How the PE and Sport Premium is supporting our recovery curriculum

Dawn Mallett, Sport and PE Development Manager, blogs about how the PE and sport premium funding is being used with a focus on key indicators 1 and 2 in supporting the recovery curriculum at Stanton and Pepper Hill Schools.

Stanton and Pepper Hill schools are a first and primary school in Milton Keynes. Around 3 in 10 of pupils receive free school meals and one in four have English as an additional language.

In the morning, the children express negative emotions, yet these change after taking part in a PE or physical activity lesson. Smiles, smiles everywhere!

Class Teacher

Earlier this year, we asked our pupils to complete an ‘Active Me’ survey to gauge how active children were before and during the first UK lockdown.

Before the first lockdown

  • Active travel = 43.1%
  • Active breaks = Always (47.2%), Sometimes (44.4%), Other (8.4%)
  • Active at home = Always (25.7%), Sometimes (63.9%), Other (10.5%)
  • Joined after-school sports clubs 2018/2019 = None (19.2%), one club (39.2), two clubs (27.8), more than two clubs (13.8%)
  • Attends sports clubs outside school = Yes (56.3%), No (43.8%)
  • How many minutes of physical activity do you think children should take part in each day? = Between 0-20mins (15.3%), between 20-30mins (43.1%), More than 30 mins (41.7%).

During the first lockdown:

  • 29% took part in Joe Wicks’ YouTube videos, however this declined after four weeks to 8%
  • 66% of children did not engage in outdoor play during lockdown
  • For those who had access to online devices (78% of those on roll), 51% of children engaged in virtual PE lessons for the duration of lockdown

Looking at the data, we recognised the need to rethink and reshape our provision to ensure the physical, emotional, cognitive and social wellbeing of our children is at the heart of our PESSPA provision. We have carefully designed a Recovery PE curriculum which will focus on supporting children who have been impacted on by COVID-19 restrictions. This restorative approach aims to address learning gaps, inactivity and the adoption of leading healthy and active lifestyles. As part of this reflective process, our PE, school sport and physical activity (PESSPA) action plan includes targets and aims to increase participation and engagement in active travel, breaks, and overall activity levels. In the second half of the autumn term, we will measure the impact of this redesigned recovery curriculum by asking the children to complete another survey.

Our whole-school restorative approach aims to reactivate learning through the subject of Physical Education and additional opportunities for children to participate in meaningful daily physical activity. The following key indicators are at the centre of our approach:

  • Key Indicator 1: The engagement of all pupils in regular physical activity - the Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines recommend that all children and young people aged 5 to 18 engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day, of which 30 minutes should be in school.
  • Key Indicator 2: The profile of PE and sport is raised across the school as a tool for whole-school improvement.

To support Key Indicator 1, we have put the following measures in place:

  • Increased PESSPA provision to three compulsory hours across all year groups, two PE curriculum hours and one hour dedicated to physical activity.
  • During the first half of the autumn term, we planned the PE curriculum overviews to support both restorative learning and the National Curriculum aims for PE. The curriculum is designed with half of the content as age appropriate, while the other half is allocated to restore learning missed or lost due to lockdown restrictions. Our recovery curriculum therefore aims to support children who have been impacted by COVID-19, but equally empower pupils to continue progressing towards their long-term, pre-pandemic aspirations. Similarly to the pre-COVID curriculum, lessons are designed progressively and reshaped to provide all children ample opportunities to achieve the National Curriculum attainment targets in all three domains the subject offers (psychomotor, cognitive, and affective).
  • We will use the compulsory physical activity hour to encourage our children to adopt a physical lifestyle that they feel has a purpose and meaning, regardless of how they choose to be active. Their moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) is monitored by the use of MOKI Technology - a wristband worn to measure steps and MVPA time. This monitors our children’s levels of activity during the school day, including PE and physical activity lessons. The additional hour is taught by their class teachers ensuring that the staff are involved with being active alongside their class. This has been positively welcomed by all staff. MVPA will become a tool to encourage all children to engage with inter and intra school virtual initiatives as well as using it as an individual tool to assess their daily physical activity levels.
  • Each year group bubble have been allocated two days a week for optional physical activity sessions. These sessions are held during break and lunch times.

The restorative curriculum has proven how powerful PE can be. Our additional hour dedicated to physical activity has changed my entire perspective of the subject. They need it and so do we!

Class Teacher

I used to be worried going to PE because I am not sporty but now I love trying new sports and taking part in activities with my friends.


To support Key Indicator 2, we’ve put the following measures in place to support staff with the implementation of our recovery curriculum:

  • We’ve adopted a clear whole-school approach moving into the post-COVID phase and as a federation we aim to demonstrate committed partnerships between pupils, parents/carers, staff, senior leadership team (SLT) and governors.
  • The Executive Headteacher has been extremely supportive and has given in-service training (INSET) time to PESSPA, ensuring it is at the heart of school life and in turn raising its profile. All federation staff receive regular updates on our PESSPA provision through INSETs and the PE team also have continuing professional development (CPD) sessions and weekly PE meetings.
  • Teaching staff are involved in the delivery of our physical activity lessons
  • As part of our whole-school approach, we’ve spent time reshaping our cross-curriculum links between PE and other subjects. We’ve embedded a physical activity strand into our PSHE curriculum. Our PSHE curriculum prior the pandemic consisted of content that focused on being physically healthy but this year will see an increase to around 27% of the lessons emphasising the link between physical activity and leading a healthy lifestyle. We now have six strands planned across the academic year. Each half term, all year groups will engage with a lesson that focuses on the benefits of participating in physical activity and the positive impact of regular participation on overall wellbeing. The aim is to reinforce the importance of leading active, and healthy lifestyles and that PESSPA is an integral vehicle to support this. We want to show children that physical activity provides many opportunities to develop personal, emotional, social as well as physical aspects of their development. More importantly, we want our children to be part of that learning process.


The best part of my day is PE and Physical activity because my teacher has fun with us too. It makes me feel good.


Our assessment process

Due to the restrictions caused by COVID-19, we’ve adopted the concept of Head (thinking) Hands (doing) and Heart (behavioural change) to support children to develop into thinking, doing physical beings.

Children have had, and will continue to have, a diverse range of experiences caused by COVID-19. The purpose of assessment is to support with any lost learning and enable staff to identify areas that children require tailored support. The children will also be able to use the additional hour of physical activity to develop in these areas and achieve their desired outcomes.

We have designed our assessment tool to provide meaningful feedback and we will use it to support the implementation of our Performance Improvement Programme (PIP). Throughout the academic year, PE data will be continuously analysed to identify where PIP may be required to improve overall achievement.

This PIP model is accessible for all children and consists of three strands:

  1. Curriculum: To ensure that pupils have full access to PE curriculum lessons by providing tailored PESSPA clinics during breaks, lunch times or after school for any missed lessons or assessments due to isolation, illness or bereavement.
  2. Support: To provide additional support to identified individuals of focus groups that require improvement in their progress in PE (all domains). This may also be used as an engagement tool to support with behaviour management, or as a vehicle to support with attainment or support with wellbeing of a child.
  3. Gifted and Talented: To create opportunities for gifted and talented pupils to enable them to further develop within the community and to liaise with sports clubs, once these are back up and running after the November 2020 lockdown, to support training programmes.


Find guidance, top tips and more blogs about the PE and Sport Premium for primary schools here.

Published on 11 November 2020