How to build the knowledge, skills and confidence to deliver high-quality PE in secondary schools

by Richard Jenkins, Commercial Marketing Officer, Youth Sport Direct

The challenge: Knowledge, skills and confidence to deliver high quality PE

Schools face competing priorities and a pressurised environment. Increasingly PE is being squeezed from the secondary curriculum, and so the importance of demonstrating its value to the school and young people has never been greater.

Many teachers have observed a lack of mentoring and training opportunities to deliver high quality and meaningful PE to the required standard.  The lack of ‘free’ time to access support, pressure on more core areas of the curriculum and the challenge of showcasing the value of PE in school are all factors affecting this.

There is a need to educate the whole workforce around the explicit physical, mental and social benefits of physical education, allowing high quality PE to reposition itself as crucial to the development of young people and their success. 

Richard Jenkins, Youth Sport Direct

The evidence 

High quality PE is proven to improve mental and physical wellbeing in young people. It gives them the physical exertion to stay fit and healthy, while providing the mental stimulation to enhance crucial life skills to improve emotional wellbeing.

In addition, engaging and quality PE has been demonstrated to improve whole school attainment with lessons learnt through physical activity able to be applied to cross-curriculum problem solving. There is also strong evidence to suggest high quality PE can improve behavioural issues in the classroom with young people feeling happier, more fulfilled and ready to learn.

Furthermore, a knowledgeable, skillful and confident workforce is more likely to actively encourage best practice and peer development, leading to a sustainable approach to embedding high quality PE practice for the long term.

Solutions to the challenge

YST has developed, a number of solutions to help practitioners improve their confidence, knowledge and skills when delivering PE, as well as better communicating to young people and school leaders.

My Personal Best is an award winning practitioner resource designed to inspire secondary PE teachers to confidently teach life skills through core curriculum PE. Delivered through face to face training, e-learning and digital resources, My Personal Best helps practitioners reflect upon, challenge and refresh practice to ensure maximum impact on their pupils.

With a focus on core curriculum and its importance in developing vital character traits such as teamwork, resilience and leadership; whole school priorities can be enhanced alongside improvements in teaching, assessments and learning. 

Access My Personal Best here.

In addition, the PE CatalYST network is an initiative driven by YST to encourage practitioners to deliver high quality PE in school. PE Catalysts are innovative PE practitioners keen to share tried and tested practices they use in their own secondary core PE classes. They can advocate the positive impact high quality PE has on young people and give ideas and confidence to deliver interesting and informative PE lessons to practitioners. This network gives access to free advice and expertise to help transform your school's PE program. Find out more here and to register your interest in becoming a PE Catalyst click here.

Finally, in partnership with EFDS and Sainsburys, YST are able to offer inclusive PE training to ensure practitioners have the skills, knowledge and confidence when delivering PE in the core curriculum to engage all young people. Delivered through a three hour workshop, this free of charge solution is available nationwide. Find your nearest training centre here.

Explore the full range of YST Resources and Learning solutions here.