Ok, before we start, let’s get one thing straight. In no way, shape or form is this a reinvention of the wheel. In fact, it’s far from it. Many of my PGCE placement primary schools planned across the curriculum using one theme as a focus (in my case this was chocolate) and thus, an exciting half term of lessons was born (or again in my case, not!).
It wasn’t until I began what is now my current job as a primary PE teacher/adviser, that I was given the opportunity to truly throw myself into teaching KS1 PE for the first time. To say I was shocked was an understatement. I had myself, come from a coaching background (working with 3-6 year olds) and my number one priority had always been ENJOYMENT and ENGAGEMENT, but yet, this appeared to be few and far between.
I have never seen a 4-7 year old child’s face light up when they are told:
“Today children, we will be learning how to throw and catch”
It all sounded too mundane to my ears and as such, my themed PE units of work were born. The following week, my lesson began…
“Today we are all going to be knights in training! The king has heard there may be an attack on the castle in the coming days and he needs the best knights in the kingdom to protect it. He is a very picky man and only the very best will do. You will be going on a journey today to prepare the castle for this attack and defend the king’s honour.”
The difference was remarkable, the enthusiasm contagious! Children have the most outstanding imaginations and tapping into this was the key. They weren’t doing a ‘PE lesson’, they were going on a quest to save a kingdom! The themes can be anything to peak interest (Frozen is a particular favourite) and the opportunities are endless. My sessions always have the same format to ensure familiarity for the children.
Each one of my themed lessons incorporates an element of LOCOMOTION, STABILITY and OBJECT MANIPULATION, thus helping to develop fundamental skills each and every time. There is always opportunity for question and challenge, ensuring that all within a class are catered for.
The feedback from both children and teachers has been outstanding thus far and this unit has been delivered in 6 different schools with more set to start this new school year! I am seriously excited about this and can’t wait to get stuck in!
See you next time ‘Under the Umbrella’