Physical Education

Physical Education. 


At Charles Darwin we aim to provide a high quality Physical Education curriculum that inspires all of our pupils to become active and to maintain an active lifestyle as they move through our school and beyond.

Our intent

While studying Physical Education at Charles Darwin our children will:

  • Develop their physical literacy and physical fitness through an exciting, varied and engaging P.E curriculum, appropriate to their age and ability.
  • Benefit from physical activity implemented in the wider curriculum.
  • Have swimming lessons from Year 1 onwards to develop confidence in water and pool safety skills. 
  • Take part in and succeed in competitive sport and physically demanding activities through intra and inter-school competitions at Level 1 to develop character, resilience and to embed core values of teamwork, fairness and respect. Pathways to Level 2 competition are accessible and possible within this structure.
  • Understand the value of an active lifestyle and work towards achieving their own personal best. 
  • Develop their confidence and proficiency riding a bicycle through the Ready Set Ride programme in Year 1 and Bikeability in Year 5.
  • Have access to a wide range of free after-school sports clubs.



The Charles Darwin Physical Education curriculum is designed to have a clear progression of skills from EYFS through to Year 6. Sports and games are chosen specifically to provide a range of opportunities to acquire, develop and practice an increasing range of skills.

Our curriculum allows for creativity through Dance and Gymnastics with opportunities to pursue both activities beyond the curriculum.

Staff have also attended wide ranging relevant CPD to increase their expertise teaching these areas.

We continue to invest in our outdoor areas and high quality equipment for a range of sports and games, ensuring all areas of the P.E. curriculum are well-resourced.

We have aimed to increase activity levels in day to day lessons, in order to meet the Government requirement for 60 active minutes. Classes have begun to implement heat maps in their lesson planning and monitoring and we have set targets for increasing activity levels based on the recommendations made from the active school planner audit. We have met and re-set targets on an ongoing basis.  

We have explored a range of ways to get children moving and staff have attended relevant training courses to assist this.  

Year 2 have successfully implemented the ‘Active Literacy through storytelling’ programme with a group of children identified as lacking in confidence in reading and writing, and we have used elements of this in KS2 to increase activity in English lessons, making particular use of our outdoor areas. We are taking further steps in 2019-20 to ensure all staff review the activity levels in their classes on a half termly basis by using the Active Schools Planner

We are also introducing the My Personal Best with the aim of developing children’s confidence, social skills and well-being through P.E. This will be rolled out across the whole school during the spring term with the aim of being fully in place by summer. 

Teachers use strategies in their classes such as the ‘Exercise Alarm’ and using  ‘brain-breaks’ during more sedentary lessons to increase activity levels. We also have 5 a day fitness, BBC supermovers and a Yoga programme available which teachers can use to introduce more activity and to supplement learning (for example with times tables).  

In the Autumn, we identified our least active pupils in each class (total 48) who didn’t attend a sports club in or out of school and in partnership with the children and their parents aimed to get as many of these children attending a sporting activity as possible. 15 out of 48 (31.25%) now attend an after school sports club regularly, 20 are involved in the change4life programme and 5 have attended a sports club outside school.  The 20 least active children of this cohort also participated in the Vale Royal SSP ‘Try it!’ event during National Schools Sports Week. 

We have sought to ensure that we are constantly broadening our extra-curricular clubs programme to respond to children’s requests. We are also now in the process of exploring more adventurous activities (e.g. Fencing) to complement our existing programme.   

We continue to strive to enter as many inter-school competitions as possible alongside the Vale Royal School Sports Partnership and have aimed to ensure that more children have the opportunity to experience as many inter-school competitions as possible, regardless of their sporting ability, whilst still giving our more-able pupils sporting challenges at an appropriate level.  

Children with additional needs are able to access the curriculum through appropriate differentiation and specialised equipment where appropriate. These children can also benefit from regular Sensory circuit sessions which develop an awareness of their bodies and have a positive impact on overall mood, well-being and self-esteem.


Pupil voice interviews show that children are positive, enthusiastic and confident about Physical Education at Charles Darwin. They enjoy their lessons and are proud of their achievements, particularly when they know that they have improved or mastered a skill they were finding difficult or when they have represented their house or school. Our parents and carers also tell us they are hugely appreciative of our PE “offer” with an acknowledgment that what we do in terms of extracurricular clubs goes above and beyond and the annual whole school whole day Sports Day is a full-on extravaganza with loud and active participation from parents, grandparents and siblings!

Representative heat maps from a Year 3 class showed that there is ongoing improvement in the levels of activity during core lessons such as Maths and English. 

In response to the recommendation from the Active Schools Planner that we review how to get children active on their way to and from school, we participated in the Sustrans Big Pedal 2019, which aimed to get children walking, cycling or scooting to school.  Prior to the Big Pedal we had 54% of our children walking, cycling or scooting. 

  • Over the course of the week we had 63-72% participation, with our final percentage being 68.2% of children and 67.64% of Parents/Carers walking, cycling or scooting to school. 
  • We finished in 11th place in the North-West and 280th place in the UK. 
  • We were the second highest placed school in Cheshire West and Chester. 

Since then we have built on this success by ensuring that we have adequate secure, covered space for Bikes and Scooters brought to school and providing Bikeability sessions for children in upper KS2. 

We are planning for the future too, as our current Year 1 group are all participating in the Ready, Set Ride programme. We hope this will give them the confidence to ride safely to school as they move up through the year groups. We have invested in Bikes and helmets to ensure we are excellently resourced and our KS1 staff have attended full training in order to deliver the programme.   

Our after-school clubs provision focusses heavily on sporting activities: 

  • We currently have 57% of KS2 children attending an after school sports club we provide. 51% of these children participate in two or more sports clubs a week.
  • In 2019, 130 out of 216 (60.1%) of children in KS2 participated in an inter-school sports competition. 

We have had continued success in sporting competitions, notably in Sportshall Athletics where our children won the district event and have qualified to represent Vale Royal in the county finals. All of our participants in inter school sport are celebrated!

We have engaged with Vale Royal SSP's increased provision (For example the Adventure Challenge Run) which has served to engage and excite children who would not normally participate in sporting activities. 

Many of our SEND children have participated successfully in inclusive sports with other schools, including Boccia and New-Age Curling. 

We have maintained and developed our links with local sporting clubs: 

  • Our KS2 children’s participation in clubs outside school has risen from just below a quarter to over a third (37%) since 2018.  

Pupil voice questionnaires suggest that many of our children have taken up a sport outside school as a direct result of trying that sport in P.E. lessons or from participating in School Games competitions provided by Vale Royal SSP. We aim to build on this in 2019-20 by increasing visits and taster sessions in school by local providers and professional athletes.

 Charles Darwin achieved the Sainsbury’s Gold award five years in succession and the School Games Platinum award for 2017-2019 (one of only 104 schools nationally) and then again  for 2019-2021. School also awarded Youth Sport Trust Silver Award in June 2019.

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Contact Details

Charles Darwin Community Primary School

Darwin Street
Castle, Northwich

Main Contact: Mrs Marianne Bennett (Acting Headteacher)

Tel: 01606 75194
Fax: 01606 784143

SEND Contact: Miss Joanne Tilley

Governor: Mr Graham Emmett

Clerk to the Governors: Gemma Reeves
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