Overview

Curriculum SOW

KeyStage 3
KeyStage 4