Top tips for PE lesson nightmares

We asked three PE practitioners from YST member schools for their teaching nightmares, student spooks and three ‘trick or treats’ to ensure your PE lessons are scarily good this half-term.

Halloween is here, and the run up to the Christmas break is now on.

To help guide your PE lessons for the next half-term we asked PE practitioners, Emily, Adam and John, for their input into this Halloween themed blog. 

What spooks young people about PE and how do you overcome these?

Emily: Larger cohorts, some don’t like overtly competitive environments. I try to steer away from traditional sports and activities.

Adam: Traditional ideas and curriculums, and over-the-top strict teachers. Think out-of-the-box and don’t forget to be human!

John: Girls can often feel left out by the boys. Make sure you have different tasks that everyone can get involved in, to work and have fun together.

Do you have any teaching nightmares?

John: Turning up with the wrong lesson plan! A quick improvisation was needed.

Emily: When you are relying on that perfect video clip, and it doesn’t work!

Adam: Trying to perform a vault in a Year 8 demo and going straight into the box, flat on my face in front of all the pupils – how not to do it!

What are your top trick or treats this half-term?


  1. Always be consistent, follow through with what you say
  2. Find a reason to praise every student
  3. Don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself


  1. Be organised
  2. Keep pupils busy and active
  3. Be human - have empathy, encourage, embrace and be enthusiastic about your subject


  1. Ask questions and have the pupils answer physically- more time spent being active
  2. Make all lesson activities fun!
  3. Listen to pupil voice – what do they enjoy?


If you’d like to learn more top tips and share your knowledge with likeminded individuals – join our Communities of Practice as part of the YST Membership offer. We want to support you over this academic year and ensure your young people enjoy PE and sport.

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Published on 29 October 2021