In 2009 the Government’s published National Curriculum stated that
‘A high-quality PE curriculum enables all pupils to enjoy and succeed in many kinds of physical activity.’
‘PE helps people develop personally and socially. They work as individuals, groups and in teams, developing concepts of fairness and of personal and social responsibility. They take on different roles and responsibilities, including leadership, coaching and officiating. Through the range of experiences that PE offers, they learn how to be effective in competitive, creative and challenging situations.’
“National Curriculum QCA 2009”
Leaving aside the legal requirements that we provide an inclusive provision for all the children in our schools, isn’t this enjoyment and success something we would want for all the young people in our schools?
Whatever your personal feelings about, or experiences are, primary PE lessons are fun! Everyone has good memories of balancing on upturned wooden benches in gym lessons and long summer afternoons playing rounders. These experiences are offered daily to every child in our primary schools and the enjoyment should be universal too. If you have children in your class who have some additional physical needs then your PE and general provision will be adapted to make sure they are fully included where-ever possible. This must be the starting point of your provision, not an afterthought.
The same applies when thinking about school playground provision. Although climbing frames, trim trails and wild forest school areas are fantastic enhancements to your outdoor space they are not inclusive. An Inspired Playground on the other hand can be used and adapted easily to provide activity focus for all your children. Wheelchair and walking frame users can take part in every station’s activity and children enjoy challenging themselves to find different and even more unusual ways of using the markings with their friends.
Sport leaders, TAs and teachers can also lead sessions on the playground during lesson time as part of small-group support or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) provision. We have seen core strengthening activities, hand – eye coordination, even fine motor skills taught using it. Hand writing can even be taught using the markings and the ladders make great smaller targets for throwing and jumping games. The only limit (we are finding time and time again) is the imagination of the user. Primary teachers and SEN TAs are hugely inventive but how about talking to those kids in your care- I am sure they have better ideas than us!